According to Wikipedia, social media influencers establish themselves as opinion-leaders with their followers. They have persuasive strengths such as attractiveness, likeability, niche expertise, and perceived good taste.
While this is a common term thrown around quite often these days, this idea is relatively foreign in real estate—an industry long known for its old school ways of doing business and antiquated marketing and design.
Thankfully, real estate agents and teams are beginning to understand that the future of real estate is digital. They now realize the power of technology and social media and how it can help them build (and grow) their business.
There is no better way to attract buyers and sellers than to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and love for an area or neighborhood. We are starting to see an increase in value placed on agents who are local experts.
Given the surge of awareness and the importance of location in buying and selling homes, a new breed of savvy agents is rising to the top: Community influencers.
What is a Community Influencer?
Much like a social media influencer, a community influencer leverages the tools at their disposal to help build brand awareness and establish trust with their audience.
However, a community influencer’s goal is not to gain followers on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. While important, follower counts are not the metric that matters—it’s lead capture.
Community influencers immerse themselves in a local area and become the de facto resource for recommending world-class dining, desirable neighborhoods, and the best educational institutions for their children.
Why is this important?
Because many buyers come are from out-of-state and may not be familiar with the place they might soon call home. Their only option is to enlist real estate agents with a digital presence who can quickly answer any questions they have regarding an area that interests them.
The Role of a Community Influencer
While one goal of becoming a community influencer is to capture new leads and add to your client list, there should also be a consideration for serving the people who live and work in the area you love.
Here are some creative ideas and ways you can build into your local community while growing your real estate business at the same time.
1. Be the neighborhood tour guide.
An excellent way to rise above the local competition is knowing and suggesting the best places to grab a bite to eat or a late-night drink. Even better, take them out yourself.
The location and proximity to restaurants, shopping, and outdoor recreational activity are sometimes as important as the curb appeal and upgrades of a home someone is buying.
Consider inviting your clients out for a quarterly progressive meal, where a juicy burger, craft beer, and the best chocolate in town can do its thing.
2. Organize a community event.
Everybody likes to be outside when the weather is nice. It makes sense to consider organizing a local event, because after all, how often do you talk to your neighbors?
Community events are a great way to meet people—especially those who might even live down the street from you. You might even discover that you’ve been missing out on some great company.
Start a local 5k race, be in charge of a neighborhood scavenger hunt, or host an outdoor movie screening. All of these ideas will help bring people together and give them a sense of belonging.
3. Volunteer at a local charity.
At any given moment, there are opportunities to do charitable work within your community—several of which are open to the public, and most don’t require a reservation.
Some examples are animal shelters, food pantries, local libraries, retirement homes, and Habitat for Humanity—none of which need specialized skill or extensive experience.
Participation in charity work—whether it involves volunteering your time or donating your money—demonstrates the value you place into your local community and showcases your generosity.
Influence Your Community
Given how active the market is right now, there is a chance you are listing more homes than usual. While that might be keeping you busy right now, you need a strategy that withstands the ups and downs of the economy.
Even though there is a massive push for digital marketing in the industry, real estate agents who prioritize relationships and community will stand out and position themselves better for the long haul.
Buyers need your help and are looking at you to guide them through a process that is often stressful. Show them how dependable you are and establish a connection that other agents think is unnecessary.
Stand out and be an influencer of good in your community.