Digital Deep Dive: How to position yourself as a local expert

In the last Deep Dive article we talked about Instagram and how important it is to position yourself as “the local expert” in your farming area. 

This means you’ll need to be up to date on the relevant events taking place in your area of focus. Sounds easy, right? Well, finding “insider” information on a regular basis can be harder than you think, especially if you’re not constantly monitoring all the relevant sources.

We've prepared some simple tricks, supporting you in your online farming activities:

1) What do my customers want to know about a neighbourhood?

The basic idea when it comes to real estate farming is simple: think about what you’d be interested in if you want to move to another city, district, neighborhood, etc. … and then slip into the role of your clients.

To sum up, start with personal experience, then branch out to put yourself in the shoes of others, and what they’d be interested if they were moving to a new place.

●       Couples with kids will likely be more interested in whether the area is safe and child-friendly, where the next school is, how far the next playground / park is,...

●       Dog owners will be interested in whether the area is dog-friendly, if there’s a dog park nearby, nice walking / hiking tracks, dog-friendly restaurants, bars, lakes, ....

●       Younger people will tend to be more interested in fancy bars, nightlife, ...

●       Older people will tend to be more interested in nice restaurants and cultural things,...

In essence, we’re all unique and have unique interests. However your role as a real estate Agent and local expert requires you to know about everything happening in your area of focus, even if it's not that relevant or exciting for you personally.


2) How to gather local expert knowledge?

There are many sources you can gather information from:

  • Blogs
  • Facebook/Twitter
  • Websites and media/news outlets (just to mention a few).

However, checking a huge range of sources is very time-consuming.

Free monitoring tools are a great way to gather information from multiple sources in a focused way, saving you time and effort. We've done some research on available tools and created a small proof of concept (PoC) comparing  a few popular tools. The goal of this PoC was to check whether it’s possible to get all the valuable information passively delivered to your inbox without needing to check different sources actively and periodically.


3) Which monitoring tool is suitable for me?

Two monitoring tools turned out to be the most interesting ones:

  • Google Alerts (https://www.google.com/alerts)
  • Talkwalker Alerts https://www.talkwalker.com/alerts)

Both are simple to set up, free to use (at least in the basic version that is sufficient for our goal) and both will deliver the results directly to your inbox.

Google Alerts is more focused on news platforms, whereas Talkwalker is more focused on Social Media (like Blogs, Twitter, etc.). 

Therefore, we recommend setting up both of them.


4) How to set up the monitoring tools?

How to set up Talkwalker:

Simply enter the following data:

●       Your keyword (your farming area, neighborhood, political district, city, etc.)

●       Your email address

●       The result type (recommended: all four of them: News, Twitter, Blogs and Discussions)

●       Your language

●       How often you want to receive the news (recommended: once a day)

●       How many results you want to receive (recommend: all results at first)

●       Check the Terms & Conditions

How to set up Google Alert:

The set-up of Google alerts is quite similar:

The only difference is that “result type” is called “sources”. It is recommend manually selecting all sources (instead of “automatic” which is pre-selected).


5) How do the monitoring tools work?

Both monitoring tools work in a similar way and the principal is simple. There’s a pool of sources that is constantly monitored for new content. If your keyword is found in one of their sources it will be added to the alert list that is sent to you once a day.

The keyword is the most important field because this filters your search results. What keyword you use will depend on your farming area. If you’re in the countryside your farming area will likely be your village and district, nearby villages/sights of special interest or other well-known areas. If you’re in a larger city, it will likely be the name of your neighborhood and the district.

Trying out different keywords is a useful way to find out what gives you the best results in your area of interest. Remember to step into the shoes of your potential buyers when selecting keywords.

Of course the effectiveness of the monitoring tools depends on the amount of information being generated online regarding your specific area.

Setting these up won’t take up much of your time and it doesn’t cost you any money. It’s a guaranteed win so give it a try!


6) How to use the gathered information?

Now you get the news from your farming area delivered directly to your inbox it’s only a matter of finding a few minutes during the day to check the results. If there’s news worth sharing on Social Media (e.g. major events), we recommend doing this right away or at least bookmarking them so you can find and share them later.

Remember: when it comes to promoting yourself as an expert in your area on Social Media (especially on Instagram and Facebook), it is finding good-quality content that’s the time-consuming part rather than the actual sharing of it.