To succeed as a real estate agent today, you have to have the right mindset. Consumer first, commission second. Providing value to your clients is how you earn their trust. And when you earn their trust, everything else will fall into place.
So, how do you provide value? There are many ways, but this article will focus on one strategy in particular—becoming a neighborhood expert. We’ll talk about the type of info you should learn about a neighborhood, as well as how you should share the information.
Becoming a neighborhood expert is a big time commitment. And it only works if you’re all in. It means sitting at your desk and studying, as well as going out into the neighborhood and observing, experiencing, and participating. If you’re up to the task, here are some tips for getting started:
1) Choose the right neighborhood.
The neighborhood you choose to target should mean something to you. It should align with your lifestyle and be a place where you already spend time. This way, when you start doing a deep dive and sharing all of the cool things about this area, it will be genuine.
2) Dedicate 12 hours to jumpstart this strategy.
Spend 6 hours researching and analyzing, 6 hours looking at homes.
3) Visit every new home that goes on the market.
Visit that very day, so you can take a picture to post to Facebook, Instagram, or your blog.
4) Join neighborhood social media groups.
Joining Nextdoor.com, neighborhood Facebook groups, and other relevant social networks will allow you to see what residents are talking about (or complaining about) and keep a pulse on the community.
5) Get involved!
Whether it’s a book club, an adult kickball league, or a monthly volunteer opportunity, find a way to truly immerse yourself and be a real part of the community. Go with the goal of building relationships and bettering the community.
6) Choose your platforms for demonstrating your expertise.
Where will you post all of your newfound knowledge? Facebook is a must, and Instagram is a close second. You might also consider starting a neighborhood blog. As for offline tactics, hosting as many open houses in the neighborhood as possible, and using your own signage will help people to associate your name with real estate in that neighborhood.
7) Avoid saying violating fair housing laws.
Don’t say “great for kids” or “perfect for a young couple” or anything that implies a preference for a certain type of resident based on age, sex, race, religion, family status, etc. Stay away from crime statistics, school ratings, and neighborhood demographics.
8) Research & Share Things About Your Target Neighborhood Identify cool properties in your neighborhood that get you excited—they don’t even have to be your own listings—and share these opportunities with your followers.
9) Use Market Data
Run a competitive market analysis (CMA) that shows price differences for every sub-sector of the neighborhood (e.g. south of Main Street vs north of Main Street). (CVAR members can generate a free report at CVAR Market At a Glance, which uses RPR and CRMLS data!)
10) Best local businesses and public spaces
Create a document with information on all of the best businesses and local spaces that you’d like to recommend to your followers. You’ve probably already frequented a lot of places you’ll put on your list, but Angies List and Yelp and are great resources for any research you need to do.
Here are some things to research: Restaurants (and which restaurants have senior discounts, kids eat free days, etc.); parks (and what is included at each—playground, walking trails, etc.); sports leagues; healthcare providers; annual events (festivals, parades, craft shows, fundraisers, etc.); farmers’ markets; services (dry cleaners, lawn services, pet groomers, etc.).
11) Local government updates, news, elections
Keep your followers informed on local policies that could impact them. Mention new housing and business developments coming to the area. For new housing developments, identify the builders in your area, meet them in person, and build relationships—this way, you’ll be among the first to learn details like layouts and price ranges. To learn about new business developments, stay on top of news from your local chamber of commerce or economic development organization.
12) Read the local newspapers. Share stories about the community that are meaningful to you.
Conclusion Providing value to your consumers is the way to earn trust and beat the real estate tech giants. And what could be more valuable than a fountain of knowledge on the neighborhood in which they want to buy/sell a home? Choose a target neighborhood, become an expert, and share the knowledge with your followers. In today’s competitive real estate market, this is a strategy that works.