NEW YORK — Not every brokerage needs to dominate an entire housing market to be successful. Just ask Rich Rosa, a broker-owner with Buyers Brokers Only, and Richard Silver, senior vice president of sales at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, both of whom have found footholds in niche markets. And one of the main benefits of shrinking and targeting your audience? A potentially more effective and clear marketing plan.
“It’s easier to market to a sliver of the homebuying population than all of them,” said Rosa during a Wednesday afternoon session at Inman Connect New York. “If you know what your client wants, you can become more of an expert at helping them.”
Rosa got his start in journalism, then obtained a law degree before opening his Boston-based real estate business. In Massachusetts, he was able to get his real estate agent license as an attorney. His brokerage split the market in half by just focusing on buyers. Their marketing mantra is to create “useful and valuable content on a regular basis.” Their blog has thousands of readers.
“We try to answer all those questions that we get all the time,” he said. “We do a lot of blogging on our website.” One of those blog posts is a comprehensive, 2,000 word article about all the programs available for first-time homebuyers, which his firm noticed make up a large portion of their client-base.
With a specific marketing plan, they’ve found a specific audience: clients who perform a lot of research before buying. And this clientele comes loaded with questions, so the constant flow of information perfectly strokes that curiosity.
“They start researching months and months before, and they want to learn as much as they can before they take that leap,” Rosa said. “Our content answers their questions.”
Silver’s market is very different; however, his firm’s approach to working with a small segment of the market is similar.
While working as a real estate agent in the Toronto, Canada area, Silver started to notice the presence of more and more non-Canadian buyers, so he decided to start focusing solely on a multicultural clientele. By narrowing his target clientele, he estimates he improved his business by 20-30 percent.
Silver’s marketing plan takes him across the world for face-to-face meetings with an array of clients. The agents at his brokerage collectively speak eight languages.
“I love the fact that I can go around the world and in every place I go, on every trip I take, I constantly make a point of meeting with other agents,” Silver said.
Back in Toronto, he’s immersed himself in the local communities of the various immigrant groups there, supporting many of their charities.
“I find out what’s happening in the area,” Silver said. “I support charities for the Southeast Asian or Chinese community.”
He also advertises regularly on one of the largest social media networks in the world — no, not Facebook. He’s active on WeChat, which has nearly 500 million users in China and is closing on 1 billion users worldwide.
According to Silver, the most important business move a brokerage can make before coming up with a marketing plan is to check its self-identity. “Who are you, where are you comfortable?” he asked. “Then do a 360 in the marketplace. Who’s buying and who’s selling?”
Read all of our coverage from Inman Connect NY 2018.