We know, we know, you’re an expert at all things real estate. You know the market like it’s the back of your hand, inside and out, up and down. In fact, who needs the Multiple Listing Service when they have you around? You work with first time buyers, move up buyers, retirement buyers, sellers, investors, renters, banks dealing with foreclosures, short-sales and estate sales. You’re the go-to guy in the office for all questions regarding real estate.
But, let me tell you a bit of a secret. So are hundreds of others in your market. Sorry. I know that hurt a little.
Now let’s take this to the world-wide-web. We already know the importance of being seen on-line. Right? I mean, right? But how can we compete with the big dogs? The company websites that a have a team and a wad of cash focusing on their SEO. How can we compete with the large teams that spend a hefty budget on pay-per-click advertising? How will your well-crafted weekly market reports compete stand-out against the 1,715 other weekly market reports?
Enter “niche marketing”. Forget about trying to reach the masses by dumping all the knowledge stored in your cranium and concentrate on just one area, whether it’s buyers or sellers, or a particular neighborhood. Or maybe you’ve facilitated more short sales than anyone else your market – that’s a pedestal on which to stand, take and run with it. Start your Facebook business page or group centered around the niche. Write a blog and concentrate on that niche. Focus your advertising with the niche in mind.
Let’s say that you decide you want your niche to be physicians because you recently sold a home to a lovely doctor and spouse. Right away you can begin branding yourself with just this one sale using niche marketing. Learn all you can from your client (or your client’s spouse), ask for referrals – repeatedly, and make sure you get a written testimonials (video and/or pictures would be lovely, too) Woo the recruiter for the hospital, make sure they know that they can call you on a moment’s notice and you will drop everything to tour their prospective employee. Make sure your Google Alerts are set to all things medical, how will a health bill affect their business? how is the new age of lending affecting their ability to buy the home they really want? Your Facebook page should be directed to the lifestyle and well being of a physician, your Twitter posts should blast news alerts as they happen. Hang out at the coffee shop near the hospital, offer to buy lunch for their practice on a monthly basis (just as important as the spouse is, so are the nurses and administrative staff that support the doctor on a daily basis). It wouldn’t hurt to play nice with the pharmaceutical reps that are visiting the office as well… Are you getting the picture?
Still not convinced? If you haven’t bought into this idea of niche marketing yet, I would imagine that it’s because you are afraid of losing business. So, here’s my challenge to you: experiment. Run two different campaigns, one touting your expertise at all things real estate, and one boasting of your craft in your niche. I assure you, as conversations (on-line or otherwise) begin with your niche, your counterpart will quickly learn you are, in fact, a walking real estate Wikipedia.
Try it. If I’m wrong, tell me about it.