When you meet Clinton Brown, you may quickly come to suspect that he knows every nook, cranny, and all of the unique characteristics about the Palms neighborhood in Los Angeles. As a local real estate agent, Clinton regularly walks around the neighborhood, actively gets to know his neighbors, and receives frequent homebuyer visitors to his home office. Much of his success has been attributed to building a trusted base of customers through his local reputation.
For an agent who serves an area bounded under two square miles, business is more personal. With regular run-ins with the same neighbors and local businesses, maintaining connections and a strong local reputation is very important. Clinton needed a local marketing tool that could facilitate communications with residents specifically in Palms, and Nextdoor’s Neighborhood Sponsorship enabled him to reach this specific neighborhood, deepen relationships with his customers, and drive more business.
Clinton initially saw Nextdoor potential when he came across a neighbor in need of a real estate agent. “I first realized the potential of Nextdoor’s Real Estate through neighbors asking for help selling their home. They posted, ‘Hey, we’re outgrowing our house because we’re having a baby, but we don’t know how to sell!’” Clinton responded to their post and eventually met with the couple to help them sell their home.
Learning more about Neighborhood Sponsorships, Clinton was drawn to the local nature of Nextdoor and ability to engage with neighbors and potential customers in his specific area.
“The heart of Nextdoor is its local nature. I was pleased to discover the real estate ad offering and believe it is super important and effective for agents to have the ability to reach customers on a ZIP code level.”
Clinton’s main marketing goals were to increase engagement and get more efficient with his marketing by eliminating advertising waste and find more effective ways to target his local neighborhood. Nextdoor offered something other marketing channels were lacking: trust, engagement, and local targeting. He states, “Nextdoor is unique in that it facilitates trust. I like that Nextdoor requires every member to be verified because validating someone as your neighbor creates a trusted space, which other social networks lack today.”
“I personally like engaging on Nextdoor. I have the ability to interact with a neighbor versus a nameless Twitter handle. I also know that I’m interacting with verified residents, unlike postcards and other forms of direct mail.”
Clinton notes that the real estate industry is constantly changing with new ways of marketing, and successful real estate agents need to adapt to thrive. However, he is also selective on what marketing tools to use. “You can have the most polished materials and shiniest social media ads, but still not be the credible expert. While other social networks may be more broad reaching, Nextdoor is more effective for my business and hyperlocal strategy because it allows me to segment by ZIP code and also gives me meaningful customer engagement.
“The real estate business is transactional, but there needs to be room for a personal touch. A robot or technology itself cannot reassure home buyers; customers want to talk to someone with credibility who can also tailor to their needs. Nextdoor facilitates that connection between agent and customer, and also helps position the agent as the face of a neighborhood. Most companies are all about the data point – and Nextdoor is about building communities.”
“The real estate business is transactional, but there needs to be room for a personal touch. A robot or technology itself cannot reassure home buyers; customers want to talk to someone with credibility who can also tailor to their needs.”
While Clinton is digital savvy with his marketing, at the end of the day, the success of his business boils down to knowing his customers and providing excellent one-of-a-kind customer service that is specific to his community needs. People will always appreciate businesses that are honest, fair, and attentive. Businesses like Clinton’s can grow their local reputation by being respectful of their customers and positively contributing to the community they serve.
He shares his real estate marketing advice for agents on Nextdoor: “Make sure you’re the expert in your neighborhood. Be willing to engage and help your neighbors. It’s a relationship business, and there’s no better place to build that in your community than on Nextdoor.”