Market yourself when you serve as an ambassador for your community and provide information and expertise to both newcomers and current residents.

In March’s Marketing and Branding Month, we’ll go deep on agent branding and best practices for spending with Zillow, and more. Top CMOs of leading firms drop by to share their newest tactics, too. And to top off this theme month, Inman is debuting a brand new set of awards for branding and marketing leaders in the industry called Marketing All-Stars.

There’s so much more to being a great real estate agent than selling houses. As a great agent, you act as an ambassador to your city, town or suburb, sharing all the aspects of why it’s great to live in your hometown.  But top Realtors typically don’t rely solely on their own knowledge when selling as they’ve no doubt built a community of locals in every area in the city who act as their personal recommendation network. 

That means, when a client has a question that needs a more detailed answer, they know just which in-the-know business owner or local influencer to call. To me, it’s the value proposition that makes them more than a real estate agent but a welcome service to their city.

Here are a few of my best tips on how to serve as an ambassador for a city when selling homes

Start with your sphere

Know your communities. The easiest ways to go about this include networking, like joining a local book club, serving at your children’s schools, launching (or joining) a local Realtors Facebook group and offering assistance to budding real estate agents. Make sure that you are building a rapport with each and every person you come into contact with.

Plain and simple, agents need to get back to basics — and starting small is important. Call or email and keep in touch with those close to you, check on them, and then range out to and increase your circle. Lend your services to help, but ultimately do not stop being a friend (and friendly).

Above all else, be reliable, sincere, compassionate, helpful and trustworthy. You should also be strategic in targeting your key demographics. There are always trends in who is out there buying and selling homes.

For instance, numerous people in your area are no doubt inheriting homes, and plenty of them actually end up selling them as a result of not wanting to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining and keeping up the properties. Additionally, they may also opt out of wanting to keep it because it is out of their geographical reach. People always want to cash in on property sales.

Real estate agents are constantly and consistently networking and keeping up with what is going on in their areas. Knowing as many people as possible in your community, contacting all the groups that make sense and performing services for them can all pay dividends in generating new listings.

Get involved with your communities

This means more than attending networking events or hosting open houses. It also equates to volunteering, like joining the PTA, helping out at a local shelter or lending your time to a non-profit in your area.

Not only does this make you a champion for change within the community, but it also means that influential and well-connected locals will associate you with good deeds and positive changes — and they are much more likely to refer you to quality clients and genuinely think highly of you. 

I choose to partake in charitable efforts related to what I know best — properties. I know about real estate and homes, as does Matt Kirkegaard, the founder of Movement Property Group, a real estate company stationed in Nashville, Tennessee, who founded a non-profit program called the LiftUp Initiative.

The program gives mortgage help and rental assistance to Nashville residents going through financial hardships that are beyond their control. It’s funded by 10 percent of his company’s total net profits.

Additionally, as part of an ongoing initiative to support Nashville and its small businesses, he hosts a streaming series called, Selling Nashville. It began by inviting viewers into unique homes, but it organically evolved in a way that was more beneficial for clients as an introduction to neighborhoods and local hotspots that they wouldn’t otherwise know about. 

It may seem impossible, but you can take your business further while also helping your community. I know because I’ve done it, and people like Kirkegaard are doing it every day.

Support local business ecosystems 

I genuinely believe in helping to support businesses in your community and the communities your clients will live in. I always move toward buying local and providing support whenever and however I can.

That said, try crafting relationships with local developers because it serves as a great way to generate more new listings. After all, these are the people at the center of what is happening in your community: They are building new properties and reimagining existing ones.

Support yourself

That’s right, I said it. Do you. This is important for any business owner, but even more so for a real estate agent. Create a brand that sticks by utilizing social media, local and digital ads, and developing an online presence that is contagious.

As a real estate agent, you are always marketing yourself, essentially as a brand, which in turn, shows people why they should be rolling with you versus the competition. We must always operate with integrity, providing optimal customer service to our clients and displaying properties of the highest quality and best value possible.

When you start to make a name for yourself, it ultimately leads you down a path of garnering great listings and landing clients who are eager and ready to buy or sell. If they are happy with the services you provide, then they will no doubt also recommend you to people they know.

Getting your name out there and making it stick, however, can be a daunting task. In today’s digital age, a presence on the Internet is vital because it has the furthest and quickest reach of any platform you can choose to utilize.

When you dive into generating content across multiple social media platforms, distributing newsletters and valuable emails, and keeping them all aesthetically pleasing, your wording should be precise and your information should be accurate. 

These efforts and personalized services all lead to people coming to you and make you a staple in the community.

Victoria Kennedy is CEO of Atman Real Estate. Connect with her via email.

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