It’s everywhere. It seems that every industry has segmented into smaller, specialized micro markets, serving a narrow market niche.
The medical field has many specialties: foot specialists; ear, nose and throat specialists; heart specialists; back specialists, etc.
The automotive industry has morphed over the past couple of decades into something new. There was a time when we had a problems with our car, we would take it to a mechanic. Now, when it needs an oil change we go to the quick lube outlet, when it needs tires we go to the tire store, when it needs brakes we go to the brake specialist.
Think about the number of different restaurants that are now available, or different kinds of grocery and convienence stores, department or household goods stores, and so on. Specialization has spread everywhere.
The result is that the consumer is now trained to seek out a specialist when they need a product or service. There is great perceived value to working with a “specialist” or an “expert”.
Has the real estate industry responded to this trend in consumer behavior? Do we have genuine specialists with specific value propositions designed to appeal to the consumer with a special need? Really?
Oh we have some agents who specialize, or say they do. And we have some who actually do have a specialty and a finite value proposition. But how many?
As an industry, we are still training agents to be generalists. We promote all kinds of designations and training, and agents seek them out so they can appear qualified to work with many kinds of consumers. So they are prepared to work with almost anyone. But is this really the best plan?
What will the future hold for our industry? Will the consumer more often seek the real specialist to help them? Today, they can locate such a specialist in moments with search engines like Google. Will the consumer begin to reject the “generalist” agent in favor of a highly trained and competent “expert”?
Is the future of our industry really a future of specialization?
If so, what will that mean to you?