Whether you’re a beginning investor or a seasoned pro, it’s essential to occasionally back up and look at the real estate market from the 30,000 foot level. It’s very tempting to try to be a ‘jack of all trades’ in the real estate business but that is seldom a good strategy. It results in people choosing the real estate agent business where there are a hundred thousand others trying to sell the same house in the same neighborhood to the few precious buyers that qualify.
Instead, consider focusing on a niche and becoming an expert in that niche. When you are an expert in a specialized field, people will turn to you when they are ready to buy, sell, rent, or otherwise do business. Start by taking the time to understand what niches are out there, then decide on one, and drill down to become an expert.
Real Estate Niche Examples
Here are a few to fuel your imagination:
- Raw land. This is speculation that a new highway or shopping mall will dramatically increase the value in a short period of time. Some people like to buy raw land near where a new McDonalds is being built.
- Duplexes – Triplexes – Quads. Landlording these properties almost always delivers a better return for your investment dollars than single family homes.
- Small apartment buildings. Finding investment partners is a good way to break into this lucrative real estate niche.
- Commercial real estate. This is just the tip of the iceberg to a very large market that takes specialization in a particular sector and then sub-specializing within the sector. The major sectors include offices, retail, large apartments, industrial, and hotels.
- Mobile homes. Used mobile homes are inexpensive to purchase. It can be a great way to get started. Even better is renting out the dirt under other peoples’ mobile homes.
- Tax liens. This is another inexpensive way to get started. You are guaranteed a high rate of interest or becoming the owner of the property if the taxes remain unpaid. However, tax lien laws vary greatly from state to state. Most that specialize in this niche stay with one or two states.
- Notes. With the super tight mortgage qualifications, the market for private money is hot right now.
Three Steps to Picking Your Niche
There are three general steps to getting started in your niche. Step one is deciding what niche you want to get into. It’s great if you can make money in a niche that you’re passionate about. However, to feed yourself and your family it’s sometimes more important to pick a niche that will deliver a reliable income for years to come.
Step two is learning about your target market. Move from the 30,000 foot level to the 10,000 foot level. Before committing to a particular niche, dig into the details to learn about your target market. Will you be working with other investors? Will you be working with retail buyers? Will you be working with real estate agents? Will you be working with construction contractors? Learn who they are and then learn everything there is to know about them. One of the most important aspects to know is if they have money to spend in your niche.
Once you’ve learned everything you can about your target market, its’ time to become an expert in the niche. This is an ongoing process. You always want to be on top of your specialized niche. One of your top goals here is learning the best ways to market to your target audience.
Author bio: Brian Kline has been investing in real estate for more than 35 years and writing about real estate investing for seven years. He also draws upon 30 plus years of business experience including 12 years as a manager at Boeing Aircraft Company. Brian currently lives at Lake Cushman, Washington. A vacation destination, a few short miles from a national forest. In the Olympic Mountains with the Pacific Ocean a couple of miles in the opposite direction.