This is a time like no other in the 30 years I have been a real estate broker, but we have adapted before, and we’re in the middle of doing it again. One way my agents are making the most of these unprecedented times and staying connected with buyers is by coming up with digital offerings they can tailor to their clients so that they stay top of mind.
Since real estate agents differentiate themselves by becoming neighborhood specialists, now is an opportune time to do some research into what is being said about the neighborhoods in your market so that you can come up with more localized knowledge. Most real estate information sites have automated systems that pull information from public databases in order to populate their own custom-branded site, but the information is typically just hard facts, such as the drive time from the house to certain places or how walkable a neighborhood is. There’s nothing that tells potential buyers where the best dog parks are for large dogs, or the best place to go for dinner with the kids and grandparents.
If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, it will pay off if you spend a few hours looking at what information sites across the web have about the places where you specialize. Then, brainstorm information and anecdotes that you have learned during the time you have worked in those areas and come up with a master document that you can save on your computer. This will be a handy resource you can pull up when chatting with clients or use as a reference when emailing personalized recommendations.
Taking this one step further, you can even plot locations on a custom Google Map. This allows you to add as many pins as you would like to a map and then provide comments for each one. Creating a custom Google Map is a great way to subtly promote more of your brand by adding personal anecdotes. For example, if your kids enjoy spending time at a certain park in the area, or you took them to a specific place to teach them how to ride a bike, be sure to include this information inside the comment box for that specific map pin. If your clients love architecture, you could even create a house tour map that shows them the exact location of cool houses they can drive (or walk) to if they’re looking to get out of the house and check out the local architecture. The houses you pinpoint don’t have to be on the market, but if your clients are going to check out the neighborhood anyway, it will go a long way toward showing them that you not only know the neighborhood, but also understand their interests.
While these times are like no other, they don’t have to defeat us. As we slowly work toward reopening the economy, put your time to good use by showing off your neighborhood knowledge and using it to stay connected to your clients.
Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom. For more information, please visit www.shelterzoom.com.