Loosen Up, Look Around, Sell Your Town

FourStar UVIs the Economy and working in Real Estate getting you down. Then it is time to stop selling real estate and start selling your town.   That’s right, put on a fresh pair of eyes and a change of attitude about the business, your business.   If you are in real estate for the sole purpose of turning a dime and making a buck, then it is time to get out; past time actually.   If not, then you need a fresh perspective.   Here are three things you can do that will help.

Loosen Up Your Attitude

Think of the town you live in as a community and not where you do business. Those neighborhoods, subdivisions, historic homes, barrios etc. are more than the parts of your local real estate market. They are a part of what makes your community unique. Stop being a bean counter (my apologies to accountants) Loosen up your attitude and ask yourself why would anyone want to live here?

Look Around

Now that you have the attitude and are willing to see your town with fresh eyes and a new perspective it is time to look around. What do you see. The best pie place in the county. Some of the most unique architecture around? Public Art? Historical Landmarks? Hiking trials, lakes, fishing, mountains, bike trails, birding, etc. Look around and find the things that make your community attractive to people that don’t even know it exists.

Sell Your Town

Have you been taking notes while driving around. Photographs, yes, you knew it was coming. People want to see where you live, not just listing photos, not just the size of the master bath or the type of fireplace. They want to see the community. Some are moving for employment, often they have a choice of communities in proximity to where they are going to be working. Gas might be expensive but most still are willing to drive to get to work if they find a community in which they want to live.

Show off your communities assets. Employ the same mindset you would if your community were a listing. Curb appeal, what do I mean? I would think there are times of the year when main street looks fantastic and other when it is . . . I lived in a small town with a park and bandstand in the center. During the fall the maple leaves would turn bright yellow and orange and the place looked like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. A few months later in the dead of winter, it didn’t look so good.

Have a street fair? Great time to photograph. Does your community decorate for the 4th of July with bunting and red white and blue everywhere?

Sometimes the things you take most for granted are what others find attractive. Let me give you a prime example. I’m from Ohio, I now live in the Desert. You know what looks overwhelmingly attractive to me? GREEN, green grass, green trees, green, and WATER, rivers, streams, creeks, lakes, fishing, ponds, docks, rafts floating on farm ponds. Holy Cow do I miss these things. Corn shocks in the fall, large round bales of hay dotting the fields. I could go on and on. This is what I mean by needing fresh eyes, a new attitude and perspective.

You probably wouldn’t even think to take a photo of these, they are so . . . common, normal, everyday. But not to me, to me they are like dessert. These hold my attention and let me dream of the future and remember the past.

Comments

  1. Well, I don’t think that this advice is exclusively for a bad economy. As a real estate agent, you should always be thinking like this, even when homes seem to be selling themselves. I think detail photos are the most lacking element of most real estate sites, whether it be of the surrounding area or of the house itself. Don’t be lazy and just settle for a photo of an empty apartment. Go all the way. It’s really not that hard.

  2. Alfred,

    I agree that a bad economy isn’t the only time to do this. My emphasis was on a change of attitude about the market and economy. To get focus off the economy and back on the community.

    For us this is our approach. It has never been about pushing real estate or sales. I’m not driven by those kinds of things. For me it is getting people/families into homes they can afford and make a place for memories.

    Telling and showing people about our community and showing it off is a great way to keep a positive attitude even when the economy and market itself isn’t doing as well as we would like.

  3. Great Advice and a good reminder for me to get over to one of my listings and take some community photos. Pools, live oak trees, and flower lined walking paths look great compared to our competitors!

    Brad Officer ´s last blog post..Drayton Park Townhome For Sale – Short Sale

  4. “Loosen up your attitude and ask yourself why would anyone want to live here?”

    Excellent advice that I remind my agents about regularly.

  5. While I do agree I don’t think these three points will help get a deal. Today, at least in Orange County, the market for 1st time home buyers in starter homes.

    So, ya one does need a good attitude, but one should be seeking out those lower end markets if making money is what you want.

    Good points, but don’t forget that one has to follow the money to make a living.

    cheers,
    orange county mobile notary

  6. Good reminder. Since I live in Honolulu, sometimes I can be blind to some of things that makes our community so great.
    Aloha,
    Keahi

    Keahi Pelayo ´s last blog post..Planning To Sell Your Honolulu Home Part Five-Cleaning

  7. I could not agree more. When I show people in person I make it a point to show them bits in Austin in addition to just showing subdivisions. The same should be true on websites.

    Ki Gray ´s last blog post..Austin Real Estate Statistics for April 2009

  8. I agree, I think we often lose sight that the reason that they want to move to certain places is because of the area just as much as the home they will live in. I usually take my clients (if coming here from another area) for a drive along the beach and other nice places in my city. Show them the sites and where the shopping, schools etc. are

  9. Matt,

    Those three points get us almost all our buyers. It is how they find and pick us as their agents.

    Making money, if that is your main goal, get out of real estate. There are a lot easier ways to make money. Selling low end first time starter homes isn’t going to get you or anyone else rich.

    Being an Ambassador for your community will get you a lot of business and repeat business, if it is just pushing tin to first time home buyers then it isn’t about building an ongoing relationship with clients. It is sell them the property and move on.

    Don’t think many in blogging have that attitude.

  10. Great article. In my city, for example, we have a LOT of out-of-state buyers. I think that a lot of people will be receptive to you writing about the city and not always writing about the statistics and numbers (they can get that anywhere). I think what people truly value is a unique perspective on the town they are interested in, that they can’t get just anywhere.

  11. Nice post Dave. I am always selling the area. I get a lot more excited about a lead that has been visiting Sarasota for years versus one that has never been here before. One of my pre-qualifying questions is whether they have even been to the area before. Sometimes people shop purely on price. Those prospects are more challenging because they tend to think all areas of Florida are the same and the only difference is price. Those prospects require extra selling of the area.

  12. Dave, some good thoughts for consideration. Selling Austin is probably not as difficult as selling some areas. Still, there are some things that I need to focus on in this area.

    Jim Gilbert ´s last blog post..South/Southwest Austin New Home Communities Update

  13. I have heard of real estate companies making videos of they’re home town so people or customers know what that particular city has to offer. Great ideas for posting area attractions with listing photos.

  14. I’ve seen some of those videos too Robert. I’ve been wanting to make one to post to my site. I live in Round Rock just north of Austin TX and many move here through relo. with work. I think many would prefer to live outside the city if they knew what they were missing out on.