• If you want to keep coming back to a neighborhood, pay attention to the rules, price homes properly and dress appropriately.

Farming and working particular neighborhoods are great ways to develop leads and nurture a steady client base.

But oftentimes real estate agents shoot themselves in the foot and manage to alienate themselves from those neighborhoods without even realizing it.

Here are four ways agents alienate themselves from potential clients in a neighborhood.

A mishandled open house

One of the first open houses I ever hosted as an agent was in a highly sought-after suburb near my office.

As I pulled up to the house, a neighbor greeted me and mentioned that there was no parking allowed on a certain side of the street. I thanked him and went about setting up.

About an hour in, there were nearly 20 people walking around and asking me questions about the property. About that time the same neighbor walked in very upset that there were several cars parked in front of his house on the wrong side of the street.

It shouldn’t have surprised me that when his house went on the market a few months later it was listed with another brokerage.

A well-executed open house can provide great opportunities to meet other potential clients within a neighborhood, but they can also lead to harmful first impressions that will leave you high and dry.

Pricing a property too high

Who are the first people to check out a listing online when a for sale sign goes up in the front yard? Of course, the neighbors.

And while they will love to see that sky-high asking price on the house down the street that “isn’t nearly as nice as theirs,” they will begin to question your expertise when it’s still on the market six months from now.

Pricing a home too high isn’t a death sentence, but it can lead to disgruntled clients and disinterested neighbors. Your sign in the front yard could be doing more harm than good if those seeing it think you can’t get the job done.

Pricing a property too low

Just as pricing a property too high can ruin a reputation within a neighborhood, the same is true for pricing a home too low.

The neighbors will be impressed when the house down the street sells in three days for full asking price but will feel slighted if they perceive that sale will negatively impact their own home value.

Your client may want to get out fast and choose to price accordingly, but your name is on the sign and any effect on the neighborhood comps could be associated with you.

No one wants to be known as the agent who tries to give the house away to make a sale, and this perception can quickly snowball.

Not looking the part

A three-piece suit or high heels may be your usual work attire, but dressing that way in a farming town may cause an unintended disconnect with local buyers and sellers.

On the flip side, a pair of jeans and boots may seem unprofessional when meeting with potential clients in a luxury suburb.

Not reading the neighborhood and the expectations of the locals can immediately negate your expertise and knowledge and can send would-be clients elsewhere for their real estate needs.

Your true self should always shine through — or you risk looking fake — but there are no second chances at first impressions.

Don’t let your farming and marketing strategies go to waste by alienating the neighborhood.

Be mindful of everything you are doing and the possible negative perceptions of those around you. Avoid these four missteps, and you will be well on your way to dominating that neighborhood.

David Stroh is a Realtor with Re/Max Plus in Frederick, Maryland. Follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

Email David Stroh

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