How to Become a Chicago Neighborhood Expert, Part 2

by Chicago Agent

Rich Rogala is the Digital Strategist and Business Development Coach for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Chicago Region.

In my last article, Part 1 of How to Become a Chicago Neighborhood Expert, we talked about setting up a blog as your online “hub,” and starting to create content to share on your blog and social media sites.

In today’s Part 2, we’ll talk about sharing your great neighborhood content to Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare with your smartphone.

As we talked about last time, the content you’ll be sharing will be valuable information for potential clients who are interested in the specific neighborhood and community where you are an expert.

Here are a few examples of the types of articles and posts to share:

•Resource articles containing important information about the neighborhood, utility information and great places to eat, etc.
•Photos of local hot spots and interesting neighborhood events you’ve attended.
•Photo/video/blog posts of seasonal menus and dishes from restaurants in the area.
•Articles about upcoming events and festivals in the neighborhood or general neighborhood news.
• Video interview with local community experts and business owners.
• Neighborhood bus and “L” maps.
• Customized video tour of a hot property that has just hit the market.
• An eye catching photo series of neighborhood buildings or landmarks using my favorite app for both Android and iPhone: Instagram.
• Neighborhood video tours.
• Neighborhood report of the most recent listed and sold properties and other real estate information (creating a market report snapshot).

In order for you to get all of this great content working properly, you need to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible! You’ll want to take this great content and share it to all of your social media sites. Where you share it will depend on what type of content you’ve created.

Neighborhood Facebook Pages:
Different than a Business Page about you or one that is just about real estate, your Neighborhood Facebook Page allows you to create an online community based around a micro-local geographic area. This is a great outlet to provide information and resources about your specific neighborhood or community. After sharing and creating engaging content, you can be sure that an active group from the area will start to participate with you and your page.

With the social nature of Facebook and the wide variety of members that are using this platform, almost all the content you create will do well on Facebook. So your first step will be to make sure you can share while away from your computer – that’s the best way to be sure you’ll actually do it!

From here, I’m going to be assuming you have a smartphone. I believe that it’s a required tool for all real estate brokers these days. Whether it’s an iPhone, Android, Windows or Blackberry, if it’s a smartphone, there’s likely an app for Facebook, so you’ll want to make sure you have this app downloaded to your phone. Using this app, you can share photos of the neighborhood, quick videos, interesting local articles you find and quick updates about local happenings while on the go.

Once you start to develop a nice following, you can get your fans more involved by creating polls, asking for recommendations on some of their favorite local spots and responding regularly to their comments and posts.

If you’re not familiar with Foursquare, it’s a geo-location site that allows you to “check-in” at spots around you, build a network and leave “tips” for other people checking into the same locations as you. So how can you use this to become a Neighborhood Expert? Add the Foursquare app to your phone, and get in the habit of “checking in” regularly as you go about your day. Check into a spot often enough, and you may become the “mayor,” which is seen by anyone else that checks in. This is a good start for visibility in your area. Then, start to leave tips and respond to tips from others.

Another way you can use Foursquare is to create a venue for an open house or new listing, add a “special” to help the property stand out when people check in nearby, and encourage agents to leave tips or comments during showings. Have you created a video for a local restaurant or event? Leave a tip and include a link to your YouTube video, which will help your potential clients cross over to your other social profiles and increase your expert status.

We just talked about putting your videos on YouTube, and this is a big one. YouTube is one of the largest search engines out there, and according to Compete.com, the fourth most visited site on the Internet. So you want to have a full presence here. Any video you create (whether it a property tour, interview with the local alderman, review of a restaurant or you giving your real estate tips and insights) should go on your YouTube channel. Use keywords for your neighborhood in your descriptions of the videos, and link Google Maps to your videos. You can then post these videos onto your Facebook Neighborhood Page, your blog and share on Twitter.

Twitter is a site that many don’t understand and don’t take full of advantage of. Yes, while it can be true that some people post silly updates about what they are eating for lunch, it’s also a great place to start connecting with local residents and establishing yourself as the Neighborhood Expert. Having a Twitter app on your phone is a great way to make it easy to post frequently and engage in conversations without spending a ton of your time. Mix up your updates between articles, videos, stats/real estate info and engage in conversation with other users (the latter being the most important). When engaging on Twitter, you’ll find that you will be driving traffic back to your other social media profiles and your blog as well!

So there you have the basics of sharing your neighborhood content onto your social media sites. In my third article on this subject, we’ll talk about other mobile apps you can use to really stand out as the local neighborhood expert, and how all these sites can help you with your SEO, meaning you’ll get more love from Google!

Rich Rogala is the Digital Strategist and Business Development Coach for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Chicago Region as well as a Digital Storyteller | Business Artist | Father | Sports Guy | Hot Dog & Sandwich Connoisseur |Music Lover | Husband | Fantasy Football Champ |

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