Content marketing is the art of creating and sharing valuable content that attracts and converts prospects into customers.
In real estate, that means creating and sharing valuable content about the local community, the state of the local market, and the latest listings for sale. And doing so consistently so that in the process, you establish yourself as the local authority for everything real estate.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it can be. But it’s a long-term solution, not a short-term tactic.
Here’s a few harsh realities to keep in mind…
Harsh Reality #1. Most real estate blogs suck.
Content on most real estate blogs is grossly disorganized, hype-driven, and out-of-date.
If you want to stand out from the crowd and establish yourself as the go-to local resource, you need to present your content in the best possible manner…and without the hype.
That means a great design that makes it easy for the consumer to find what they’re looking for. And that’s delivered consistently over time so that you keep prospects engaged.
Harsh Reality #2. The fastest way to build an audience is to give some of your best stuff away.
When launching a new real estate blog, I always advise real estate agents to start with what they know. Here’s what I mean…
- Make a list of everything you know about buying and selling real estate.
- Then, make a list of things to do around the community (things to do, places to visit, reviews of local establishments, et cetera).
This is going to serve as the foundation of content that your new site is going to be built on. And if it’s good, you’ll slowly but surely start attracting a local audience that comes to you for advice on everything local, including real estate.
If instead you tease about how the market is doing, you write hype-driven posts like “why now is a great time to buy,” and you close with things like “contact us for more information” without offering anything valuable or useful to begin with, you’ll continue to lose prospects to the competition.
Harsh Reality #3. Consumers hate the hard sell.
Consumers don’t care that you were a “Top Producer” for two years in a row in 2009 and 2010. They don’t want to read a hype-driven market report post that touts why “now is a good time to buy” – especially when that’s all you’ve written month over month for the last year.
In other words, consumers hate to be sold.
They don’t care about you. They only care about whether you’re site happens to have answers to the questions they were Googling to begin with.
The more honest, and useful you are in delivering content that answers their specific questions about the local community and the state of the local real estate market, the closer you’ll get towards developing a trusting relationship with them.
The more they trust you, the more likely they’ll be to want to work with you when the time is right.
Harsh Reality #4. This is a long-term strategy, not a short-term one.
If you’re looking for over-night results you’re going to be disappointed. Like any sports athlete who wants to improve his/her game, you’ve got to put the hours in too.
That means writing useful content, being there day-in and day-out to answer your prospects questions. But a smart content marketing plan isn’t just about organizing content on your site for the consumer, it’s about optimizing that content so that it gets properly discovered in search results.
Harsh Reality #5. You must continuously feed the blog beast.
If you have a real estate blog that you never update, it’s doing more harm than good. Especially in real estate where the market is always changing.
The good news is content ideas are everywhere…just look at your email inbox. Look for questions that potential customers are asking you day-in and day-out.
What do they want to know about homes for sale in your area? What are they interested in learning about the neighborhood and schools in the area? What else are they coming to your website to learn more about?
Put yourself in your customers shoes… Pretent you’re an out-of-town buyer who knows absolutely nothing about the local community. What do you want to learn? What do you want to know?
Once you have a good list of questions, start typing and start answering!
You might not see results in a day or even a week…but give it a month or two of delivering highly relevant and educational content that’s properly optimized for search results using the language that your customers are using to find what they’re looking for online, and you’ll start to see the results of your work pay off.