When it comes to niches for brokers and agents, advances in the ability to deliver real estate data feeds to a website can give someone instant expertise in any area they choose.
Let’s face it. There are a lot of real estate agents. According to the Association of Real Estate Law Officials, there are some 2 million real estate licenses that are active in the US.
When any business faces a situation where the field is crowded, experts say the smart strategy is to find a smaller niche and dominate it.
Sure, real estate agents must be all things to all people. Sometimes they have clients with children who want to know about schools. Other times they have working professionals as clients who are concerned about commuting times. Or perhaps they have some clients who have a strong lifestyle interest in golf or yoga.
But this is standard for every agent.
The savvy agents know to pick a particular niche and really dig down deep into the details. They make themselves the go-to expert for that niche. So if a consumer is interested in waterfront properties for example, that agent with the reputation of knowing the waterways will prevail.
You can basically carve a niche out of anything – waterfront property, golf communities, equestrian properties, multi-family housing, etc.
Then there’s the geographic niche where an agent can be the one with the most knowledge and referrals – it could be Desirable Acres Subdivision over there or the popular Hit and Giggle Golf Community over here.
To become an expert in that niche, an agent needs to know the specific issues confronted by people who live in those areas or desire to move into those communities.
Take waterfront properties for example. There are several particular issues that people are concerned about. Flood insurance is one. Where they are located in the flood plain is another. Historical data on river levels could be another. What about dockage? Or how about the boating – what is the water depth and what size boats can navigate those waters.
Or take golf communities. What are the issues that people living on golf courses encounter? What are the annual membership dues? What about initial golf certificates? What shape is the golf course in? Is there a major redevelopment project on the horizon that will result in major assessments for each home? How does that golf course rank compared to others in the area? Is the public allowed to play there, etc.?
Learning about issues does take time and research.
Get a jump on that niche with real estate data
But there is one strategy that can quickly give you a leg up on the competition – real estate data.
Big data providers such as Home Junction can instantly give a broker or agent data feeds for any particular county, town, zip code and even down to the neighborhood level.
Data down to the neighborhood level is absolutely critical. That’s the bread and butter on how a broker or agent can start carving out their own niche.
Take the fictional Pleasant Oaks subdivision.
With the easy to install Home Junction Slipstream API, a broker or agent can arrange for a data feed for a ton of information about Pleasant Oaks, all in easy to search and easy to digest chunks.
That agent can display this critical real estate data right on their site – Recent Property Sales, Home Price Trends, Demographics, Crime Statistics, Nearby School Information, Cost of Living Indices and much more.
How cool would it be to be able to tell clients interested in Pleasant Oaks that your charts show home prices are steadily increasing, the makeup of residents in that area are mostly college-educated people in their 40s, crime is low and give the breakdown of students compared to teachers at the high school down the road?
That’s powerful stuff. That shows you know your niche.
Home Junction goes even further. Their database also contains accurate boundary information. So you can show potential buyers that Pleasant Oaks is located just outside city limits so the taxes there are less, and the community is located in one of the best school districts in the state.
There’s more. Here’s the proverbial icing on the real estate data cake.
With Home Junction’s geo-spatial map plugin, a broker or agent can pull up homes listed in the MLS database using their accurate IDX and integrate those listings with a map.
The broker or agent can then show clients a list of properties in Pleasant Oaks and their relative distance to a host of important amenities.
If the clients have kids, show them the location of the nearest schools on the map. If they are golfers, show them how close several popular golf courses are located near the property. Maybe they are foodies (and who doesn’t like to eat a great meal). Show them on the map the location of several popular restaurants – not on the other side of town, but just a mile or two down the road.
A niche doesn’t have to be a geographic area. Slice and dice the data for a particular market – such as equestrian properties. Pull up data that compares on equestrian community with another in regard to home price trends, demographics, boundaries, etc.
This detailed data is very convincing. Showing rather than telling is also impressionable. Psychologically, a broker or agent is embedding a belief in the mind of their clients that, “This agent really knows their stuff about this particular community.”
Sure, there might be other issues involved. Maybe a major road will be expanded nearby. Or the state is adding another train stop. There are plans to build a major retail center with a Whole Foods next year.
Those are other issues that a broker or agent should know and research if they are going to promote their expertise in this particular niche.
But embedding this hard data onto your website can literally set an broker or agent apart in an instant.
The world and society are becoming more diversified. There aren’t just four TV channels any more, there are hundreds. People don’t just go to theater to watch movies, they also view them on Netflix, Amazon, AOL and other sources. There are dozens of different niches in music.
Technology is a major drive for this diversification. The smart broker or agent will use today’s technology regarding real estate data to dominate their own particular niches.
The amazing development today, is that with a real estate data feed, you can become an expert in a niche (or multiple niches) in just a few days. Seize the data and you will seize the day!