Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | October 2013
By Stephanie Sievers
When it comes to real estate niche markets you’ve probably heard of agents who specialize in working with seniors, first-time homebuyers, farmland, commercial developers or others. But some agents are taking an even sharper focus, targeting unique niches that you may not have considered.
REALTOR® Joe Green, a broker with Keller Williams Realty in Chicago, estimates that at least 70 percent of his business comes from the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. But Green, of Green Team Properties, has found his greatest success in focusing on a sub-niche within the gay community — the nearly 3,000 sports enthusiasts who belong to the Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association. As a player, coach, umpire and committee member, Green has an opportunity to network and generate business with other members of the sports league.
REALTOR® Corinne Guest, broker-owner of Barrington Realty Company, focuses on a few market niches but one, equestrian properties, ties into the prevalence of properties in the Barrington area that are either zoned for, or already have stables, barns or fenced paddocks. A section of Guest’s website showcases equestrian properties exclusively and she’s built a reputation with horse-enthusiasts even beyond her community.
REALTOR® Branka Poplonski, a broker with Century 21 Lullo in Addison, uses her Eastern European ties to market herself to international buyers and immigrants from her native Slovenia and other countries. Fluent in multiple languages, Poplonski says that her knowledge of the culture helps her connect with international clients looking to buy in the U.S. She also holds the certification, Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS).
REALTOR® James Tiernan, a broker with RE/MAX Center in Grayslake, retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy and now uses his experience to work with military personnel looking to buy and sell homes near the Naval Station Great Lakes in Lake County. Tiernan said it’s easy for him to work with military people because he has an armed forces background. He is new to real estate but anticipates military relocations to become a sizable portion of his business and he makes sure marketing efforts reflect his niche.
REALTOR® Susan Lawrence, a broker with @Properties in Chicago, has turned her love of old homes into her niche. Of particular interest to her is the Alta Vista Terrace neighborhood, a historic landmark district of turn-of-the-century row houses in Chicago. She’s drawn to old homes and historic districts with stories to tell and is able to connect with buyers and sellers seeking
And a few more to consider: