Sell the Community Before You Sell the House

Paper cut of family with house , tree and car on fresh spring green grass

Want to know the secret to building a real estate website that consistently generates new traffic and new real estate leads? Sell the community before you sell the house.

Why IDX First Is A Bad Strategy

IDX alone isn’t what’s going to get your website to rank well in search engines. And if that’s you’re only game plan, you’re going to have a heck of a hard time outranking sites like ZTR who already have established positions on page 1 of search results for tons of different search terms.

And I’ve seen this happen plenty of times first hand. A customer purchases an indexable IDX solution. Then, they come back 3 months later and say, “I’d like to cancel my account. It’s just not converting.” There are two reasons this happens:

  1. They don’t have any other content except for IDX content on their site.
  2. They’re not getting any traffic (of course they’re not, see #1).

You can’t get a real estate website to rank with IDX listings alone. You need unique original content that talks about the area.

4 Reasons You Should Focus On Content Before IDX

When you focus on creating great local content first, a couple of things happen…

1. People will start to share your content more.

In addition to writing about the latest listing and local market reports, you also want to write content about the local community. The reason for this is simple. Not everyone is going to be in the market to buy/sell real estate right now.

By writing content about the local community – things to do, places to visit, upcoming events, etc., you’re giving people a reason to visit your site. But also, a reason to share and engage with your content.

They’re not very likely to share and “Like” a local market report, but they’re likely to share a post about where to see a good fireworks show on the 4th of July and other local events.


Because it’s useful and it highlights unique characteristics about an area that they care about.

Check out these posts from

Another great example is

2. Google will index your content more. Again, because it’s useful, original content.

Google’s not going to index your site for your area just because you have a couple of listings indexed. No. Instead, what Google wants to see is that your site contains useful, relevant info about an area. And you can accomplish this by writing a series of evergreen content for your site. How?

The trick is, to write in the language that your customers are using to search for homes and other things to do in your area. Then, as people start to read, consume and engage with your content. Google starts to realize, “oh, here’s a site that’s relevant to these search results. So let’s index this content.”

3. It’ll give people a reason to come back to your site.

To learn about the community, about things to do, things they should know about, etc. This is especially important for those people that aren’t ready to buy now (see #1 above), but are thinking of moving to the area 6 – 12 months down the road.

Creating great, local content that gives people a reason to come back is a great way to incubate leads over the long-term.

4. It’s a great way to build a relationship before the sale.

Creating great local content is going to help you build rapport with readers and prospects. So when it comes time to buy, they’ve already made an informed decision about hiring you as they’re agent. They already know whether you’re knowledgeable enough to help them with one of the most important purchases they’re going to make in their lifetime.

Yes, talk about the market. So write your monthly market reports. But also, write about the community to demonstrate your expertise over the area.

Become the Local Expert

At AgentPress, we’re teaching agents to lead with great local content first. IDX comes later.

Sure, it takes time. But when done right, it’s a great way to position yourself as the local market expert and build your business.

Here are a few of my favorite AgentPress sites so far that have done a great job of creating local content:

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  1. says

    Your right… just counting on idx is not the answer.

    You have to provide the information that will draw people towards your blog. Telling a story will keep them coming back for more.

    By the way, my blog would be soooo much easier if I could write even close to Erika.

  2. says

    Spot on RB. What agents often miss is that there are often big time gaps between purchases. That’s the time to focus on building relationships and developing a reputation as a knowledgable local area expert. Pimping out other people’s listings just doesn’t do this.

  3. says

    Thank you for the mention Ricardo!

    A local site is so much fun. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with people who live minutes away and are familiar with the places I frequent.

    Thank you again – Theresa

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