4 ways agents can become neighborhood experts

by Julia Berger

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Real estate is becoming an increasingly competitive field, with new technologies coming constantly changing the industry. However, sometimes the best edge for agents is simply knowing the ins-and-outs of neighborhoods so you can position yourself as an expert when dealing with clients. Here are some tips on getting to know neighborhoods inside and out:

  • Pick a neighborhood tailored to your selling skills. Picking the “right neighborhood” is subjective. A good way to figure out which neighborhood you’re best at selling is to look at its general demographics, such as price range, style/type of homes, size, commute to/from downtown, etc. Think about what factors are most important to you.
  • Explore the scene. Sure, there are ways to digitally explore an area: Walk Score, Bike Score, Google Earth, maps and more, but the easiest way to learn the unique details of a neighborhood is seeing it for yourself. Make a habit of driving through the neighborhood several times a week and you’ll also be able to notice busy traffic times, popular shops, general noise level and more. Better even, view all of the available homes for sale in person: photos can embellish and a neighborhood expert will know which houses are where to meet clients’ desires fast and to the best of their ability.
  • Talk to residents of the area. Tourists often know that the best way to get an authentic feel of a place is to ask the locals, so it makes sense for agents to do the same. Google might show you the “hottest spots” based on which ones paid the most in advertising, but community residents love to talk about their favorite places to frequent and what they love — and hate — about living in the area. This will also help establish you as a recognizable face within the community, helping you gather more clients and build your own reputation.
  • Promote the neighborhood. Whether through a blog, professional website, print advertising or videos, making a neighborhood look good is the first step to bringing in clients. It is important not only to know all about your neighborhood, but it is essential to make sure people know about the neighborhood in the first place.

For more tips, read advice from seasoned professionals in the real estate field from Chicago Agent magazine.