Understanding the value of an arsenal of information is one thing, building one is another! Some agents start out ahead: people who live in or have grown up in an area already know a lot about it, but anyone can build an arsenal or information. Here’s how:
Use every search and research program available to you to compile the facts: statistical information is public domain and most agencies subscribe to the programs and databases that provide them.
Even an agent brand-new to an area has a very crucial advantage: other agents. Many areas have professional organizations, and some agencies have mentoring programs, but these aren’t necessary for a newbie or transplant to start networking. Make time to talk to fellow agents and pick their brains. Learn everything they can share with you about the areas you are most likely to work in.
Networking is not just among agents, but with everyone – get out and meet people. Visit public events from ballgames to church socials: make friends and listen to them. Not only are the people who live there vital informants, they are also future customers!
Catch the News
Local news organizations, from papers to television, to radio, are a great resource for local concerns, events, and other outcomes that affect areas and neighborhoods. Just a few minutes skimming through the local pages can alert an agent to new developments or issues that can add to their arsenal.
Get out of the office and explore. Drive through the neighborhoods, take a walk through the parks, stop at the yard sales. These are opportunities to learn your turf and do some networking.
Be responsive to all questions, even if there aren’t any answers. It’s ok if you don’t know everything. You don’t have to instantly have the answer to every question, but you should make every effort to find the answers! Ask your network for information you don’t have, ask clients what they mean, want, and value so you can find the information they don’t have.
Real estate agents are like detectives, treasure hunters, and tour guides, all wrapped into a service profession. The better an agent knows the areas and neighborhoods he works in, the better he’ll be able to answer his client’s asked and unasked questions and help them find the right home.
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About Geoff Thompson — Geoff Thompson is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.