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As a real estate professional, a big part of your job is keeping up with the local community. This is especially important when working with prospective clients who are new to your area. Connecting with these potential buyers and showing them the best parts of your community can be the difference between making or losing a sale.

According to NAR, 69% of home shoppers who take action on a real estate website begin by typing a local search term into a search engine. This shows that homebuyers care about finding homes in specific areas. In real estate, becoming the local expert and being able to provide local information to potential buyers are both great ways to increase your value as an agent. Here are three ways to form connections with these local consumers and those looking to move into your area.

Local Love 

The current generation is becoming more and more service minded. In fact, 61% of consumers would like their favorite brands or companies to play a bigger role in their local community. Local love is about getting involved and showing that you’re more than just the local real estate expert — you’re a part of the community.

While giving back to the community can be a selfless act, it isn’t necessarily so altruistic. Volunteering can boost you or your brand’s visibility. Fundraising, promoting charity events or even building a house through a community outreach program will get your name out there while giving you the opportunity to practice new skills. These could include anything from learning better promoting practices to hands on home repair skills. In turn, with your new found talents, you can provide even better service to your clients. Give back to your local community and, as a nice perk, you’ll reap the rewards of staying top of mind in your area.

 Local Content 

Another way to connect with your local community is by posting local information on your social media pages. In a recent survey, Google found that four out of five consumers want their search results to be customized to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings, and they are willing to look for an extended period of time to find shops or events that are close to them. Establish yourself as the local expert in your area. Share local events, such as community theater shows, farmer’s markets or concerts, so those in your area will know what’s going on. By doing so, you’ll become the go-to person for all things local.

In addition to this, be sure to use a check-in app, such as Yelp! or Foursquare, to lock in your precise locations and show followers exactly where you like to visit. Through these apps, you can also leave reviews, which allows you to brand yourself as the honest expert. You can even share your check-ins and ratings on your social media pages, connecting everything together.

Local Advertising 

When it comes to real estate, it’s important to position yourself in front of consumers in your local area. According to Google, half of home hunters begin their formal search 6–12 months in advance, with about three-quarters starting within a year of the purchase. Because of this, it’s important that real estate pros advertise themselves where prospective buyers are searching. While some agents purchase billboards or park benches, there are more visible and targeted ways to attract consumers who are searching online for their next home. Options such as Facebook Ads give you the ability to target both a specific location as well as key behaviors, such as people who are likely to move.

Another great option is Homes.com’s new Local Connect ads, providing you with the ability to target consumers during their home search process. With 90% of Homes.com visitors actively searching for their next home and 80% not working with a real estate professional, Local Connect positions you prominently in front of transaction-ready consumers in your target zip code, showcasing your photo or logo, phone number and endorsements.