Nick Bastian: Hyper Local REALTOR Presentation
Good morning, my name is Nick Bastian. One of my goals this morning is to try not to bore you to death.
Some of what we are going to talk about revolves around the term “Hyper Local.” I have been interested in hyper-local farming or hyper local marketing for many years.
The term Hyper Local can actually mean different things to different people. Personally, I use it multiple ways.
To me, hyper local can be your sphere of influence AND it can be a part of town or a “geo-farm.” I’ll talk about both of those examples this morning, for sure. And yes, I said it can be a sphere of influence.
To begin, I want to mention a few things that I am not.
I am not a public speaker, so please bear with me if I read from these notes too much or screw things up a little bit this morning.
I am not a guru and I am not a huge producer. In fact, I have no doubt that many people here probably sell a lot more real estate than I do.
I do know that there are a Lot of ways to run a business and lots of ways to define success.
I feel like we run a pretty average real estate business but I know that I have a lot of fun doing it.
I have many friends in the industry and I really don’t look at them as competition. Some sell just a couple of homes per year, some sell 100’s and make a LOT of money.
BUT, here’s a little bit about me:
I have had a real estate license for more than 30 years.
I know how impressed people get when they hear that “I have been selling real estate for 500 years!” Right? I promise that I’m not normally that guy. Seriously, no one cares. Maybe my mom…
While I know that time in the business doesn’t matter to a lot of people, I just share it to give some context about this picture because it cracks me up.
Look at the super cool email address and the fact that phone numbers didn’t even have area codes in them.
This picture was taken with my friend and early business partner Scott. Scott and I began buying investment properties from the failed Savings and Loan debacle in roughly 1990.
I purchased my first home in 1988, I was 20 years old. My dad came home one day and said that my brother and I had bought a home. We assumed a VA loan…
Workahaulic for the first part of my career, bought an investment property each year, learned a lot about people, etc.
In 1999 I moved to Augusta Ranch in Mesa, client didn’t buy, I did. Wanted to play golf.
Speaking of Augusta Ranch…
Most of us know about the amazing business that Kenny Klaus has. It seems to just keep growing and his addition of Ty Lusk was a brilliant move. Ty is another guy in this industry that I am glad to call my friend.
When I moved to Augusta Ranch I saw firsthand what Kenny was doing in the community and I have always respected it. In fact, many of the things he did have been kept in my mind and I am sure that I have ripped off some of his ideas over the years.
I had only been in the business for 7 years when I moved to the Ranch and to be honest, I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, my career, etc.
I had learned about hyper-local marketing on an old site called Active Rain and I thought it could a useful tool to have and to use.
I had a decent business that was growing from mostly family and friends. I basically had a newsletter and I was about as social as a guy could get.
Fast forward a few years and these are some of the strategies I began to focus on:
We will go over these things:
Past Clients / Sphere of influence
Building relationships in the community
Targeted website content
Direct mail / Community advertising
Supporting local schools and businesses
To grow my business, I decided that I wanted to do things that I enjoyed. I was still pretty young, didn’t have a lot of bills, OR money, etc.
These next slides will cover many of the things that I have found to make sense for me.
Personally, I would rather put a bullet in my head than make a cold call or chase a random internet lead from one of these companies who are trying to put us out of business…
First and foremost, I enjoy working with people I know…
Like many agents, past clients and our sphere of influence are the goose that lays the golden egg. In my world those people make up more than 85% of our business.
Personally, I don’t look at myself as a salesman. I know some people will totally disagree with me on that. They say we always have to be selling. Not me, I just want to help people make good decisions and I let the sales fall where they may.
I have many clients that have trusted us with multiple transactions. My dear friends Kevin and Cheryl have trusted us with at least 35 transactions over the years. Kevin and I met right before or right after I got my real estate license. Both of us were in to buying homes as investments.
Seriously, working with our sphere is my jam. I suck at “retail” real estate.
After working on ways to help our sphere, I truly enjoy being involved in several different ways inside of my community:
This slide shows just a few of the ways I involve myself in our community. You might recognize a couple of people in this slide. They are the ones who bribed / asked me to be here today.
My volunteer schedule is busy, it is rewarding and it means a lot to me. I am currently a member of the Board of Directors at the Tempe Chamber of Commerce and just termed out of being on the Board at TCAA where I remain in and advisory role for a large capital campaign that we are working on.
In the past I have served on the board at our little league, was president of the high school booster club for a bit, volunteered at AAR, NAR and some other random places….
The top three photos are events near and dear to my heart. Mark and Judy have joined me at each of these events in the past. We have the Tempe Veterans Day parade, the Polar Bear Plunge and the Healing Field at Tempe Beach Park. I’ll tell you a little bit about each of these events and why they matter. – (Talk about all 3)
The photo on the bottom left is from a local photography contest that the City of Tempe did for a few years before COVID. Don’t get me started on COVID… That event was fun and I won a couple of awards but more importantly, I became a sponsor of the event for a couple of years and met a lot of great people doing some really cool things in our city. The City PIO is a former client and she has been a Godsend.
In the middle, we have a really bad photo that just reminds me to talk about the Boxer Luv Rescue Run. My wife and I have been large supporters of theirs for many years. I think it has been 8 years for the run. – Talk about Boxer Luv and our dogs.
The photo on the bottom right is from Nick and Rob’s annual Turkey Drive. Rob Sell is a local home inspector who is a dear friend of mine. This coming year will be our 20th annual Turkey Drive! We have a lot of fun donating turkey to the less fortunate. Basically, we know that many people want to help others around the holidays but they get busy and life happens. We collect donations and then go buy a whole bunch of turkey the week of Thanksgiving. I think it’s as rewarding for us as it is for the people we donate them to.
Outside of community involvemant, I enjoy some of what many would consider more traditional methods of marketing. One “hyper-local” niche that I have or had was a website called railLife.com
If we go back roughly 20 years, some of you might remember when builders were building and the valley was heading in to a time of tremendous growth. I was doing contingency management for some of the home builders and having a lot of fun. I had a great gig where the builders would use our firm to sell their contingent homes. Believe it or not, I would come home to a FAX that basically told me to go list a house.
I remember doing more than 100 contingency listings a year as a solo agent. There were 4 or 5 of us for the valley and we shared one office admin. A wonderful friend named Anne Crossland.
SO, what does that have to do with RailLife? Basically, I had a front row seat to the sprawl of the Valley. When I began to hear that a light rail line was coming to the Valley, i decided to look into it.
I created a website called railLife.com to tell people about “Life along the line” This was the first time in Arizona that we had an opportunity to live a more urban lifestyle.
I shared routes, costs, restaurants and of course, communities.
That was indeed a hyper-local niche.
BUT, fast forward several years and I am still playing with hyper local, just in a few slightly different but similar ways.
Like, direct mail.
This is a direct mail piece we use to welcome people to some of the specific neighborhoods we like to work in.
The mailer says welcome to the neighborhood and it invites them to learn more about their new community.
There’s a long term strategy here and it is something I have a LOT of ideas for. Just this past week I added a friend to our team who I think understands some of my vision of what I want to eventually do with this group.
I love my community and this is something that will be even more fun for me that what RailLife was. One day, I hope to find someone the help with the RailLife site, as well. There’s just too darn much content over there for me to kill the site.
SO, in addition to direct mail, another angle for hyper local is certainly facebook. Namely a “hyper-local” private Facebook group.
This is a fun local group that my wife and I started and it is called South Tempe Style.
It isn’t HUGE like some of the cool groups you hear of in Chandler and Gilbert. In fact, I have kind of tried to keep it relatively small.
For Lori and I, this group just makes sense. I totally call myself a nosey neighbor so sharing information about where we live, work and play is something that comes naturally.
Many people in our community seem to enjoy what we are doing here and I have a LOT of ideas and things that we’ll be implementing here in the near future.
Other ways we are found in our community consist of events and different ways that we support local businesses
This slide shows a sample of ways we support local businesses, schools and more.
The top left photos shows a City Council Candidate forum that I hosted at a local restaurant. It was a LOT of fun and we had a great response.
The other slide on top is just some swag that we make. We have hats, t-shirts, bottle openers and various crap that we try to get out in our community.
Bottom left is another neighborhood happy hour that we hosted with two local businesses. It was a fun way to introduce people in our community to a couple of places we enjoy. I have also dome a coffee tasting at my favorite breakfast spot along with other community gatherings. That kind of syuff is just fun for me to do. It’s hard to put an exact figure on if it helps business or not but I am convinced that it does not hurt.
I have been blessed to work with several local elected officials and have had referrals from business owners, city employees, etc. I’m not a kiss and tell kind of guys and other than today, I am certainly not the biggest humble braggar that you know.
The middle photo is just one of the businesses that share our Facebook group logo on their storefront. There’s a local pizza joint who puts our stickers on their to go boxes, as well.
On the right in the middle is another thing we have fun with. Youth sports is something I absolutely love. We enjoy supporting these kids, for sure.
I have no idea as to how we are doing on time but I’d love to hear from you pr to have a discussion about things you are having success with etc.
Since Judy made the geek slide for me, I’d say that you can find me on Twitter and Instagram