By Claire Killen, CIPS, ABR, SFR, CNE, Emerald Real Estate
I’ve been there. You’re helping a potential physician candidate secure a job and the dreaded comment comes up, “but my child is in a great school — it would be hard to move him, or her.” How often do physicians with families bring up concerns about education or school districts? In my experience, this happens far more often than not.
Here’s the scoop: Schools are subjective to the student’s needs. What is ranked as the best school in a certain district may not be the right school for a particular child. You need to be able to give parents the resources that will best equip them to determine what is best for their children.
As a real estate broker and owner of Emerald Real Estate and a native of Ireland, I help people relocate to the Twin Cities from within the United States and worldwide. Schools are one of the top questions most clients ask.
I had clients who recently relocated from Europe. Three of their four children are highly intellectual students and one child has special needs. The goal was to find a location that had a gifted program that would grow with their youngest boy and also deliver the programs that challenged the other siblings in a traditional school setting. The website that was most advantageous to this family was the Minnesota Department of Education website www.education.state.mn.us/MDE/JUSTPARENT. Not only did my client find the school that was right for their family, but they did so in record time — thanks to the resources available.
There are many tools and resources available. Every year, U.S. News and World Report publishes a list of the best colleges in the nation. In addition, it has a great resource for high schools at www.usnews.com/education where it ranks each school and shows the methodology behind the rating. With recruiting candidates all over the nation, you’ll need an arsenal of tools in your back pocket to help ease your candidates’ concerns and help show them why your area is a great choice.
Here are three other great tools to help your candidate’s family source the best schools for their children.
- SchoolDigger.com is a great website for parents. This site breaks down into elementary, middle, high school and city ratings. It is best when you give the client the tools and skills to look for what appeals most to them, not your anecdotal opinions as their real estate agent and service provider.
- Localschooldirectory.com is a wealth of knowledge that ranks school districts by the standard testing scores along with articles to help you understand the basics behind good practices for behaviors, health, development and academics.
- Realtor.com offers a national school search perspective. On the top banner, click local and input the city of your choice. This local search tool serves up municipal information, school information (public and private) and real estate market information. Part of the value-add of realtor.com is the client can toggle back and forth, looking at homes for sale and school information in one all-purpose resource.
You see, it is not just about selling real estate — a parcel of land. What is important is providing access to information to help people decipher what their lives look like, what lifestyle best works for them and what is important to their family as a whole. If you ask questions, then give people the information, the location will follow.