There are over 2 million licensed real estate agents working in the US (423,810 of which are in California alone), so to say it’s a competitive industry is an understatement. It can be hard to make a name for yourself out there. That’s why trying your hand at local real estate by focusing your efforts on one target area isn’t a bad idea.
You can try your best to be the number one real estate agent in your state, but that's unlikely to happen even after 10 years of hard work. You’ll be spreading yourself too thin. Making yourself as present as possible in a town or city district can help you become the first thought when a local is looking to buy or sell.
We’ve outlined a few ways that you can reach out to your chosen community and establish yourself as the local real estate agent. Before we move onto those though, it might be worth mentioning the general target market of local real estate marketing.
While you may have a few buyers approach you if they’re looking to move to your area, the majority of your business will come from sellers. That’s why most of your efforts should go on marketing to established residents of your selected area, rather than attempting to make vacant properties more appealing to non-locals. On the plus side, this is a much easier job!
It’s Time to Go Digital
Being the agent that is everywhere in your community doesn’t mean being that smug realtor with glittering teeth giving a thumbs up on every billboard. You can be an expert in the field and get plenty of business with a strong online presence alone.
Establishing yourself as a front page face on Google to those looking to sell their homes in your area can be surprisingly easy. Sure, there’s no replacing the big companies that dominate the market, but with a few focused links to some quality content here and there, there’s no reason you can’t stand beside them.
After all, many realtors still have trouble incorporating technology into their marketing. In fact, 48% of brokers say that keeping up with technology is their biggest challenge. The important thing is to specifically target the community that you want to do business in. Make sure that all your content involves this area in some way.
Need a hand deciding what kind of stuff to post? No problem! We’ve got a few ideas here:
- Obviously, you’re going to want a website with a strong homepage. This will be the base of all your local real estate marketing and should let your clients know exactly why you’re the best agent in the area. It should be very personal and really sell you as a local (even if you don’t necessarily live in the area).
- You’d be surprised by how effective videos can be in the world of real estate. It turns out that 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with a real estate agent that uses videos to sell properties. For some reason, though, sellers feel that only 10% of agents use video marketing effectively! Whether they’re used to promote yourself as an agent or to market your properties, learning how to create decent videos should be high on your list of priorities. They don’t need to be perfect, just appealing enough to draw attention to your business.
- It’s also worth thinking about creating a regular source of content, such as a blog or social media page. The more frequently you post updates, the more likely you are to appear on Google searches for your area. Investing some of your time in a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or a personal blog can have a huge pay off in the long term.
- Compared to the hundreds of dollars required for any kind of advertising space, such as billboards and benches, an omnichannel online presence can be basically free.
Keep Things Personal With Handwritten Letters
That said, you shouldn’t be putting all your eggs in one basket. An online presence can help sellers find you when they look in the right places, but there are ways to make them think of you the minute they decide to sell. If you’ve established your target area then there’s nothing stopping you from reaching out to members of the community directly. It’s important to get your name in front of as many local homeowners as you can. If you do, you could be the first person they think of when they think local real estate agent.
With Scribeless’ handwritten notes service, you can easily create and distribute personalized handwritten letters to every property in your area. There are numerous reasons handwritten marketing should be part of your campaign:
- Unlike an email, which can feel very cold and impersonal, a handwritten letter shows the recipient that you’re willing to put that extra effort into your service.
- Trust is the most important thing in an agent/seller relationship. After all, what’s more important to someone than their home? Handwritten letters convey a sense of intimacy and understanding.
- Showing that you care about your clients also shows that you care about their property and that you can be trusted.
Using Scribeless, you can send custom handwritten notes as easily as sending a single email, no matter how many homes you're looking to reach out to. We only use premium notecards so you can rest assured that your letters will accurately represent the high-quality services that you provide.
What the letters say is entirely up to you! It can be a brief professional introduction to your local real estate business, who you are and what you do, or a casual message just letting the recipient know that you specialize in the area.
It’s definitely worth sending personalized letters multiple times across the year. Think public holidays, birthdays, or after key moments of contact such as a consultation or even a sale. This helps nurture the relationships that you begin to build and strengthens your position as the go-to agent of the area.
Aside from showing a commitment to both your business and your potential clients themselves, handwritten letters also help you stand out from the crowd. And after all, focusing on one community can involve a lot of interaction with the locals. What better way to solidify yourself as a member of that community than with personal and intimate correspondence?
Well, there is one more personal way...
Meet The Locals Face to Face
Once you've established yourself as a leading professional online and introduced yourself to the community through personalized handwritten notes, it’s time to put a face to the name. Getting as involved in the community as possible cements yourself as a trusted local real estate authority.
Showing up to local events like garage sales or church fairs can help build relationships and are great ways to meet potential leads. If you’re really brave, you could even go knocking door to door. Alternatively, you can use a contact search tool to find people in your area that you can meet face to face. It will provide you with a list of locals who match your criteria, and you can then reach out to them to see if they are interested in meeting.
Meeting someone face to face can help you form a genuine bond with your chosen community and locals can be a great source of information when it comes to potential leads.
Be careful here though, as this tactic can be a double-edged sword and bothering reclusive residents can put them right off of you. Most of all, you should start hosting open houses. This creates an environment in which you are seen as the local real estate professional and it allows visitors to come to you at their own pace.
In short, get your face out there as much as possible and work hard to maintain meaningful connections with the locals.
Why Pick One?
While any one of these tactics can help boost your reputation in your chosen area, there’s no reason why you can’t use all three!
If anything, each tactic can only help improve the success rates of the other: there’s no point advertising yourself to a specific area online if no one in that community knows who you are. Equally, there’s no point knocking door to door if you don’t have an established online presence that supports your claim to quality local real estate knowledge.
All in all, local real estate marketing is a process that relies on human connection, and the best way to improve business is to make sure these connections are nurtured.
So get out there! Develop a strong online presence with regular content. Use Scribeless to deliver personalized handwritten letters to households in your targeted area. Meet the locals face to face and get to know your neighborhoods. In no time at all, you’ll be the first person that anyone thinks of when they think of selling (or buying) a house in your area.