In business and in marketing in general, serious money is made by those who find a market niche where demand is very focused on specific products or services.
Real estate works the same way. You can be a “generalist”, say, producing “housing”. Or you can be a Specialist, working within a market niche you understand like no one else.
We are talking about “micro markets” that meet a particular need. Take a look at the professions, at law and medicine. The days of the “general practitioner” are long gone. When we break a leg, we no longer go to our faithful family physician to fix it; we go to an orthopedic doctor who specializes in mending broken bones.
In real estate we want a lawyer who knows real estate inside and out, not the specialist in corporate law, or divorce. (Though the day may come...) What we want is specialized expertise for our Special Needs.
Today the real estate market as a whole is still “sorting itself out”, with most buyers on the sidelines. If you’re not satisfied waiting along with everyone else, consider carving out a niche for yourself. A niche where your Product is not just another house for sale.
• Handicapped accessible housing
• Owner occupied 2-and 3-flats
• Multigenerational housing, with first floor accomodations for the elderly
• Congregate housing, for unrelated adults
• The smaller home, for single homeowners or "empty nesters".
• etc. (how many can you think of?)
Each of these market niches has specialized characteristics, and sometimes even location specifications, like “close to public transporttionn”. Each niche has its own constituents (buyers or renters), its own advocates and agency sponsors.
And sometimes even unique funding or grant opportunities. (Now do I have your attention?)
Such niches are generally less sensitive to property value swings, or “down markets”. The need – the “demand”– is ongoing and hard to satisfy. The concern is more about simple availability and quality, not price.
All of this is to say: the niche marketer who addresses a particular group’s special needs will have less competition and steady business. In any market. At any time.