Content Marketing in 2013: What Realtors Need to Know

When you became a real estate agent or broker, you probably didn’t think you needed to

Components of Inbound Marketing

Components of Inbound Marketing (Photo credit: Gavin Llewellyn)

become a writer.  Yes, you had to find words to make listings sound appealing — “cozy bungalow” instead of “tiny house” — but you didn’t count on a daily habit of writing blogs, guest posts and website content or posting to your Twitter, Facebook and Google+ accounts.

Perhaps  you found the task overwhelming and simply stopped writing.  There are plenty of Facebook graveyards and Twitter morgues with real estate agents attached to them.  Don’t let yours be among them.  If you don’t have the time, talent or inclination to write on a daily or near-daily basis, hire someone to do it for you.

Your success in real estate in 2013 and beyond demands that you become as proficient in content marketing as you are in selling houses.  Because, without content marketing, your opportunity to sell houses will diminish.

Get Noticed, Stay Noticed

Why?  Because everything about your online presence is dependent on content marketing.  Your search engine rankings, for example, depend on  links, which depend on content.  You may not realize this yet.  Your SEO expert may have garnered page one rankings for your website with little or no help from you.  But you won’t stay on page one without content.  And, if you depend on the Internet for leads, you won’t stay in business without content.

In 2013, you need great content to get and stay noticed.

How do you create great content?  Here are three ways to create content that will help market you and your real estate company:

1.  Write about things that homeowners and home buyers care about.

Your blog is not a virtual bus bench.  Your Facebook page is not a For Sale sign.  Don’t use content to advertise your listings or your services.

When you write, don’t think like a Realtor.  Think like a potential client.

What does a homeowner want to know about?  Cost-effective ways to prepare a home for sale, how to tell if a home improvement is a good investment and how to save money on home heating and cooling costs.  A homeowner wants to know how to make his home more enjoyable and how to get the best resale value for his home.

What does a home buyer want to know about?  About schools and neighborhoods, of course, but also about local parks, the best coffee shops in town, where to go on weekend getaways, where to buy organic food, what dry cleaners offer free delivery…Homebuyers have lots of questions.  Provide the answers while they’re searing for a real estate agent and you become the agent of choice.

2.  Keep Your Content Current

Writing, if you haven’t realized it already, is time-consuming.  If you can’t commit to posting at least once a day to Facebook, Twitter and Google+, get rid of the accounts.

A two-day-old Facebook page looks stale.  A Twitter account that hasn’t been updated in a week looks abandoned.  You don’t want to look outdated or neglectful.  It’s better to do one type of content really well than three or four haphazardly.

A blog is a basic marketing necessity.  You can’t really opt out of this.

Your inbox is probably flooded with real estate news, and you can use this material to present your audience with timely information.  You can also find ideas by reading blogs on sites such as Zillow and Trulia or by reading the real estate sections in your local newspaper.

3.  Don’t Sacrifice Quality

Google’s Panda and Penguin rules placed a premium on quality, and the rules will only get tougher in 2013.  The Internet is loaded — overloaded — with content, and much of it is worthless.  If you produce quality content, you don’t have to worry about Google rules — quality content will be immune to them.

The quality of your content reflects you and your real estate office.  One good blog promotes you better than four mediocre ones.  And bad blogs are bad blogs no matter how many you post.

A quality blog provides value to the reader.  Provide value and you’ll be rewarded with a bigger and better client list.

Cost-Effective

Content marketing demands more of your time and effort when you first get started.  And, because you may not see immediate returns (it’s not as simple to track the impact of content marketing as it is to count the number of clicks an ad generates), you may wonder about its value.

But the difference between content marketing and an ad is like the difference between a Chanel suit and a dress from Forever 21.  Or the difference between a house in a great neighborhood and one in a rundown area.

Quality, like location, always proves the wisest investment.

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