If you have started down the path of becoming a Real Estate Agent, congratulations! Becoming a successful real estate agent is not easy but with hard work, perseverance and research, it can be incredibly rewarding.
Once you make the decision to become a Real Estate Agent, it’s important to consider the industry facts and know what you are up against. The Real Estate Industry is extremely competitive. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates around 2 million licensed real estate agents that are active in the United States.
In order to make yourself stand out from the rest, get to know the different real estate niches, find which one suits you and become an expert in your niche. By choosing a specific niche, you can focus your energy and resources into becoming the best in one area instead of dividing your time in many different directions.
The first step is to get to know the different real estate niches. Here are six niche markets to consider when choosing the area that is best for you:
1. First-Time Homebuyers (FTHB)
According to Genworth’s 2017 First-Time Homebuyer Market Report, First-Time Home Buyers (FTHBs) are the largest driving growth force in the real estate industry since 2014. This niche market is very large and difficult to corner but it can be one the most rewarding. First-Timers are new to the real estate process and will be eager to ask lots of questions and get as much information as possible. In order to be a successful agent to FTHBs, take the time to really get to know the area you will be working in. FTHBs, being so new to the process, will very likely have a lot of questions and concerns. Address them in patient and professional manner, which will help build a relationship of trust and bring you closer to the sale. When working with FTHBs, take time to develop a strong marketing strategy and be aware that you will be facing tough competition from other agents; Use your resources to stand out from the crowd. Once you have helped a first-time buyer purchase their new home, keep in contact so in the future you can use them as a good reference. FTHBs that are happy with your service will also be a likely source of new and repeat business.
2. Vacation Homes
It’s common sense that the market for vacation homes, including resort rentals, is highest in an area that caters largely to tourists and vacationers. If you live in an area like this, you may want to consider vacation properties as your niche. A good way to begin cornering this market is to take stock of the features of your vacation homes and make them stand out in listings. Consider location, house rules (i.e. no smoking, no pets) and proximity to attractions such as resorts and beaches. As with any housing market, it is also important to know who your target buyers are tailor your listings to fit their needs. Seniors, baby boomers, millennials and families may all be seeking out different features for their next vacation home.
3. Rehabbing or “Flipping”
Rehabbing, otherwise known as “flipping” or “fixer-uppers” refers to homes that are purchased at a low value because they need work, fixing them up and flipping them to sell at a much higher price. Rehabbing is not for everyone, especially agents that practice real estate part-time. You’ll need to stay on top of the market to know which fixer-uppers are worth an investment. Then there is the matter of doing work on the house and getting it back on the market quickly enough to make a profit. Rehabbing a home can be risky, but with enough practice, you can turn it into a lucrative option for clients
Specializing in selling apartments is beneficial if you live in a big city or downtown area where apartments are popular. When selling apartments, know your geographical region and be sure to research options for shopping, transportation and distance from important landmarks. As with any listing, buyers are likely to be comparing many different apartment listings before choosing one, so know the features that set your listing apart. Keep in mind that specializing in apartments in a big city may mean dealing with very expensive listings and thus familiarizing yourself with high-dollar clientele.
5. Luxury Homes
Specializing in luxury homes is a very specific market segment and requires money on both ends as well as a specialized set of skills. Becoming a luxury home seller requires a lot of market research as well as networking. Visit open houses for luxury homes, connect with luxury real estate agents and get to know their techniques and strategies. Act the part by dressing to sell luxury, form meaningful relationships with prospective clients and market yourself as professionally as possible. Although this tactic won’t guarantee sales on its own, learn about staging a home to sell and integrate these skills into your marketing strategy.
6. Senior Market
The Senior Market consists of buyers and sellers over the age of 55. Seniors or Baby Boomers are considered to be their own niche market because they have often have special housing requirements as well as unique income situations. Be aware of features and amenities as senior citizens will often requires low-maintenance homes without lots of stairs, as well as homes that are close to important locations such as hospitals, churches, banks and grocery stores. Communication and a personable, helpful nature are key in the senior market.
These are just a few niche real estate markets to consider when choosing your area of expertise. The best way to figure out your niche is to assess your surroundings and resources to determine which market you are best suited to work with. Once you have narrowed down a market segment, consider furthering your career by acquiring specific real estate designations to fit your niche. As always, you can look to Moseley for resources and assistance with expanding your post-license real estate education.
By Jaqie Feldstein