I am a huge advocate on the clean, neat, and to the point websites and was happy to find a Realtor that shared this view with me. For this article we chose to meet up with Coal Harbour Realtor, and devoted family man, Shaun Kimmins.
Shaun practices simplification not only on his Ubertor site but also in other aspects of his business. His strategy when it comes to Real Estate is specialization, focusing on one area and becoming an expert. For many the idea of becoming a niche realtor implies limiting yourself to a smaller market but Shaun explains the value behind niche realty and how it has brought him success.
We were able to catch up with Shaun in his hood (Coal Harbour) to learn a little bit more about his journey through Real Estate and the roles that simplification, specialization and “niche-ness” played in the process.
What made you decide to be a niche Realtor?
I have been niche since the very beginning, I believe in specialization. It seemed like a natural progression since I already lived in the area and I’m not the kind of person that likes to spend too much time in the car, it made me more efficient in how I conducted my business. I could see the potential in the area, and as Coal Harbour grew I became increasingly familiar with the landscape.
Tell us about how you got started in Real Estate?
I started in Real Estate about 11 years ago, at that time I was already living in Coal Harbour. My career mentor encouraged me to strive towards specialization. This way I would be able to offer the best service to our clients because I would know first hand what it’s like to live here – I have seen building after building go up. I should also mention that it’s less work because I don’t have to familiarize myself with an area every time I post a listing.
Would you say that presenting yourself as niche, as an expert of one area, is your main marketing strategy?
Specialization and my niche website have definitely been one important component as to how I market myself. The second component would be that I opened my own retail office here in Coal Harbour over two years ago. The idea for this came from the observation of pedestrian traffic patterns.
Most people who would buy in Coal Harbour walk the sea wall, as do all the residents. Opening up a retail office in the area gave me great exposure to both potential buyers and sellers.
How do you use your websites to your greatest advantage?
There was a point where I had several websites. I always had a Coal Harbour one but then I added others, mapping out specific areas of the city, but eventually I realized that the simpler, the better and now I just stick to my original website. I purposefully made the website very simple. It shows who I am, what I do, my listings and contact information.
People remember simple and usually won’t take the time to browse around complicated websites. If you look at the sites of the heavy hitters in the city you will notice that their sites are very simple too.
You have to make sure that your website appeals to your target demographic. It’s so important to think about who you want on your site and who you want to sell to and base your site on that. You can’t be all things to all people.
What advice would you give to new realtors looking to make it big in the industry?
First of all I think it’s crucial to manage your expectations, don’t expect things to happen right away. Have at least six months of financial backing because it takes time to become successful, it’s a learning process.
Maybe start small by managing your marketing and reaching out to the same 1,000 people 10 times instead of 10,000 people one time. My second piece of advice would be to try and identify what your niche is and understand all the different facets to it. A common misconception that people have starting off is that specialization limits you, if done right, in my opinion it helps you.
What changes and/or adaptations do you see in the future for the Real Estate industry? How do you think technology will affect it?
While I think that print advertising today is still a useful and relevant tool, it might disappear when the millennials begin to buy homes. Increased digitalization might also diminish the role of the buyer’s agent since online listings offer most of the information people think they need to know.
I also think, however, that role of the Realtor will not become irrelevant as digitalization takes over. There is so much that goes into purchasing a propery, so much legal work. There are too many components and it’s coo complex to simply buy a home with the click of a button.
What is the most rewarding aspect about being a Realtor?
I would have to say that it’s the people I meet. In this job I meet so many interesting and accomplished people who have jet set lifestyles and fascinating perspectives. If I get the chance I like to just sit down with my clients and listen to their stories.
I also really enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes along with getting deals done, closing a sale is challenging yet exciting.
And that concluded our coffee with Shaun. As you can tell, Shaun’s message is clear – specialize, and focus on it. Become the expert, and be of value to your specific buyers.
Our team at Ubertor would like to thank Shaun for taking the time to meet up with us and share his experiences and advice on Real Estate and what it takes to be successful in the business.
If you would like to share your personal insight or business perspectives (or both) and would like us to feature you in one of our Realtor Spotlight interviews, don’t be shy and let us know – we’d love to meet and learn from you!