Alright, so you just got your real estate license and now you’re trying to acquire your first client. You start by telling your entire family and post something on Facebook about how you’re the new Hot-Shot agent in town, hoping that you might land a client. A few months go by and you’re stilling looking to land your first client, where should you be spending your time and energy to get the highest return on the investment?
By far, the most effective and underutilized strategy for consistently growing your business is to specialize in a niche and become an expert at it. So, here’s your new plan, starting today!
Choose a neighborhood in your market, establish yourself as an expert in that neighborhood and become the premier agent in that neighborhood. The reason it sounds simple is because, well, it is! As new agents, sometimes we can typically scatter our efforts in too many directions being a jack of all trades, but being in an expert in none of them.
According to NAR 2017 Home Buyer Report, 42% of buyers used an agent that was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative. 12% used an agent that they had worked with in the past to buy or sell a home.
No matter what you might hear, there has never been a better time to become a real estate agent that in 2018! Almost every buyer relies on an agent to help them find their perfect home!
How do Buyers and Sellers Choose a Neighborhood:
Think about it, if you were shopping around for a new doctor or even a financial analyst, you’re going to trust an experienced Doctor or Financial Analyst, not someone who lacks expert knowledge and experience. Home buyers and sellers want to work with an experienced agent who is an expert in their dream neighborhoods. They want to rely on someone who can guide them through the homeownership process. Every client is going to rely on your expertise, your knowledge of the neighborhood, and to get them the best possible deal.
The top 3 factors from home buyers when considering a home are:
- Quality of the Neighborhood @ 60%
- Convenience to Job Location @ 43%
- Home Affordability @ 40%
Your expert knowledge of the neighborhood creates leverage when going up against more veteran agents. You can use the perception of your brand to help persuade the prospective client to work with you by establishing yourself as a neighborhood expert.
Branding Yourself as a Neighborhood Expert creates leverage by:
- Differentiating yourself from the competitors with more experience, higher profile transactions, and large teams, but with little to no neighborhood knowledge.
- Builds relationships strategically with different local businesses and residents.
- Effectively promote to different segments in your market.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never sold real estate before or if you’re a 30 year vet, this strategy should be your top priority over the next 12-15 months.
Step 1: Become the neighborhood expert of the specific neighborhood that you’ve chosen to farm and establish your career one relationship at a time in that neighborhood.
Step 2: Brand yourself offline and online as a passionate community advocate who cares about the growth of the community and the people of the community.
Step 3: Develop and create the resources and tools that are required to create deep and meaningful content that provides value unlike any other to your local residents, homeowners, and businesses.
Tips to Brand Yourself as a Neighborhood Expert
The most important factor in this marketing strategy is that it is going to take a lot of work to establish yourself as an expert, but because of the work you put in during this 12-15 month, the rewards can lost 12-15 years in the future
Focus your energy to what you know best, that is typically where you live or work. Real Estate agents need to develop relationships with business in their local market. Buyers and sellers constantly prefer an agent who has comprehensive knowledge about the market. If you’ve already developed a relationship with your community, it will be easier to brand yourself as an expert in your local market.
Facebook Community Groups
Social media is a valuable resource for local information. By joining a local group, you can stay informed of some of the latest news, be a part of some of the local events, and engage with the community. Find areas in the local community that need work and find ways to provide value.
Become a Local Volunteer
Volunteering can be beneficial in many ways! Find an activity that you’re very passionate about and become a volunteer in the area that you farm. Volunteering includes religious groups, working with children, local sports community or even local groups who are looking for volunteers.
Create a Interview Based Podcast or Blog
Podcasts have been on the raise over the last 5 years and it’s never been easier to start a podcast than in 2018. Reach out to business owners of local businesses, community legends, or long-time residents and interview them. Feature them in your podcasts, record them, and write a blog on your website. Promote these interviews all over social media and build awareness and generate interest.
Facebook Live Tutorial / Q & A
Use Facebook Live to engage with your local community by hosting a Q&A seminar or tutorial. For example, a Home Buyers Q&A with a local lender is a great way to engage with your sphere of influence, community, and prospective clients in your database. By conducting a Live interview based content, you can easily establish yourself as an expert in your neighborhood!
It’s important to know your prospective client’s behavior when you’re trying to engage with them. If you know that they’re going to spend more time researching the neighborhood they want to live than they will researching real estate agents, your marketing efforts should be tailored towards neighborhood content vs. agent content.
You’re not going to be the only agent that is farming that specific area, but by branding yourself as the expert in this neighborhood, all of the leverage will be in your back pocket! Building awareness as a neighborhood expert takes time, hard work, and consistency. You may not see the ROI for 12 months, but after that 12-15 month period of consistent efforts, the ROI will 10x in under 3 months.
Your presence online should convey a consistent message to your prospects, letting them know that you’re able to be their best real estate choice, but also a dedicated and informed expert in your community.
Choose a niche. Master that niche. Work hard, CONSISTENTLY. Become the expert your neighborhood needs!