Leverage your knowledge to build your business. Rainy Hake Austin shares creative ways of being the local expert in your own unique way.

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Being a new agent can come with a wealth of challenges, including building your book of business, learning the ins and outs of a complicated industry and establishing a marketing strategy in a competitive market.

Above all, one of the biggest challenges may be your own confidence in your value and what you bring to the table. You’re putting yourself in a vulnerable position in starting your own business — in all honesty, it can be quite the head game.

Although you may not know every detail of the real estate process just yet, you may likely have something very powerful in your back pocket: a keen understanding of the place where you live. What the vibe of each neighborhood is, the best restaurants, entertainment hotspots, where to watch the best sunset — you’ve done an incredible amount of preparation just by living your life and curating your personal list of favorites.

So, you have the knowledge — great! Now it’s time to leverage it in your business. Here are a few creative ways of being the local expert in your own unique way.

1. Put together a monthly or bi-monthly e-newsletter that highlights your favorite local (and seasonal) activities, restaurants and attractions. This can range from new hotspots to tried-and-true classics, new gallery exhibitions to cool cafes and great rooftop bars. The key here is to keep it highly curated. These are your picks, so tell your recipients what you love about them.

2. Create a series of short videos or posts highlighting local entrepreneurs. Share their inspiring stories and promote their businesses. Plus, have them share the videos on their channels for extra eyes on the content (and your profile).

3. Every week, focus on a different niche of your area on social media. Do a fun post and story featuring your favorite spots and give your audience a taste of the locale’s special vibe.

4. Put some community members in the spotlight with quick Q&A Reels. Ask them a few questions about their favorite things about the area, edit and voila.

5. In order to demonstrate your local knowledge of a buyer’s neighborhood, include a page in your listing presentation that showcases the ins and outs of the area. Tie this into your marketing strategy. What are you going to highlight with potential buyers in order to make the listing as attractive as possible?

6. Organize a personalized tour of your area’s most distinct neighborhoods and attractions. Do it once a year with a select number of clients.

7. Pick a theme — wineries, bookstores, restaurants — and do a series of 30-minute stops where your clients get to sample and browse. Coordinate with the vendors in advance for a seamless experience.

8. Host a fundraiser for a local charity at your home. A silent auction is a great way to get more people involved and raise money for a good cause.

9. At your listing’s open house, create a neighborhood guide printed piece that shows potential buyers the benefits of living there in a concise and visually appealing way.

10. Whatever your passion may be, find a way to bring it to your community via a fun event. Assemble artists for an art show; coordinate with surfboard shapers for a showcase of beautiful boards; have a local wine and chocolate pairing extravaganza at your house; have an adoption party with the animal shelter.

11. Do your research and have facts ready. Whether you’re chatting with a stranger, showing a home or networking with other agents, present yourself as a local expert with a slew of knowledge at the ready. They’ll be impressed and intrigued, planting a future seed for business.

12. Plug into your favorite cause locally in a supportive or leadership position. Is there an organization or nonprofit that could use your expertise in some way? Can you help write a nonprofit’s monthly newsletter, serve as a member of a committee or advisory board or simply help with local volunteer recruitment? Connecting with your community is not only the right thing to do, but it also allows you to get familiar with fellow local leaders.

Maximizing your local knowledge is an opportunity to maximize your business and position yourself as an expert. Clients are eager to get the insider’s scoop on the nuances of an area and you have just that, so strategically share it in creative ways and get valuable leads that can help take your business to the next level.

Rainy Hake Austin is President of The Agency in Los Angeles. Connect with her on Instagram.

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