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.