If you’re in the business of real estate, then it’s time to start thinking about how you can build your business on community. It’s no secret that real estate agents have many ways to build a business, but by becoming a part of your community you become the go-to resource for your community. That’s a valuable position to be in, and it’ll help you build a successful business in the long run. Here are some tips on how to get started.
Why community is important for Real Estate Agents
Being a real estate agent is not just about selling homes. The job of a real estate agent involves understanding the communities you serve and why people want to live there. What better way to understand a community than to be an active participant? Getting involved in your community can take on many forms and it is up to you to figure out what works best for you. Let’s discuss some ways you can make an impact on your community and what it can mean for you personally and professionally.
First let’s answer the question of why this is important. When working with potential buyers they will have many questions about schools, activities, commuting, quality of life and what its like to live in a particular area. By immersing yourself in the community you become better equipped to answer those questions and help those buyers find the right community for them.
Are they interested in community events, shopping, athletics, or volunteerism? Do they have kids that want to know about scouting, or academic programs or childcare? By having a better understanding of what a community offers you can be a better guide for your clients.
How Can You Get Involved?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what do I enjoy doing? This will help you look into opportunities in your community. Here are a some ideas to think about when deciding what to get involved with.
- Join a Club
- Attend local programs or workshops
- Run for Office
- get involved in your church
- Join the PTO
- Attend mayor and council meetings
- Run for the Board of Education
These are just a few of the things that you can think about to get involved and we will discuss a few of them to give you more context and idea.
Volunteering offers an array of opportunities to make your community a better place – and even gain new skills and friends in the process. From coaching sports teams, helping out at local libraries or churches, volunteering within schools, there’s something for everyone interested in lending their time and energy to benefit those around them. With every volunteer effort comes unexpected rewards too; from having a direct impact on personal achievements of others to discovering more about what’s available locally – all while connecting you with like-minded neighbors! You will also be getting first hand knowledge of what options are available and how others can get involved.
Coaching youth sports has been an integral part of my adult life and has brought me new opportunities and new friendships. To be a coach you don’t necessarily need to be the best athlete or have years of experience. Youth clubs always need dedicated volunteers to help run teams, facilitate practices, and other support functions. You can also look to help at the club level through scheduling, registrations, and leadership. Not much can compare to watching kids grow to love sports and learn the discipline it takes to succeed.
In any community there are myriads of opportunities to volunteer so take the time to look into what is available, figure out what you are interested in and get started.
Join a Club
In any community there are groups of like minded people who like to get together and enjoy common experiences. Options might be afan club for a local sports team, a historical society that celebrates local history, a women’s club that hosts different events during the year or a hiking club that explores local hiking spots. And if you don’t find a club that suits your interests you can always gage interest and start your own.
With clubs you are meeting people who you know have some common interests and can help break the ice to meeting new people. these new relationships can open new opportunities to get involved in different events or organizations nearby.
Get Involved with Local Government
Let me start right off the bat with…you don’t need to run for office to be involved with local government! But if you want to there are opportunities for you. Local government has many opportunities for those looking to get involved. As a real estate agent I jumped at the opportunity to join our municipal land use board. The board is responsible for hearing cases on zoning and planning. This includes residents looking to do renovations like additions, adding decks and installing swimming pools but it also includes planning changes like new developments. This is a great way to keep up with what is going on with the community and to understand what is entailed with doing work to properties and what is allowed.
Local governments also have recreation committees, finance committees, and beautification committees that you can join. there are many ways to get involved with your government and not hold office.
Give Back to Your Community
Giving back to your community is a great way to gain visibility for your business while helping others. The simplest way to do this is to sponsor local programs. This could be the local little league, a running race in town, or the holiday tree lighting. Towns and organizations rely on local businesses to help support them and to provide the programs they run. Typically organizations will have banners with sponsors or put sponsors on team jerseys to get you more name recognition.
You can also create events to aid those in your community. We have run a coat drive every year that has collected hundreds of coats for those in need in our state. This has grown year to year and been a huge success while helping neighbors clean out their closets. we have also done a pet photo day to benefit the local animal shelter and collected school supplies for the Boys and Girls Club. there are so many opportunities with this, just look at the needs of you area and get started.
Start a Local Facebook Group
Facebook groups can be part great information and part space for the community to vent about local issues. They are the modern day water cooler where information is shared about local events, neighbors inquire about the best local tradesmen, and where they stay connected. But they can also be a place to debate hot topics like school developments or new buildings being proposed. To run a local Facebook group you will need patience and be part moderator.
Before you get started you first need to find out if there is already a group for your neighborhood which can be done with a simple search on Facebook. Even if there is one already it may not be active or may not be providing the necessary info that residents need. If you see an opportunity you still need to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost Facebook groups take a tremendous amount of work to create and to keep current. With any group you need members to make it successful. If you already are established in your community you can start with inviting everyone you know to join then have them invite their friends. But having members is only one part of the equation. To keep people there and to attract new members you need to provide content for the group. To do this you should like every business and organization in town to keep up to date with happenings. When you see events or good stories share them to the group. This will make your group the go to place for local information. Instead of having to following all of the businesses and organizations group members can just participate in your group. By having active members you will encourage engagement with your posts.
Another way to increase engagement and attract new members is to create engaging content. This could be a poll to find the best restaurant in town where yo give away a gift card to someone who recommends a restaurant. This could also be asking questions about why they moved to town, or what their favorite hiking spot is or their favorite day trip. these topics will again drive ore engagement and make it an attractive group for other residents to join.
In creating the group you also need to set rules and stick to them. Will you allow businesses to post? If so you should set limits to how often they can post. Yo should also lay out expectations on proper etiquette and avoid bullying or name calling. Conversations can get heated but everyone needs to show respect for their neighbors. having specific expectations sets the tone when members join and makes it easier to temper conversations by pointing out the rules they agree to when joining.
You also need to decide how much if any you will share information about your business. The last thing you want is people looking at the group as simply a place for you to share listings. I have a rule in my group that real estate agents can only share listings that are in our town and businesses can only share sales and special events. This keeps the topics based on what is happening in town and not on simply promoting myself or other businesses.
If you do start a group always keep in mind it is for the benefit of your community that can help benefit your business. Keep an eye on engagement and learn from posts that are successful so you can continue to add posts that not only benefit the members but also drive people to comment and get involved.
Showcase Local Businesses
Whether you live in the neighborhood or are doing research on where to buy people love to hear about local businesses. So sharing information on local businesses can be great content for any real estate agent looking to engage with their community.
To get started you should create a list of local businesses and curate information on them. You can start with the most engaging topic of food and drink. people love to hear about the new restaurant or night life spot so that can be the best place to start. You can create a list of restaurants and bars to display on your website but even better would be to approach the business to do a spotlight on them. It doesn’t need to be a high production video as long as you share information that people will want to watch.
Once you decide to do a business spotlight video you will need to identify a good place to start. Maybe you know the local restaurant owner or florist or book store or know someone who does. start a conversation with them and sell them on the idea of spotlighting them. The video should be free to the business and offer a way to get their information to their potential customers. Videos can be a sit down with the owner or manager or highlights of the business with you sharing what they offer and how to find them. If you don’t have video skills you can hire a videographer but that will obviously incur costs for you. the simple way to start is with the phone in your pocket!
Once you have created the video you need to get it to the masses through Facebook, Instagram, email, YouTube, and another medium you have to share to. A good idea would be to get a gift card to the business as an incentive for people to share or comment on the video. This will help get more engagement and get at least one new customer through the door.