Neighborhoods & Lifestyles

In September, a panel of 70 brokerage chief marketing and chief technology offices voted Michael Saunders & Company to have the “Best Real Estate Brokerage Website”.

Florida’s real estate brokerage, Michael Saunders & Company, gave themselves quite the website *makeover* which launched in August of this year. These changes resulted in the number of visitors to jump 45%, conversation rates went through the roof, and an average of 70,000 visitors view the site each month (Inman)!

So how did they do it? They made everything look nicer, added better and more appealing photos. But the BIG change was adding a neighborhood and lifestyle sections.

Our friend Mike does his business in Southwest Florida, so it isn’t like he has nothing to work with. He lists 12 different lifestyles: “On the Beach”, “Waterfront”, “City Life”, “55+”, “Country Life”, “Suburban Living”, etc.. When you click on a lifestyle, you’re shown a list of neighborhoods, descriptions, and beautiful pictures of the area exemplifying that lifestyle.

As a *potential* home buyer myself, THIS IS SO COOL! And extremely helpful. I have “explored” the Twin Cities and have lived in this area my entire life; does that mean I know where I want to buy a home. Not really. I know what areas fit my lifestyle now, but will I have the same lifestyle in 5 years? Maybe hopefully not. Part of my struggle is that I know what kind of lifestyle I’m looking for, but I only know what I know. I could be looking for something I don’t even know exists, and I want to be sure I know all of my options before I make my decision.

When people move, there is usually a reason; family life, first time buyers, relocation, empty nesting, etc.. They are looking for, or are going through a lifestyle change. Whether you add sections to your website or write blog entries, incorporating city and neighborhood descriptions or suggesting areas depending on lifestyles, would help a lot of your current and potential clients.

An important thing to notice: the uniqueness of the descriptions. Remember the Targeting: What not Who sheet? Mike found it and filled it out (you’re welcome, Mike). Each neighborhood or lifestyle description is written in a specific voice and tone; like it’s coming from the people that already live in that neighborhood or live that lifestyle. The “Golf and Tennis” lifestyle points out the things certain neighborhoods have that are important to Florida golfers.

Bringing it back to the Midwest (brr): this can be translated to your website and social media pages! Michael Saunders & Company hired 3 full-time web developers to handle the *makeover*, so don’t think this is going to be a quick weekend project.

My suggestion: Using your Targeting: What not Who sheet, figure out what qualities of neighborhoods are most important to your “usual” clients. What lifestyles do many of them have, or want to have? Then categorize those cities and neighborhoods into lifestyles or personalities. Every week (or two), write a blog post featuring a certain lifestyle/city/neighborhood and talk about its pros and “positive cons”. This could be a fun winter project! You could reconnect with past clients that live in that neighborhood and ask for a direct quote. Remind them you sold them the home in that neighborhood… Maybe even ask for a referral while you are there… Find FSBOs in the area. Make an appointment out of it! 😉

However, I would not suggest making Facebook as the main outlet for this project. If you’re going to put the work into it, you’ll want people to access the information a year from now. If you say “Go read my year-old Facebook post about Woodbury”, no one will scroll that long to look for the post. I would publish it on your website or blog, then share it (or copy and paste the link) onto your social media pages. This way people can easily access the information later. If a great news article comes out in 6 months about how great Woodbury is, share your post again!

Here are some lifestyle ideas:
Live on the Lake
Live by the Lake
Arts and Cultures
Food, Food, and more Food
Newly Retired
Campus Life
No Cars Needed
Millennial First Time Home Buyers (…this would be appreciated)
Soccer Moms (joking, but not really…)

You could even write a “Raising a Family” blog post and talk about where they should buy depending on what is important to them:
High School Sports
Block Parties
Close to the City
In the City
Family Fun Night Life


Need help? Ask your people! Here’s an example of a Facebook post:
“Newlyweds! If another newly married couple asked you where they should buy a home, where would you tell them and why?!”

City Pages could be helpful, too!