One of the first things you’ll learn as you dive into the real estate industry is that location is one of the most important factors when it comes to buying and selling homes. You’ll quickly learn that a house can check all of the boxes that modern buyers are looking for, but if it’s in a bad location, it won’t sell.
Buyers are looking to you to help them fully understand the neighborhood in which they are looking to buy. It’s your job to have the facts and figures ready to give them all the information they need about a particular area to make a confident and informed decision.
Want to be seen as a neighborhood expert? The one people go to when they’re looking to buy or sell in a particular part of town? Make sure you’re doing these seven things:
Partner With Local Businesses
If your goal is to truly understand the community that you serve, start with the businesses that makes up the local economy. Visit coffee shops, restaurants, hardware stores, salons, and retail shops and get to know the people who run them. Highlight these businesses on your website or blog, or partner with them when you run open houses.
Homebuyers will want to know these things. And even if they don’t ask for this info, they’ll be impressed that you know it. To be a neighborhood expert, you need to be intentional about doing the research.
Learn About Different Housing Styles
As a neighborhood expert, you should know the most common housing styles in the area and in-depth information about them all. Is your area mostly townhomes and apartments? Luxury homes? Single-family residential homes? Whatever it is, get to know the design features, the architectural details, the pros and cons of the particular styles, and what buyers need to know about them. How old are the homes in the area? How many floors do they have? What’s the average square footage? Knowing these things will help you give your buyers all the information that they need.
Regularly Run CMAs
Being a neighborhood expert means combining first-hand knowledge of the area with research, data, and statistics. A Comparative Market Analysis will give you the hard data you need to help your buyers make informed decisions. Having the current information on hand will help you understand the neighborhood and the market much better.
Walk The Walk
One of the things many buyers want to know about a neighborhood is the walkability score and the nearby amenities. As part of your research phase, tie up your shoes and physically walk the neighborhoods. Stroll downtown and make notes about which places are busy. Pay attention to bike paths and walking trails, where there is and isn’t a sidewalk, and how pedestrian-friendly the area is. There is power in being able to confidently tell an interested buyer “You can bike from here to downtown in 11 minutes, I’ve done it” or “traffic can be bad around 3:00 when the local school gets out, but you can avoid it by taking XYZ street.”
These little facts are something only someone who truly knows the neighborhood would know, and those are the things buyers want to know.
Get Active in the Community
Another way to earn a reputation as a neighborhood expert is to get involved in the community. Sponsor a sports team, host a fundraiser to serve the local animal shelter, or put together a clean-up day to spruce up the neighborhood parks. The more you get out there and connect with the members of the community, the more you’ll learn–and the more everyone in the community will get to know you.
Create Neighborhood Videos
Walk-through videos are a strong component of any real estate marketing strategy, and they work with neighborhoods too. Walk through a community with your camera and document the different areas that would be of interest to someone moving in. Some things to include in your virtual neighborhood tour include:
- Local shopping districts
- Access to interstates and highways
- Parks and recreation
- Historical places
- Neighborhood events and festivities
- Community amenities
These videos don’t have to be professional quality but should be edited, accurate, and easy to share. Don’t document yourself walking around and talking for an hour. Fit all of the important features into a 2-5 min video, and break it up into a series of videos if there is a lot to cover.
Blog About What You’ve Learned
After you’ve read over the CMAs, walked the neighborhood, studied the local housing trends, and served in your community, don’t forget to write about it! A blog is a perfect place to keep all of this local information organized, and makes it easy for interested buyers and sellers to see what you know and what you can help them with. A well-thought-out blog not only helps build your reputation as a neighborhood expert but also assists with SEO and makes it easier for people to find your website. It’s a win-win!
Your target audience is expecting you to know your stuff. They’re coming to you with questions and expect you to have the answers. This requires due diligence and intentional research and means spending time getting to know the communities that you serve.
Your future clients are also expecting you to be current on all of your real estate licenses and certifications, as well as investing in continued education. Mbition offers a series of online real estate classes and courses for new and experienced real estate professionals, designed to help busy adults build a real estate career at their own pace.