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Consumer TrendsWhether it’s sponsoring local events, tailoring products to a specific area or recognizing standout individuals who are making a change in the community, it’s become clear in 2014 that consumers love local! In fact, 61% of consumers state that they would like their favorite brands or companies to play a bigger role in their local community. Homes.com has been keeping an eye on consumer trends that can affect your real estate business, and this time around, we will be exploring the concept of Local Love.

Keeping your competitive edge in the real estate industry requires constant monitoring of your market and everything that goes on around it. To provide the most value for buyers and sellers, you must be up-to-date on information regarding local schools, events, entertainment and anything that can make a community a more desirable place to call home. This demand for community involvement presents real estate professionals with a great opportunity to show off your local expertise!

Local governments generally focus their attention and resources on “big picture” projects, so they may overlook smaller issues that have a big impact in certain neighborhoods or smaller portions of the community. A great way to show that you are getting involved and helping improve your community is to identify what it’s lacking and find a way to provide it. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to fund it, as there will likely be plenty of other local businesses that would be happy to get involved.

It could be as simple as getting a crossing guard to monitor a busy street or something more significant, like building a public playground. Whatever you decide to do, it will make a difference for someone that lives in the community and that’s what local love is all about! Making these types of contributions and getting involved with local activities not only humanizes your brand, but keeps you top of mind when your neighbors need help with buying or selling their home.

People enjoy local traditions and activities, but they’re growing tired of the repetitive and sometimes poor attempts at celebrating their community. To truly inspire Local Love, you must bring a little bit of innovative thinking to the table. Try something new and inspiring to get people excited about where they live and to spark the interest of other local companies to get involved. A great example of this is a Singaporean publisher called Math Paper Press that started the Barber Shop Reading Project, which is an initiative to promote local writers by placing their works throughout local barbershops in the area. This has directed a lot of positive exposure back to the company that made it possible, and more importantly, to local writers whose talents were showcased around town.

“Local Love” is all about getting involved and showing that not only are you the local real estate expert, but you’re also a fellow member of the community and that you are dedicated to making changes to improve it. Keep up with what people are talking about and chime in on the conversation with social media, offer helpful tools that can be used throughout the homebuying process, and anything else that shows you have them in mind.

Looking for a way to better target local buyers and sellers? Homes.com offers Local Ads, which provide additional exposure to your services and listings for buyers searching for homes in your area.

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