A lot of agents attempt to position themselves as a neighborhood expert just by claiming to be one. To fill this real estate niche effectively, however, requires more than a statement on your business card or a line of text on your website.
Let’s take a look at some of what goes into becoming a true neighborhood expert.
Your online presence is made up of a combination of all of the places you promote your real estate business: blog, website and social media platforms. It is through this combination that, hopefully, potential clients find you and get to know you.
Strategy number one is to focus your online presence to brand yourself as the neighborhood expert. Start with your website. If you don’t have a blog, it’s time to start one – a hyper-local blog that is full of interesting, useful neighborhood information. Beef up the blog with the following types of content:
- Videos – Interview local experts, do community tours and preview hot new listings.
- Photos – Even a snapshot of a neighborhood restaurant is considered hyper-local content, especially if you include a written review. Don’t neglect including photos of interesting local architecture with a story about a building’s history, photos of historic homes, local sports teams and merchants.
- Written content – You’ll never want for topics when you become the neighborhood expert. Write articles about interesting residents, the history of the area, great places to eat, the best happy hour, the best burger, the farmer’s market and street fairs or festivals.
- Resource posts – If you’ve ever moved to a new area, you understand the importance of having vital information available in one place. Include utility and cable company contact information, the local bus route, the location of the closest library, a map of schools, and information about parks (both human and dog) and nearby recreational facilities.
- Neighborhood housing market – A monthly market report snapshot is valuable content for both potential residents as well as those currently living in the area.
Don’t forget to push this content out to your social media pages. Speaking of which, do you have a neighborhood Facebook page? As the neighborhood expert, you should.
Direct mail typically plays a large role in the marketing plan of a neighborhood expert. It’s an inexpensive, quick way to keep your name in front of every single resident in the neighborhood. Some of the content you can use here includes:
- Just-listed and just-sold postcards.
- Neighborhood market reports.
- A neighborhood newsletter that covers local events, school events, restaurant reviews and other hyper-local content.
Market Leader Professional allows agents to display the latest listings and housing market data on their websites, establishing them as neighborhood experts in their prospects’ minds. LEARN MORE >>
Consider yourself the unofficial mayor of your chosen neighborhood and become as visible as possible. Here are a few methods to consider:
- Join the neighborhood gym.
- Join the Chamber of Commerce and promote your neighborhood expertise at mixers and other events.
- Sponsor a neighborhood youth sports team, put your logo on display and attend the games.
- Hold homebuyer seminars in the neighborhood.
- Join the local PTA.
- Take a different local business owner to lunch once a week.
- Attend HOA meetings if your neighborhood is in a managed community.
- Host monthly happy hours at the local tavern.
The idea is to be seen everywhere, to talk to everyone, and hand your business cards to everyone you meet.
Be the Neighborhood Expert
As mentioned early on, it’s not enough to tell people you are the neighborhood expert – you need to actually be the expert. Here are some ways to beef up your neighborhood expertise:
- Tour every single home that comes on the market. Take notes of floor plans and any distinctive features. Nothing says “expert” better than being able to rattle off the features and drawbacks of any address in the neighborhood.
- Attend city planning commission meetings to keep up-to-date on zoning changes and any new developments in the works.
- Know the neighborhood’s amenities such as parks (for families, dogs, and skateboarders), public recreational facilities such as pools and tennis courts, when and where the farmer’s market is held, and the best streets to take the kids to look at holiday lights.
- Does the neighborhood take part in block parties or area festivals? Consider holding your own annual neighborhood event, such as a pumpkin patch or haunted house at Halloween, a Christmas tree giveaway to past clients, a summer barbecue, movie nights at the park, or a spring fling.
Facebook released their first-ever brand campaign last year, the cornerstone of which was an amazing video. In it, they claim that “A great nation is something people build, so they can have a place to belong.”
The same can – and should – be said about a neighborhood. Be the architect, the developer, the builder and the self-proclaimed mayor of a place where potential clients will want to belong.