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Residential Department: From the Editor: February 2015


From the Editor

Here is a tale of two niches

I have some experience working in niches. In my career as a fiction author, a niche is where the market sticks you when your product doesn’t fit into the mainstream vision of the industry. I write science fiction and fantasy stories, so you won’t find my novels in the large fiction sections that dominate most bookstores. Instead, they’re tucked away — often in a corner — with other stories about dragons and aliens.

The tough part about being stuck in a niche is that your audience is automatically limited to only those people who go out of their way to come look for you in your niche. You’re never going to attract readers of mysteries or thrillers or romances because your books aren’t shelved with those stories. This makes it harder to grow your audience.A tale of two niches.

Being in a niche can be beneficial, however. For one thing, your competition is reduced. My novels aren’t competing with every book in the store — or even every book in the huge, mainstream fiction section. I only have to compete with the books in my little corner of the industry. Even better, readers who browse the science fiction section are already predisposed to liking the type of story I write.

Not all science fiction consumers may be looking for my novel specifically, but they are certainly interested in the type of stories I write, so they are more inclined than the average consumer to purchase my products. They have, in essence, prescreened themselves for me. In addition, by labeling the section, bookstores basically market the location of my books to these self-selected consumers.

In the mortgage industry, many mortgage originators get to choose their own niches. Unlike science fiction authors, originators aren’t stuck in a niche waiting for customers to come find them. Instead, they often go looking for a niche that works for them, and then market themselves and their niches to draw in potential borrowers. To help our readers learn the finer points of choosing and marketing their niches, this issue of Scotsman Guide focuses on the topic of niches.

First, Rey Maninang of Carrington Mortgage Services discusses how to reach the underserved market through education. Read his article starting on Page 33. Next, Laura Burke of Global Tax Masters provides a step-by-step process for choosing a new niche. Read her techniques on Page 51. We also have an incisive piece on reverse mortgages, written by Dan Hultquist of Open Mortgage, which you’ll find on Page 97.

Continuing our focus on niche markets, check out the article by Amy Bergseth of Default Service Technologies. Bergseth provides pointers on how to crack into the real estate owned property niche. Her article is on Page 68. Finally, Jan Brzeski of Crosswind Financial provides insights into the various types of loans that small residential builders need to complete construction on new homes. Find Brzeski’s article on Page 81.

As always, we have many more articles covering various aspects of the mortgage industry. Leaf through the pages and see what you find. It’s like wandering the rows of a bookstore. You never know what might catch your eye.

Create. Educate. Illuminate.


Will McDermott is managing editor for Ask a Lender. Reach him at or (800) 297-6061.

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