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29 August 2011

We Are All Ambassadors

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If you ever have the opportunity to travel to Ireland, please be sure to visit the best little pub you’ll ever have the pleasure of walking into: Ana O’Neill’s in the charming little town of Newmarket-on-Fergus.

It’s not the décor or even the way they pour the perfect pint of Guinness that makes this place special.  It is the people.

When my husband and I got there one evening in July—me for the first time and he on a return trip after thirteen years—we felt like we were coming home.  Not only were we warmly greeted, we were serenaded—yes, they sang to us—by the locals.  What’s more…each and every person was able to tell us useful information about the town and the surrounding areas: from the off-duty policemen to the woman behind the bar to the (thankfully) off-duty cab driver.  In short, everyone served as a willing, able and knowledgeable ambassador of this perfect little corner of Ireland.

What does this have to do with real estate? Well…everything.

Real Estate professionals have a unique and important opportunity—rather, obligation—to serve as ambassadors for their communities.  Because consumers have more access than ever to information about homes that was previously only available to the pros, our games need to be raised. 

In order to provide utmost value to your clients, share information that provides community-level context to what will be the most significant purchase or transaction they will make in their lives

  • Be plugged into community happenings: Beyond hard-stat market dynamics, who is moving into and out of the community? What cultural and community events will add flavor and a sense of belonging to your clients’ new lives?
  • Have an idea of the commuting situation in your community: What is traffic like? What are the short cuts? How accessible is public transportation?
  • Know the ins and outs of the school systems: What are the best schools? Who are the best teachers?
  • Share recreational ideas: Are there activities for outdoorsy people? Golf lovers? Runners? How can your clients take full advantage?
  • Be in the know about fun things to do: Are there any great new restaurants? Where do you get the best slice of pizza? Museums? Entertainment venues? What do people do for fun in your community?
  • Not every client has the same priorities: Depending upon whether you are working with a family, a single person, or a newlywed couple, their priorities will be different.  So do your homework for each of these—and many other—consumer personas that will come your way.

Being a real estate professional is nothing short of being an ambassador of your community.  You are the personification of what the community has to offer.  That is an important role, one that could make the difference in whether a client buys or not.  Yes, square footage, number of bedrooms, and the renovation status of kitchens will always be important.  But for today’s informed consumer, community is equally important.  Crack the community code and you will stand out from the crowd. 

6 thoughts on “We Are All Ambassadors

  1. Jennifer, Great thoughts and thank you for sharing. However the "best little pub you’ll ever have the pleasure of walking into" is the Cartoon Inn, Rathdrum county Wicklow. There was no singing the day I walked in, looking for directions to the village my Grandfather emigrated from nearly 100 years ago, yet I experienced the care and concern every client and customer deserves from the real estate professionals they encounter. All I had to aide me was a small xerox copy of his hand written birth registration from the records in Dublin. The five locals took great interest in my quest and provided detailed instructions for me to find my way to where his house used to be. Thanks again and I'll back you up on your next Guinness!

  2. Robert, what a terrific story. It made my day. Not only were you met with hospitality, but you were able to experience a significant part of your personal history. Thank you for sharing. Best, Jen

  3. Jennifer, you are so right! Great post. I am going to incorporate community into my website. After all, I have lived in it for 36 years. It is a wonderful place to live!

  4. Pam, that is an excellent idea. You are taking the idea of community incorporation a step further by making it a part of not only your personal marketing, but your online marketing. I think your clients will really benefit from that approach, particularly with your in-depth knowledge.

  5. Jennifer, that is quite a refresher. For us people in real estate we focus on things like acreage, size of the property, things like those. We forget that our clients are social individuals. They need to belong in a community. And yes as an agent you must make your clients feel like you have known the place well. Make them feel you are giving them a heads up with information like traffic which is actually different for every community. And I like it when you call us ambassadors.

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