The HyperLocal Broker


HyperLocal Broker

Who would you trust to perform brain surgery:  A brain surgeon or a general practitioner? If someone were considering buying or selling a home, would just any broker do or would they prefer to work with someone with heightened knowledge about zoning, planning, builders, and local businesses in the particular neighborhood they were buying or selling in?

Market times have dwindled due to increased buyer demand, leaving sellers tempted to sell their property on their own.  Brokers are also dealing with increased competition from discount brokerages so it is critical that full-service brokers articulate their value in order to stand out. Becoming a hyperlocal broker can give you that competitive edge.
There are a number of ways to capitalize on your strengths in your journey to becoming the go-to resource for real estate in your community. Whether your preference is to be out and about or in your slippers crunching numbers, there is a plan for you!

The Out-And-About Broker

If you derive energy from being around people and sharing ideas, getting involved with the movers and shakers who contribute to your community through elected positions or service and volunteering will give you valuable insight into your locale’s plans for the future and will help you make key connections.

Consider the following opportunities:

Get involved in your local planning department - This puts you in the unique position to learn about your community’s plans for growth (and know if your town’s four-story buildings of today are slated to become the 10 story buildings of 2025). 

Get to know the neighborhood business owners - I have a few clients who highlight one each month in their mailers or on their blog. It is a great way to build relationships, get to know the local businesses, and introduce yourself to their clientele in the process.

Get involved in your community’s homeowner association or neighborhood associations.
Join the Chamber of Commerce.

Volunteer for local community events - Think about your focused local community and what opportunities are available. Art walks, local festivals and fairs are all great opportunities to make connections.

Find a great fit for your interests - If you like to bike, volunteering to increase awareness around bike lanes in your neighborhood may be the activity for you. If architecture is more your thing, stop into your local museum and find a group that is involved with historical homes in your community or perhaps volunteer at the museum itself. That is a great way to learn about the local history and makes you that much more valuable to your buyers when you are standing in front of a house they are about to view and you can tell them about how their neighborhood developed over the decades.

Once you really start to think about your interests, the opportunities available in your community to connect with others and make a difference, you may be surprised at how your life-and business—is enriched.

The Number Cruncher

The goal is not to become a hermit in your quest to obtain data. Instead, choose a few things to track from this list and create a binder or digital portfolio of this information that you update as new information comes available. Bring this binder or digital portfolio with you to listing presentations, open houses, and any meetings with clients. You may not use it each time, but it is there in the event you need to reference something and your clients should acknowledge your efforts to go the extra mile in obtaining local knowledge. You can also use this information in a mailer, blog, or as small snippets on a community forum or Facebook page.

Below are just a few suggestions of the types of data to track:

Market Stats – Determine what areas/price points/types of housing you want to track and compile median sales prices, active listings, pending listings, and solds for each month. Start by going back at least two years. You can also track days on market and list-to-sales price ratios as those are also strong indicators of a market’s demand.
Listing and Pending Ratios – In order to keep your finger on the pulse of demand for a neighborhood, price point, or style of home, keep track of the number of homes that were for sale that week and how many new pendings occurred. For example, if you have a market with 10 listings and 8 of those pend in a given week, you have a market with very high demand and sellers who are planning to list should price accordingly. However, if you have a market with 10 listings and only one of them pends, you and the seller should employ a different strategy. 

Farming Market Data Compilation – If you are specializing in a farm area, compile listing/pending/sold data for the farm for the last three years. Not only will it help you understand the market trends in your farm, but when you are at a listing presentation and your seller indicates a neighbor sold their home for x and therefore they should get x, you can reference your material, find the property, compare the condition of the two homes, note the dates pended and sold, and talk about how the market has changed (if it has).

Economic Factors – Since the economic and real estate markets are closely related, keeping track of economic and area indicators such as population growth, employment information and unemployment numbers, business permits, closures, expansion plans, and major employers and industries will help you feel more confident when discussing your area’s overall health.

New Construction – Who are the builders in your community? What land is slated for development? What is actively being built and what are the housing specs and amenities for each development? New construction is another great community health indicator.

There are probably as many other ways to connect in a community as there are communities. Utilizing personal connections or market knowledge are two important strategies you can employ to become the go-to hyperlocal real estate resource.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings over two decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the go-to for all things “real estate.” Visit www.thelonesgroup.com for more information.

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