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Finding Your Niche In Real Estate

“Know what you’re not good at.”

~Jill Jones

The Road Many Times Traveled

HGTV, Carleton Sheets, and now Than Merrill, have led us astray. While many rookies to the real estate game think that these are prime outlets for real estate career modeling, nothing could be further from the truth. With a few simple paragraphs, I’ll show you why.

The Limitations Set By Big Business

Many shows, infomercials, and coast-to-coast speakers focus on three things:

(1) House flipping;

(2) Wholesaling; and

(3) Becoming a Landlord.

House flipping—as some of you HGTV fans will know—is when a person or team purchases a home with the intent to increase its value through repairs, remodeling, and updates, all with the intent of selling the home.

Wholesaling, on the other hand, involves buying a house and holding on to it for say…30-90 days, then selling it to another buyer who’ll either repeat the selling cycle or begin renovations.

Finally, a much-touted tactic is purchasing homes with the express intent of renting them out, while you collect money using rental, lease, or land contract business models.

What You May Have Missed

So what do I have against house flipping, wholesaling, or being a landlord you ask? Nothing—except you may be no good at any one of these three things at all. Carleton Sheets, Than Merrill, and even all the stars you watch on “Flip This House,” or “Flipping Vegas,” don’t actually do all—if any—of these things. Perhaps they did at one time, but there’s no way of knowing how successful they actually were. If you haven’t noticed—and I can’t tell how you missed it—each real estate investor is doing something entirely outside of the three career models they preach to the masses. The career model used by Sheets and Merrill, in fact, is “marketing real estate investment methods.” Which is probably as far as you can get from any of the three real estate options they’re telling you to live by.

What’s Changed?

Let’s face it—real estate isn’t easy. And it becomes more problematic if you haven’t locked in a niche. Every so-called real estate guru you’ve come across, found their niche after years of searching. Now it’s time you find your own.

Real Estate Is A Big Game

For what its worth, “marketing real estate investment methods” isn’t a bad hustle either. Than Merrill’s net worth is estimated at $85 million thanks to his FortuneBuilders investment courses, while Carleton Sheets ranked in more than $20 million pushing his “No Money Down” seminars. And everyone on HGTV has a contract to be on television making those grand renovations that resonate with you on a micro or macro level. It should be said, however, that real estate is a big game—literally. You could spend your whole life in this racket and still not know everything there is to know about it. One thing most people never realize though, is that there are so many different aspects of real estate to monetize, that you don’t just have to focus on putting together actual real estate transactions. (During my college years, I was obsessed with bird dogging, house flipping, and renting. In fact, I spent hours on the library computer, looking for leads and how to put deals together as fast as possible, so that I could be rolling in dough.) I was severely misguided and I’m betting you are too.

Creative Jobs In Real Estate

Depending on your goals, personality, and deep-seated knowledge, real estate can offer you profound creative freedom. Do you like dissecting market information? Dissect it into categories and sale it. Have you noticed something difficult during your real estate journey that can be simplified? Simplify it and sell your method. Know about tax liens? Bill yourself as a tax lien consultant and share insight with people looking to make their bones in it. There are even landscape artists that have made a career of cutting designs into grass. And I think that’s pretty damn cool.

The Key Word In Real Estate Is “Real”

The most important thing to realize is that you’re only as limited as you want yourself to be. Create your own options, rather than abiding by existing ones. Spend more time narrowing down what you’re good at and how to monetize it instead of listening to a person telling you how easy it is to mimic something they’re not even doing themselves.

About the Author

William Alexander is a contributor and adviser at

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