A big name like Hunters can help set you apart from the crowd. It’s the confirmation that you have an incredible network behind you and proof that you are upheld to an incredible standard. But in the end, being part of the Hunters isn’t what makes you an incredible local estate agent, it’s being yourself, and having an unparalleled wealth of local knowledge.
Pretty much every village, town and city will have new building developments going on, and whether it’s in the proposal, planning building or selling stages, you should know about it. Some buyers will be looking for these new build properties, and some sellers may want to move away because they feel their beloved small town is growing too big.
Changes to the landscape can also include the construction of new public services, such as shopping centres and traffic lights in built up areas (or near schools). Knowing about the future of your area helps put you ahead of the curve and be able to help more people than anyone else; because it helps you recognise which listings are going to have the highest potential in the near future. A major company moving their offices to your location won’t just flood you with professionals looking to relocate, it could also bring further investment and jobs into the area – which is rarely a bad thing.
Listed buildings are great feature homes, but they’re not for everyone. The limitations that come with living in a listed building are something every estate agent should be aware of. Those beautiful high ceilings and original single glazed windows are wonderful, but they make a home a nightmare to heat over winter. Whether it’s that only the external features of the building can’t be changed, or whether all of the main structures inside the property are protected, you should know what buyers can and cannot change in any of your properties.
It could be that your listings have spaces that haven’t been optimised, seeing the potential in listings have spaces that haven’t been optimised, seeing the potential in a property that is due to go on the market can help sellers increase their homes value, and help sway unsure buyers who don’t like the property’s current layout.
Every property has its own beauty point, and you should know what it that is, it might be a physical thing on the property, it might be something close by. Knowing what the unique selling point will make each listing special, and one of a kind – people aren’t going to remember a bland house, it needs to capture their attention. And the unique selling point of a house may alienate some buyers, that’s okay, not every house is suitable for every potential buyer; it’s possible that another of your listings will be perfect for them.
Is your local area part of a commuter belt? Villages and small towns may have limited employment opportunities, so residents may often be commuting to the nearest city or beyond. Knowing how long it takes to reach your nearest big city or commercial hotspots helps set you apart from other agents, because it shows a real care and understanding for what various buyers are looking for. It’s also worth knowing how long the journey will take by public transport, quintessential English villages are wonderful, but they’re not always easily accessible by bus or train. You don’t want to put potential buyers off, but if they ask, it’s always worth giving an honest and upfront answer.
Understanding the public and private transport available in your area ties into the next thing you should keep an eye on. The amenities and shopping opportunities around you. Is there a doctor or hospital locally? What about a butcher and a baker? While the second pair of amenities might be less vital, they can still help attract potential buyers and letters to a local area. For both older and younger buyers knowing that in an emergency help is nearby can make all the difference when it comes to making a sale.
Single professionals moving into an area might not be thinking about starting a family yet, but they soon might be! And families are going to want to know about the schools available in and around the area. It might be that you only have secular schools in the area, and a family is looking for a faith based school for their children. It could equally be that buyers are interested in the prestigious private schools that are near you, whatever they’re looking for, having a basic understanding of what schools are nearby is never a bad thing.
Having just one area of specialised local knowledge is a great start, but understanding the complexities of your area, and the complexities of your buyers is a truly outstanding thing. People buy from people, not statistics or graphs, but they want those things too. Being a local area expert is like being an encyclopaedia, when you need an answer, you go there. The more knowledge you amass, the more you set yourself apart, and that’s the point here; stand apart from the crowd and watch people follow.