I once heard entrepreneur Brad Inman tell this great story about the challenge he faced selling his parents’ house and trying to find the right local agent. Who better to find the best agent to sell a house than Brad Inman, right? Who knows more about every new brokerage model and unique marketing strategy a major producer has come up with, or who knows everyone in the real estate brokerage world like Brad? But in the end, Brad said, it all came down to his dad telling him to look at the magnet on the fridge that had the name of the guy who “sells all the houses in the neighborhood.”
This is the definition of dominating a neighborhood. It probably took this agent decades to become the number one producer in his area, and ultimately the go-to guy who sells the most homes in that neighborhood. I can only imagine the number of business cards he handed out at cocktail parties, the number of open houses he held, the tens of thousands of postcards he must have sent out and the hundreds of doors he probably knocked on.
This is how the best real estate companies have been built for almost a century. For many people, they are still built that way.
Digital Marketing Opportunity
But today, with digital marketing, there’s another way to build that same type of business, but faster and often with less money. Because it involves leveraging technology and social media, many young agents take this approach.
We are also seeing another important trend. Many older, established, and highly productive agents are turning to digital marketing. They’re starting to leverage the power of social media channels because not only do they want to dominate their neighborhood offline – like the guy with the fridge magnets – but they also want to dominate online.
I believe the opportunity to get closer to home, go hyperlocal, and become the neighborhood expert is one of the best ways to build a long-term real estate business.
Where to start ?
What does it take to become the agent that everyone in the neighborhood considers “their” agent? The good news is that it doesn’t take as long as it used to when you had to go door to door and make cold calls to neighbors face to face. The bad news is that you actually have to become a – really, really smart – expert on your neighborhood. And that will still take time and effort. But what you’re going to build is a big, sustainable real estate business.
Here are some key steps agents should follow so they don’t have to pretend to be the neighborhood expert – people will just know them as such.
1. Work where you live: The best neighborhood to own is where you live. This and the immediate surrounding neighborhoods should be your target and primary focus and territories.
2. Know your market numbers inside and out: You must be the numbers junkie in your neighborhood. Run your multi-listing service reports and/or brokerage reports every month so you know everything that’s going on. Know your demographics, accumulate as much public data as you can, then start collecting and documenting as much primary data (what you collect by talking to your neighbors and keeping track of that information) as you can. The better you know your neighbors and your neighborhood, the greater your expertise will be over time, and that’s why people will come to you.
3. Become socially active and helpful, but never, ever a seller: Join Next Door and your neighborhood Facebook page and community website forum, if you have one. Otherwise, start one. Always be helpful and informative when answering questions, and never promote yourself. If you are selling or appear to be sales-oriented, you will turn people off. Be a resource, someone people can turn to for advice.
4. Share 10 times more than ever: The concept here is to be a giver. You must tell yourself that if you do not ask, you will receive. It may seem like a contradiction, but that’s the magic of social media as a vehicle for lead generation. If you push online, you push people away. Instead, give. Provide details about a class action settlement for faulty roofs, share stories about how to alleviate a pest problem that only reoccurs every few years in the summer, or answer questions people have about the problem. buying a house before theirs sells. People will look to you for advice and eventually for their business.
5. Visit every house you can: The four most important words a buyer or seller will ever hear are “I know this house” when they call you to ask you to represent them. You have to know literally every house in your neighborhood. Visit every home, whether it’s a broker or office tour, open house, FSBO (for sale by owner), or block party. And take notes – the details you can remember about each floor plan, unique and notable features of the home, major drawbacks, the lot or yard, and even how much sunlight it gets or doesn’t get. due to the position of the house and the trees surrounding it, can make you the expert with an added advantage.
Dominating a district takes time. It can take years. But in today’s digital marketing world, mainly due to social media channels and the focus of your marketing, it will only take years not decades because you don’t rely on postcards and the U.S. Postal Service to weave your way through the decades in people’s memory. .
Do not mistake yourself; every agent always wants to be the one whose magnet is on the fridge inside everyone’s house. But the problem is, it’s a pretty expensive way to start a business – and most homes these days have stainless steel refrigerators, and those magnets, well, they don’t stick. But you better believe the owners of these homes have Facebook.