Your neighborhood is at the heart of your business and at the heart of each buyer's decision-making process when they're considering where to purchase a home. Whether the buyer is part of a family looking for excellent schools, a retired couple looking for the ideal place to spend their golden years, or a younger buyer who wants to be close to the best local attractions, every one of your clients is looking for specific things from their neighborhood. Becoming a neighborhood expert is ultimately key to your success as a real estate agent. It's a great place to focus your energy and put yourself in a position for success as we turn the page to 2022.
Become a Neighborhood Expert
Why become a neighborhood expert? It starts with smart business. If you work in a big city, then focusing on one neighborhood can help you become the go-to, most recognized resource for real estate needs in that area. If you're in a smaller community where you cover multiple neighborhoods, then knowing the ins and outs of each makes it easier to help buyers find the perfect neighborhood to live, while allowing you to market homes for sellers more effectively by showcasing the perks of the neighborhood where each home is located.
Becoming a neighborhood expert also makes it easier to develop and focus your marketing. Integrate local SEO based on your neighborhoods to help your brand stand out where it matters most, send newsletters concentrated on specific aspects of the community, showcase your expertise on social media, build connections with local businesses, and become the face of real estate in the area. And that's just the start! When you're ready to become a neighborhood expert, here's how to get the job done.
Learn Everything You Can About the Neighborhood
The first step to becoming an expert is learning everything you can about the neighborhood. Some of that will come from online research, which helps you form an overview of the neighborhood. The rest comes from visiting in-person to learn all about the people and places that make the neighborhood special.
• MLS Data and Demographic Research
Start with the basics, learning all about the types of homes in the neighborhood, the value of local homes, and how long properties spend on the market. Then move on to learning all about the demographic data of the neighborhood to discover who lives there, who might like to move there, and how to shape your marketing.
• Exploring the Neighborhood and Connecting with Residents
There's no substitute for exploring the neighborhood on your own, starting conversations with residents, learning about the neighborhood from people who live there, and letting them know what you do for a living. Listen carefully to what residents have to say, and learn what they love about the neighborhood.
• Building Relationships with Local Businesses
Connecting with local business owners is a great way to learn more about what the neighborhood has to offer, build mutually beneficial relationships, establish your real estate expertise, and eventually earn referrals from key members of the community.
• Getting to Know Local Attractions and Key Services
Buyers will want to know what they can do for fun in the neighborhood and where they can find all of the critical services that they'll need. Learn all about the local amenities, along with school districts, parks, and other locations that will be of interest to clients.
• HOA and Town Council Meetings
Suppose you're focused on selling homes in specific housing developments. In that case, attending HOA meetings can be a powerful way to build relationships and learn more about the things that matter most to each development. However, if your eyes are set on a larger neighborhood, then attending town council meetings can help you accomplish the same goals.
How to Showcase Your Neighborhood Expertise and Boost Your Marketing
Now that you've got a handle on what makes your neighborhood special, it's time to put all of that knowledge to good use! Your real estate website, social media, and online marketing are all places where you'll want to show off your neighborhood expertise.
Email Newsletters with Neighborhood Info
Keep your clients up to date on all of the latest neighborhood news by sending regular email newsletters. These newsletters can cover the latest real estate trends in the area, provide advice for local homeowners, or feature fun and lighthearted content focused on the latest neighborhood happenings.
Giving Back to the Community
Becoming part of the neighborhood also means giving back to the community. Hosting local events like barbecues or block parties is a great way to show your love while presenting plenty of opportunities to demonstrate your real estate expertise to residents. You can also set up food drives, toy drives, or other events to give back to community members in need.
Take the Plunge and Live in the Neighborhood Yourself
While you can undoubtedly learn tons about a neighborhood and make yourself a known, trusted face in the community even if you don't live there, calling that neighborhood home can really help you take things to the next level. Becoming part of the community is all about building relationships and making yourself recognizable, which is much easier to accomplish when people see your face every day.
For new agents, this might be as simple as focusing on the neighborhood that you already call home. If you're an experienced agent and you have your eye on a neighborhood that you want to "own" for your real estate business, then it might be time to move there full-time. When you live in a neighborhood, wear branded gear, start conversations, and make sure everyone knows what you do for a living, you can become the resource that everyone in the community trusts when they have real estate needs.
Set Yourself Up for Success in 2022 with Neighborhood Expertise
New year, new you... new neighborhood? Whether you're starting fresh with a new neighborhood where you'll focus your energy or redoubling your efforts in your current location, now is the time to formulate your plan for a successful 2022. With so many ways to become a neighborhood expert and so many benefits to doing so, the only thing left to decide is where you'll plant your flag this year.
Every decision starts with an emotion, then gets a helping hand from logic.
And while there's plenty to look forward to when buying or selling a home, the entire process can be one of the most stressful anyone will face in their life. When stress runs high, emotions tend to as well.
Ambiguity – about things like financing, the logistics of the move, and whether it will be worth it in the end – triggers heightened states of tension. There's no way to know in advance how everything will play out, so these feelings can't be resolved completely.
But the emotional component of real estate isn't just about distress.
The full spectrum of emotions plays into decision-making.
Let's look at it from the buyer perspective:
• There can be a great deal of excitement about the potential to become a homeowner
• There can be apprehension and emotional conflict about whether one is "really ready"
• They may be getting supportive or not-so-supportive feedback within their social circle
And now, from the seller perspective:
• Depending on their relationship with their existing property, they may need to mourn
• They may be moving under positive (new job) or negative (death in the family) circumstances
• They might feel a strong attraction toward some future options but not know what to pick
All these possibilities and more swirl around every transaction. It's up to each real estate agent to get a fix on the emotional tone of the transaction their clients hope to have within the first few conversations, if not the very first one.
The better you understand your clients' emotions, the better you can serve their needs.
Should a Real Estate Agent Be a Therapist?
In many customer care roles, representatives feel like they must "be a therapist" to those they're working with. Please do not, in your role as a real estate professional, try to be a therapist.
If early conversations leave you feeling that there are intense emotions or highly charged circumstances you are unprepared to deal with, you can choose to pass or refer that client elsewhere. You aren't obligated to take on any client, no matter their story. Outside of those situations, what are real estate agents called on to do? What are some of the best ways to help your clients work through the myriad of emotions they'll inevitably feel when buying or selling a home?
The answer is simple: Be empathetic, but stay grounded.
Clients don't need someone to ride out all the highs and lows of their emotions with them. Instead, they need a trusted guide – someone who understands what they're going through but will focus on keeping them steady throughout their journey. That's where you come in, and this mindset gives you a much more focused set of goals with which to work!
Providing the Right Level of Emotional Support to Real Estate Clients
What "emotional support" looks like varies based on the stage of your transaction.
While not all clients need lots of support, all should have the chance to use that support should they require it. Your initial investment of time in putting the right resources in place might be formidable. Still, the work is worth it. Once those assets are in place and optimized, you:
• Spend only modest time fine-tuning processes and will rarely rebuild them from scratch
• Deliver a consistent, high-quality customer experience to everyone who works with you
This begins with the basic "DNA" of your business. Then, individual client interactions deepen it.
Start with Clarity in Your Real Estate Website
The vast majority of your future clients will find you on the internet. They often visit your site at a time when they haven't made a commitment to buy or sell. It's likely they do not know any real estate agents or brokers personally. At this stage, there is a lot they don't know, and they're not sure who can help.
Ambiguity is the name of the game here, and that's true for both buyers and sellers. Reducing ambiguity is a valuable emotional service that guides leads to contact you. Since your website reflects your authentic voice, it has the potential to do much of the work.
• Provide Helpful and Informative Content Aimed at Your Ideal Clients
Buyers and sellers have common questions and issues they struggle with. It may seem you're writing the millionth article on specific topics, but infuse them all with local knowledge and insight into your customers, and you'll create helpful resources that make life easier for them.
• Make It Simple to Contact You and to Schedule an Appointment
Understanding others' communication preferences is a vital part of being emotionally present. Not all clients want Facetime to pop up and start a call when they click "Contact us." It's wise to be available in several forms, including phone, email, text, and social media.
• Introduce Yourself, What You Do, and Who You Do It For
It's not always easy for people outside the industry to differentiate one real estate agent from the other. A dry list of credentials won't do it. One of the fastest, most powerful ways to make a human connection is to record a video that introduces you and answers questions in a relatable way. Once a lead becomes a customer, leverage that early trust with further support:
• Practice Active Listening
At its core, "active listening" means listening closely to what others say rather than waiting for your turn to speak. Clients will often give you all you need to know about their motivations, perceived limitations, and hot-button emotional issues. Prompt them with open-ended questions, then really hear them.
• Set Expectations for Each Stage of the Process
Each step in a transaction asks something different of your client. They'll need to align themselves with those requirements emotionally. Get used to explaining each fork in the road in a clear, calm way—as well as "why" things are done that way. Many people need this piece to feel confident.
• Provide a Logical Basis for Decision-Making
Emotions can drive clients to act in hasty, sometimes self-defeating ways. Bring data into decision-making whenever possible so clients have a factual basis for their choices. This is especially crucial in helping sellers set their asking price. A thorough comparative analysis is indispensable!
• Check-In On Clients' Feelings at Key Junctures
It's rarely inappropriate to ask "How are you feeling about this?" when talking to a client. That's extra true when unexpected news (good or bad!) has just presented itself. Sometimes, negative emotions can be nipped in the bud by "giving permission" for clients to be open and forthright.
At its heart, real estate is about relationships. Relationships can't exist without emotions, and rapport is created when the other person feels heard and understood. By watching for opportunities to respect and validate clients' feelings, you can help them manage their buying or selling odyssey without feeling like they are trapped in a pressure cooker. That brings you both peace of mind.
Technology keeps us connected in so many ways, and it's especially critical for sales associates in the real estate industry. Staying in touch with buyers and sellers at every stage of a real estate transaction builds confidence and trust. Tools such as social media and CRM software help keep the lines of communication open and contribute to the growth of those customer relationships.
Social media ads can boost your visibility and keep you top-of-mind with customers in every phase of the buying process. Customizable emails, ecards, flyers, and texts via the DeltaNET™️ 6 CRM keep sales associates top-of-mind so that when a customer is ready to buy or sell, your name is number one on their list.
We asked sales associates from across the country about the technology they use on a daily basis that helps them be successful. They shared what they can't live without.
Top sales associates know that when you're selling a home it means going the extra mile when prepping and marketing it. The end results are so worth the effort with a signed purchase offer. Here's how these real estate professionals are making it happen for their clients.
It's not that easy being a real estate sales associate these days.
The big challenge that sales associates face can be summed up in a single idea:
Real estate pros are widely agreed to be the most active professionals on social media; however, many times, people simply tune out what their local real estate expert has to say. And the problem goes beyond Twitter and Facebook to other parts of the digital world.
In an increasingly crowded, fast-paced online sphere, everyone is looking for better ways to stand out. But technology is only one part of the equation: The way you approach your work also helps you to differentiate yourself from everybody else.
What's the best way to communicate your big difference to online leads?
In a few words, it's the personal touch.
Technology has a strange effect on communication. Use a little technology – like, say, just email or text – and it makes your message seem impersonal. But go to the next level, fully embrace what technology has to offer, and those online interactions can be as personal and memorable as a face-to-face conversation.
But technology is the only vehicle. You, the sales associate, are the driver.
Before you can figure out the best use of technology to grow your practice, figure out what you want. What do you want your clients' experience to be?
There's no doubt about it: An open house is a great way to draw attention to a home on the market.
Open houses can attract more motivated buyers than any other form of in-person marketing. When real estate agents combine well-executed open houses and smart digital marketing, more transactions occur. In the end, that means growing your real estate practice much more quickly.
Once an agent knows how to make good use of an open house, they can create consistent results in a satisfying way.
Everyone has their own open house style, but some fundamentals are indispensable:
There's no getting around that building your real estate client base takes time; however, there's plenty you can do to speed up the process. Whether you're a new agent looking to build your initial client base or an experienced agent aiming to add more names to your list, following the right strategies can save time and boost results. Building a client base requires reaching out to new prospects, but taking care of your current clients is also one of the best ways to grow your client base long-term.
Are you searching for a real estate marketing team who knows what it takes to earn new clients for your business? We can help! Contact Delta Media Group to learn more about all of our real estate marketing services.