I can’t recall the first time I was ever asked the question:
“So what’s your niche?”
But I can recall the feeling I had when asked the same question several times since then and that feeling, I can label as: unsure.
I’d respond with:
“First-time Homebuyers...I want to make sure that they don’t feel so scared going into something they’ve never done before.”
And while that is certainly true and something I actually am sure of, what I wasn’t sure about was if that was the only reason why. Here is how the idea of my niche developed a little more over the past almost-year of being a Real Estate Agent/Broker.
When I decided to start my education to become licensed as a Real Estate Agent/Broker, I had a mix of emotions. I was unhappy at nonprofit that I felt did great work and was vital for the local communities, but one that didn’t provide enough value on relationships and invest in my personal development in the position I was in. I was eager for Real Estate; something new and challenging! On the flip side, a worried thought kept recurring and that was.
“What would people think of me?”
A question I don’t like to have intrude upon my thoughts, but a very real one that I felt compelled to answer. Before the thought of this new career transition, I was working for a nonprofit that provided basic needs to local children. Before that, I was working for an education nonprofit that provided mentorship and support to local students in schools. Before that, I was mentoring peers on academic probation that ranged from ages 18-46 years old and also leading peers and the community with work through a Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter. Those huge building blocks of my post-high school life have created who I am today and the values I hold in my heart: community, relationships, growth, vulnerability, equity and service. So the question of “what would people think of me?” popped up because I felt like those values would be compromised with a career in Real Estate…because how do those two things connect? (Silly me..)
It took me until recently to see that those values and building blocks can still manifest itself through work as a Real Estate Agent/Broker. I've learned about who's more likely to own homes and what might put others behind in obtaining that goal. I've interacted with people who I wouldn't choose to represent me in the home-buying process for various reasons. Within my almost-one-year in my Real Estate career, I’ve co-listed and sold one home. Sadly, I don’t think that captures what all I have gained in within this time. Every single Tuesday, I’m at office meetings absorbing in so much information about the market, the business, the laws and regulations, the workings of almost everything connected to Real Estate and it’s incredible because new information always sparks new questions in mind. I’ve realized within this almost-year that there is a lot of privilege in being in this business with the vast amount of knowledge and responsibility there is to uphold. The educator in me is still there and I’ve come to realize that that is how I should fit in this business of Real Estate.
With all of that said, I feel like I have the responsibility to guide first-time homebuyers. Those like my immigrant family buying their first home, speaking very little English, having very little money, and knowing very few people. Those like my friends who might not know what escrow is (I had no clue before I hit the books). Those who simply want to feel like they aren’t being taken advantage of. My hope is for them to be comfortable with coming to me about any question they might have about the biggest financial decision of their lives. My hope is that by the end of the process, they know that they have someone they can trust with confidence because they now have the confidence in themselves to make decisions based on the sharing of the knowledge that I have gained.
Everything within this almost-year of my Real Estate career has amounted to me figuring out my why and my niche and I am truly grateful for it. I know it will develop more as I do, but I like where I've gotten so far.