I believe that in 2010, there is a great opportunity that exists within the real estate market for a franchise group or some forward thinking agencies to capitalise on a huge segment of the market that is just sitting there waiting for the right company or group of agents to come along & grab it with both hands.
You only have to read a little bit of the research done by Tom Peters or
Marti Barletta, who co-authored the book Trends, to identify that there is a massive niche within the real estate industry that is currently be ignored by most of the major franchise groups.
Now, in no way am I suggesting that Ray White should become Raylene White or that RE/MAX should become RE/MAXINE, all I’m suggesting is that women have an enormous influence in the buying decisions within most households & over the past few years there’s been an enormous growth in companies marketing women’s only services.
And, a lot of it is to do with The Role of Gender in Source Credibility & the feeling that “both men and women perceived that they would have more credibility with persons of the same sex than with persons of the opposite sex”.
Many companies outside of real estate, that have moved to a ‘Women – Only’ based business model have found it to be an extremely lucrative niche & have enjoyed the rewards from embracing their targeted point of difference.
For example, there are hugely successful women-only companies like White Lady Funerals, plus women-only gymnasiums like Fernwood & Contours who all seem to have taken huge segments of their marketplace by storm by using their “Women-Only Business Model”.
Billicorp Property Services Takes On The Big Boys
Currently, within the Commercial/Industrial sector of the real estate industry, (normally a male dominated segment of the industry), there’s been an emerging women – only company called Billicorp Property Solutions, founded in 2003 by a dynamic young agent, Kirsten Marsh, who successfully entered the market & built a women-only team to take on some of the biggest firms within the real estate industry.
For a small team within a single agency structure, they appear to be doing extremely well, considering the tough market place they are in & the impact the GFC has had on that segment of the market.
In recent times, Billicorp has also expanded its service into the residential market place, which will be interesting to see how this transition works for them.
Now, because most women are intuitive, extremely good at networking, more likely to be trusted & are often very well organised, you’ll find that there are already many women working within real estate sales & property management amongst the franchise groups/networks who are currently using their skills to achieve huge success in real estate.
Plus, like a lot of experienced agents would understand, they tend to appreciate that during a listing presentation, if the woman of the house doesn’t like & trust you then chances are that you won’t get the listing, no matter how good you got along with the male partner.
Whilst I don’t profess to be an expert on branding a company & nor am I taking sides about male v’s female agents, I simply see that an opportunity exists & think maybe a ‘Women’s – Only” brand within an existing brand could be a way forward for one of the franchise groups who may want to tackle this huge, untapped niche in the market.
Interested to hear your thoughts?