Are you truly the neighborhood expert?
Remember the day your real estate license landed on your broker’s desk? Shiny and new, just like you, it was your passport to a new career and your own business. Sadly, unlike most new business people, few agents enter real estate with a business plan.
Whether you’re just starting out in real estate sales or you’re a veteran in need of an infusion of new leads, narrowing your focus to one segment of the market is a sure-fire way to gain momentum.
The perception of expertise in any niche is best achieved through hyperlocal marketing, a type of marketing that forces you to focus on a certain geographic location or another niche. The smaller this geographic area or other segment of the market is, the fewer people you’ll need to target and the quicker you’ll build brand recognition as the true expert.
It’s the difference between showing up on page three or four of Google’s search results for “homes for sale in Billings MT,” and showing up on page one for “golf course homes for sale in Billings.” Check out both results to see what we mean.
The best reason to go hyperlocal is that it gives you an edge over the online real estate giants. It’s farming 2.0.
Walk the walk
It’s easy to slap a tagline on your website or business card billing yourself as the local expert. But what does that mean, really? If you aren’t familiar with every single listing and recent sale in a neighborhood, are you truly that area’s real estate expert?
David Kean, luxury home expert with Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Beverly Hills, suggests that no agent is truly an area expert if she or he doesn’t have a handle on current inventory.
“I go through every house that comes on the market so that I’m not just looking at comps on paper… I have actually been through each house and I know the layout, I know if there’s a telephone pole blocking the view,” says Kean.
Bring yourself up to expert status by routinely touring all new listings in your area. Take photos and notes of distinctive features so that when a client or potential client asks questions, you, the expert, have all the answers.
Talk the talk
Prove to potential clients that you’re the expert through your real estate website and social media platforms. Hyperlocal blogging is the ideal vehicle to show, not tell, readers that you know your stuff, and your stuff is the neighborhood in which you hold expert status.
Topics to consider include news about new businesses in the area, changes in infrastructure, descriptions and status updates of new residential developments, current housing market statistics (local stats, of course), neighborhood descriptions, school news and community events. Throw in some pages on commute times to city centers, by both car and mass transit, information about local shopping, eateries and popular hangouts.
The idea is to not focus on blog traffic but on supplying information that will help engage and generate leads.
It’s all those myriad of details about an area that, when firmly implanted in your brain, will help you stand apart from the competition and prove that you truly own the “neighborhood expert” title.