For decades, real estate was an industry that thrived on its incredible ability to promote past successes and monopolize information. But times have changed, and consumers are not only more discerning about the services and products they choose to spend money on, but are able to do so by themselves, with the help of countless search engines and digital channels. Agents and RE firms need to go above and beyond to build relationships with clients, and one of the most important ways to do that is to continuously invest in content marketing strategy.
What Good Content Does
The agile digital agent is able to create and distribute relevant, consistent and timely content for their audience. They provide valuable information while also nudging them along the customer funnel. Here’s what content is able to do for agents:
1. Helps generate more leads -
more content (providing answers) means the greater the chance of getting your foot in the door as consumers are always turning to search engines for answers.
2. Builds brand awareness, gains trust and improves prospect quality -
content will help establish an agent’s professionalism and what they bring to the table, and establish better matches between agent and prospects.
3. Establishes authority -
the property sector can be daunting for many, and generating quality content pieces can be a great way for an agent to establish an authoritative voice on the subject and again, gain audience trust.
4. Drives organic traffic to agent websites -
content consistency and volume will help get an agent’s website noticed and indexed properly by Google, which means higher rankings and better SEO.
Types of Content (A Very Short Guideline)
- Social Media - This is definitely not an area any agent wants to ignore. These platforms offer great opportunities to not only share listings instantly, but reach wider audiences by sharing other forms of content (text, video, graphic etc). Social media feeds are also an important way to monitor and get involved in real-time conversations regarding real-estate.
- Written Content (Short Form) - Possibly the ultimate type of content any agent or marketing professional needs online, written content comes with many different faces and is integral to building rapport and reaching wider audiences: blog posts, Tweets, Facebook updates, thought pieces etc.
- Written Content (Longer Form) - These take more time to bring together but they are extremely helpful in building relationship and establishing oneself not only as one of the profession, but an expert in the sector:
- eBooks (‘what to know about buying a house in a particular region and sharing its history’)
- How-to Guides (‘the do’s and don’ts of selling a house’)
- Whitepapers (‘what we’ve learnt this year about homebuyer behavior during a pandemic’)
- industry news report, (‘RE in the current economic climate and predictions for the next year’), etc.
- Visual - More important than ever, consumers turning to their devices for answers also require quality visuals on their screens. While high-res images and photography of listings is an important standard for any agent website or social media feed, there are now many more in the mix:
- Infographics - showing results of surveys, relevant stats of the industry etc
- Gifs - a light-hearted way for agents to come across approachable and in-touch, especially on social media
- Slideshows - A simple addition to any website, slideshows can display how-to information, market analysis, etc.
- Meet-the-Team highlights - These can be very popular with audiences as they the reveal the names and faces behind the team or brand
- Polls - Popular even on platforms like Instagram, they’re quick and entertaining ways of gathering information from like-minded people with (perhaps) like-minded problems regarding the homebuying process. They also then give agents the opportunity to discuss the results with the same audience later on.
- Video - Perhaps the fastest way to pull in serious audiences, video content is one of the most important additions to the digital agent’s content marketing strategy:
- Property videos - whether these are taken on an ultra-4K drone or an agent’s iPhone, property videos are a valuable addition to any agent’s arsenal, giving virtual tours to clients no matter where they are, no matter what time it is.
- Neighborhood tours - Sometimes homebuyers are as interested in a property as they are in its surroundings; agents can take simple smartphone videos of the neighborhood and answer a lot of questions potential clients may have on the area
- Webinar - These can be educational and informative, done either solo by the agent themselves or perhaps conducted with a fellow industry professional or more.
- Youtube - many solo agents have created their own Youtube channel to list property and ‘show what they know’
- Vlog - While these can be on Youtube or website (or other platforms), vlogs can give audiences a better look into the agent’s personal and professional life.
- Client testimonials - interviews with real life clients (with their permission) whose accounts can be incredibly encouraging and useful for viewers who may be considering the next step.
Giving your audience somewhere to go next, through a CTA (call to action), could introduce them to more of your great content. Often this will be your agency website.