Whether a client is buying or selling — everyone wants to work with an expert who knows a neighborhood inside and out. No one wants a know-nothing-newbie.
So, what do you do if you’re new to the business and want to build clientele in a neighborhood that you might not know well? It’s time to dig in. Here are three tips to help you become a neighborhood expert.
1. Look at comps, comps, comps
The best and quickest way to get up to speed and find out the most valuable information for a prospective client is to pull comps.
Get on the MLS and your local property appraiser’s website to check out sale prices, listing photos and other important details, so you can get a good sense of what homes are selling for, how long they take to sell, price points within the neighborhood, etc.
While you’re doing your research online, go ahead and check out the school ratings, which could be crucial for a buyer.
2. Do a drive-by
There’s no better way to find out how walkable the area is, the condition of the housing inventory, traffic patterns and how many parks, coffee shops, grocery stores and other amenities are in the area.
Get fanatic about the neighborhood, and you’ll know where to find the prettiest views and the best restaurants.
If you’re hungry, go to dinner in that neighborhood. Live like a local, and discover the best spots so you can help buyers find the perfect home and help sellers best market their place.
3. Pull the demographic info
Don’t take your stalker hat off just yet — demographic information is widely available by ZIP code through several websites, including the U.S. Census Bureau.
By knowing the basic breakdown of a neighborhood by facts such as population, age, sex and other factors, you’ll have a good idea how to best market to people who live there.
For example, if property owners’ ages skew younger, you might want to use social media to market to prospective clients. If it skews older or more affluent, you might want to use more traditional printed postcard mailers or lifestyle magazines.
Religiously use these tips and you will surely be a neighborhood expert in no time at all.