Get plugged in to the local landscape.
When it comes to your sales territory, could you answer the following questions on the fly: Where are the best places to grab a family meal? How close are the nearest parks? What ratings do the neighborhood schools have?
The ability to answer these questions is what can build your reputation as your community’s local market expert … the person who doesn’t just know what’s on the market but why a homebuyer might want to choose one location over another. This is the kind of value-added service that sets you apart from the competition and nets a healthy pipeline of referrals. Your ultimate goal is to be the first person people think of (or find online) when they think of a certain neighborhood or region.
Here’s how to establish yourself as the local specialist!
Unsurprisingly, 63% of homebuyers say the quality of a neighborhood guides their choice of a home, so explore your sales territory and look at everything through the eyes of a homebuyer. Make notes of the best features, like dog-friendly parks, hike and bike trails, libraries, and community swimming pools. Find the hidden gems, like the best restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment options. Write down everything you see, because you just don’t know what small feature might get a potential buyer from “just looking” to “I have to live here.”
Families with children will ask lots of questions about schools, so be ready to respond with facts and figures about each one. Parents will want to hear more than “I hear this is a good high school,” so have information like graduation rates, college placement rates, and teacher-student ratios, or even which schools have produced championship sports teams, bands, choirs, or dance teams. And if you really want to endear yourself to parents of young children, compile a list of local daycares, preschools, and Parent’s Day Out programs.
A whopping 95% of homebuyers start their research online. That makes your website and social media the perfect place to share your expertise and build your reputation as the go-to professional in your area.
Create neighborhood guides based on all that research you did in step 1 and post them on your website. This allows your customers to tour potential locations from the comfort of their own homes and narrow their search focus.
Take videos or pictures of yourself on personal outings and share them on social media. Instead of telling your followers which bakery has the best cupcake selection, post pictures of all the varieties or share a video of you sampling your favorite. And tag that bakery in your post to connect with and support another local business, which builds your network and helps you reach more people. Found a great dog park? Show all the fun you had there with your fur baby! And hey … if you’re really brave … post that video of you belting out “Don’t Stop Believing” at that popular karaoke spot. You probably won’t land a record deal, but you’ll show the fun side of the neighborhood.
Expand your reach by following best practices for local SEO, because no matter how good your content is, it’s worthless if it’s not finding an audience. Conduct a local SEO audit to see your rankings, and regularly check to see that you’re remaining at the top of search results.
Community involvement strengthens the economic and social foundations of the areas you represent, but in addition, it’s a great tool for building your business. Online connections are vital, but so is the old-fashioned practice of getting your face out in the community and meeting people. Plus, you get the benefit of knowing you’ve done some good in the world while spreading the word about your services.
You can’t be an expert on your community if you don’t know what’s going on at the political and business level. Decisions made by local governments, school boards, and chambers of commerce all impact your clients, so attend as many meetings as you can and build your understanding of the issues at play. This enables you to inform your clients about pending school zone changes, public works projects, commercial developments, and more actions that will affect their neighborhoods.
When it comes to the housing market, the only constant is change. Keep abreast of interest rates, sales data, pricing trends, and other economic factors that impact your clients, and regularly share this information on your website and social media. Use targeted mailers to expand your reach and get key data in the hands of people who may not even be thinking about buying or selling. Remember … your clients look to you for answers, so be proactive in delivering your knowledge!