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One Route to Build a Differentiated Community Offering

  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if you had something that you could talk about with every single home owner (and renter) in your community? Something that wasn’t a real estate conversation per say, but entirely relevant to your line of work.
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if that something was something home owners shared and discussed with each other, on their own?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if your name was brought up every single time that “something” was talked about?
  • Wouldn’t it be awesome if you owned a resource with community information NO ONE else had?

Here’s an idea for making that happen..

  1. Build a single site focused on a community you specialize in and want to be branded for. Tackle a small development, HOA, or neighborhood first; don’t tackle a large city like “San Diego”.
  2. Whether it be from you county assessor’s office, a data provider, or manually doing it (for a tiny community) — obtain a full list of every single address in the community.
  3. Create indexable pages on your site for every single property targeted at address searches.
  4. Compile the “history of a home” for as many homes as possible in the community. Gather old photos from neighbors, interview them, organize the information, and upload to your site’s individual property pages. There is a lot involved here – make sure to read this in detail.
  5. Talk to your neighbors and tell them about your project.
  6. Go door knocking with a short survey (or something else short and painless you want from home owners to help build the site).
  7. Notify home owners when information has been uploaded to their home’s history.
  8. Keep track of which households you have and have not spoken to.
  9. After 6 months, send a post card to every single address you have not spoken to in person that includes a short URL to the community site, and make it password protected so that home owners feel they are getting access to something special.

For example, I know the likes Kris and Steve Berg (along with their team) know a very large percentage of home owners in Scripps Ranch. A history of the home for even 20% of homes within Scripps Ranch would be an amazing differentiated marketing tool for San Diego Castles Realty over the next decade. An offering like this would be a great reason for them to reach out to every single resident of Scripps Ranch they know, which I guarantee will lead to conversations with local residents they don’t already know.

If you build this right, and invest in the data collection – I believe this type of hyper local resource with photos and stories not available anywhere else is something that could become a topic of conversation at BBQs and dinner conversations throughout your community.

Don’t get me wrong. Executing on this properly is a boatload of work that’ll take months and months, maybe years to complete. You’re going to need to hire a programmer to build the system. You SHOULD hire a graphic designer to make the site look amazing. You might even have to pay a high school or college student to help with the data collection, cleansing, and uploading. It’s not going to be easy.

But for the agent or brokerage that is in real estate for the long run and runs their business accordingly? It’s a no brainer in my book.

Now, get out there and build community in your local community.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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