More than anything, buyers and sellers want an agent with local market expertise. That means knowing the data. What’s selling? What’s coming on the market? What areas are getting hot? But it also means you know more than just data.
It means knowing your area and being an integral part of your local community. And while the following activities might not have much to do with buying and selling a property, they are intrinsically linked to showing your local expertise, as opposed to just saying you have it.
1. Attend local town council meetings.
Politics might seem polarizing, but the days of sidelined disengagement are over. No matter which side of the aisle you might like to sit on, the important part is showing up.
Because almost everything the council discusses will affect your business. From sewers to the arts to schools to potholes -- these are the things that make living in your community pleasant or painful. And you are the person who helps people that live in your community.
As a real estate professional, you can also speak for your clients -- the constituents of your community. You know what their concerns are, and you can convey those to the people who make the decisions.
You don’t have to run for office or serve on committees. But showing up and taking part in the dialogue is a powerful statement about your commitment to your local community.
2. Support a local kids sports team
Few things say community like a kids sports team. Whether it’s swimming, baseball, gymnastics, la crosse… you name it. And if your town or local county has a sports program, they need your help. For a couple hundred dollars, you can sponsor their uniforms for the whole season or help underwrite an out of town competition.
You can even help them celebrate the end of the season with an ice cream and pizza party. The kids themselves won’t give much thought to who made it possible, much less that it was a local real estate agent. But their parents sure will.
3. Create and manage a local community calendar
A little organization goes a long way. A simple Google calendar that anyone can use is a helpful, useful ‘give’ that people will always associate you with when they view it.
This local calendar should include the normal holidays, but should be really specific to your area. Add events such as festivals, music performances and sporting events. Not just the major teams -- include the local softball league or pickleball tournament! You can highlight sidewalk sales for local businesses or fun runs for organizations. And you can include your own open houses and client appreciation events.
How public calendars work
When you make a calendar public, other people can:
- See your public calendar on a website. If this website is searchable, people can find your calendar in search results.
- Sync your calendar with other applications.
- Subscribe to your public calendar and see it in Google Calendar.
When you make a calendar public, you can choose to let other people see all the event details or just when you are free or busy.
Embed the calendar on your real estate web site. Or put a link to it in your email signature. Here’s how to find the address of your google calendar:
About the Calendar Address
A Calendar Address is the public link to your calendar. You can share the Calendar Address so people can view your calendar in a web browser, Google Calendar, or another application:
- Web browser (HTML): Other people can view your calendar directly in their browser window, like Chrome or Firefox, without signing in to Google Calendar.
- Google Calendar (ICAL): Other people who are signed in to Google Calendar can add your public calendar.
- Another application ( ICAL): Other people can view and subscribe to your calendar using calendar applications like Outlook or Apple Calendar.
How the Private Address is different
The "Calendar Address" is for sharing publicly, but the "Private Address" next to it isn't meant to be shared with anyone. Learn more about the Private Address.
Get the Calendar Address for your public calendar
After you've shared your calendar, share the Calendar Address so that people can view your calendar in a web browser, Google Calendar, or another application.
- On a computer, open Google Calendar.
- In the top right, click Settings Settings.
- Open the Calendars tab.
- Click the name of the calendar you want to share.
- In the "Calendar Address" section, click ICAL or HTML. Learn more in the "About the Calendar Address" section above.
- A window with your calendar's public web address will appear. Copy this link to share your calendar.
Google calendars are easy to keep updated. Local folks might even start sending you events to add to it!
4. Join a local Facebook group
There are Facebook groups for everything these days, and there are probably several dedicated to issues and interests in and around your town. Join them as a member, but don’t use them for marketing. At least not directly.
Take part in the conversations and be of value. Be a person first and foremost, not just a real estate agent.
As for marketing, you can do some targeting advertising to people who are members of those groups. Your ads won’t show within the group, but if the members see your ads and then see you contributing to the conversation, they’re more likely to associate you with local real estate.
Facebook groups dedicated to all things local are also valuable places to learn about new listings coming on the market. As people start to sell off belongings or hire contractors to get their house ready, you’ll be able to pick on those signals and act accordingly.
5. Find your local hashtags
Even if you’re not active on Twitter, you can use hashtags for social media. And knowing what hashtags have ‘legs’ makes all the difference.
Often people use silly, madeup hashtags as punctuation and asides. #thesedontcount. You want to find the local hashtags people use to find topics -- they’ll have your city or town’s name in them, maybe neighborhood specific. Spend some time on sites like http://hashtagify.me/ and see which ones you should include in your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram posts, so the right people find your content.
6. Share your thoughts on local listings with Relola
You know writing fresh local content is valuable for your real estate web site. Your site needs that content for search engines to find it, but managing a blog is often the last thing busy real estate agents can take on.
Local expertise is the sweet spot for Relola. You’re already out and about, touring the listings on the market in your area. With Relola, you share what you know about those listings by answering simple questions. Then with one click, the content goes to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn feeds, as well as your brokerage web site.
Your Insights on local listings are how you demonstrate your expertise. Buyers and sellers alike want to know your unique perspective on the property:
What did you love?
What would you change?
What kind of opportunity is there?
How’s the neighborhood?
Often the MLS data misses these kinds of details. Relola lets you capture your thoughts, share them and map them, all with one click. Learn more.
7. Give back to your local community
Depending where you live, there are several ways you can participate and help others do so as well. Single events that help organizations get attention, funds and resources are fun to put together and really help community-members get involved. Here are some ideas:
Host and promote a blood drive. Work with the Red Cross.
Collect books for kids. Donate to your local library, homeless shelter or pediatric hospital.
Plan a coat donation. The folks at One Warm Coat have all the steps mapped out, from where to collect coats to how to promote it.
Bring donuts to the first responders. EMS and Firefighters are the first on the scene when something goes wrong. And a little sugar goes a long way!