I spoke to an agent this week who recently started a Voices blog. She wrote a few posts and then was put off by the content of other blogs she read. She noticed that the majority of agents seemed to be writing about the state of the market and providing lots of information and statistics about their particular area. Analysing statistics is not her strength and she felt that maybe that’s what people were looking for and that her posts would not be of interest to anyone.
Don’t worry about what everyone else is writing. Stick to what you know and what you’re comfortable with. Think about your target audience. If you’re dealing with investors and people who are really interested in the latest statistics then that might work for you. Personally, market statistics bore the pants off me! I know the market has slowed down. I understand the implications that has for sellers, buyers and salespeople and beyond that I’m not really interested in the nitty gritty detail. Ok, so maybe I’m not looking to buy right now but if I was, I still wouldn’t be hugely interested. I just don’t have the head for all those figures!
I’m not from New Zealand originally, but arrived in Auckland six years ago with my backpack and not much else. The first flat I moved into was in Parnell. It was no coincidence that the only two people I knew in the country lived in Parnell! Since then I’ve lived in Mt Eden and Sandringham and I’m currently in Eden Terrace. Again, the fact that I had friends living in those areas was a factor, not to mention that they were convenient to the city and my workplace.
I love living so close to the city and for that reason renting works for me at the moment. The fact that I can’t afford to buy a house is possibly a small factor too! Hopefully, within the next few years I will be in a position to buy, but I’m pretty sure that I won’t be looking in any of the areas I’ve listed above! So, if and when the time comes to buy I’ll be doing a lot of research into other Auckland suburbs where I will hopefully be able to afford to buy. I can’t tell you what a difference it would make to find a blog, which had all the information I was looking for about a certain area or suburb. If that blog happened to be written by a salesperson working in that area do you think I might contact them if I did decide I wanted to live there? You bet I would!
There is so much you could write about on your blog that would be invaluable to people who want to move to the area. Here are a few ideas to help get you going:
No matter where you live, there are always events going on in the area. I’ve signed up for a great newsletter from the Auckland City Council, which provides information on upcoming events and festivals, places to go, stuff for kids and details of community groups and facilities. The range of information you can subscribe to is impressive. Just click here to check out the options available and to sign up.
Check with your local council to see if they have something similar on offer. Most areas will at least publish some kind of community newsletter. Get your hands on a copy, find out what is going on in your area and share it with us!
Does your area having a swimming pool, sports grounds, kids playgrounds, cinemas? What are the restaurants like? Is the nightlife good? Where’s your favourite place to go to brunch on a Sunday morning and relax with the papers? Maybe your town has an iconic building or monument? Or just the best darn pies or fish and chips in the whole world! TELL ME…I love food
What are the schools like? What are the zones? A lot of schools have their own website these days. Provide the links. Make it easy for people to contact them if they’re moving to the area. They’ll want to know what the schools are like so if you have kids in the local school, share your thoughts. If not, ask your friends, family or colleagues to share their experiences.
How long does it take to get to the CBD, airport, shopping malls, beaches, neighbouring towns and cities etc? Is the area serviced by trains, buses or ferries? Do you know of any plans for future developments to improve roads or build a by-pass for example?
Who lives there? Are there a lot of first-home buyers with young families? Or maybe the area is popular with retirees. What mix of nationalities have settled in the area? Is it a good area to purchase an investment property in?
Which streets in the area are deemed to be the best? This information is invaluable for people who do not have any knowledge of the area. It also helps them to understand why prices might differ substantially within the area.
Once you have filled your blog with posts detailing all of this information, I guarantee you will be noticed! Tell your friends, family and colleagues to add their comments about the area. The more information you can provide the better - there will never be enough. If someone has decided to live in the area they will have an insatiable appetite for information. If they are still making up their mind, you’ll provide the best resource available to help them in that process.
Just a word of warning though, be honest. If there’s a high rate of crime in your area for example, then discuss it on your blog. People will read about it in the papers and find out about it on other websites. If you’re saying that the reports are rubbish or just fail to mention it at all, people will start to lose trust in your site. Try to think of any positives, which have resulted from an adverse situation. Yes, the crime rate might be high but perhaps that has led to a greater sense of community spririt and the creation of neighbourhood watch programmes, where everyone is looking out for each other. There will always be a downsides to any area and you need to be open about them.
If your vendor is selling to move out of the area, ask them why. Then when you sell the house, ask the buyers why they wanted to live in the area. Share their comments with us – you might get some surprising responses. If your buyers are agreeable, you could also add their photograph and a short paragraph introducing them and welcoming them to the area. They’ll be very surprised when they’re recognised at the local shop! Also, people quickly become fed up if you use your blog as a blatant promotional tool, so this is a subtle way to let people know that you have made a recent sale!
Anyway, that’s probably enough food for thought! If you’re still reading, I hope this has provided you with at least a couple of ideas for some new posts.
May 30 2008 12:27 pm | Voices Blog