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Find Your Niche in Real Estate

Find Your Niche in Real Estate

Photo courtesy flickr user "[thinkpanama]" under a Creative Commons 2.0 attribution license.

Dona DeZube, Monster Finance Careers Expert

Translating American Real Estate

Wendy Yi learned Korean as a child in Korea. After moving to the United States at age 23, she started a wholesale import business that connected her with Korean business owners in the Baltimore region. From there, she moved into selling real estate almost exclusively to Korean-speaking clients, a niche she’s mined for the past six years.

She augments her business contacts with ads in the Korean Times and has also sent marketing materials to local apartment complexes, because many immigrants rent during their first years in the United States.

Her specialty at Long & Foster Real Estate, Ellicott City, Maryland, is helping Korean immigrants navigate the complex American real estate market. “The way you show property in America is totally different [from the way it’s shown in Korea],” Yi says.

Cultural issues also arise, so Yi must educate her clients about the American way of negotiating for properties. “Some of my clients think I’m very Americanized and I don’t talk gently enough,” she confesses. “Later on, they think I do business the right way.”

While these business models all involve niches, the two Realtors and Shalom Home don’t only do niche business. For example, Sanders markets herself in local publications as a golf-to-Gulf expert. “When you’re a golf-to-Gulf specialist, you incorporate two hot-ticket items,” she says.

Creating a niche, whether a sport, hobby or language, takes patience and time. “You have to build your niche, and that could take three to five years,” advises Sanders. “The most important thing is consistency with your program and marketing. If you’re going to target that area, that’s what your Web site and your mailings need to be about, and that’s where you need to site your open houses.”

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