Recently I had a client call me to discuss how excited she was about writing an offer on an exciting new community in her area. I asked her if it was a community that I happen to know a lot about. She was so surprised that I had so much knowledge about it even though I hadn’t toured the model homes yet.
I knew about this community because it had been in the planning stage for almost a decade. I was interested because of the surrounding area and how the development was also going to include commercial space, residential homes, and walking trails. When a development of this magnitude is in the planning stages, it does take some time. The good part about a project like this taking so much time is that you as a real estate professional can be on the forefront of knowing what is slated to come to your area.
When I was actively selling real estate, I would go to my local planning office and ask about new developments. I would track these over time. I would attend neighborhood review meetings to hear about the developer’s plan and vision and to also hear any concerns about the project. The bottom line is that I knew about every new potential development that could be coming to my area.
This was a huge benefit to both myself and my clients because I made it my mission to know more about my area than any other agent. I also met builders, developers, land assemblers and contract specialists when I attended the meetings – quite the networking opportunity!
Being on the forefront of what may be coming to your area is an excellent way to provide value to your clients. It is also a great way to stay informed about upcoming opportunities. I personally have purchased properties that I felt were excellent investment opportunities because I was first in line.
Being as the forefront is as simple as:
- Track all new applications at your local planning office.
- Go to all neighborhood review meetings
- Track the important filing deadlines on new developments to make sure the project is still moving forward.
- Get to know the people involved in the project. Let them know you are a real estate professional, and provide them with market data if they need it.
- Track all new projects and create a report that you can share with all the developers that are working on projects at the same time. This is information that is invaluable to these developers. Your bringing it to them wins you big bonus points.
Many developers and builders are so consumed with the product they are bringing to the market that they don’t even think about hiring a real estate professional until the project is almost finished. You need to follow that project from start to finish so you can build a strong relationship with the developer. This puts you in line to at least be given the opportunity to interview for the listings or to be a preferred agent for them.
Your planning department and the professionals that work there are an invaluable resource to you. I highly recommend you visit your planning department if you want to be on the forefront of what’s up-and-coming in your area.