If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing when it comes to having a successful real estate practice. Regardless of how big or small the city or the marketplace is, we have successfully helped our clients find the uncontested market niche. There is always a gap that no one is filling or has noticed. Here is an example from the very crowded and competitive wine industry
Yesterday, we drove to Los Olivos (a small city, population 825, in the Santa Barbara County Wine area), where wine tasting stores, restaurants and specialty stores abound. There we spotted a new logo (pictured above) on one of the 25 tasting rooms that dot the two main cross streets. We decided that we would visit them after lunch.
Our first question was: What is Solminer?
Solminer means mining the sun, and the sun is part of what makes the vines grow.
What is different about Solminer, among the 25 other tasting rooms in Los Olivos, and the 200+ wineries in Santa Barbara County?
They grow grapes that come from Austria, which no one else has in this region. Here is an excerpt from their website:
"Our personal desire is to reflect the vineyard in the wine and experiment with Austrian varietals. Since the beginning, we thought Grüner Veltliner would do well here and soon after we discovered that the Austrian red grape, Blaufränkisch, is perfect for our climate as well.
We've rounded things out with a bit of Muscat to create an Austrian inspired dry "Muskateller"... We also have new plantings of Riesling to add to our sources from neighboring vineyards that we have selected for their climate, soils and sustainable growing practices. 700-900 cases are produced per year. "
This was our first taste of wine from Austrian grapes. All four whites were exceptional. The other differentiator was their wines are not as high in alcohol 12-13%, unlike many of the new wines which can be as high as 15%. This is in keeping with the European style, where wine is meant to be savored and heighten the taste of the food served, instead of making one tipsy.
This is the story of Solminer's uncontested market niche. Although we generally prefer red wines over whites, these won us over. They would be perfect with to accompany a cheese platter or seafood.
Like in winemaking, there are many niches in real estate. Some are obvious (focusing on a certain type of property, waterfront, land, condo), and some are not, and some need research to find the exact parameters. This research will open your eyes and minds as to many possibilities that are available.