estate

Building a Real Estate Niche That Will Propel Your Business

When it comes to real estate, there aren’t many resources that a startup or new developer can rely on. After all, the real estate market is constantly evolving and it doesn’t make much sense for people to follow advice that was given a decade or more ago. That’s why it’s important to learn not just from experience, but also trial and error. Buying, developing and selling properties is a long process. Unlike other business ventures, it can take several years for you to finish a project and it could ultimately cost you a lot of money.

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There’s no cheap option when it comes to real estate, which is why many people have resorted to niches in the property market. Of course, it might seem like a bad idea at first. After all, why would you want to appeal to a narrower audience as opposed to trying to get as much attention as possible, but there’s a serious flaw in that way of thinking and it will ultimately ruin your business unless you change your mentality.

Far too many blogs and articles focus on “improving exposure” and “appealing to a wider audience” but the fact is, appealing to too many people is never a good idea. Let’s put it this way; if your favourite doughnut store suddenly removed your favourites in favour of something more hip and trendy, would you be pleased? Perhaps it still tastes good, but they’ve removed one of your favourite products in order to appeal to a wider audience. This is never a good feeling, yet far too many people neglect it when it comes to real estate.

Misunderstanding the Investment Required for Real Estate

One of the most common things people assume about real estate is that it’s difficult to make a profit or sell something. A home is a huge investment and there aren’t many people in the world that can straight up buy a house—they need a mortgage. As a result, it’s something that takes a lot of dedication and the investment required can sometimes be far too much for people to handle. Because of this, people assume that you need to target your property to as many people as possible in order to increase exposure and improve the chances of actually selling a home, but this is an incorrect way of thinking that has to be changed if you want to see success.

If you want to sell a home, then you need to specialise it. By trying to appeal to too many people, you water down your property in an attempt to sell it quicker. If you’re putting up a listing for your property, then you might try to include far too many words that will complicate things or make your descriptions far too long. A property that advertises itself as student accommodation close to public transportation and nightlife is going to be far more exposed than a property advertised as student accommodation, for professionals and families alike. You want to highlight the best features of your home, not renovate it and highlight boring things that won’t attract an audience.

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The advantages of specialising your real estate business

If you’re able to specialise, then not only do you get more attention from people who are interested in buying the properties you sell, but you’ll also build a reputation.

Think of it this way, when people purchase luxury apartments in expensive and highly sought-after areas, do you think they just look at any real estate agent? Absolutely not. They network with other wealthy individuals to try and find a property that best suits them. They’ll ask friends for recommendations, and that’s how you build a network of clients. If you don’t do this, then not only are you reducing the chances of exposing your business, but you’re also giving yourself far less credit for what you can offer.

Let’s use another example. If your geographical location offers several opportunities to sell ranches, then it would be wise to invest in them and turn them into your niche. As your customers discover ranches across the west, they’ll come across your company and see you as a business worth relying on. Your geographical location speaks volume about your expertise, you’ll have plenty of good recommendations from successful deals and you’ll find it’s far easier to find customers who know what they’re looking for.

This makes it easier to find future customers, it makes sales easier and there’s less to explain. This will help grow your business and give you an upper hand over other real estate agents in the area, and you’ll quickly build a monopoly over certain types of properties thanks to your reputation.

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Some final words

If you want to grow a real estate business, then you need to focus on your niche. If you’re unable to come up with a niche, use your geographical location and specializes in something that is local or unique to your location. By specialising, you not only give yourself more expertise and credibility, but you also draw attention from people that know what they’re looking for.

No matter what you sell, be it a product, service or in this case, property, watering down what you sell just to appeal to a wider audience is a terrible idea. People are not only willing to pay for a good product, but also a good experience, knowledgeable staff and reputation. Build a brand that is worth talking about and you’ll find that turning your business into a profitable one with a long lifespan is easy.

Building a niche around your property is the ultimate way to improve your exposure, and there’s no better way to do it than to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and offer them service and experience that is worth every penny. Look for opportunities where others don’t dare to deal in and take risks that other real estate agents wouldn’t touch. If you want to stand out, then you need to try something new that demands attention.

 


Beware the flopping real estate scam

Throughout history, there have been scams that have been designed to make a quick buck for their unscrupulous perpetrators. Currently on the rise is the ‘flopping’ real estate scam.

The scam is perfect for these depressed housing market conditions whereby everyday Americans are struggling to pay their mortgages. The scam takes advantage of the practice of short selling.

Short selling occurs when homeowners cannot meet their mortgages repayments and agree with the mortgages company to sell the property for a reduced amount.

Flopping can involve either real estate agents or individuals working in partnerships who split the profits. There are various ways it is undertaken depending on the people involved.

Simply put, one party purchases the property from the seller at the reduced short sale amount and then sells it on quickly for its true worth. This can result in a quick and easy profit.

Real estate agents may be involved by undervaluing the property in the first instance so that the banks agree to a much reduced price based on the agent’s professional valuation.

The real estate agent may have buyers lined up for the property who are willing to pay a higher price but this is not disclosed to the mortgages company.

Instead, after the house has been sold for the reduced amount, it is then offered to these genuine buyers for the higher price. In the past, these two transactions have been known to occur on the same day.

This has resulted in both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac issuing notices that short sale houses cannot be resold within 30 days. This may be a deterrent for some but not all those involved.

The cost of flopping, according to market research company, CoreLogic, is expected to be around $375 million in 2011. This is a rise of 20 percent from 2010.

The FBI is taking flopping seriously because of its economic and, some would argue, moral implications. It classifies as fraud and two Connecticut real estate agents were the first to be prosecuted for flopping in August 2011.

Flopping creates problems for sellers who are unaware that they are being targeted by unscrupulous real estate agents. Always ensure you get a variety of agents to value your house. Flopping real estate agents often provide price comparisons based solely on other short sales, which can create an inaccurate portrayal of the genuine market price.

Sellers may then be targeted by their mortgage company for higher deficiency judgments as the company tries to recoup the difference in outstanding mortgage fees.

If you wish to sell your house, use a reputable firm and question them about any involvement in flopping. Get multiple valuations from numerous agents so that you can work out the true value of your property.

As with any aspect of house selling, mortgages and moving, do your research to protect your own interests. If an agent offers to include you in something that sounds like flopping, do not work with them. Retain your integrity and sleep well at night by doing the right thing.


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