In case you haven’t noticed, every agent on the planet is a Neighborhood real estate expert. It’s reminiscent of the recession, when they were all “short sale experts.”
Most, however, pay lip service to the title. Sounds like a good thing to say—everyone else is doing it after all—so they slap the phrase on their website, hoping it’ll give them cred.
It doesn’t. Within two minutes of speaking with them, real estate consumers figure out that it’s all b.s.
If you’re going to talk the talk you need to walk the walk. Trust us, it’ll impress even the most skeptical homebuyer or seller.
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Start with your online presence
Who you are online is made up of a combination of your professional website, blog, social media profiles and paid ads. They all represent your online brand.
They are also the places that those potential clients will get to know (and love) you. If they’re searching for neighborhood information, which nearly half of them are according to the NAR, you, the neighborhood real estate expert, better offer up that info on your website and your blog.
Stuff them both with the most hyper-local content you can think of. Start with neighborhood pages. If your site lacks neighborhood pages you really haven’t earned the title of neighborhood real estate expert in the eyes of real estate consumers.
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So, before you do anything else, at least do write-ups of the area’s most popular neighborhoods. And don’t swipe content from Wikipedia or the Chamber of Commerce.
One agent who boasts that his neighborhood pages are among the best took content directly from another source. We entered two sentences from one description into Google and got 381 results with identical copy.
Sadly, this agent wasn’t on the first OR second page of the results
Need inspiration? Check out this brilliant description of Paddington (Sydney, Australia), loaded with photos, from airbnb.
Sure, you’ll want to use real estate-related content in your blog posts but intersperse those posts with ones about the best places to eat, best parks, best trails and anything else that’s hot about the area.
If you love doing videos, interview locals to get their opinions of their neighborhood and film community tours.
Use a section of your website for local resources for newcomers to the area. List who to call to have their cable connected, utilities turned on and where to get their dog a license.
Cross-promote your local content on social media. In fact, if you don’t have neighborhood pages on Facebook, that should be your next step.
Tell everyone you’re their neighborhood real estate expert
The best way to get the word out to the neighbors about your expertise is the old-school way – direct mail. Provided the area you’ve chosen isn’t too large, it’s cheap and it’s quick.
Then, keep the campaign ongoing to ensure that your name remains top-of-mind when it comes time for one of them to buy or sell real estate.
What to send? The tried and true, of course:
- Just sold and just listed postcards
- A neighborhood newsletter
- Market reports
Get active in the area
It’s time to become the unofficial and unelected mayor of the neighborhood by becoming active there. This means joining the neighborhood gym, sponsoring youth athletic teams, joining the local PTA and holding buyer and seller seminars for the neighbors.
Volunteering for a popular local charity helps keep your face in front of folks. Offer to help them with fundraising and hold events at neighborhood businesses.
One agent we know takes a local small business person to lunch once a month and another holds a monthly happy hour meet and greet at a popular watering hole.
Walk the walk
Real estate consumers have, like most of us, become suspicious of common marketing practices and expect proof that we aren’t merely paying lip service to a slogan.
So, be prepared to commit yourself to yours in a substantial way.
- Tour all new listings in your chosen neighborhood. This way, if asked, you’ll be able to answer, immediately, instead of having to look up the information in the MLS. Impressive.
- Keep an eye on what city officials may be proposing for the area in which you specialize.
- Join the Next Door pages of the subdivisions or communities you hope to represent. Become the resource for information about everything from the area’s recreational amenities to who to call to fix a broken window.
- Consider holding an annual event for the entire neighborhood. One agent we know gives away pumpkins near Halloween, another holds an annual crab feed and, yet another, has a wreath decorating party at Christmas.
- Publish local information such as a relocation guide or area resource guide.
Becoming known as the neighborhood real estate expert won’t happen overnight. Take the steps and the time necessary to show folks, rather than tell them, that you are the real estate authority.
Build your image and reputation by becoming so closely woven into the neighborhood that you become part of its fabric.
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