Creating A Real Estate Niche Part 1
First Time Buyers & Mom's of Toddlers
One of my favorite things to do in business is to really solidify a brand so that when I market and work with it, I’m the expert. If you’re a Realtor I can guarantee you’re asking yourself right now “why would I niche? I want to work with all buyers and sellers!”
Well my friend that is actually the WRONG mindset. That mindset thrives on a scarcity mentality that you need all the buyers and sellers because you have NO CLUE when and where your next commission check will come from. I challenge you to consider niching down so that you can create a steady, scaleable, and sustainable business.
But just What is a niche? It’s a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service.
When you niche down in Real Estate you become less of a jack of all trades, master of none and move yourself into the true expert in your area tha you are known for. And even better, the more you work in a niche the better you become at honing all the various aspects of your business that you’ll need. Your knowledge gets better, your social media becomes targeted, your referral systems are refined, and heck even your contract to close process becomes buttoned up.
So grab a glass of prosecco with me and let’s dive into a series I’ve created just for you and it’s all about nicehes. Today’s episode in particular I’m getting candid on 2 of the best ones for new agents and high “I” on the DISC profile: First Time Homebueyrs, and moms of young toddlers.
If you are an excellent communicator and love the “people-aspect” of the business (aka you are that “I” on the DISC profile, you may want to consider catering to first-time homebuyers. First-time buyers are, on average, more excited than others to begin the process of house hunting. According to the National Association of Realtors, In 2022 this group represented 34 percent of all home sales. That number has been steadily increasing over the years and is a group that will never be non-existent. What’s super interesting is that the median age has also crept up over the years. NAR statistics tell us that in 2022, 25% of the first timers age bracket was roughly 36 years old, and most first time home buyers are purchasing a resale home vs. a new construction.
Why is that important to know? Well it means that you should expect to be educating them in all aspects of owning a home, from the first steps of obtaining the right mortgage for them, to general timelines of when they should expect to be replacing fixtures that wear out over time like roofs, HVAS, appliances, flooring. Part of working with first timers is diving into the experience with them and understanding that they don’t know what they don’t know. You are going to need to hand hold them slightly more than an experienced buyer and this can be time consuming and exhausting for the Realtor who isn’t very organized themselves, or not as familiar with the overall process of buying a home. I tend to recommend that new agents find a good mentor and really learn the industry before truly jumping into first time home buyers as their niche. While first time buyers may frighten a new agent less (you don’t know everything and neither do they so there’s no real fear of looking stupid in your mind), you also have to ensure that someone is watching over your shoulder so that you don’t lead a first time buyer down the wrong path or make a mistake on their transaction. I also tend to find that former teachers make excellent first time home buyer niche realtors as they’ve learned the art of patience and explaining things to students well before the student even knows they need to have it explained to them.
Working with first time homebuyers tends to also come with lots of excitement on their behalf, which can be very fun. Be warned though: their excitement can also lead to last minute request to see homes so you’ll need to perfect the skill of setting boundaries on your time and expectations on moving through the process. I recommend also walking them through all of the potential cash outlay prior to showing them any homes. They need to understand that they may have to pay for a title exam, an appraisal, an inspection, or other items outside of the closing table and we don’t want to catch them off guard.
Speaking of paying for things, when you work with this group of people you should get VERY familiar with a few home loans that are quite popular in this niche. Fannie Mae’s Homeready and Freedie Mac’s Homepossible loans are seeing popularity right now as they have 3% down payment, and reduced mortgage insurance premiums if your buyer is within the income limits. FHA is another Go-To for this bracket and is typically made for buyers with a 680 or below FICO. As a niche specialist in this area you need to be well versed in these loans, and have several lenders in your recommendation list that also do these loans quite well. While you don’t handle the loan yourself obviously-ummm hmmmm the lender does that!- be prepped that your buyer may ask general questions and you should have an over arching knowledge of what they are talking about. Understanding the loan at a high level also helps you anticipate those extra oddities like costs associated with the loan, or things to watch out for on inspections. I’ve found that FHA loan exhibits in most states have special wording for parts of the process that are different from a conventional loan and it’s your job to know and understand that in order to educate both your buyer, and let’s be honest here, at times the co-opting agent you end up working with.
Marketing as a niche to first time homebuyers is super fun. This is when you lean into lifestyles and activities that this group is interested in. Bear in mind that sending out value added items like coupons to Home Depot, arranging painting discounts with your favorite painter, or gift cards to the restaurants that are close by neighborhoods in the price point of first timers really sets you apart from the competition and could very well be the main reason your buyer ends up recommending you to their friends and family. The little details matter people!
The second niche I recommend for newer agents is the mom of young toddler. Boy oh boy do I love this niche. There’s just so much you can do with it! I’ll add in that many of the same reasons a realtor gets into first time homebuyers applies here as well. Your patience level needs to be at an all time high, as the moms are often hectic, come to showings with their toddlers, and need hand holding at a higher level. They often utilize the same loans as the first time home buyers because they either also ARE first timers, or they are moving into their second home and their cash outlay looks a little different after they’ve purchased the mini-van, the cost of pre-school education, and all the things that come with having kiddos.
But here’s where the mindset shift occurs. As a niche Realtor in this market, I recommend taking the time to ensure that you’ve thought through your boundaries. Will you allow the kids to come to showings? If you’re a hard No on that, then a fierce conversation needs to be had with your buyers prior to ever having that first showing. A good list of reputable baby-sitters may be something you add to your vendor database.
If you do allow it, then I recommend popping a basket in your car and always have a few items handy. Juice boxes, crackers, baby wipes for spills, and those coloring books that use water as the markers. After all you don’t want huge messes being made-and having a few snacks on hand can ease a cranky toddler out of their funk and allow the parents to concentrate on seeing the home, vs. rushing through it because of a fussy kiddo.
For your social media, I would focus on the things that moms need to know about. The local ice cream place, advice on getting grass stains out of baseball pants, best places for mom and me experiences, when the local library has reading hour, clothing stores that offer moms a place to sell their gently used items and purchase more, or other stuff is GREAT and you’ll become known as the expert in where moms go for advice. Think of your social media as the pinterest for your niche. You’ll gain a following of other moms too, and this increases the chances of landing a lead you can work with.
If you’re super interested in the concept of niching down, and I sure hope you are because I promise you’ll thank me for it later, let’s do 2 things RIGHT NOW. The fist is to text the word NicheQuiz to 678-968-7740. I’ve got a quiz designed to lead you down the right path of what your best personality type is and what some recommendations are for who to work with. Once you know that, I’ve also curated a list of podcast episodes you need to dive into to get in the right mindset to go forth and make your niche happen with ease and efficiency.
The second thing to do RIGHT NOW is hit the subscribe button on your podcast player so that when Thursday’s episode drops you’ll have it loaded up and ready to go. On Thursday I’m diving into a few other niches I love in Real Estate and think you will too.
For now I’ll leave you pondering if first time homebuyers or moms of young toddlers is the right niche for you. If you decide they are, drop me a DM on instagram. I’d love to hear from you. If not, you know where you find me next Thursday. Same place, same time . See you soon.