So you're updating Twitter and Facebook regularly. You're hitting Active Rain on a consistent basis. But the site www.city-data.com means NOTHING to you. Or maybe you know what that site is, you checked it out once, and you moved on.
City-Data is a FREE site dedicated to compiling statistics about each and every city and town in the United States. City Data's home page boasts this line "Visited by 11.7 million unique visitors in June 2009, featured in 60 books, on CNN, WABC in New York, Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay, and USA Today's Hot Sites". WOW! That's impressive! And it's true!
The best part of City-Data? Each major metro area has a forum where people who are curious about the area post questions, and area residents answer. From the best Italian cuisine to school info to local events, someone from the town is answering these questions. That someone should be YOU. Daily. Every time you update a social network site, you should log into City-Data and answer a question. Why? People on these forums are often moving. Moving into town, Moving out of town, or just moving within town (a twofer)!
Not convinced? Let me share my own experience with you: I started planning my move cross country about a year before we put the house up for sale, and then it took us 6 more months to sell, take care of some loose ends, and move. For 1.5 years I was glued to city-data, because I had not chosen the city I was going to move to. I knew it was the Carolina's, but other than that I didn't know where to go. Everything was a factor: Crime, Cost of Housing, Schools, Traffic, Weather, etc. The ONLY site that gave me statistics about each of those categories was City-Data. AND there were residents personal opinions on all of those topics. Dozens upon dozens of people who were in the process of moving and researching, just like me. It was like an online relocation club! And the best part? I had already selected my Realtor ‘online' based on the company she was with and her designations. But guess what? My decision was reinforced by city-data. Not because she was on there being helpful, but when I punch her name into the search feature of the site, her name comes up as a recommended Realtor over and over and over again. We found our moving company on this site. Our repair man. Our car transport company. Why? Because honest, every day people were sharing their experiences. No sales gimmicks. You are not allowed to post your web site or plaster ads all over the place. You simply have to help keep the forum going by adding your two cents, and you can mention your career as a Realtor as you see fit.
Don't have time? OK , here is the challenge: Think of the ONE person you know who is online all the time and lives in your area. Have THEM sign up, tell them to answer questions daily, and search for people who are asking about Realtors. Every time they see someone asking, put your name out there. See how long it takes you to gain a lead from this...for free. Or you could hire a Virtual Assistant to handle this for you to ensure accuracy and frequency...just a thought!
Past Blog Posts by Markelle: