The longer I'm in this business, the easier it is to observe the correlation between market specialty and bottom-line success.
The Benefits of Being a Product Specialist in Your Market
I had a conversation with my good friend and fellow real estate professional, http://www.maureenburman.com/>Maureen Burman, with Keller Williams Realty in Acton, CA. Maureen focuses her thriving business exclusively on the equestrian properties she lists and sells in northern Los Angeles County's Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys, a service she has been providing since 1989. Unless they come to her by referral, she remains reticent about taking on listings which are purely residential without the equestrian element.
I respect Maureen's approach to her business. She has identified an area of product knowledge both personally fulfilling and appropriate to her background. In doing so, Maureen has become the preeminent equestrian properties expert in her region, making it very difficult for the competition to gain a foothold. Whether selling urban, sub-urban or rural real estate, knowing your product and finding that niche where you may really shine is a great strategy for success. For instance, I have another colleague, http://www.lorihoffmanhomes.com/>Lori Hoffman, with Prudential California Realty, who sells in Santa Barbara, CA, dealing primarily with vintage homes of historical and architectural interest. Her background is in graphic design and art studies, so it's a natural fit for her.
Finding a market niche makes sense, especially if it speaks to interests you possess already. Are you an environmentalist? Allying yourself with "built green" builders makes sense. Perhaps your business is in a major downtown metropolitan region. Then zero in on condo construction. I just closed a transaction with an agent here, http://www.funkylofts.com/>Gina Marie Clemen, whose practice is exclusively devoted to contemporary, yet funky lofts.
Few things are more important to your business than distinguishing yourself from your competition. If targeting a specific product type is not of interest, then expand your resume to include easily recognized designations such as Associate Broker, Accredited Buyers Representative, Eco-Broker, etc. As clock hours are a licensing prerequisite, you may as well leverage them to your further advantage. Remember, though, that most consumers are not familiar with the plethora of designations we may earn. Don’t assume that, because you have a long line of initials following your name, your clients will understand either their significance or importance. Be certain to educate them.
The longer I'm in this business, the easier it is to observe the correlation between market specialty and bottom-line success. Avoid being all things to all people. Building your career around product with which you're familiar, clients of common interests and background, or through education are all valuable, productive avenues to a long, fruitful and happy life in the real estate industry.