Whenever I hear prospective home buyers discussing their buying decisions, one layer of the discussion revolves around neighborhoods. Before people start looking at individual properties, they tend to first talk about things like commute times, nearby parks, restaurants, and schools. This leads to the discussion of neighborhoods, developments, and condos that may be a good fit for the prospective buyer.
While this layer of home buying conversation happens with agents, it first happens with friends, family, and coworkers. And what happens next? Buyers turn to the web to learn more about the neighborhoods, developments, and condos their friends, family, and coworkers mentioned might be worth checking out.
And what do they find? Not much. At least not yet. Today on the web, there tends to be an information gap at this decision layer.
But some people are working on closing the gap. Here are a few examples of video work done to help document neighborhood information:
Jason Sandquist narrates videos of housing developments such as this community in Mendota Heights, Minnesota.
If someone wasn’t familiar with this development before watching the video, they’d not have a good sense of the styles of homes and walkable retail establishments.
Craig Rushton toured the Shangri La condo development in downtown Vancouver and put together this video of the views from the penthouse suite:
Craig’s video helps illustrate the incredible views and height of the building while quickly demonstrating his own knowledge of the geography.
TurnHere.com has put together a series of neighborhood videos where they work with locals to describe areas of town they’re familiar with:
This has clearly has more more post-production work.
Those are just three examples. Feel free to point out additional examples in the comments.
While it’s hard to know for sure what’s going to connect with prospective buyers, I think a few things may come into play:
1. Create something that’s fair. Don’t over-hype a neighborhood. Show it for what it is.
2. Make the videos easy to share. Publish them somewhere that’s easy to link to, embed, etc. such as YouTube.
3. Make something worth sharing. This doesn’t mean high-production values. By this, I mean create something someone will find enough value in to justify sending it to their spouse to check out as well. Help buyers understand the neighborhood’s story and why people choose to live there.
4. Consider interviewing people who live or work in the neighborhood to get their perspectives on why it’s a great place to live.