How to "Sell the Community" in a COVID World

Written by Posted On Saturday, 21 November 2020 07:13

We’re eight months into this pandemic and real estate has had its ups and downs as a result. Much of the home buying and selling process looks very different nowadays-- virtual showings, electronic signings, one group at a time in open houses, etc. Don’t get me wrong, the innovation and resilience of this industry is something to applaud, but there are a few basics we shouldn’t forget or abandon completely. 

In my opinion, the most vital of these basics is the effort to “sell the community” because real estate is all about creating an experience where the viewer can imagine their life in the space and the setting. Even in a pandemic, life doesn’t stop outside of the walls of your home. 

As a realtor, you can still safely and responsibly sell the community of a listing in a COVID world. To do so, consider sharing some of the following information in the background or marketing materials of a listing:


Outdoor Activities

Whether you’re showing a house in the suburbs or in a city, there are always outdoor spaces and activities to highlight such as trails, parks, ponds, beaches, tennis courts, golf courses, etc. All of these recreational spaces can be enjoyed while maintaining social distance. Since social aspects of life have been put on hold or sustained through remote interaction, the ability to go on individual/family “outings” are a priority right now for many buyers. 

By including pictures and descriptions of local spaces you can help the buyer envision how they can spend their free time enjoying the outdoors. For example, the nearby trail might be where they’ll take their morning run, the park around the block might be where they enjoy a family picnic, the pond in their neighborhood might be where they take their kids skating in the winter, and so on.

According to Journal of Leisure Research, the real estate market consistently demonstrates that many people are willing to pay more for a property located close to recreational areas. During the pandemic, this holds even more true. It’s evident that outdoor spaces and recreation opportunities are of value to buyers and it’s something they’ll appreciate a realtor taking the time to share.


Restaurants & Shops

The local commercial presence is definitely something to highlight as it creates an identity for the community and adds value to the home. An analysis by ATTOM Data Solutions showed that homes with a Trader Joe’s location in their zip code have a higher average home value and return on investment. This isn’t specific to just Trader Joe’s. Shops, cafe’s, and restaurants can all add financial value to homes and experience value for buyers.

Give buyers a glimpse into the stores that add value to your town! What are the best local spots? All of this information helps bring the downtown area to life in the buyer’s mind. While the main street might be quiet right now, it won’t always be. Also, by showcasing these local businesses you’re helping to support them in these tough times. Promote them so that they’ll still be there when life gets back to “normal.”


School Systems

If your town has an award-winning school system make sure potential buyers know it. With so much concern currently about the effectiveness of online and hybrid schooling, an award-winning school system has likely never been more appealing. Share any information you have on strong rankings, awards, school events, etc. While there are many factors that influence home buying and neighborhood selection, school districts have played an increasingly significant role in impacting one's decision making around purchasing a home.


Local Events

It’s unclear when it’ll be safe to gather again with our communities, but it’s definitely something many people are anxiously awaiting. When the time comes, these events will likely be more enjoyable than ever before. To sprinkle in a little optimism for the future, showcase events that your community hosts and looks forward to. This could be annual school carnivals, weekly farmer’s markets, a charitable 5K, etc. These events might not be happening this year but they allow the buyer to see that the community is close-knit and it helps to excite them about their potential future in the home.  

At the end of the day, people are trying to buy a lifestyle, not just a place to sleep. To be a successful realtor you need to remember that the community helps make a house a home. By selling the community you create a more holistic view of the listing while supporting the local businesses that make your area a great place to live. How many times have you heard “location, location, location!”


Local amenities such as parks, shops, schools, events, and more impact the taxes and price of your listing. In order to show people what they’re paying for and to get the best offers, you need to capture the value the community adds to the home. In a time when many people are virtually browsing for homes, this information helps make up for much of the typical experience that they’re missing out on. Usually, the drive to a showing gives the potential buyer a feel for the area and really sets the scene. Don’t underestimate the power of that experience and do what you can to preserve it.

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Jim Manikas

Jim is a leading real estate agent on Long Island. With 10+ years of real estate experience, he can share insight/assistance on nearly every real estate need. Jim is committed to client satisfaction and looks forward to connecting with you.

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