Here are four ways to become the specialist agent that today’s buyers demand.
1 – Choose your market
The first step is choosing the market you want to specialize in. Carl Langschmidt, a loft-focused agent in Toronto, suggests selecting a market you already know well: the one you live in.
“What better testimonial or way to demonstrate that you believe the area you live in is a great investment,” he tells REP. “I myself was living in a loft when I started MrLoft.ca. Most top agents will specialize in the area they live… They know all the answers to the questions buyers have in that area, so you often need to look no further than the area you grew up in or where you call home.”
2 – Learn the market
Next, you’ll need to learn everything you can about that area. Sure, you already know where the local schools are, but do you know what they’re rated? Where do the school buses pick up and drop off students?
An easy way to learn about your chosen market is to align yourself with those who are already farming the area.
“Possibly work in that marketplace with a team that already thrives in that business, so you can understand the market,” Langschmidt says. “You can’t just say, ‘Tomorrow I’m going to be the expert in Rosedale,’ because the real expert in Rosedale has been selling there for years. It takes some time and experience to become an expert in a niche.”
3 – Update your brand
You’ll also need to adjust your marketing materials to better reflect your new niche. Update your website, postcards and logos to target the most accurate market.
“By doing that your value proposition really changes,” Langschmidt says. “You can offer the consumer a lot better insight into local markets and neighbourhoods, and you usually have added marketing benefit to a seller in that neighbourhood.”
4 – Use the Internet
Finally, have a critical look at your online presence. Use blogs, newsletters and various social media profiles to advertise your expertise. You can also use social media to explore your niche. Maybe a new café opened in the neighbourhood: you can take Instagram photos of the delicious cupcakes, or tweet about the wonderful ambiance.
Your website, too, can prove your value as a specialist agent.
“If you’ve developed a website that caters to that neighbourhood and to buyers looking in that neighbourhood, that can add value to a seller,” Langschmidt says, “and, obviously, to buyers it’s a night-and-day difference when you’re working with somebody who knows what the unit down the hall sold for or the house down the street.”
Getting your foot in the door to becoming a specialist agent is a lot easier than most agents believe, but getting good at being a niche player takes significantly more work.