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National Mortgage Professional
Mar 07, 2007

Selling mortgages is not rocket science ... The truth about nichesDave Hershmanniches I can't tell you how many times a salesperson has come to me after a speech and asked me about the viability and advisability of marketing within a certain niche. The niche could be immigrants from a certain country or those purchasing million-dollar properties. Should I focus on these areas? In order to deliver a valid answer to these inquiries, we need to take a step back and make some important points about niches. First, yes, you should have a niche. Having a niche will help you establish your business in several ways: - You must differentiate yourself from your competition. If you are trying to be all things to all people, you will simply be copying what your competition does. It is tough to present yourself as different when you are, in fact, not being different. - Typically, market leaders are known as experts. Once again, you can't be an expert in everything. By identifying a niche, it is both easier to gain expertise and to spread the word about that expertise. - Marketing to the world is very expensive. Identifying a niche makes it very easier to focus your marketing plan so it can be more effective. For example, if you live in a metropolitan area of two million people, but your niche is comprised of seniors looking to downsize their homes, the number many be more like 200,000. It is easier and cheaper to reach this market segment through others who serve seniors. Second, there are no bad and good market niches. Some may be hotter at particular times or in certain areas of the country. For example, there is no doubt that the most recent and projected growth of the immigrant population has created an opportunity to focus on particular segments of homebuyers. While it is important whether or not a niche is hot - for example, when helping people with foreclosure situations when the real estate market slows down - it is just as important to make sure: - The niche is sustainable in the long run. You don't want to expend the effort to conquer a niche in order to achieve only short-term gains. True market leaders are in the game for the long haul. Get-rich-quick schemes almost never pay off, as all worthy goals are achieved one step at a time. - You fit well within this niche. Your fit is more important than the niche itself. For example, if you are a 23-year-old rookie in some segment of real estate, why would you be focusing upon seniors? Do you even know many seniors? It is this last point which is the most important. Niches can be based upon property types, locations, purchaser characteristics, transaction types and more. But in each case the key is a fit. How should the niche fit your profile? - Do you have experience or skills within this segment? For example, do you speak the language of a particular immigrant group? Or are you an experienced real estate investor if you are focusing on that aspect of real estate? - Do you have an interest in servicing this segment? Not everyone is interested in serving a certain class of transactions or people. If you are not really interested in this type of work, it is easy to see why you will not be able to sustain the drive needed to succeed in the long-run. - Is your sphere of influence packed with prospects? If your sphere is full of blue collar first-time buyers and you want to service rich doctors, does that make sense? If you are changing your sphere, how easily could you integrate this change? You are achieving something greater than picking a niche. You are focusing on a part of your life. If you must change your life in order to serve this niche, you are much less likely to be successful, unless you are very driven to make this change. Your marketing plan may have to include the steps necessary to gain expertise, such as learning languages or studying taxes. It may mean joining different organizations. This is why your interest level must be high. Any changes to your life require a high level of energy, and if you are not driven to make these changes, you are much less likely to be successful effecting the changes. In other words, the niche should come from within you instead of you finding a good niche and asking, "Is this a good one?" Dave Hershman is the leading author and a top speaker for the mortgage industry with six books - including two best sellers for the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. His mortgage school is the only comprehensive advanced curriculum in the industry. For a schedule of classes, free marketing samples, speaking information and articles by Dave, visit, call (800) 581-5678 or e-mail [email protected]
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