- Get your mind right, get your time committed, hit it hard, and be super consistent with all sorts of authentic enthusiasm and hard work.
So you’re just getting started in real estate and wondering how to gain traction in a particular area? Here are 13 pointers to help you do it faster, cheaper — and come across as a pro.
1. Get into the right mindset
Believe that you are going to know more about X neighborhood than 95 percent of the Realtors out there. And that this is going to happen quickly.
Get your swagger on before you even start. Own it, want it, breathe it — if you don’t believe it, no one else will believe you.
2. Move quickly
Don’t buy into the concept that it takes a long time. It can take a long time, and that is the case for many agents. That’s what many veterans will tell you, but I’m suggesting you ignore that noise.
Learning a new area — knowing it at a high level — can actually happen relatively quickly, if you commit.
If you really rock this out, you may catch some of the veterans on their heels, and you’ll cruise by them by capturing market share they thought was theirs.
3. Spend the time
Commit a bunch of time to this process. If you are really serious about coming across as a badass know-it-all pro for X neighborhood, you will have to make it a priority in your calendar.
Try this: block two hours a day, five days a week for the next four weeks. (You said you wanted to be a pro; this is a test to see if you really want it. See point No. 1).
That would be 40 hours in one month on this one topic. See the next point for what you are going to want to do with that time.
4. Research MLS data
As if you were writing your Ph.D. thesis on the real estate trends in X neighborhood, prepare to geek out on the historical data.
Do this: start a new spreadsheet, and start entering data for sold properties in X neighborhood. I recommend quarterly for 10 years.
Start off with the yearly data, and then do quarterly data for the last three years. You can crank this out relatively quickly in your MLS; time block it with no distractions, and you’ll get it done in two to four hours.
If there are two elementary schools in the area, run data to compare home stats, and see if there are differences.
Run data for the different price points in the neighborhood: one-story versus two-story, north of Main Street versus south of Main Street, new construction versus resale — any significant differences worthy of comment?
Trust me on this, the data is an important piece. Do not skip this step.
Here is a sample (my research goes some years back; I know, old data, but I just wanted to provide a visual):
5. Shout out your research
Post video, blog, screenshots and comments on social media. Get the data out there and engage.
Engage, engage, engage.
If all your friends and sphere do not know that you are all-in on X neighborhood, then you are not doing your job on this project.
Here are some sample Facebook posts that will get your sphere engaged:
- “Hey Facebook friends, the theme this month is X neighborhood. Did you know that 80 percent of the homes that sold last month sold in less than 14 days? I know — everyone wants to live there! What’s your favorite thing about X neighborhood?”
- “OMG, I was on property tour in X neighborhood this morning, and check out this amazing view!”
- “Hey FB friends who like data, check out this article I just published on the market trends in X neighborhood. Take a look at the trends.”
- “Input please: Best restaurants in X — ready, go!”
- “Who do you know who needs real estate help in X? Ping me.”
- “X schools, here is the best link. Hey @susan, @jeffrey, @sam. What can you share about your experience with schools in X? What should we know?”
6. Use Instagram
Start posting quality X neighborhood photos on Instagram. You could do a quick two-hour tour of the area and take photos of all the cool sites, the key views, signs, art, restaurants, dog park, best bar.
Fancy up the photos a bit on your smartphone. Use basic photo edits (dial up saturation, exposure, brilliance) or try something more artistic like WordSwag, Canva, Snapseed, Prisma; the artsy stuff stands out.
Post one per day on your four-week project, and make sure you stay consistent with your tagging. Here are some example tags: #xneighborhood, #xAustin #78704, #xlife, #myrealestateteam, #vintageAustin.
If there is a weekly or monthly home tour in X neighborhood, you need to be on it.
And do your own tours. And visit every single new builder in the area. And stop by when you see a home under rehab, say hello and ask questions.
Pop by or call on all FSBOs. Have an auto-feed so you know every day every single thing that happens in the MLS in X. And talk about it (“Wow, six new homes on the market today in X!”).
Is there a garden tour, architectural tour, historical tour, green home tour, builder tour, remodel tour, beer crawl, 5K in that area? If so, you better be on it. And plaster the cool events on your preferred social media outlet.
8. Call on your friends
Who do you know who lives in X neighborhood? Call them up. Let them know that you are cranking it out on X, that your goal is to eat, breathe and buy/sell like crazy.
Interview them. Heck, it would be better if you did a quick video with them.
What are your favorite things about X? Best restaurant? Best coffee? How’s the commute? Someone who is considering buying in X, what should they know that perhaps they do not know?
Do more research. Preview every single property as soon as it hits the market. The last thing you want is a neighbor who knows more than you do about the latest listing.
You have to be the most informed at all times. Let’s say it again: you have to be the most informed at all times.
9. Get a listing
Do whatever it takes to get one listing in X neighborhood ASAP. And then do whatever it takes to get your second listing in the neighborhood ASAP.
10. Create Facebook ads
Notice that everything I have listed so far is free. Here is your first expenditure: I would seriously consider running some geo-targeted Facebook ads shouting out your open houses, your new listing or home valuations.
Watch the expense carefully, and hold it accountable.
11. Don’t send out mailers
Mailings, farming-type campaigns with actual postage are a bit old-school and are long-term strategies that can be expensive. Stay away from these for now. Lead with revenue. Assess later.
12. Hold open houses
Do as many as possible in X. And here is an open house spin: the full-time open house. Find a vacant home you can hold open three days a week from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for four weeks in a row.
The neighbors will want to know who the agent is who’s working so hard. Spend about $20 on a custom sign for that yard: “Open Wed. through Fri. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Your Name.”
And then post this, regularly, on Facebook: “Hey folks, this amazing home is my office Wed. through Fri. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the next few weeks or until it sells! Stop on by! Cookies on Wednesdays, BombPops on Thursdays, beer on Fridays!”
Make sure this is all cool with the listing agent. If it works for them and gets people through the door, super. Don’t put a sign in the yard that says beer Friday; not a good idea.
13. Do even more
Try door-knocking, neighborhood events, school events, pop-ins including small businesses and friends, every day in a local coffee shop, write articles for the local newsfeed or school newspaper.
Let’s wrap this up by going back to the beginning of this list. Get your mind right, get your time committed, hit it hard, and be super consistent with all sorts of authentic enthusiasm and hard work. You’ll cruise by the veterans in no time.
Julie Nelson is the chief success officer at The Nelson Project, Keller Williams Realty in Austin, Texas. You can follow her on YouTube or Twitter.