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5 Ways to Market the Neighborhoods You Serve

March 03 2016

neighborhood city 1Real estate professionals have heard so much about becoming a "local expert," that by now it's become a cliche. However, the reason agents are so frequently offered this advice is because it fulfills a consumer need--the need for neighborhood specific information.

It makes sense when you think about it. Before a consumer zeroes in on the home they want to buy, they already have an idea of the neighborhood they'd like to live in. They may be attracted to the schools of a particular area, its proximity to work, or the lifestyle it offers.

Regardless of what interests prospects about an area, it's to your benefit to provide as much information as possible. Focused local content is a potent lead generator because it gives buyers exactly what they want. What's more, it helps you edge out the big portal sites, thanks to their inability to offer this kind of information.

If you're stumped on where to start, we've got a few ideas to get you going:

  • Community Information and Demographics - If you offer nothing else, make sure you provide web visitors with basic information about a neighborhood. This can include population size, median home price, and school district information. If there's a predominant style of architecture in your area (ranches, mid-century, Victorians with mature trees), mention that. Links to community resources like newspapers and attractions are helpful, too.
  • Information Rich Maps - When buyers are trying to get a sense of an area, they often want to know what's nearby. Is it convenient to restaurants and shopping? Does it have easy access to freeways for easier commuting? The more information a map provides, the more useful it is. Does it offer street-level view? Can prospects see and click on all active listings on your map? These are all questions to consider when choosing a map solution.
  • Video and Virtual Tours - While a map is a great way to begin getting to know an area, soon consumers want more. What lifestyle does your neighborhood offer? You can provide prospects a more intimate view with neighborhood videos and virtual tours. Go out and take snapshots of your area and use them to create a virtual tour. If you have a camera or phone with video capabilities, don't hesitate to create short videos highlighting a local event, for example, or a walking tour of your area.
  • Social Media and Blogs - Your blog and social networks aren't just for sharing your listings! Both are great channels for distributing time-sensitive information like events or where to vote in an upcoming election. After all, it's easy for buyers new to an area to feel lost when looking for things to do. Be their guide by sharing your knowledge of neighborhood events.
  • Offline Channels - We know--the Web is an easy, cost-effective way to reach buyers. But don't overlook offline methods. Sharing your local knowledge can be as simple as sending out a calendar of community events and important dates to your contacts.

Tying It All Together

Now that you have all of these local content ideas, where should you implement them? An easy way to begin is by creating neighborhood specific pages on your agent website. Don't mash all of the areas you serve into one page, though. Make sure every locale has its own page. This allows the content to breathe and prevents consumers from being overwhelmed with information. You can boost your site's SEO, too, by making sure the name of the neighborhood is prominent in the URL.

If you plan on offering more than just basic information, consider creating a website just for a local area. It's an effective way to introduce prospects to a neighborhood and your services without subjecting them to a "hard sell."

Spread the Word!

Once you have your neighborhood page or website up and running, how do you attract buyers? You can begin by sharing your page or site on your social channels, but if you're looking for a less passive method, consider implementing a PPC advertising campaign.

Neighborhood sites are particularly effective for this. They can serve as the landing page for campaigns where you bid on community specific keywords (e.g., "Homes in X Neighborhood," "Buying X Neighborhood Homes," "X Neighborhood Homes for Sale").

Visitors who click on your ad will appreciate that the page linked to the ad is directly related to the keyword searched. It's an easy first step to earning their trust, thus increasing the chance of them contacting you to learn more about area listings.