Creating your own local community pages is a great way to differentiate yourself as a real estate agent. While it can take a little work to compile something that is informative and useful, community pages that cover the areas you work in offer a number of advantages. When you want to stand out to potential clients, every little bit helps.
Advantages of Real Estate Community Pages
Being the Local Real Estate Expert
Real estate transactions are a big deal for pretty much everybody, making the help of an expert crucial. You can bet that most people that are buying or selling a home are searching for information before their transaction, and the best way to become their agent is to have that information. Creating a community page lets you be that information source.
Chances are that if you have been working for very long in a particular community, you have quite a bit of information already. You probably already are a local real estate expert, even if you haven't thought of yourself in those terms. Taking the time to put together all the information you have about an area –and doing the research needed to fill in the gaps– will make you a trusted resource for everyone searching online. A good community page will be filled with tons of useful data including information on town history, schools, demographics, local attractions, restaurants, highway access, real estate and more. Take a look at this REALTORS® guide to Mendon Real Estate as an example of what I’m talking about. If you were relocating into the area and knew nothing about Mendon, Massachusetts, a potential buyer would have a much better grasp of the area.
Helping Home Buyers
Most people looking to buy a home are planning to stick around a while. This means they want to know as much about the area as they can. Even if they are planning to flip the house, they still want to know the basics of the community they are purchasing in. You can be the agent that provides this info.
As mentioned above, you can talk about the schools in the area, the real estate market in general, the neighborhoods and what they have to offer, and even the history of the community. If there is something special about the town worth noting by all means include it!
Buyers are searching online before they do anything else. If they come upon your community page and see that you know a lot about the area, they may contact you for more information and/or help in buying a home. Here is another example of a real estate page for Franklin, Massachusetts. If you were looking for a home and knew nothing about Franklin, this would be great information to have at your fingertips. This community page has a YouTube video from the owner of a real estate company explaining the benefits of the town. Video is always a terrific addition to your real estate pages!
Even if most buyers don't actually hire you as their agent, if your information is useful, they can easily tell other friends and family about your community page.
Helping Home Sellers
Your community page can be equally useful for home sellers. Every home seller wants to know what is great about his or her home – these are the selling points, after all. Your community page can give sellers important information about the location of their home. This is information they can use when communicating to buyers.
Many of the selling points for living in a particular area will be covered by your community page, including commuting options, schools, historical significance, shopping and dining, recreation opportunities, etc. This is another place where you can generate valuable word of mouth. Maybe the seller that uses your community page decides that you are the perfect agent to help sell the home, or maybe not. Even so, every seller that visits your page has the potential to tell others about the info you have made available.
Helping You Be Found Online
The performance of your real estate business is heavily influenced by how well you do online. As stated before, this is where everyone is going now before they buy or sell a home. This means you want to stand out on the Web. Ideally, you want buyers and sellers to find your website on the first page of search results. But doing this is easier said than done. Google and other search engines demand that your website be useful and informative. How they determine this is always a bit mysterious, but there are certain facts that everyone understands. The more valuable the information you provide – specifically, how valuable Internet users find your information – the higher you will appear on the search engine listings.
A lot of this value is determined by how much your pages are shared with others and who links to them. The better your community pages, the more likely that people will share them with one another. This is good news for your search engine rankings, and therefore your visibility online. The more people that find you online, the more clients you will be able to work with. In order to get the word out there you are going to need to know how to promote your real estate community pages. Mike Alton at the Social Media Hat shares an excellent article about how to make your pages more visible through the use of social media.
Making You a Better Agent
The best agents know their communities inside and out. While you have probably learned a lot about the communities you work in, there is always more that you can learn. The process of creating a community page can provide a wonderful learning opportunity for you. Try to make your community page useful and interesting. Research the history of the community, the schools, the recreation activities, the commuting options. By the time you are done writing the community page, you will know a lot about the area. Even if you learn nothing new, you will reinforce the information you already do know. It is like having your very own real estate Wikipedia page! As you know, the more informed you are about the community, the better you will be able to perform as an agent. This information can also give you a more complete picture when you are pricing a home. This improves your sales, and will definitely impress clients.
Take the time and create a real estate community page that is a masterpiece - you will be glad you did when the phone starts ringing!
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past 27-plus years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. In 2013, he was the #1 RE/MAX agent in Massachusetts. Connect with him on Google+.