Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with CiCi Harris, a Realtor and senior marketing consultant with Harry Norman, Realtors, who shared her tips for becoming a neighborhood expert.
I am a native Atlantan, and grew up and still live in a wonderful, old and charming community called Garden Hills, which is in the heart of Buckhead. When I started to sell real estate, I was 30 years old, married with a young son and already knew many of the families in the area, because my dad was also raised here.
I was determined to specialize in Garden Hills, so I hired an advertiser to write a newsletter, which came out quarterly and featured, along with my picture, tips on many subjects, such as gardening, recipes, children’s camps and interests, how to get your home ready to sell, interest rates and some civic and local news.Homeowners would enjoy all the news and tips.
My newsletter was the beginning of my recognition in the real estate business, and I recommend doing the following things to become a neighborhood specialist:
8. Join every organization you can in the neighborhood, such as the garden club, swimming pool and civic association, and get very active in the publis school or the private school nearby where our children go.
7. My car tag says Agent CiCi.
6. Chair a committee in the organization of which you’re a member.
5. Start a summer camp for two to three weeks at your house with one of your children; my daughter, her friend and I did it for three years.
4. Join a church circle where you belong to meet numerous mothers and neighbors.
3. Ride the streets of your farm area every day to see if there are any FSBOs or new listings, and always go see the listings so you will know the market and possibly sell the house to one of your buyers, because it is not your listing.
2. Prospect and network at all the neighborhood functions; it’s another good way to meet people, because we all know everyone loves to talk about real estate at a cocktail party or a civic meeting.
1. Advertise in any of the neighborhood directories, area papers and local publications where you can get your name in front of people in your specialty area. I have sold and listed more homes than any other agent in Garden Hills because it is my specialty area, and have even sold some of the houses two, three or four times, so it does pay off to prospect.
CiCi Harris is a Realtor with Harry Norman, Realtors in Buckhead. An Atlanta native, CiCi has worked in residential real estate for 35 years, and is a Multi Million Dollar Club Lifetime Member. In addition, she has received the Phoenix Award, the Crystal Award and the Meritorious Achievement Award. She has been honored as both the No. 1 company agent and the No. 5 overall agent by the Atlanta Board of Realtors.