Susan Hires a Boss

If I were in real estate …

I would never, ever, ever, ever send you a postcard about the house I sold down the block.

You would never, ever, ever, ever get a fridge magnet from me.

There would never, ever, ever, ever be a billboard with my picture on it.

Instead, I would be the mayor of your neighborhood.

Because the ultimate marketing for a real estate agent, the point so many of them seem to miss, is the relationship. (Cue building objections of realtors saying they’re all about relationships!)

Really? Because just what part of your marketing is relationship based? The postcard to every house in a neighborhood you only entered because you had one listing there? The letter telling me what the market value is for the house two streets over?

The way I see it, real estate agents need a new way to market themselves and it comes by rethinking how they define relationships. What I propose is a little (OK, a lot) scary because it looks like you’re choosing a smaller pool to play in. But if you can own that pool, it’ll be worth it.

Here’s my plan (should I ever become a real estate agent!):

  • Chose a neighborhood – one that has a reasonable amount of churn, isn’t the highest priced, nor the lowest price.
  • Define the area precisely – from Midway Road to Forest Lane to the Tollway to 635 might be one such area in Dallas.
  • I only take listings, I only sell houses in that neighborhood. Period.
Here’s why it works - I am the mayor of my chosen neighborhood. What does that look like?
  • I use the businesses there and know those people by name.
  • I know the city councilperson who represents the area.
  • I attend city council meetings when items on the agenda impact my neighborhood.
  • Everyone in my neighborhood gets updates from me about news impacting the neighborhood.
  • I throw regular block parties until I know every person in the area (and even after).
And I’m just getting started. By the time I’m done, every person in that neighborhood knows that no one can sell their house better than me because I know so much about the area. Anyone buying there will wish they had used me because I can introduce them to everyone on their new block.

Would you buy from an agent who operated that way? Why aren’t you the mayor of a neighborhood already?


posted on Jun 11, 2009 under


Evil Capitalista said...

A good strategy for sure. What you're describing is known in the business as "farming" and has been around for a while. I like the mayor of the community term better but it is self-appointed.

The system works great but the problem is 95% of the agents out there are in it for a quick buck, make 2-4 transactions and then starve because they can't get deal flow and they have no lasting power.

lewister said...

Yep - no staying power. Because what I'm suggesting is definitely work. And takes time. And some guts. Which is why realtors aren't doing it and likely never will. Too bad. In big cities like Dallas, some neighborhood "mayors" would be an amazing thing.