If you are working with out of town buyers or buyers that are not familiar with Chicago, these two new tools are here to help. We all know how difficult it can be to work with clients that do not know where they would like to live. They rely heavily on us to be the expert on Chicago, but we can’t know everything about every neighborhood, right?
Here are two new ways to add value to your out of town clients: Walk Score and Relocate.org.
I’m sure you’re all familiar with Walk Score, but now it is linked to the MLS, so buyers and agents can click on the “Walk Score” link directly from the MLS listing sheet. It is located at the bottom of the third column of information. The “score” of the property and description of walkability is shown right on the listing sheet.
For example, a listing with a score of 95 is deemed “Walkers’ Paradise” and one that scored 88 is deemed “Very Walkable”. My favorite feature about Walk Score is that you can type in any address and it will tell you how to get to that destination by foot, car, bus, train or bike, along with the estimated commute times. This is essential information for people with a work commute.
The other site that I have recently come across is Relocate.org. This website serves communities all over the country and provides short videos showcasing each neighborhood. It would be a good site for buyers to consult if they are looking for visuals on a specific area or different part of the country. It also provides links to local schools and other helpful neighborhood websites.
When I clicked on Key West, I was taken to a smaller page with three tabs: “Community Videos,” “BizConnect Video Series and School” and “Local Info.” There were several videos under the Community Videos tab including a general welcome video presented by the Mayor of Key West, a dining video, a real estate video and an accommodation video, just to name a few.
The BizConnect tab actually only tells the viewer how to go about finding service providers, instead of listing preferred providers. For example, when looking for a plumber, they advise the customer to ask a friend or a real estate agent for a referral and to make sure the plumber is licensed. The last tab outlines all of the elementary, middle and high school information.
Both sites can be useful to your clients and to agents who may be working with a client in an area where you are not quite the expert.
Anna Mayer-Huls is an agent with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty. She can be reached at:
425 W. North Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60610