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Become a Neighbourhood Expert: Building Trust and Reputation
Being an expert in the real estate industry is not about being able to sell as many homes in as many neighbourhoods as possible. Instead, agents should focus on becoming neighbourhood experts; knowing everything there is to know about a specific location and being the go-to person for all sales in that area. No one can be the expert of all areas, and those who try end up giving sub-par service to their clients and spreading themselves too thin. A true real estate pro will work on a niche market and be the “known expert” in that area. They know this will serve them as an advantage down the road. When you can provide interested buyers with the details only the locals would know, you are giving them information they cannot just find on the MLS, and this builds trust with clients.
Take a look at exactly how you can start to build a reputation in your targeted neighbourhood area.
1. Host Open Houses
The first thing we learn during our training to become licensed agents is that the primary goal of an open house is to obtain the information of interested buyers in the area in the hopes to grow our client base. But an open house is also great for many other reasons, including giving you a captive audience to show off your neighbourhood expertise. Use these intimate and intentional meetings to show buyers and sellers that you have in-depth knowledge of the local area. When word gets out that you know the area like a local, buyers and sellers will come to you for inside information and trust you with their real estate questions.
2. Market Yourself As A Neighbourhood Expert
If you are going to be known as a local neighbourhood expert, you have to get your name out there. This can be done in a variety of ways, some conventional and some on the more creative side. Reaching out to various media outlets and offering to be a resource for their next real estate article, discussion or podcast, or even offering to submit a guest post to their publication is a great way for them to get new content and for you to get exposure.
Your marketing strategy should center around the idea that you are a neighbourhood expert; that you know the best happy hour spots, the quickest way to get to the nearest skytrain or bus station, the most trendy local restaurants, how the local schools are performing and any other useful details that will help buyers get a better understanding of the area. When people feel like they are working with an expert who is also a local, they feel as though they are getting the best of both worlds. All of your marketing avenues should focus on your expertise and in-depth knowledge of the area in order to make buyers feel like they are getting a great advantage by working with someone who knows the area well.
3. Keep On Networking
One of the best ways to get to know a neighbourhood is to connect with the people and businesses that occupy it. Spend some time each weekend walking into local stores and restaurants. Introduce yourself and ask if you can leave a business card in their place of business. Talk about partnering to host a neighbourhood event, such as a block party or movie night. If your area hosts a weekly Farmer’s Market, get up early and talk with the local vendors who rent booths there. When you are intentional about knowing the people of the community, you will naturally begin to understand the dynamic of the neighbourhood in a brand new way.
The only way you can have an advantage over the competition is to actually have the inside information. The more community events you attend, the more opportunities you have to network with people who can help give you a better understanding of the neighbourhood.
4. Get To Know Local Builders
Part of being a neighbourhood expert is knowing all of the new developments that are planned for the area. Be sure to know who is building them and what they will be offering. Make your rounds to new developments and introduce yourself and ask about their upcoming projects. Make it your mission to visit every new build site in your area. Moreover, allow people to follow your social media. Knowing who is building what and where will help you quickly and effectively suggest a new development for eager buyers when they ask.
5. Start to Blog
These days, potential clients will decide whether or not to use your professional services based on your online presence. This includes how active you are on social media, the aesthetics of your website and the content of your blog. Done correctly, your blog could blossom into the “go-to” spot for any local events in the area. If you are going to blog, make it consistent. A half-done, semi-managed blog is worse than no blog at all. Some ideas for your blog to help you shine as a neighbourhood expert include:
- Best places for sushi in Yaletown
- Coolest spots for an Instagram selfie in Olympic Village
- Best daycares in Coal Harbour
- Gastown’s top restaurants
- Five awesome places in Mount Pleasant with free Wifi and Coffee
- Four up and coming new developments in West End
- 12 reasons to buy a condo in Vancouver
If you do not have the time or schedule to keep up with a neighbourhood blog, consider hiring someone to do it for you. It is THAT important.
6. Become Familiar With The Details
Driving into a specific neighbourhood every morning and out every afternoon is not enough to make you an expert. If you want to truly get to know the neighbourhood, you must visit at different times of the day and week. It would help if you drove through it and walked through it. It would be best if you experienced what it is like during the weekends. See when there are special events nearby. Experience activities at night. There is no way you can truly consider yourself an expert until you have experienced what is it like to get in and out of the area in different circumstances.
Be aware of who is buying in your neighbourhood. You should be informed about issues that are important to this particular demographic. If your neighbourhood is seeing an increase in young professional buyers, be sure to tailor or that market. Do your research to find out the best local coffee shops with free WiFi, the quickest way to the Financial District. Furthermore, know best places to connect with other professionals after work. If your neighbourhood is attracting growing families, your focus should be on the best playgrounds and schools in the area. Not only so, you should be recommending the best family-friendly restaurants nearby and communities that host family-centered events. Part of being an expert is knowing your audience.
7. Be Focused On Figures
Crunch the numbers like it is your job- because it is. Be relentless in your market analysis, run through the prices and information for every sub-sector in every direction of your specific area. Be up to date on new builds and their projected timelines, and be continually running CMAs to compare properties in the area. Do your research so that when an interested buyer asks about compatible properties, you can respond with confidence. If you appear well-versed and knowledgeable about the area, clients are much more likely to trust that you will provide them with everything they need to know about the home they want to buy.
8. Knowing Your Why
Understanding why it is essential to be a neighbourhood expert is just as important as knowing how to be a neighbourhood expert. The agents who do not bother getting to know their neighbourhoods are only doing themselves and their potential clients a disservice.
Becoming a neighbourhood expert allows you to connect with the members of the community and extend your network of resources. It also helps to create that emotional connection in the buyer that is often lost in the traditional real estate process. When you are known as the expert in the area, both buyers and sellers will know to come to you for their real estate needs.
Becoming An Expert Starts With Jovi Realty
Jovi Realty is real estate with a modern twist. We know how to equip agents with the tools and information that they need to be successful. Our innovative training academy gives agents everything they need to become a neighbourhood expert and dominate the local market. If you need direction on how to get started or help in discovering how to be a neighbourhood expert, contact Jovi Realty today!