Selling a home is a big job, but sometimes the buyer is hiding in plain sight, the surrounding neighborhood. That’s right. I am willing to bet that most neighborhoods have a resident who knows someone looking to move there. But how do you find out if they know a buyer? Ask them.
Some of you may be thinking “I don’t need to do that my listing will sell in a week” or “the market is hot, it will sell quickly.” The market won’t always be hot, and there’s more to this plan then just selling a listing.
Let me explain.
We are going above and beyond to make a lasting impression and build relationships with potential sellers in a neighborhood.
The old way of thinking: you sell a listing without engaging with the neighborhood on a personal level. You send out the same generic just listed and sold cards like everybody else and never make a human connection. You’ll need to send out more cards to build a presence than you will if you follow-up a mailing with an in-person visit.
A new way of thinking: You personalize your postcards AND walk the neighborhood knocking on doors after sending them.
Which do you think will have a more significant impact?
Here’s how you can do it:
Walk the neighborhood and knock on doors.
When your new listing hits the market, cast a net around the ten homes on either side of the subject property and across the street (or more if you like).
Tell the residents that you have just listed a house on their street and you want to give them an opportunity to help find their new neighbor. You are planning an exclusive event and invite them to bring any potential buyers for a first look. This is your opening to a conversation. Build some report. Even if they don’t attend, you may make a lasting impression on them.
TIP: If you are squeamish about knocking on doors, bring a colleague. Having a familiar person to feed off of can add a layer of fun to the conversation and may put you at ease because the focus isn’t solely on you. I am not much of a door knocker but find this method makes me more comfortable.
Host a neighbors only open house event.
I say event because it should be unique and not just another open house. This idea excites me for a few reasons. You get to meet new people and develop a relationship. Relationships in the real estate business are everything.
Approach the guests with a genuine interest in getting to know them rather than “what can I get” mindset. Even if they don’t have a buyer in mind, it will make planning a housewarming or block gathering easier when the right buyer comes along (more on that later).
Take ten minutes and present the home.
Every home has a story; this is your chance to tell it. Share what the current owner loved most, how they cared for it, and any interesting facts or history. Create a unique take away gift that people will want to keep around or share with others.
One of my favorites is a branded key-shaped USB drive.
You can load the virtual tour video, property details, and business card onto it.
TIP: Purchase a drive that has at least 4GB of space (easy to find on Google), so the guest has the option for personal use. The idea is to give them the property info and something of value that they will keep around. Every time they use it, they will hopefully think of you.
Invite some neighbors to talk about why they love living there on camera.
You may get some resistance here but go for it anyway. Even if you get a couple, it’s worth it. Be careful they don’t unintentionally violate any fair housing or other laws.
Even though they said it, you are responsible because you used them in your marketing.
Tip: Look for the outspoken neighbor who is passionate and heavily involved in local happenings. Every neighborhood has a mayor.
Be transparent with your plan to use the video and always get their permission. You can repurpose these testimonials in a few ways.
- Weave them into your property tour video. Embed into an email blast for other real estate agents and your sphere of influence.
- Share them on social media.
- Embed them into a blog post about the neighborhood.
The after party: Follow up with a handwritten thank you note. If you received any phone numbers or email address at the event, get there feedback on the home.
Once you find the right buyer for your listing, help coordinate a block party or house-warming event.
The experience you create is what people will remember the most.
I would love to hear about your experience with neighborhood open houses or events. Please share them with me in the comments.
Christopher is a Personal Branding and Productivity Coach empowering real estate agents and small business owners to stand out in the crowded marketplace and increase productivity. He’s developed his personal brand as a real estate broker in NY & ME, International DJ, and Coach. Everything he teaches revolves around real-world experience, not textbook advice.