A common myth about niche marketing and specialization is that by focusing on a narrower market, you somehow limit your potential opportunities and possibly deter non-niche clients from working with you.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality is that by narrowing your focus and becoming an expert in one particular area of specialization, you are actually opening doors that are otherwise closed to typical real estate agents.
I am not sharing this with you as a “theory” — it’s been proven time and time again, but for some reason, agents seem to resist the idea of creating a niche.
Here are few examples from our own personal experience with specializing in the seniors real estate niche to illustrate my point:
Senior Living Communities
By specializing in the senior market and developing a strategic value proposition with value added services for downsizing older adults, you can create reciprocal relationships with independent and assisted living communities, as well as Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs). Not only does this lead to representing those residents relocating to these communities, but through your connections, you also become the real estate agent of choice for the employees that work there!
Business to Business Connections
In order to develop a high level value proposition for your senior clients, you need a team of service providers that you can count on when your clients have specific issues beyond your scope of expertise. By creating intentional strategic alliances with select subject matter experts in the aging services field, you are able to not only better serve your clients, but create relationships with other professionals who also need real estate services. Not only do you work together to serve seniors, but you became the real estate team of choice for those professionals too.
Public Relations Exposure
Let’s face it, everyone knows a REALTOR. The sad truth is that most people think that all REALTORS are the same and that all they do is help people buy and sell property. By positioning your self as an expert in seniors real estate and becoming an advocate for seniors in your community, you attract interest from local reporters when it comes to senior-related stories. Getting “free press” as a general real estate agent is highly unlikely — it takes being an expert to get noticed.
There are groups in virtually every city around the globe holding meetings daily where they feature guest speakers. Most of these groups are looking for educational programs that add value to their membership and topics relevant to today’s pressing issues. Not that real estate isn’t interesting, but the truth is, these groups can find a real estate agent anywhere to talk on issues about the market (they probably have at least three real estate agents in their club to begin with). The key to becoming a guest speaker is having a topic that is of interest — beyond real estate. Speaking on subject matter related to “seniors” and “real estate” combined creates a buzz.
Seniors Real Estate Specialization Requires a Strategy
The same is true of any niche you wish to master — strategic planning and intentional action is required.
Consider the options discussed here and decide which strategies “zing” with you. It isn’t a “one size fits all” approach. It truly is a literal buffet of multiple avenues for becoming successful -- all you have to do is decide which strategies best fit your personality, interests, market, business model, and vision for the way you choose to conduct your business.
By doing things that most agents don’t or won’t do, you are able to cast a much wider net to capture more leads, specifically senior and caregiver leads. Those connections ultimately lead to a massive pipeline of business opportunities — it’s a domino effect.
In the end, as a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) it’s all about coming from contribution, adding value, and differentiating yourself from the average agents in your market.
Passionate about seniors? Get started today!
|Nikki Buckelew is the Founder and CEO of the Seniors Real Estate Institute and administrator for the Certified Senior Housing Professional® (CSHP) designation. A veteran REALTOR® of over two decades, she holds a bachelor’s degree in gerontology and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. As a professional speaker, coach, and trainer, Nikki is committed to empowering, equipping, and educating real estate sales and senior housing professionals seeking to better serve the mature market segment.