You have all the expertise in real estate for your area, but you don’t have to keep it to just your website and social media. The Internet has a wealth of areas where you can reach out to potential sellers and buyers, dish out your knowledge and make real connections that could turn into leads and clients.
One of the best places to share your insights and to answer questions is on local forums. These Q-and-A sites provide space for people to ask questions in a number of areas related to a particular city or neighborhood. You can bet real estate is one of those topics!
National Forums with Local Websites
We’ve discussed a number of different websites before where a forum-type format is already in place for neighbors and local experts to participate in. One of those is NextDoor. If you aren’t already a member of your neighborhoods NextDoor site (and complementary app), then you’re missing out on some great opportunities to get your name out there. Once you start an account and select your chosen neighborhood, you will have access to hundreds of people in that area who not only have questions but may be eager to learn about different aspects of the neighborhood that you, as a real estate agent, can share.
Another great site is one you are already on – Facebook. Just as you can post listings, sparingly, on “information trading” private groups, you can relay your real estate or just neighborhood knowledge to those with the right questions.
CityData is a long-standing forum with microsites in cities across the U.S. The interesting thing about this site is that it is a wealth of statistical information for every U.S. neighborhood imaginable yet the forum has changed very little, even from a decade or so ago. But the information requested and shared is at the heart of it all, and why so many people still use it. An easy click onto “Forum” will bring you to a list of all states and all major metropolitan areas.
Hop on over to Houston, for example, and you’ll find, without having to do a quick search, a number of questions asking for advice about specific areas of the metropole as well as advice about moving from other locales. While you can certainly answer real estate-related and location-based questions, it might serve you well to participate in some of the more interesting threads, like “How would you best describe the Houston vibe?” A good handle that includes “RealEstate” in it is a good way to let others know what you do without having to say so in your answers. (Which is too salesy anyway.)
Bonus: If you enter “real estate agent” in the search field, you’ll see a number of threads asking for recommendations.
Commenting on Local News Articles and Blogs
Have you ever had a strong opinion or advice to give after reading an article but just never felt like leaving a comment? Time to get over it! Every newspaper, local blog, magazine and the like have online articles where you can share your point of view or experiences as a real estate agent with others. Start a Google alert for real estate or neighborhood articles in your area and let people know your out there.
A word of caution: You may want to stay neutral/altogether away from political discussions. But cheering on a local hero, adding information to a written piece or (when appropriate) offering your services doesn’t hurt a bit.
A good way to hunt for these outlets is to do a Google search for “[your city/county/neighborhood] real estate blog” or just “[your city/county/neighborhood] blog.” Subscribe to local magazine and blog newsletters to get the latest articles as they are published.
By becoming an active member of your community online, you can introduce yourself virtually to hundreds more people and stay apprised of the local happenings that could turn into a Facebook or blog post!