A local Oklahoma REALTOR® is earning a reputation in the local business community.
Will Fraser of ERA Courtyard Real Estate, has been interviewing and featuring local business owners on his Parkbench neighborhood website to encourage southwestern Oklahoma residents to shop local.
Will Fraser speaks with Serve More business owner, Chris Fox.
His self-produced interviews and articles convey the personal stories behind the trusted businesses serving Oklahoma’s southwest community. Owner-operated companies such as Lunar Music Supply, Serve More, Tin Lizzie’s, Earlywine Cellar & Spirits, and May’s Nails are just a few of the names receiving added online exposure from Fraser’s interviews, which he shares on his social media as well.
Fraser, a self-described entrepreneur with an aptitude for marketing, is currently the only real estate professional in SW Oklahoma City to sponsor a free neighborhood website that features local businesses.
A native of Arkansas, Fraser moved to Oklahoma after working abroad for several years. He married in 2014 and settled permanently to raise their 2 children, finding the city a thriving place to live and work.
As Fraser explains:
“Oklahoma is an incredible place. We’re ranked no. 2 nationally for quality of schools and housing affordability. In 2017 we were ranked the #1 place to start a business anywhere in the US. Despite the damage caused by seasonal tornadoes we’ve got the densest retail mile in the entire state and we’re growing. The business owners here are resilient and incredibly loyal to the city.”
To date, since becoming the exclusive sponsor of his Parkbench Neighborhood website in November 2017, Fraser has featured over 60 interviews with local entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Responding to what he considers an unfortunate lack of integrity among real estate agents, Fraser says his goal is to help local business connect with homeowners and local residents who value their community.
So Who IS Will Fraser?
With a professional background that includes marketing, sales, real estate investment consulting, and leadership, Fraser obtained his real estate license in May 2017.
He became the exclusive sponsor of his own neighborhood website in November 2017 and began reaching out to local businesses shortly afterward.
Says Fraser of his reasons for joining the Parkbench neighborhood network:
“The Parkbench philosophy encourages real estate agents to invest in local business owners rather than real estate prospecting because healthy businesses lead to better quality neighborhoods. The businesses I interview can claim a free listing on my website and post their deals as often as they like. Local residents can redeem the deal coupons, or search the website for news, events and property listings. It’s win-win for everyone!”
To date, the Parkbench website serves over 10,000 neighborhoods across the US and Canada. Their growing network of over 1000 real estate agents enjoy exclusive sponsorship of their chosen territory.
Parkbench membership for residents and business owners is entirely free, while sponsors (also referred to as ‘local leaders’) use the platform to brand themselves as trusted neighborhood specialists.
30 Interviews, 30 Days
Fraser, who was seeking a unique way to connect with homeowners, was initially reluctant to promote his neighborhood website. Initially, he explains, he found the concept of investing time to promote businesses for free seemed counterproductive to building his real estate business.
Parkbench, however, provides their neighborhood sponsors, or ‘local leaders’, with additional coaching to show agents how and why they should invest in local business owners.
For Fraser, his weekly coaching calls with a Success Coach proved extremely helpful and rewarding:
“At first I wasn’t really going full throttle…I liked the idea of having a platform to promote the community but my limiting mindset kept me from acting. My success coach at Parkbench challenged me to interview 30 people in 30 days, so I finally decided to stop making excuses. I was surprised at how easy it was to meet business owners with a need for a website like mine!”
Fraser is 1 of only 4 finalists to complete the Parkbench 30×30 challenge, which involves some 1000 agents across the US and Canada. Completing the challenge has helped make him a household name among local businesses. Getting the word out to local residents has been a struggle, but Fraser has no plans to give up anytime soon.
As Fraser points out:
“Homeowners and homebuyers don’t just want a quality home, they want to live in a quality neighborhood. Supporting local business raises the quality of life and attracts investment, which impacts home values. So part of what I’m doing is to reassure homeowners and sellers of how much the southwest community offers. And I’m gaining expert knowledge about SW Oklahoma that I can use to serve my clients better.”
Now that he has built momentum, Fraser intends to continue interviewing as many business owners as he can each month.
“I’m more confident and more comfortable with doing my interviews on the spot. I get to meet people face-to-face, share their stories and show business owners how to use the Parkbench website for their own marketing. I don’t take a cut or anything, and my weekly newsletter goes out to local residents so they don’t miss out on all the latest and greatest from my website.”
Local businesses can visit Will Fraser online to book a feature interview.
Are you a community-minded real estate agent? Claim your area on Parkbench today!