Are you ready to reinvent your marketing and advertising to match the latest new real estate technology and strategies? If not, know that there’s no better time to prepare than right now.
For the past two years, there have been a growing number of voices indicating that hyperlocalism is the key to agent marketing success. "Hyperlocalism" is certainly not a new concept in the real estate industry. Anyone who works with a geographical farm has already made their business "hyperlocal."
"Guerilla marketing" refers to the fact that major players cannot and will not compete for small slivers of a local market. In other words, the way that individual agents succeed in today’s market is by specializing in small market niches — i.e., by being hyperlocal.
To achieve market dominance, you must be more than just an expert on the local real estate market. You must also become an expert on the local lifestyle. This includes understanding the demographics and tailoring your marketing to fit the lifestyles of the demographics you serve. For example, if you were marketing to single female loft buyers, you wouldn’t use pictures of boomers on a golf course.
You must also have a sense of what matters to your target market in terms of the activities that matter most to them. For young families, schools will be a priority. For singles, being close to trendy restaurants and clubs may be highly important. For those who are athletically inclined, being near a hike and bike trail or by a lake where they can kayak may be of greatest importance. You’re not going to know what matters to your client base unless you ask them.
This approach cuts across every aspect of the agent’s marketing: postcards, brochures, website, blog and social media. As a rule of thumb, the agent’s print marketing drives consumers to the agent’s website and/or their blog where the agent can begin building an online relationship.
SpatialMatch.com is reinventing real estate search at both the agent and the brokerage level. Companies such as OnBoard, Dataquick and Terrabitz have provided a wealth of data about local markets at the enterprise (company) level.
The problem for most agents is that there has not been an affordable place to gather hyperlocal data at a reasonable price. SpatialMatch will allow consumers to search on lifestyle factors on the brokerage company’s or the agent’s website — rather than that of a third-party provider.
SpatialMatch launches with data on more than 60 million homes. This data allows consumers to search using typical real estate search parameters such as bedroom and bath counts, as well as 300-plus lifestyle factors.
These factors include nearby places of worship, bus stops, schools, recreational activities, etc. The results of the search display as concentric circles on a mapping solution. You can immediately tell, even in a relatively large area, which houses are the best fit for the buyer’s lifestyle. …CONTINUED
This tool will be a boon to relocation clients who have trouble deciding which areas are best suited for their lifestyle. It will also dramatically reduce the number of houses that most agents will have to show a buyer.
Consumers can click on "Who Lives Here" to learn about the area’s demographics. Users can also check out the "viewer lifestyle" feature that provides information on how walkable various neighborhoods are.
From an agent’s point of view, installation on your website requires 10 lines of code (which the company will install for you if you’re not HTML-savvy). The widget can be inserted into a variety of sites, including Facebook pages and at other social media sites.
To take advantage of this new breed of search, you much start thinking about including more than just the details of the property you are listing. You must also include as many lifestyle factors as possible in your descriptions.
An important caveat here has to do with fair housing. While it’s one thing to have the computer identifying various places of worship on the map, you must be careful to avoid suggesting that a particular ethnic or religious group dominates a particular area.
You must also avoid suggesting that a particular area is good for families or singles. One of the best ways to do this is to stay focused on the lifestyle features without describing the type of person who would enjoy those features.
For example: "Enjoy an early morning swim or a great game of tennis at the community recreation center," or "Great central location cuts down your commute time. Better yet, great shopping, plenty of restaurants and the city’s best music are also only steps from your front door."
Here’s the bottom line: The more hyperlocal lifestyle information you give, the more leads you will generate and the more transactions you will close.
Bernice Ross, CEO of RealEstateCoach.com, is a national speaker, trainer and author of "Real Estate Dough: Your Recipe for Real Estate Success" and other books. You can reach her at Bernice@RealEstateCoach.com and find her on Twitter: @bross.
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