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Selling The Neighborhood

January 06 2014

It's all about the neighborhood! According to the 2013 NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, the quality of the neighborhood has been consistently cited by buyers as one of the top factor influencing their purchase decision. Different buyers are looking for different things, at different life stages. For example, married couples and those with children put a high priority on the quality of schools, while unmarried couples consider the proximity to work and the overall design of the neighborhood.

Are you farming hot neighborhoods?

Before you begin farming, make sure you have the right data so you are targeting the right neighborhood and the right properties. There are a number of websites that will help you gather information about a neighborhood including assessing the residential turnover rate to see if the opportunity is ripe for the picking.

ListHub's online marketing reports can share which properties are most popular with online consumers. The Property Categories Report details what type of property (i.e. – rental, single family, etc.) and in what price range online buyers are searching for within your listing inventory. By using this data you can determine what homes and areas are most popular with buyers to focus your efforts to get this biggest bang for your bucket.

listhub 201401 chart

*Sample of ListHub's Top Property Category Report

So What Makes a Neighborhood Special?

There are a lot of factors that come into play when defining a neighborhood including the geographic, demographic, and social characteristics of the neighborhood. The type of location (i.e. urban, suburban, rural, etc.), street layout and connectivity, and the economic, social, and ethnic diversity all come into play when considering what makes a neighborhood unique. When marketing a listing, whether online or offline, it's important to emphasize the characteristics that make each neighborhood unique and desirable to prospective buyers.

Fortunately, in the information age, there are plenty of resources available to help make "selling the neighborhood" a bit easier. Knowing the details of the neighborhood is sure to impress seller clients and help to sell the home faster by reaching those buyers who are neighborhood-concise (which is most!).

listhub 201401 delTo start let's build a quick Neighborhood Profile to share with potential buyers, as well as to use at listing presentations to win more listings. In this example we will use the neighborhood of Del Ray, a thriving community located in Alexandria, Virginia, just outside of Washington D.C.

A good place to begin gathering information is the US Census Bureau's Community Fact FinderCommunity Fact Finder. Here you can search any zip code to find local demographics about a neighborhood. In the Del Ray neighborhood, for example, over 50% of the neighborhood is married and 30% have children in elementary school. This would make Del Ray highly desirable to a couple with young children looking to buy their first home. By building a story about the neighborhood you are helping buyers to picture themselves not only living in the house, but being a part of the community.

Other free tools to help build a Neighborhood Profile:

  • NeighborhoodScout.comNeighborhoodScout.com is a great resource for demographic and lifestyle information about a neighborhood. While there are some paid enhancements on this site to "unlock" for more information, you can find more than what you need without paying a dime.

  • HomeFair.comHomeFair.com provides a city profile report that gives you a snapshot of demographics, finances, economics and other quality-of-life factors.

  • Yelp.comYelp.com might seem likely unlikely place to look but it's a great tool to find favorite restaurants, retail stores, and other neighborhood amenities that people really like. This adds a really personal touch!

  • WalkScoreWalkScore is a website dedicated to promoting walkable (and bikable!) neighborhoods. For health, environmental, and economic reasons a neighborhood's WalkScore can be an important factor for some buyers. The site also includes a list of local parks, nearby public transportation, and other 'walkable' neighborhood establishments.

Download a sample of our Neighborhood Profile and our free template to use in creating your own Neighborhood Profile for your listing presentations and marketing materials.

Don't forget when you are entering your listing into the MLS to 'sell the neighborhood.' Use the remarks section to add information about local shopping, schools, or other neighborhood features that might stand out to a buyer. Consider including a copy of your Neighborhood Profile as a resource for prospective buyers on the listing detail page, or in your follow up email. You may even want to create a short video highlighting some of local attractions.

By using data you can make smarter marketing decisions and give yourself a competitive advantage in 2014!