When we think of being hyper-local, we tend to think about adding real estate statistics, listings, or a local blog post. But there are other ways to create a “community-Realtor” (or contractor, lender, home inspector, etc.) effect, giving you and your business a familiar, sociable, and approachable feeling.
1. Use a “where in the community” picture game. Snap a photo of something in your area that only people living there would recognize. Make it a little challenging by taking it from a different angle, or only capturing part of the scene. Invite readers to guess where it is. Don’t forget to provide the answer in your newsletter. Or you can make this your monthly quiz and enter correct answers into your monthly drawing.
2. Be a local tour guide. In each newsletter (or every other one), add a one-paragraph personal description of a local activity or location. For example: “My kids love skiing at Brighton more than Snowbird. It’s a bit slower and more level. Have you been up there yet? If not, check out the Brighton store and cafe. It’s a rustic mountain place, so don’t expect gourmet food or service. But it’s a great place for a hot cup of coffee and an old-time ski resort feel, without all the expensive bells and whistles.”
3. Interviews. Instead of asking for testimonials at the end of a transaction, drop into the middle of the deal and ask your clients what they love about living in ____. This can be buyers (Why did you decide to buy in this area?) or sellers (What have you loved most about living in this area?).
4. Personal shout-outs for local service providers. If someone in your circle has had a great experience with a service provider, you can give them a shout-out. For example: “Mark and Jennifer just used Jeramiah’s Junk Removal service to clear their garage. Here’s what Mark had to say: ‘We called Jeramiah and he asked us to take pictures of our junk. Then he gave us a bid. He called ahead to confirm, was spot on time, and cleaned every speck of debris away at the exact price he quoted us. He was professional, pleasant, and his price was the lowest of all the bids we got.’ You can give Jeramiah a try at XXX-XXX-XXXX.” You can also charge businesses for this kind of placement. In this case, you’d call Jeramiah and ask him if he’d like you to run the testimonial for a fee of $X. You’ll have to figure out the right fee.
5. Restaurant/Store reviews. Speak to the manager or owner of each restaurant or store you want to review. Tell them your newsletter circulation, then ask if they’d like to sponsor your quiz contest each month, in the form of a gift certificate. Use their prize in your quiz contest instead of a coffee card. Include a brief line about the restaurant. Or, if you don’t want to use the gift certificate, you can simply offer reviews to add more local color to your newsletters.
The point of doing hyper-local spots in your newsletter is to make a stronger connection to your readers. You want them to feel like you’re extremely knowledgeable, but also the most approachable, friendly, go-to person in the area for real estate (or loans, etc).