Why It Matters:
  • Studies suggest activity-friendly neighborhoods can have benefits for homeowners’ financial, social, and physical health.
  • When choosing where to locate your office, you might want to consider a walkable neighborhood that allows people to mingle and stay active. Your neighborhood might even allow for some unique ideas for prospecting events that you can hold in addition to client seminars.

Activity-friendly neighborhoods can be good for residents’ wealth, health, and social well-being, various studies have found.

That’s valuable information for your clients who are looking to buy a home, but it’s also something that could help your practice grow.

The financial side

Homes in neighborhoods with amenities like parks and schools within walking distance can command higher prices, according to Redfin. The real estate brokerage reports that an increase of one Walk Score point can boost the price of a home by about 0.9 percent.

The health side

In addition, residents in areas with compact street networks, where there are shorter blocks and plenty of intersections where people can cross the street safely, tend to have lower rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, according to a study in the Journal of Transport & Health.

That’s important considering that someone with diabetes can spend on average more than $13,000 on health care each year, with diabetes-related costs responsible for more than half the total, according to the American Diabetes Association.

A separate study showed people living in activity-friendly neighborhoods got up to 89 more minutes per week of exercise than those that weren’t as conducive to walking, biking, or using public transit. Taking the bus or train also encourages walking, said the study’s lead author, James Sallis, distinguished professor of family medicine and public health at the University of California, San Diego.

The social side

Studies have shown that people who live in walkable neighborhoods report more social interactions.

Activity-friendly neighborhoods allow residents to mix and mingle as they’re out and about. Imagine getting to know future clients while you’re out talking a walk, run, or bike ride, while taking your pet to the dog park, or playing pickup basketball at the park.

What it means for financial professionals

Not every financial professional shows interest in a client’s wellness and well-being. While clients may want to come to your office for annual meetings, you could bond with active clients and prospects more informally on a hike, at the dog park, or on a bike ride. Or take a stroll so you can “walk and talk.”

Instead of meeting prospects only at Social Security or estate planning client seminars, why not organize a monthly group walk, fun run, or casual bike ride that starts at your office and ends at a local yogurt shop or juice bar. That’s sure to get prospects talking about you with their friends, in a good way.

As it turns out, a walkable neighborhood could have benefits for your clients – and for you.

Things to Consider:
  • If your clients or prospects live in an activity-friendly neighborhood, appointments with them literally could be a walk in the park. Set yourself apart by offering to meet active clients and prospects at the dog park or at a neighborhood event, or suggest a stroll where you can walk and talk.
  • If you’ve tried this instead of or in addition to holding client seminars, let us know how it worked and any challenges that might have come up. Email us at newageofadvice@transamerica.com, or send me a note at ctsai@transamerica.com