Given the opportunity, most real estate agents, and certainly all the hungriest ones, will work with you to buy or sell any property. A real estate agent who is best known for selling single-family homes is not likely to turn down a commercial listing, especially when they are just starting their real estate career.
Real estate can feel like a big ocean full of fish. The Red Ocean, Blue Ocean theory calls this the Red Ocean. The Red Ocean is when the market is saturated and full of competitors. The Blue Ocean is the dream… the ideal… a wide-open market with few competitors and boundless opportunities.
How can you find a bit of Blue Ocean for yourself? While most real estate agents are generalists, there can be value in finding a niche and making it work for you. Here are some of the most profitable real estate niches for real estate agents.
First-time homebuyers can be a great place to start. Marketing to first-time homebuyers is really easy for real estate agents because first-time homebuyers are actively looking for information. First-time homebuyers often have tons of questions, and real estate agents have tons of experience and expertise to share. Smart agents will recognize that need and develop educational materials to help new homeowners learn the ropes.
Here are some ways that real estate agents can get into this exciting market segment:
- Develop and distribute brochures and other materials that discuss topics that homeowners find interesting: the value of prequalification, the closing process, how to make an offer, etc. With these materials, just adding your name and contact information at the bottom of the page could yield tons of leads from people who value your expertise.
- First-time homebuyer workshops are another great way to share your knowledge. These events should be almost entirely devoid of a pitch. The idea is that you are there to help first-time homebuyers get started, and here's the thing: if you are helpful to them, they will think of you first when they are ready to buy.
Many real estate agents ignore For Sale by Owner listings, convinced that sellers who are trying to sell their home on their own don't want or need their help. The truth is, there are a lot of things an agent can do to help an FSBO seller – without the need for a listing agreement. The For Sale By Owner Niche is very profitable and often overlooked. You could provide consultation services or negotiate an arrangement for MLS access or other advertising services.
Many FSBO listings expire without a sale. Keep an eye on FSBO listings so that you can spot these opportunities. If you have already reached out and established a relationship with the seller, this could be an easy slam dunk for you. If they decide to later list with a realtor, they will remember your name.
Working With The Disabled
When it comes to real estate, different people have different needs and preferences for homes. A rising need amongst home buyers has to do with houses that are catered towards people with disabilities. By applying the supply and demand ratio in this case, we can easily see that homes for the disabled is a highly attractive real estate market niche for realtors.
The truth is that many real estate agents went through the struggles and hardships of caring for people in need, either in their own household or in a different one. Since they are more knowledgeable about their needs than other agents, this can be the perfect opportunity to get their foot in the door of a profitable and fulfilling real estate niche.
You get the satisfaction of helping people with disabilities but not for free since the high demand makes it a profitable real estate niche. When aiding clients with special needs, things such as location, accommodations, and home features become imperative. Besides understanding the formalities and the legislation regarding those with disabilities, you need to go out of your comfort zone to provide the best possible services for people with disabilities.
Given that this group tends to be more financially stable and have more disposable income, empty-nesters are a great niche for real estate agents. How does one reach empty-nesters? Many of them are dropping kids off at college for the first time and thinking about what life may look like now. Blogging about topics of interest to this age group can help you develop a following that could generate leads for years to come.
You could also try to strategically market properties in your portfolio specifically for this demographic. Focus on the amenities that mean the most to this age group – many of them would like a home that doesn't require tons of maintenance or upkeep. They may be looking for a small yard for ease of maintenance or a homeowner's association that takes care of all of that. This group is ready for life to be more comfortable, leaving time for the things they really enjoy and value.
Real estate investors
Real estate investors can be an excellent marketing niche for agents. More than just buyers, real estate investors are highly knowledgeable and deeply connected to the market. Some are house flippers, and others buy and manage rentals. Developing a professional relationship with a real estate investor can be profitable for both of you. When you list a new property, you can share the listing with your pool of investors, and likewise, they may spot opportunities for you.
Speaking of house flipping, real estate agents who work with flippers can make money in several different ways. House flippers are always on the lookout for a good deal. They want a house with good bones that they can renovate and resell for a profit. For real estate agents, getting connected to this pipeline can pay off.
Get to know the flippers in your area so you can market specifically to their needs. Here are some ways for you to establish yourself in the flipping niche:
- Host workshops on topics of interest to house flippers, such as project planning, staging, renovations, listing, pricing strategy, and more. Bring in local experts of value, such as lenders, contractors, and others. Working with flippers allows you to list, sell, and list, sell again. Return business creates ongoing opportunities for sales.
- Get out there and be seen. Attending open houses and events for house flippers is a great way to make important contacts and to stay connected to everything happening in the market.
Lifestyle-specific (tiny homes, ranches, gated communities)
Remember all the cliques in grade school? The jocks, the nerds, the quiet ones, the horse girls… they all grew up, and some of them have very specific ideas about the lifestyle they want. There may be some niches that are very obvious to you in your area. Perhaps there are a lot of horse ranches or whole parks full of tiny homes. Marketing to these specific market segments can be very profitable.
If you live in Florida, you might consider focusing your marketing efforts on retirement communities and gated communities with golf courses. If so, you will want to make sure you are active at local golf tournaments and find ways to make golf part of your marketing strategy.
Another emerging niche is the market for homes with home offices. 2020 was a year of great change in the American workforce, with many workers compelled to work from home for the first time ever. Now that these workers have experienced a remote worker's life, they are not inclined to return to their commutes and cubicles. Home offices are in high-demand, and remote workers are a market segment to watch.
When we think of real estate agents, we immediately assume that they help their clients sell or buy real estate. However, real estate agents can also help people find apartments and townhomes not for the purpose of buying but for renting. The rental market is among the largest real estate niches. Most first-time homebuyers were tenants before they decided to become homeowners. A lot of people who relocate to certain areas motivated by educational and career opportunities are renters.
The rental market can also branch out into vacation rentals in areas that attract many tourists or commercial space renting, such as office buildings or stores. The rental market is considered a very profitable niche for real estate agents who know how to market rentals in some of the best rental markets in the US. While you might be able to find apartments to rent near you with a google search, some prefer to get an agent’s help.
A real estate agent can point you in the right direction, save you the hassle of tracking down landlords or property managers and highlight the best rentals for your budget and needs. Their services will help you narrow down your searches and find a rental a lot quicker than you might do it yourself. With the popularity of rental markets in some areas, this real estate niche becomes highly sought after by real estate agents because it can be very profitable.
Find your niche
To find your niche, you should carefully evaluate what you’re passionate about along with your local market, identifying trends and patterns, and stake your claim to a little bit of Blue Ocean. Talking to customers, clients, and community members can help you identify an unmet need that you can fulfill.
Carving out some space in the market for a new and personalized service can reap huge rewards. It can take a little time, but your whole business model can change before you know it if you keep at it. That's not to say that you throw out all your listings and customers and start over. Instead, start with your existing customer base and find ways to reach out to the customers you want. These targeted efforts will help you build a brand new portfolio while still paying the bills, giving you the best possible start for your new specialty.