Stake Your Claim with Hyperlocal Marketing Techniques
A real estate business relies on local clientele. Getting the best visibility with locals means adopting some hyperlocal marketing techniques.
You’re in the business of selling your services to real people so it’s important to meet them where they are, whether that is online or in-person.
“Hyperlocal” means your business is being very specific about targeting a certain geographic location with your marketing efforts. You don’t need to spend money on national campaigns if most of your customers live within fifteen minutes of your office!
Here’s why hyperlocal marketing techniques matter and how you can use them:
Why “Hyperlocal” matters
From a real estate perspective, you’re generally targeting prospects in a very specific geographic area. This might be cities, communities or even specific neighborhoods – the key is that it should be well-defined.
An advantage of hyperlocal marketing is that it has a very specific set of parameters. Rather than being overwhelmed by national marketing campaigns or the idea that all of your content should cater to a broad audience, it keeps you focused.
For a local business, this is important. If you try to appeal to everyone, you risk engaging no one, whereas if you focus deeply on your target audience, you have a much better chance of success.
From the perspective of your prospects, this hyperlocal focus often means that you’re able to provide them with better value. Your resources are suited to where those people live and work- even down to the specific neighborhood.
A hyperlocal marketing focus can provide better value to real estate prospects Click To Tweet
Understanding your local neighborhood
The first step in any hyperlocal marketing technique is to understand and define exactly where your neighborhood or community is and what its core characteristics are. This doesn’t have to be super-complicated! Many real estate agents get caught up with “buts.” “But what if I have a client in that area,” or “but I don’t want to exclude anyone.”
The most effective forms of marketing set out to include a very specific group of prospects, meaning that naturally, some will be excluded. Don’t be put off by this – it has been proven time and again to be a strategy that works to attract the most suitable people.
If you have difficulty with defining your target area at this step, it can help to think about where you live first. The chances are you know it well and can give directions or make recommendations to anyone who stopped you in the street. People love to do business with true locals – it tends to add that extra “something” that makes the whole deal special.
Consider also any communities that you belong to already and what their unique needs are. For example, if you are a parent, you’re probably well-versed in where to find the good schools and what makes for a great family home. If you’re a single professional, you probably understand things like commutes, clubs and important local facilities. While you might serve a range of communities, starting with what you know well helps with your hyperlocal focus.
Don’t target the entire city
You might serve a small community anyway, in which case almost any marketing will be “hyperlocal,” but if you’re in a big city, consider that targeting the entire city is not hyperlocal marketing. City neighborhoods can be vastly different in terms of characteristics and who wants to live or do business there. You will market areas differently and target different prospects according to those characteristics.
Besides that, you run the risk of having to compete too hard with every other real estate agent who is casting a wide net. A search for “real estate agent in San Francisco” will bring up hundreds of hits, whereas “real estate agent in Piedmont” will turn up much narrower results. You have a better chance of appearing near the top of search results with a hyperlocal focus.
Online, you’re also competing with the major real estate portals who tend to dominate in search results. Even these sites have started to focus on hyperlocal strategies, for example with Trulia Neighborhoods providing content and insights from local sources. You have something they often don’t, though – true experience and inside knowledge of your area.
Where to start with hyperlocal marketing
That last point segues nicely into where you’d start with hyperlocal marketing: by leveraging your own knowledge and expertise.
One of the best ways to do this is by producing content that buyers (or sellers) will find valuable. You position yourself as a foremost local expert so that prospects naturally want to go to your website for information.
What sort of content might be “valuable?” Put yourself in the shoes of the prospect, define who they are and what their specific needs are. This will help you to narrow down the topics they are interested in.
Hyperlocal content might include things like:
- Shops and amenities
- Local events
- Clubs and community organizations
- Local schools
- Reviews of local restaurants
- Highlights of local achievements
- Local places to take pets
- Local places to take kids
- Local places to go on a date
- Local outdoor spaces
- Real estate information; the number of homes, market trends, local builders, average home prices, things to know about permitting that are specific to the local area…
Remember to include plenty of photos of the local area too. People tend to be very visual first – in fact it may be a photo that captivates them before they read any written content. Get out there and showcase the best of what your local area has on offer.
Benefits of personalization
While the big real estate portals may be starting to look at hyperlocal marketing techniques, they often lack the mobility and personal feel of a true local website. They have money and manpower, but it’s like the difference between a big box store and your local specialty shop – the big box probably only knows the basics.
This can lead to a less personal, less welcoming feel from those types of sites. On the other hand, you have the flexibility to be very mobile and adaptable. You’re in the thick of local trends and can respond quickly to any shifts that occur, updating your content and having conversations about it. In fact, a great hyperlocal technique is to be known for being accurate and up-to-date. It’s well-known that property estimates on portal sites can be highly inaccurate – you can be known as a reliable source.
Going back to the shoes of the prospect, think how a non-local who is hoping to move into the area might feel. They want to know about key topics or interests and where they might fit in, but trying to go through a big portal site can be overwhelming. They get bombarded with more than they were looking for and can leave confused.
Your opportunity is to ease that process for the prospect. To answer their key questions upfront and to help them to quickly narrow down their options. You are their true local expert and trusted guide.
Take your content to social media
Another key hyperlocal opportunity is to take your local content to social media. Social channels tend to rank well in search results, which can give your profile an extra boost.
Repurpose photos and videos of your local area and post them on your social media channels. Visual content often works very effectively because it grabs attention in newsfeeds. Feature some of the best landmarks or places to go out. Consider introducing people to friendly locals, such as owners of well-respected businesses or members of local clubs.
It’s another opportunity to get personal. Your content can go deeper than anyone else’s because you have the personal connections.
Hyperlocal marketing techniques mean getting very specific about the area that you are marketing. It means diving deep and presenting yourself as THE local expert.
The advantage of hyperlocal marketing is that you are more likely to be a contender in search than if you take a broad approach. Narrowing your focus also narrows the field of competitors for the attention of your prospects.
Lastly, hyperlocal marketing can create a much more positive experience for the prospect. It helps them to get the answers they really need and to be assured that they’re getting current information. Stake your claim – get hyperlocal!