Episode 3: Secrets of Successful Niches - Michelle Morgan
Intro: Hi! This is Glenn McQueenie, and welcome to 20 Minutes of Insider Secrets of Successful Niches. This is where you learn the insider secrets to dominate your target market. You’ll learn to work with high-margin, super-happy clients, and build a tribe of loyal, raving fans for your business. So excited to have you join me today, so sit back and enjoy 20 Minutes of Insider Secrets of Successful Niches.
Glenn: Well hello, and welcome again to another of my podcasts in my Success Series formula. I’m just so thrilled to have Michelle Morgan join me on this podcast. How are you, Michelle?
Michelle: I’m great, Glenn. Thanks for having me.
Glenn: Oh, it’s my pleasure. You’re just of so much respect and you’ve got so much wisdom to share that I’m really excited about this call. So before we start, I just want to give everyone a little background about Michelle. She began her journey as a young woman to be a model and enter into the fashion industry. She got a diploma from Fashion Arts from Humber College and then continued in that industry for over 15 years, working with a lot of different modeling agencies in Toronto. She continued after that to explore, “What do I really want to do?” and decided that, deep down, there was this passion for getting into real estate. So she went to OREA, she got her license, and since then, Michelle has just been very successful, growing a great business. She started out individually, and she’s worked with teams, and now what she’s done is really found this really neat niche called Women Building Wealth. And that’s the niche that I’m so excited to talk about today. So Michelle, why don’t you tell the audience just a little bit about your journey into building a really cool business?
Michelle: Sure. I feel like in order for the audience to understand, I’m going to take it back a little bit, just to understand where I’m coming from. So my parents were really interested in real estate. They were investors. We had tenants. They bought and sold their own properties, and I had that household where, on Boxing Day, all the other kids went to the mall, and my parents somehow found the one open house that was open. We just were always looking at homes, so I guess I probably didn’t even realize it back then, but when I look back now, I was that kid that was always sitting at the table, feet dangling off the chair, and watching the deal happen. And it kind of just seeped into my pores. So, as time went on, my dad would tell me, “You know, you probably should get into real estate.” And I was always like, “No, Dad. I’m going to be in fashion.” Which, you heard, I did proceed and continue with, and I loved it. And I still have an appreciation for that industry. But at the time, I probably didn’t realize how much real estate had actually seeped into my pores. So fast-forward, I found myself a single mom, realizing that, as much as I loved the fashion industry, I did want to make a change. And I wanted to love what I was doing as much, if not more, than fashion. I got my license. I did that in 2008. So I’d fast-forward then to about a year and a half ago, and I had done the Double Your Income Coaching with you, Glenn, and that really showed me some patterns in my business. I was doing well in real estate, and you had me really circle in on who my clients were, and I learned that the second largest group of people I was helping with real estate purchases were women, and that was second to couples. I helped couples, young couples in particular, buy and sell their homes. And then I had this group of women that were coming to me from all walks of life, all ages, status. They wanted real estate investing advice, and they would go on to purchase their home almost in an investor mentality, I’d say. And they were purchasing these homes on their own. And it was just inspiring to me, because I could relate to this group of women, again as a single woman and as a single mom. And probably because of my background with the real estate, it just led to me growing and us brainstorming into this whole niche marketing business. And so it was really cool, and then Build Her Wealth was born. And the goal really was to help women build wealth through real estate. And I could really help them, and I just became passionate about it, because reward-wise, I could help them fulfill this goal. And we’d sit down and say, “Well, what do you want?” And they’re like, “Well, this is my 5 or 10-year goal.” Maybe it was a retirement goal, but whatever it was, I could master a plan through real estate investing for them to help them accomplish the goal. So today, Build Her Wealth, it’s a niche market real estate business. My clients are mostly women in that field, and then I get to meet some really cool, smart, funny, they’re really articulate, they’re educated, they’re hardworking women, all really with the same goal of wanting to use real estate as a tool to help them build their financial future. So yeah, that’s pretty cool.
Glenn: So, first of all, how do you guys meet? What is the format of the group?
Michelle: So usually, we have seminars. We have fun with it. So we have Wealth and Wine nights, and it could be the wine that brings the ladies there, but I won’t say that that’s why, and we just have seminars that really help them understand what the different types of real estate investing opportunities are for them. So again, it’s women from all different walks of life. So some have maybe never invested in real estate before, and then others might be in their journey. So whether we’re there to show you how to invest in real estate, or help support your journey, we’re all there as women, we’re going through the steps. And then I’ll bring in professionals to help with that, whether it’s a mortgage broker that needs to come in to answer some questions, a lawyer, an accountant, what have you. I just bring in the professional that will also help them attain their goals.
Glenn: So I think that’s just so brilliant, that format you created of Build Her Wealth, where you get people, usually single women – not all single women – but a lot of women. And I love that edge and attitude that you bring to it, too. It’s like, “Listen. You’re responsible for your own wealth here. You don’t need a man. You don’t need a woman.” If you want to become free, and have freedom in the real sense of time, and so you can spend more time in relationships with other people, and find your purpose, what better way than to get a group of like-minded women together into a format of building their wealth through real estate investing? And I love how you bring them together, and you bring in the wine element. And it’s really almost like a book club, but it’s a women building wealth club. And the only people who are going to want to come to that club are the people who want to build their wealth. So you’ve created such a great magnet for only the people who come there. You’ll never attract the people who don’t want to attract wealth. And you’ll just find, when you’re creating your tribe, as I see you building your niche tribe, that birds of a feather flock together. And if you can be the ringleader of it, which you are, it’s just really amazing. So what’s been the payoff, just over the last year and a half? What have you learned from going really deep into your niche?
Michelle: I’d say really the payoff is that I had to figure out more about me. So once I did that and figured out what my big “why” is and understanding my big “why” was helping people. So the big payoff really is helping. So I have the niche market, I get to sit down, really understand my clients, their lives, their goals, sometimes it’s their fears, or sometimes it’s their pain. But, “what’s your ultimate dream? What are your wishes? What do you want for your family and your loved ones?” And then I get to really help them create this plan for them, their financial futures, how to help build their goals, how to create hope, and it just becomes almost a lifelong bond. And I guess that’s the best payoff. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I’ve learned I love helping people, and it’s rewarding to then help that person, and then see it through all the way to the finish line. So that’s awesome.
Glenn: That is awesome. So why do you think that the conventional wisdom of two hours of cold calling or door-knocking to people they don’t even know. Like a lot of agents seem to want to follow this lead. That’s the only lead-generation strategy. And I love how you’ve kind of broken that mould, and you’re doing what you love to do. But why do you think it’s so prevalent, rather than your more focused approach?
Michelle: Well, I mean, I come from that background. So I mean, I came from a background of door-knocking every single day. I door-knocked Monday-Friday, 9:30-11:30 a.m., and it did help my business. I mean, I don’t know that one is wrong, per se, or better than the other, but I find for me, because in our industry we do have to get in front of people, and we do have to talk to people about our business and let them know about us, or they’re not going to. So I think that the general thought is, that’s a great way to do it. And again, it has helped my business. However, as an individual agent, and as a business owner, it is important for agents to understand that there’s a shift occurring, and you do need to be aware that teams and niche market agents are statistically gaining market share. So on the flip side of that, consumers are noticing, and they’re looking for agents that fit their specific needs, rather than maybe the generalist agent. So it was more me wanting to, in my case, just wanting to get in front of that shift, rather than chase the shift that I could see was about to occur, and grow the niche market. So yeah, I get it. I come from that background. But it is going to change, and it’s changing now.
Glenn: Yeah, and I don’t think you’re saying “Don’t do it.” And I think we’re probably on the same page on this. If that’s what you really love to do, then go and do it, if that’s what your natural abilities are. But if you’re dragging yourself to do it, and you don’t like it and you hate it, what a miserable way to wake up every morning and have to do something you hate, instead of what you’re doing. I just love listening to you when you’re saying, like, “I just want to help people.” And when you help enough people get what they want, Zig Ziglar says, then you get what you want. And it’s because it’s a perfect transfer. You’re coming from contribution first. You’re creating value first. You’re creating this whole seminar series. And if some of those people in the class don’t buy, it’s not like you get kicked out. It’s like you still feel like you’re on your purpose.
Michelle: So true. And I think, too, real estate agents, we got into the market, or into the industry because most of us wanted some form of freedom there. Most of us did not want to be in that typical 9-5 scenario, and to put yourself in a scenario where you wake up every morning and still do not like what you do, is unfortunate – so don’t do it.
Glenn: So what would be the first step for someone listening to this podcast right now? What advice would you give them if you were coaching them, on how they should find their niche? What would you say?
Michelle: Well for me, finding my niche actually came through you. The steps that you have written about in your McQueenie Method book were the steps that I took to help me find Build Her Wealth. So, truthfully, I mean, I would say, sure, go out there and learn as much and get educated, but that was my route that I took. So I would have to say The McQueenie Method steps. And I mean, Glenn and I, we sat down and we brainstormed, we talked about it. And you helped me so much along this journey, just really almost like a light bulb moment: You love to help people, and you identify with women. So go get the book, and do the steps step by step by step, because that’s exactly what helped me get to where I am.
Glenn: Wow. Thanks for the plug! I appreciate it, Michelle.
Michelle: Yeah. You can pay me later.
Glenn: So, if you’re saying to somebody, apart from the book, which I appreciate, but if you were saying to somebody, what would just be that first step? I mean, to me – I don’t want to put words in your mouth – but to me, it’s more about just finding who you are, and being comfortable with that, and then taking those strengths to the marketplace.
Michelle: You really have to figure out who you are. So that’s exactly where we started. Why did you get into real estate? What is your big “why?” I mean, learning that, and you kind of know it, but you have to keep asking yourself “Why? Why? Why?” And you peel away these layers, and you start to realize why are you where you are? And for me, it was my twin daughters. That’s my big “why.” That’s my motivation to wake up every morning and do the things I do. And you really have to figure out why. What motivates you, why are you where you are, and where do you want to be, and how are you going to get there. It’s almost like an onion. You’re peeling away these layers, and then it’s just like this “A-ha!” moment, like I said, that makes you go “Right. This is where I need to be.” And that’s my niche.
Glenn: That’s a great way to look at it, Michelle. What were some of the roadblocks that you encountered on your journey? I mean, it didn’t just go “Poof! Magic! Got my niche!” Even just getting this whole tribe together, what were some of the roadblocks you faced?
Michelle: The biggest roadblock for me is if I would be losing business because I was targeting a female market only. I had a hard time, even though I loved the idea, I had a hard time with the concept that it was only going to be women building wealth. It was Build Her Wealth. And would I in turn lose business? And the answer to that ended up being no. I had to get out of my own way though, and realize that, funnily enough, I was getting more followers, and it was not holding back my business. I mean, if anything, it was just this group of women, almost like a sisterhood of women coming together, lifting each other up. And truth be told, I’ve had a couple men come to the events, and it’s all been good. Like I said, not all women are single, so I have had a couple women bring their significant other or their husband with them to the event, and it’s been great. I don’t only want to see women invest in real estate and not help men. That was not the thought. I was worried that it would look that way. But in fact, it did not in any way, shape, or form, slow down my business. I think my roadblock was more my mindset and my own worry and my own fear of it, and once I let that go, then it grew. And you just let it go. You let it go where it’s going. Let it grow, and let it go where it’s taking you, and let it be authentic.
Glenn: And I think as this keeps growing, you could almost build complementary niches and build an even bigger business. I mean, you could license this idea in every city in North America. There’s going to be women who want to build their wealth, and as that keeps on growing, couldn’t you do a Build His Wealth?
Michelle: Already thought about it!
Glenn: Yeah! And isn’t that the beautiful thing, once you go really narrow into one niche, and then you discover all the nuances and the wisdom inside of it, you start to see the bigger possibility of how you can go wide within that niche. And I know I find when I’m coaching agents that the biggest problem is what you mentioned earlier, when you said, “I was worried that I was limiting myself, and I was cutting myself off.” And I start thinking, if you look at a great sculpture, it started as a block of marble. It was really the artist subtracting everything until they got their finished product. And I think it’s almost subtraction and then multiplication. So you subtract, subtract, subtract, go super-narrow in your niche, and then you multiply the niche around it. And I just love to hear you say that, and that’s really what you’re building. This isn’t just going to be one business. This is like, “I’m going to build this, and it’s going to be great.” And it’s going to give you even more freedom. And then, as you build it, you just get to help more people. And I think, for you, Michelle, because I know you, that keeps you on your purpose. And at the end of the day, that’s what you want to do.
Michelle: Very true. That’s very true.
Glenn: So what’s the one piece of advice that you would give aspiring agents right now in creating their niche market?
Michelle: I think it goes back to what we were saying. Really figure out your big “why.” Really, what you did was you helped me figure out what my Unique Ability was. And it wasn’t something that I had to come up with on my own. I think the exercise was that we had to ask our loved ones and friends what they thought our Unique Ability was. And so it was very interesting to get these letters back of people letting you know all the things that they thought you were great at. For me, I got a lot of “Well, when I’m in your presence, you make me feel important” or “You make me feel listened to.” So you start to learn through other people what your Unique Ability is, and from that, those are things you don’t even have to try at. You’re just good at doing that. And then you have to figure out your “why” and really zero in on what makes you happy. And again, I mean, you really are going to have to pay me for this, but I’ve got to say The McQueenie Method really helped because the steps are all outlined there. And those were the steps that I took. And it was literally, “Own Your Niche, Own Your Market,” right? So it really helped to know what the steps are and then just go step by step. You learn about you and figure out what your next steps are to help you get there. And your niche really just shows up. It’s like all of a sudden, you’re like “Wow.” You do the steps, and then you figure out your niche. And it’s mind-blowing.
Glenn: And I love the way you did it in a way, too, because you really reverse engineered it. It wasn’t, “Oh, this is what the marketplace wants.” You started hearing from the marketplace that there were a lot of women in your position who didn’t really have a place to go to find out about real estate investing, because most of them think it’s “I’ve got to put money in my RSPs,” because the financial industry does dominate the ad and mind share there. But once you start hearing that these people are looking for a forum, you almost planned it from their point of view, like, “What’s keeping them awake at night?” And then I love how you’re just like, “Well, let’s get them all together, and let’s build a group.” Because the biggest gift you can give somebody is the feeling that they’re not alone, is to get them out of their own isolation. They’re not alone. And even the people listening to this podcast will be thinking that, too. “Oh, I’m not alone anymore. Other people have felt the way I have.” And then, as you got the group together, they’re like, “Wow. Now we have a whole new group of friends who all have a common interest.” And it’s no different than the local book club. It’s just people who want to do what they want to do. And I think that’s the brilliance in what you’ve created, Michelle. Is there anything else that you’d like to add? I really appreciate your time. I know you’re a really big deal, so is there any questions I didn’t ask you, or anything you’d just like to add just before we wrap up?
Michelle: You know what? I think the main thing is, just go out and do it and don’t be afraid. Don’t think to yourself that it’s not possible or don’t think that it will hinder your business. Just go out and do it. Because like I said, it’s showing in numbers that the teams and the niche markets are taking over, and if you’re an individual agent, you’re going to love it, because not only am I helping the women, but I’ve got to say, they’re helping me, too. In all of this, I have learned so much from them. And that I get to bring my daughters now to these events, and it’s really because they’re helping me pull together the events, and they’re staying for it, and then I’m watching my daughters turn to me and say, “Well, you know what? I’m going to have to get an investment property.” That’s just amazing, because my girls are now 20, and they’re kind of challenging each other at, “Do you think we can get an investment property by 21?” Like it’s amazing to see what it can even do, not only for yourself, but then your family, right? So it really does grow. The positive energy grows in your life. You love what you’re doing. And when you love what you’re doing, the business follows, and then you’re just happier all around. So don’t hold back, don’t stop yourself. Get out of your own way, and go for it.
Glenn: Wiser words have never been said. Thank you so much, Michelle. You are amazing. I’ve loved what you’re creating and building, and I love just the exchange that’s happening in that group. It’s like a great friendship. I give to you, they give back to you, and everybody grows and gets better from it. So, you’re the best. Thank you so much, Michelle. Have a great day.
Michelle: Thank you, Glenn. You too. Take care. Bye!
Closing: Thank you for listening to my 20-minute podcast on Insights of Successful Niches. My goal is to give you more financial freedom by helping you take your natural strengths to a target market of people you’d love to work with. You could find out more information by downloading my book for free for a limited time. The book’s called “The McQueenie Method: Own Your Niche, Own Your Market” and you can download it at TheMcQueenieMethodbook.com. That’s TheMcQueenieMethodbook.com. Imagine what it’d be like to spend two days with me in person to help you find your niche market. I will help you take your natural strengths and unique abilities to a target market of people you’d love to work with. You’ll build a tribe of happy clients who become raving fans of your business. So, just go to TheMcQueenieMethod.com for upcoming dates. Thanks again and have a great day.