Internet sites, tools like Active Rain and Localism are making it easier for consumers to find information about the community or neighborhood. Internet sites like Zillow and Cyberhomes provide great school, neighborhood, community, demographic information to buyers but what about taking care of EXISTING HOMEOWNERS that aren't in the market now?
EXISTING homeowners don't necessarily know where to go on the Internet because they aren't doing the research now but they will -- we all know that the average length of time a consumer owns a home is in the 5 to 7 year range. They will eventually look for this information -- is it on your web site? Are you promoting your web site to existing homeowners to keep them informed about the market, rates and values inn the neighborhood?
I propose you think about another option -- do a Neighborhood survey and POST the results on your site. Bring fresh content and be known for doing this in the community. Ask questions like:
1) How do you feel about the ____ (growth or changes) taking place in our city? (My city is outraged about this and plans for redevelopment in our downtown community)
2) What can we do to make your neighborhood better?
3) How do you feel about the local shopping facilities
4) Are you satisfied with the local school system - do you have children?
5) do you feel safe in the neighborhood
You see, there are a number of questions you could ask -- don't make it too long.
Consumers don't know about localism or the neighborhood sites unless you tell them -- get the word out about your site, your blog, localism that you support etc.
Better yet -- make it a contest and ask for responses via email or take them to a survey website to fill out the responses so you capture their email address -- build that email farm and then publish, share your results and do something different on your web site to make an impact.