The statistics in the real estate industry are horrible for real estate agents. Many agents get started and never see a full year of experience as they struggle to get going, struggle to stay afloat, and struggle to market correctly. The main problem: most agents are in "General Real Estate".
General Real Estate is just that "General". You get your license, you put your license with a broker, and you either get bombarded with training material or you get nothing at all. Unfortunately, most of the training materials are Old School. They are completely irrelevant for today's real estate market.
Okay, so some of the information is good. Circle of Influence: Yes, absolutely you should let your friends and family know that you are licensed and dangerous. Farm an Area: Yes, absolutely you should specialize. This can't be it though. You can't survive on just this and this is the best training or advice you will receive. Whatever you do, don't ask the agents milling around your office. They are looking for the magic bean too!
So how do you create a better real estate business? How do you create a lead producing business that will continue to generate closing after closing? It's simple: NICHE!
In order to NICHE, you must let go of the fear of missing out! This is the #1 biggest fear keeping everyone from creating a niche. If someone contacts you outside your niche, you can still do the business or better yet - just refer it out to another of your agent friends.
Here are the steps to creating your Niche:
1. DON'T NICHE IN BUYERS! Many agents decide their niche is "First Time Buyers" or "Active Adults" or "Wealthy clientele". I say let them go for it and let them struggle. You, on the other hand, must Niche in the property not the buyer. Crucial point here: You must have inventory of your niche....if you don't to start out, that's okay...you will soon enough.
2. Decide on 1 or 2 Niches: If you love working with condos, don't niche in mountaintop homes. Pick a Niche that you like and that you have knowledge about. I personally have been able to work 2 niches that have almost nothing to do with each other: Short Sales and Waterfront homes. I really like working with waterfront homes but at the same time I have a wealth of information about short sales...Therefore I have 2 Niches. It works!
3. Enough Business?: Be careful getting too specific. If there is only 1 certified LEED Green construction house selling per month in your area, probably not enough business to make a living. Check the numbers and make sure there is plenty of business.
4. MARKET!: Once you have selected your Niche, start marketing! DO NOT DO MAILERS! Direct Mail produces a 99% failure rate and a broke agent. Instead, build a website and start blogging. Write articles every day for the first 90 days. Keep your website constantly updating with new information about your Niche.
5. Be Prepared to Change or Add a Niche: If your niche stops moving, be prepared to add a Niche. With the tough market of today, Luxury homes aren't selling as often so many of those agents are having to find new areas of expertise. Be prepared to change if needed.
This sounds easy enough, but almost no one does this! If you keep working on your website by adding valuable content, you will start to see results. When someone types in a Niche in a search engine, you will start to rank higher and higher in the search results. You can watch your stats go up very quickly in about 90 days if you are vigilant. And then it happens, you start getting the calls and the emails and they don't stop coming in...as long as you keep providing the right information.
Bonus Material: Consider On Line Farming. Set up a neighborhood specific website separate from your own site. Set it up to be completely informative about the neighborhood. Post every listing, every rental, stats on sales, neighborhood events, Preferred vendors, etc. This site will start to rank quickly and you will be the "Sponsor". Own the neighborhood! Take it to the next level by getting in their newsletter or having a bandit sign made up with the web address.
About the Author:
Brad Officer is an accomplished real estate agent in Jacksonville, FL. Innovative and always searching for better ways to market for his customers, Brad has been able to thrive during one of the toughest real estate markets ever experienced. Visit his website to meet Brad: http://www.bradofficer.com