The “Neighborhood Specialist”
Updated: Jun 26, 2018
There is a boatload of marketing out there that doesn’t make any sense, and this gem is another one of my favorites.
What is a neighborhood specialist, today?
So, in the Stone Age, before the internet was invented and all kinds of anti-discrimination laws were put in place and before everyone had a car (or, an Uber or Lyft app or Car2Go!), people had a harder time learning about neighborhoods outside of their own. Information was not available as it is now, so people had to rely on agents, who walked their neighborhoods, talked to everyone, knew where to get the best haircuts for little Timmy, which store sold the best pie, and which drunken guy beat his wife every night (obviously, don’t by the house next to those folks!).
Today, we have the power of the internet, and with that, we have sales data, Google maps and Google Earth, Yelp that tells you ranking of the best schools, hair dressers, bakers, traffic stats of how to get to work and every dang neighborhood has its own blog too!
In addition to that, as agents, we have multiple, local, state and federal laws preventing us using any discriminatory statement about anyone or any area, so these “local specialists” can’t (or, at least, shouldn’t) spread gossip, so what is their purpose now? What do they really mean by being a specialist?
Is it possible that they are only too lazy to leave their own neighborhood? Or, because they have spent a bunch of money to market to that particular “farm” (marketing term) of people? Or, they just have no business and are ready to jump in that neighborhood anywhere and happy to take any client that comes in their way (because, people really like to work with folks others don’t want to work with)? What do they provide that warrants such a label?
I don’t get it.
Actually, I’m all about the exact opposite!
Getting a basic real estate license (where most agents end up staying) requires a two week course. Investing in real estate, by its definition, is an INVESTMENT (like it or not, money comes before the “cute” kitchen!). If you would require a Series 65 from your financial investment advisor, why would you be OK with someone who keeps the bar low and does not even understand how a property in one neighborhood fits into the entire city and state, or why one area might be better than others for your particular needs? The neighborhood specialist might know that hood well, but be in no position to help you compare it with others. In contrast, the generalist that you need will factor in how we will get around in 5 years and where the infrastructure will develop, whether other neighborhoods have better schools for your children, and also know and work in commercial real estate to know where the employers are looking to move and what other parts of town are growing faster. With that combined knowledge, the generalist helps her clients get the most return on the investment of their home.
So see, knowing more and being a generalist in this field is a must for you to get the best overall advice! Aiming low and just getting a license and looking at only one neighborhood aren’t!