Marketing

3 ways to prove you’re a local expert

Convince consumers they'll be better off if they use your services

The year is 2015, and many agents are still wondering how to leverage technology to grow their business. Brokerages everywhere are hosting weekend seminars about how to use social media, but I sincerely hope no one thinks that social media requires you to create content. Your business is content.

As a real estate agent, you are selling more than a piece of property, you are selling a home — but, of course, we all know that. Creating a Facebook page or Twitter handle to post pictures of cool houses you’ve never visited won’t convince anyone that you can find or sell their home. With thousands of Realtors in any given metropolitan city, what could set you apart? I would want a local expert.

What is a local expert? A local expert is someone who has made it very apparent that they know more than I do — and I know that I will be better off if I use the local expert’s services.

Here are three ways to prove that you’re a local expert:

1. Use social media correctly. This does not mean Googling “cool bathrooms” and posting a picture with the caption, “Wouldn’t you want to take a bath here?” Leveraging social media means engaging your current clients on social media for prospective clients to see. “Just closed this condo with Tom and Sue (tag them in the status).” Of course, you need consent from the new homeowners, but what could be a more valuable testimonial than a picture and a Facebook tag? I want to see a Realtor selling houses to people who are like me.

2. Add value to your community, don’t just advertise in it. Bus benches and golf scorecards have plenty of smiling faces on them. But what would turn heads is seeing a Realtor hosting golf tournaments for charity or going out of his way to help people on community Facebook blogs and forums.

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3. It is easier than you think to leverage technology to build your personal brand. Taking your brand mobile in an effort to provide a service to potential clients and current clients would be a great way to get your brand onto peoples’ smartphones.

Leverage your existing relationships with vendors. Arguably the very best way to prove that you are a local expert is to know all the local experts. Interacting with local vendors demonstrates a few things to your current and potential clients: Other professionals like working with you; you are experienced in your local neighborhood; and you are serious about growing your network. Vendors want your business as much as you want theirs. (We hosted a webinar about how to leverage your existing business relationships to build a referral network that might be worth checking out if you want to learn more.)

Will Caldwell, a San Diego resident, is the CEO and co-founder of Dizzle, a mobile real estate tech company that helps Realtors generate more word-of-mouth leads.