Charles’ Real Estate Platform Part 3

Niche marketing. It applies to all facets of business and real estate is no exception. For me, the niche should follow your passion and/or expertize. If you have the passion, learn the expertize. If you have the expertize and don’t have the passion it may not work out. I don’t think your niche has to be exclusively what you do, unless it is something like “Exclusive Buyer’s Agent” in which case listing homes may be out.

What’s my passion in real estate? Old historic homes and buyer relocation. Our www.AlphabetDistrict.com is a beginning point for the historic homes and we are working towards a relocation web site. There is more to do on the Alphabet District web site but I do think it is where real estate is heading: giving clients specifically what they need rather than a blast of general real estate information.

We’ve established that my niche is not going to be Portland’s Bicycle Realtor. Contrary to the AP story that ran on Friday, I am not anti-bike though the article portrays me that way in one choice out-of-context quote; I had a lot of time to think about it during my 55 mile ride down to a family event in Salem yesterday. From the article, you couldn’t even tell if I own a bike. I am anti-bike when it comes to meeting with clients. I don’t think it is appropriate unless it is your niche and you’ve set that expectation that you may be a little gross and sweaty when you arrive. If that expectation is set and your client is okay or even turned on by it: go for it! I won’t be competing in that niche. It will be interesting how the locals compete with Pedal to Properties, a Boulder real estate firm that is expanding to Portland.

Google Maps has a new feature that you can map directions for “Walking” instead of the default “by car.” I used it to get riding directions to Salem yesterday since it keeps you off freeways. At mile 30 the difference between the printed directions and my GPS was .03 miles (I don’t want to test how accurate it is for the predicted 18 hour walk). It might be a great tool for that niche.

9 Comments on “Charles’ Real Estate Platform Part 3

  1. Could agree more.

    We’re focusing on the waterfront for example (www.portlandwaterfront.com) and adding value by promoting Community, Commerce and Conservation.


  2. I like my Realtors perfectly coifed and wearing extremely expensive designer clothes that have the lingering smell of Lexus seat leather on them.

  3. I think Scott’s focusing on getting some free publicity for his website, very subtle.

  4. Yeah, I see a lot of ‘praise’ on blogs linked to other people’s blogs, websites, etc. Kind of phony and I’m sure Charles can see right through it.

    Your other comment reminds me of my first buying experience in 1999. My inspector hinted at the sense of desperation in our realtor’s voice in making this sale happen. He joked that she likely had a payment due on her BMW.

    But somewhat keeping on topic, Charles, what is your platform regarding permits and the buyer’s agent’s responsibility. We discussed this before though I cannot find your response though I do see that you commented on it a couple of years ago on your blog (the early days) and said that the seller must disclose work and that it’s the buyers responsibility to locate the permits.


    Why do I bring this up again? A coworker is looking to buy, found a house with extensive remodelling, an addition and no permits on PortlandMaps.com. When she asked her realtor about the consequences of buying this property the realtor basically shrugged her shoulders and didn’t say much. Now my coworker is seeking outside help.

    What is the realtor’s role/expectation in these no-permit situations. My coworker did the footwork herself via Portlandmaps but where does the real estate expert take responsibility and assist with the process?

  5. The buyer is responsible for doing the due diligence. Brokers aren’t in any position to offer guidance on that. Only the city can say for sure if your in compliance or not.

  6. “The buyer is responsible for doing the due diligence.”

    In most civilized countries “deception” in real estate transactions is a criminal offense. Here in the USA, at least according to thrifty, its the norm.

  7. In most civilized countries people are given a reasonable period of time to make inspections and consult with local regulatory bodies before finalizing the purchase of a property.

    I’m not sure what kind of lazy effete man child you’d have to be to want or expect a salesperson to complete your due diligence for you on one of the most important financial transactions of your life. If you want to live in some kind of slothful nanny state then move to France.

  8. I guess I thought I would be giving my realtor a chance to earn the big bucks. I am still struggling with what real estate experts are experts at to justify the big commissions.

  9. “I’m not sure what kind of lazy effete man child you’d have to be to want or expect a salesperson to complete your due diligence”

    Maybe I’m just a commie pinko socialist who should move to cuba but failure to disclose that an asset is potentially valueless strikes me as unfair.

    “If you want to live in some kind of slothful nanny state then move to France.”

    The US government just nationalized 1.5 trillion dollars in mortgage securities. France is a paragon of capitalism compared to this sad pathetic nation.

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