Every week, we ask a real estate professional for their Short List, a collection of tips and recommendations on an essential topic in real estate. This week, we talked with Allyn Rawling, a broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, on her ways to become a local expert.
10. Know the data. You should know the average market time, median and average sale prices, absorption rate and, breaking that down further, know the data by building – particularly if it’s the building you live in. Know the number of units on the market, under contract and sold by building.
9. Know the inventory. Get out there. See the properties. You will be ahead of the crowd if you do. Don’t just rely on photos; really good professional photography makes a mediocre unit look great, and really bad amateur photography can make a good unit look bad. Go see the properties.
8. Market the data. Choose an area or building and let them know you are the area expert and why, with information about the area or building. Send quarterly reports on what’s happening in their micro-market.
7. Run your business like you were running for office. Put your name and sign everywhere you can.
6. Talk to everybody, and not just people you know. Everybody you come in contact with is part of your market area.
5. Get involved in some volunteer opportunities: Meals on Wheels, school tutoring, a local chorus or church choir, book groups, anything to get you in front of people you don’t already know. But you have to be sincere; if you don’t like children, volunteering at a school is probably not your best option for winning friends and influencing potential clients.
4. Know the area amenities. Everybody knows where Starbucks is, but where can you get a cup of Metropolis coffee? Chicago is famous for great restaurants, but which ones are in your local area? Also, know where the library branch is located, the nearest grocery store, drug store, book store; be aware of any shops that are either just really good or unique, whether they are clothing boutiques, pet stores, Belgian chocolate shops or a bar serving craft beers. You do not need to recommend one or the other, but you do need to know the local schools and places of worship.
3. Gather information that points to you as the consummate professional; keep your award certificates and testimonial letters together, so you can pull them out if necessary. Better yet, put them on your website. But remember, they don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
2. Know the real estate reporters in your area and let them know you appreciate what they write. Who knows, perhaps they will call you when they need a source and will quote you in their publication.
1. And to quote Katherine Hepburn, “Be fascinating! Just be fascinating!”
Allyn Rawling is a top-producing broker with Prudential Rubloff in Chicago. A 20-year industry veteran, Rawling has earned a five-star rating Chicago magazine on three separate occasions. She is a member of the Women’s Council of Realtors, the Illinois Association of Realtors and the North Shore Board of Realtors, and is an avid reader and a singer in three separate choirs.