“Without a niche, you become a pebble on the beach of real estate agents. With it, both your name and company rise to the top of your audience's mind."
That’s the philosophy of entrepreneur Kelly Mitchell, CEO of CaffeinatorTV, who was the latest marketing expert to lend advice in “7 Ways to Find Your Niche and Own It!” during a Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, presented by Homes.com. http://www.homes.com/ In the informative webinar, Mitchell explores why having a niche is critical to cultivating recall and explains the best way that real estate pros should be creating his or her own niche.
“In my opinion, a niche is something that describes an aspect of you that you are very passionate about, that helps people put you in a category in their mind,” Mitchell says. “When you have something that is permeating everything you do, that is a niche.”
In the Beginning
When Mitchell first started in real estate, she wanted to be all things to all people, and thought being “vanilla” would allow her to have more connections, but she learned the complete opposite is true and that a strategy like that would not lead to success.
“That journey took me into some unsavory territory, dealing with people I didn’t like, and it made me miserable and it was really challenging,” she says. “I was not having fun in that space and couldn’t wait for the day to end.”
She considered things she was passionate about—caffeine and wine—and once established into a niche with these, she became happier and her career took off.
“There are so many things I can talk about in the space of these two, and because I’m passionate, the opportunities are innumerable,” Mitchell says. “When you find yourself a niche or niches, it’s easier to find and share content and inspire others. If you are knowledgeable and passionate about it, it’s the best way to serve your clients.”
Mitchell cautions not to fake a niche—you must have an authentic passion for your niche or the clients will notice and you could lose trust. Don’t try to be something you’re not.
Letting Your Niche Work for You
To be successful in real estate today, Mitchell says you need to identify, explore and own your own niche and take an active role in attracting your ideal clients.
“Being a generalist no longer works. You need to articulate and focus on an interest and expertise,” she says. “It makes you more memorable and gives you the opportunity to own mindshare in a client or prospect’s mind.”
Mitchell cites an example of a house hunter who is out on a weekend, going from open house to open house, and meets 15 agents throughout the day. Eventually, all the agents start to blend into one another, so it’s important to resonate with them. A niche will help an agent combat that issue.
“A niche is an element or elements of your personal brand. The glue that will hold everything together,” she says. “When you show that you are passionate about something, you can express it and use it to communicate to other people.”
Finding Your Niche
Everyone has the ability to find a niche, but for those struggling with defining one, Mitchell offers some suggestions.
“Write down some of the words you think of when you think of yourself: what are your interests? What are you passionate about? Take real estate out of the equation,” she says. “An expert can be so in 60 days, focus is the operative word. You become knowledgeable as an expert.”
She says to ask yourself these 7 questions:
1. What am I passionate about?
2. If I wasn’t working right now, what would I be doing?
3. What am I most excited and interested in?
4. Who is my ideal client?
5. If I could be anything or anyone in the world, who would that be?
6. When I read, what kind of books/articles are most compelling to me?
7. How can these interests intersect with my business? Where are the commonalities or complements?
“Once you formulate your niche, all other things you do will become intertwined and easier,” she says.
The Viewers Speak
“Identify your niche and dominate it –and when I say dominate, I just mean working harder than anyone else could possibly work at it.” – Nate Parker
Mitchell shares the above quote by actor Nate Parker as the philosophy that every real estate pro should have.
Throughout the webinar, agents following along piped in with their own niches. One creative agent started a webcomic with hopes of attracting those in the local artist community; another is using their love of biking and Harley riding to connect with riding enthusiasts; a third is passionate about healthy habits and has made that her niche. Others work with specific groups (like the medical community or single professional moms) or have a niche with small business start-ups.
Not all agents are sure how to create a niche from their passion. One agent loves music, but is afraid he will come off as unprofessional; another is interested in Bible study and doesn’t know how to use that for her career advantage.
Mitchell says not to worry—anything can be turned into a niche.
By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing, Homes.com