Choosing where to live within the framework of a job or school system or financial realities can be a big decision for your real estate clients. If, for example, your clients are relocating to the Boston area for a job, your clients could choose Boston itself or surrounding towns such as Needham, Sherborn, Dover, Natick, etc.

You as the real estate agent, have all the data about school systems, walkability, tax information, etc. at your fingertips to help your clients but your clients may also want to determine whether the community they’re considering is the “right fit” for them.

Here are ways clients can determine whether or not a community “fits.”

  1. Most local newspapers have online forums. Suggest they read letters to the editor and/or readers comments about specific articles. Is the local coverage only about economic growth or does it also include information about the health, services, schools, parks, etc. in the community?
  2. Suggest clients do “in-person reconnaissance” by parking in the front of nursery/elementary/high schools to see who (working mom/dad, nanny, yoga pants parent) is dropping off the kids. Where do kids go after school? Are people friendly at the park or on the street? On the sidelines at a soccer game, what topics (work, babysitters, politics, Soul Cycle) are being discussed?
  3. What percentage of residents are natives? Larger communities have more transplants.
  4. Who (stay-at-home-moms or dads, babysitters, etc.) takes care of the kids? Does a babysitter need a car? Does the house have a room for an au pair? Would a child with a nanny or sitter be included in play-dates, after school activities, etc.?
  5. What happens during the summer? Is there a town pool? If yes, do people use it or do they use the pool at the country club? Do most people leave for the summer and if yes, will your child feel left out if your family doesn’t have a cabin somewhere?
  6. If your clients are “chasing the best,” they’ll likely be bankrupt before too long. It might be better to choose a community or school system with potential rather than one at the very top of its game.

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