When you travel half way around the world you’re guaranteed to get two things: time to think and a sore butt. Fortunately for you in this article I’ll be sharing an item I thought about and not issues of my rear end.
To fill you in, I spent a good chunk of February teaching workshops in the land down under – Australia. Simply beautiful. If you’ve never been, go. But beware, it’s a 20-hour flight.
Being that far from home made me think a lot about, well, home. More specifically, I thought about the importance of proximity and what’s near us. The old saying goes, “All news is local.” That’s true because what’s close to us matters most to us. On my trip I learned a lot about Australians’ real estate issues – the local laws and regulations – items of obvious importance to them.
This topic of proximity is especially relevant for Realtors because the more of a local resource you are, the better off you’ll be. Why? Because perhaps more than anything, your potential customers want and need local expertise. NAR says 69 percent of home shoppers start searches with local terms. And Google reports 80 percent of consumers want search results to be customized to their immediate surroundings.
Being a local expert jacks up your value as an agent. Frankly, it can mean the difference between winning and losing sales. So how do you become the local expert in real estate? The good news is there are steps you can take to transform yourself into that expert.
1. Supply useful content – One of the fastest-growing marketing strategies is providing helpful content. Fill your website and social media posts with info on your farm area, the community, housing policies, coffee shops, restaurants and bookstores, community meetings, community theater shows, farmer’s markets and concerts. Picture two marketing mailers: One wishes readers a Happy Mother’s Day and other shares the listing prices of readers’ neighborhood homes. Which one wins?
2. Localize national news – One great way to improve the quality of the information you share on your website and social media posts is to learn to localize national news. Every day we’re flooded with national stories about what’s happening in real estate. Give them a local slant. When NAR releases housing sales data, localize the data for your city. Explain how this relates to locals and you paint yourself as the subject-matter expert.
3. Partner with local businesses – Become a local expert by knowing the best local experts in key industries. All local businesses are in the same boat – they need sales. So why not leverage your relationship with local vendors. Build and share a list of other pros–attorneys, mortgage brokers, electricians — even restauranteurs and florists – the possibilities are nearly endless. And establishing these relationships creates a mutual pipeline back to you. Just be selective. If they do a bad job, it reflects on you.
Share what’s on your mind. Do you see yourself as a local expert? If not, do you believe it would help your business if you were viewed as one? If so, what’s keeping you from starting today to brand yourself as the go-to-local expert?
Bubba Mills is executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems for residential REALTOR, mortgage brokers and real estate companies.