The Benefits of REALTORS® Carving Out Their Own Niche

Manny Andrade is a walking case study on the benefits of REALTORS® having a niche.

The REALTOR® and owner of Royal LePage Supreme Realty Inc., based in Toronto, immigrated to Canada from Portugal with his parents in 1974 when he was 10 years old. He bought his first home in Mississauga, Ontario when he was 22. The next year he was getting his real estate licence and he was on his way to a prosperous career.

Andrade believes homeownership is a dream for immigrants. “Whatever generation of immigration, they want to come in, settle, buy a property – something they can call home. They become homeowners and investors. All my aunts and uncles who came here, all they did was settle in and buy a house. Whatever the ethnicity, homeownership was one of the primary goals and aspirations that they had.”

Andrade has taken those personal experiences and found his niche selling property to fellow immigrants.

According to a 2023 Tarion New Home Buyers Report, based on a survey conducted by Environics Research between November 21 and December 1, 2022, immigrants play a big role in Ontario’s new real estate market. One-third (35%) of Ontario’s new home buyers were born outside of Canada, with an average span of 17 years since moving to Canada.

“Over the last couple of years we’ve definitely had an increase in immigration, so I’ve been helping more new Canadians,” says Tim Hill, a REALTOR® and salesperson with RE/MAX All Points Realty in New Westminster, British Columbia. “A lot of times when you are coming to a new country, it feels like a major step in the right direction, solidifying your family foundation, by buying a home. It feels like you are buying a piece of the country. There’s a lot of pride there with new Canadians.”

Find clients in your niche by keeping your profile updated! Your profile can include information like contact details, listings, social links, specialties, designations, languages, ratings and testimonials (based on the your board or association’s MLS® System).

“If you’re moving to Canada, and you have that desire of homeownership, you want to establish yourself and start [the process] well before you want to actually make that purchase so you’re not setting yourself back another couple of years,” Hill adds.

Focusing on the real estate needs of new Canadians speaks to the value of finding a niche in the market, instead of trying to be all things to all people. But that’s not the only niche REALTORS® can focus on.

“Being a jack of all trades is like anything else in any other trade or profession,” Andrade says. “It’s difficult, it’s too broad. Having a niche these days – working with seniors, working with immigrants or individuals targeting vacation real estate – is something that one should focus on [to] survive and thrive, especially around referrals.”

Common niche’s that REALTORS® choose include luxury properties, first-time home buyers, military family relocations, or agricultural properties – but don’t let that deter you from picking something different. Only you know what kind of client your unique experience and interests will best serve.

Dealing in a niche market means being prepared for common questions unique to your clients, such as questions about specialized documents or detailed pieces of information. The tax implications for new Canadians buying real estate, for example, are where a jack-of-all-trades REALTOR® may need to do some homework.

“There’s a lot of nuance and lot of legislation that’s taken place in the last two to three years dealing with immigrants and foreign buyers,” Andrade says. “Specialize, know your field, dive deep, be the expert, be the go-to. I find that if you are, people will gravitate to you because you have that unique set of skills.”

Interested in expanding your network and skillset? The CREA Learning Hub offers a wide range of professional development opportunities for REALTORS®, including working with international clients. CREA Global facilitates networking and education opportunities for REALTORS® looking to expand their horizons across borders.

Specializing in a niche is one way for real estate professionals to stand out in a competitive marketplace. For the REALTOR®, it hones their focus by giving them a clear idea who their target audience is which can make marketing efforts easier and more effective. It can also help search with engine optimization (SEO) so that the right people can find you online. It’s not going to happen overnight – but building a reputation for having expertise in one area could lead to better results in the long run.

The first step is to evaluate your strengths, skills, preferences and connections. Then look at the demographics of your area. Is there a segment of the market you’re best suited to serve?

“You can be an expert, but you can also be an expert at more than one thing,” Hill says.

Finding a niche can take time, and most REALTORS® don’t start with a specific niche in mind. Working with a broad spectrum of clients is the best way to learn where you excel and something that all REALTORS® should be able to do. If you’re planning to start working in a specific niche, take the time needed to find the best fit.

The CREA Café team is responsible for the official blog of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). The CREA Café is a cozy place for CREA to connect with our valued members and friends by sharing our thoughts and insights over a virtual cup of coffee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *