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The Opportunity to Showcase True Local Experts

I truly believe there is a very real opportunity for someone to showcase true local experts.

Sure, there is a data aspect of local expertise – but there’s also a neighborhood/community knowledge aspect which has nothing to do with real estate market data. Buyers want to truly know the ins and outs of the area they are moving to. What is the best place to get tacos within walking distance? Those relocating to new cities are seeking all sorts of knowledge above and beyond someone moving within the same city – weekend trips, local bars, activities, clubs, restaurants, coffee shops, dry cleaners, direction to skiing spots, public transit options, etc.

Real estate agents, of course, have all of this local knowledge (market data as well as things to do), but largely locked inside their heads.That data is out there – but it’s literally scattered across thousands of local blogs and websites/apps. If you are the most knowledgeable person on the planet about hyper local area X, but no one knows it because they can’t find it — then you’re certainly missing an opportunity for generating business.

sa_logo_360I tell you, a combination of Trover to showcase the gems in your area (I’ve long been a fan), StreetAdvisor for reviews of cities and neighborhoods as well as local questions and answers, and listings from Zillow or IDX (actives and solds)…would be a pretty damn compelling agent profile product. Integrate data from Yelp and Foursquare/Swarm, and you’d really have something.

I’ve long thought the industry is in a better position to nail this opportunity than anyone else. It appeared National Association of Realtors was going to take a stab at this with Street Cred (a brand name I really like), but haven’t heard a peep since. (Anyone have any further insight on why it’s been abandoned?)

Update: see this for 2014 results of Street Cred.

Is someone going to go after this in a big, big way? It’s certainly not an easy product to nail given the vast amount of data needed to deliver on the consumer value proposition. Of course, that’s precisely why showcasing local experts is a product and opportunity worth tackling.

[Disclosure: I’m consulting for StreetAdvisor]

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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  • We do 2 things that showcase local experts. One is we have a neighborhood interview for many neighborhoods. This is an interview giving all the pros and cons of the neighborhood from someone that lives there.

    We also have what is called our Sellers Highlights for our listings, and the seller gives some information about the neighborhood that will appeal to buyers, along with the highlights of their home.

    My belief is Realtors do not know the neighborhood as well as someone who has lived there for a number of years, so we try to convey that expertise to buyers.

    The only challenge is there are a lot of neighborhoods and we never completed all of them, but many have them.

    • Are you seeing any results from your efforts?

      • We are getting good results from our website in general, but it is tough to say one thing on our website is more critical than something else.

        On our property detail page, unlike other website layouts, shows everything without clicking.

        My feeling is hiding things behind a click are less like to be viewed then scrolling. So the neighborhood information is on the page, along with a lot of other information, so it is hard to say what exactly it has done for us, but clients do love all the details we give on each property.

  • Local experts are key! Because these large real estate outlets are not able to cover specific markets that buyers are looking into. So getting information online about a specific local area can be tricky sometimes.

  • Mike Price

    Great insight Drew. I’m amazed at the missed opportunities for real estate pros to define a local niche and create a strong content strategy around it. Consumers are looking for pros that have deep local knowledge. Creating hyper local content isn’t difficult, however, it requires a great deal of foot work to be done correctly. I’m guessing that’s the reason you just don’t see that many strong content resources. It’s one of those efforts that can’t be done via templates or plug-ins. A great review of schools at a granular neighborhood level is going to work much better than a plug-in of the same data being used on other sites.

    • Yup, sadly most don’t invest the time/resources/focus into dominating their “local” market online. At a super hyper local level, it really wouldn’t be that hard.

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