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Explore how to make your neighborhood assets professional and personable.

When it comes to helping your clients find the perfect neighborhood for them, it’s helpful to create a community guide. Community guides provide insightful information into a neighborhood. These guides can provide vital data such as pricing, architectural styles, and demographics, but they’re also a great tool to introduce a fun and personal side of your community. What are the best places to dine? Where should you go to spend a day outside? How walkable is the community? Community guides can help provide clarity on all of this—and more!

SEO best practices

SEO stands to “search engine optimization” and is a critical part of understanding how digital media plays a role in real estate. It might sound intimidating, but SEO simply refers to optimizing your website to get maximum visibility and the best search results. As home buyers begin to browse online for a new place to move to, they will most likely use many locally-focused keywords. These might include inquiries regarding home prices, restaurants in the area, or local school districts. When considering what to add to your community guide, there are a few critical factors to keep in mind. From headings to bullet points, here are some tips and tricks to make sure you’re utilizing SEO best practices. 

Headers

Although it might not seem like a big deal, headers serve as an important function for your users and SEO. For instance, headers provide structure to your post, help to break up text, and provide a brief overview of what the guide will explain. An article that is easier to scan is 58 percent more likely to perform better with readers. Having headers that give a quick snippet of the content to follow helps engage potential clients.

Links

Incorporate hyperlinks throughout your guide so readers can easily discover more information on the topics you discuss. When finding links to use, you want to ensure that the websites you are pulling information from are credible and trustworthy.

Bullet Points

Only 16 percent of internet users read an article word-for-word, according to the Nielson Norman Group. This is where bullet points come in handy. Bullet points are an important way to keep your readers engaged without burdening them with too much information. However, you’ll want to be sure not to overuse bullet points, as they are not appropriate for every project. Analyze your community guide and potential clients to see when and where bullet points could be beneficial.

Include a variety of information 

When considering what to discuss in your community guide, be sure to include a variety of information! This will help provide potential clients to gain a thorough and comprehensive look into the neighborhood. You’ll want to include a range of elements, such as location and history. We’ve pulled together some important factors to include in your guide. 

Pricing

When considering where to move, the first thing people need to know is whether a particular neighborhood is within their price range. Use your community guide to talk about this. You don’t have to go into hyper-specific details, but it’s helpful to provide an overview. This might include the average price of homes in the area, the average time it takes to sell, or new developments.

Architecture

It can also be interesting to highlight the various architectural styles found throughout the neighborhood. Perhaps the neighborhood used to comprise of warehouses but has since been transformed into an urban dining and shopping scene. It’s fun to mention some popular architectural styles of buildings found in the neighborhood, whether it’s sleek and modern or classic and historical. From Victorian and Ranch-style homes to Colonial and Art Deco, mentioning some architectural styles can help people picture the neighborhood’s vibe.

Location

You know what they say—location, location, location! When considering where to move, your clients need to know about the location of the community. What is the surrounding area like? How far is the closest major city? Whether your neighborhood is suburban or urban, bring attention to this in your community guide. Your clients will want to know what’s available to explore nearby.

History

It is also fascinating to know the origins of the place in which you live. When creating your community guides, give a brief overview of the history and evolution of the neighborhood. When was it established? Did any major historical events take place there? How has the neighborhood evolved? Providing a history will give clients more insight into the roots of their potential community. 

Demographics

After your client has assessed whether they can afford to live in the neighborhood and understand the location, they’ll want to know a bit about their neighbors. This is where demographics come into play! Is the community mostly made up of families? Young professionals? Retirees? Is there are a certain industry in which most people work? All of this is pertinent information to include.

Restaurants

Every city has a unique culinary scene, from Chicago’s deep-dish pizza to Los Angeles’ tacos. Use your community guide to highlight a couple of the best eateries in the area. It’s a good idea to choose one or two upscale restaurants for celebrating a special night out as well as mention a few more casual, laid-back dining experiences. 

Shops

Maybe your future clients like to shop until they drop—so use this space to discuss what retail stores are available in the area. If there is a premier shopping center in the neighborhood, you’ll want to include that, but pay attention to what local shops and boutiques are available, too, such as a knick-knack emporium or bookstore. 

Entertainment

Bringing up a few options for entertainment is important to incorporate into your community guide. This is especially critical for neighborhoods that attract a younger population. Be sure to bring attention to entertainment options such as key sports arenas, concert venues, and local theaters.

Things to Do

While you certainly want to mention one or two entertainment options, don’t solely focus on entertainment—give your potential clients some ideas of other things to do in the area, too. This might include local pottery studios, coffee shops, and family-friendly activities. 

Annual Festivals

Since most communities have a unique festival or two, this can also be fun to highlight in your community guide. Festivals serve as the perfect event to draw the community together. Additionally, if you are new to an area, this is a great opportunity to get to know your new neighbors. From jazz concerts to arts and crafts fairs, showcase the community’s best annual gatherings.

Schools

When families are deciding where to move, local school districts will undoubtedly be a factor they consider. This is something you don’t want to overlook when creating your community guide. Mention available schools, especially if they are highly ranked or have any impressive accolades. Don’t forget to mention any important colleges or trade schools in the area, too.

Walkability

Walkability describes how easy it is to traverse the neighborhood without a vehicle. Living in a highly walkable area has health, environmental, and economic benefits alike. Each community has a walk score, which uses a scale of 1 to 100 to establish how easy it is to walk around the neighborhood. If your community has a great walk score, don’t forget to highlight that.

Parks and Green Spaces

With people becoming increasingly drawn to nature, it is essential to mention any outdoor attractions when writing your community guide. Most neighborhoods are home to at least a few parks and green spaces, so it’s worth mentioning what is available. Encourage potential home buyers to explore any trails or picnic areas and soak up the sunshine.

Hikes

Hiking can provide an escape from the hustle and bustle of life in the city. In addition to exercising your body, you can also experience the mental satisfaction that comes from spending time hiking. If the community you’re highlighting has some great hikes, mention one or two. This will especially appeal to outdoor enthusiasts moving to the area.

Tone

When creating your community guide, carefully consider what tone you want to convey. Do you want a more relaxed vibe or something more professional and straightforward? Paying attention to the tone you use is especially imperative in writing. No matter what specific tone you adopt, here are a couple of ways to ensure that you’re coming off both friendly and knowledgeable.

Engaging

What you discuss about your communities isn’t the only crucial element; it also matters how you talk about them. Be sure to use an engaging style to keep future home buyers interested in what you have to say. You can do this by using colorful, vivid descriptions and expressive adjectives. Additionally, be sure to avoid sentences that are too long and wordy.

Personable 

While you certainly want to keep your writing style professional, it’s okay to let some of your personality come through. After all, you want to ensure that your community guide doesn’t just read like a boring report. Keep your writing style light-hearted, fun, and engaging to connect with your audience. 

By following the ideas and suggestions above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a great community guide. This community guide will serve as an important reference tool for any potential clients that might come across your website.