Where to Get Started: Content and Real Estate Marketing
Real estate agents understand the power and value of authentic, original content as the key to standing out among the sea of qualified agents and brokers. I was asked to present the Content System framework to agents who want to use content to attract and grow an audience of new clients. This is the second of three posts. The first can be found here. If you work in real estate, this high-level view of a proposed set of content creation activities is for you.
Be careful not to demotivate yourself
Producing content is the most challenging step when building a content system. I usually hear well-intentioned, motivated people commit to producing a piece of content each week, but then they hit a mental block. Their hopes of a content system never materialize. Before I go any further, my advice is to start small and keep your content goals realistic. For example, rather than committing to a 10-part series explaining how to stage your home, start small. A more realistic goal for a new content creator might be to write short blog posts highlighting the top five staging techniques all sellers must implement. At the beginning, keep your content creation goals within reach. Completing one piece of content will motivate you to create more because it’s always easier to expand upon your previous work.
How to develop ideas for content
Here are three ways to quickly get started generating content ideas. The easiest way to get started is by answering this question: what are the top five questions buyers or sellers always ask? Don’t run with the first five that come to mind; write them all down because you may use more than five. Once you have your list, rank the questions from most to least frequently asked. Don’t omit anything because other sites or individuals covered the same topic. Your content will have a unique perspective.
Another technique is to review your sent email. If you’re answering someone’s question, chances are there are others out there with the same question. Use that email as a starting off point to a longer piece.
Search social media and sites like Reddit and Quora to see what people are talking about. Find out what’s important to sellers or look for emerging trends.
The six most popular content types in real estate
Here are six of the most common content types that I see in the real estate industry. You don’t have to stick with one type. Mix it up. For example, create some Instagram posts, blog posts and videos.
Blog posts are features written in your voice. They are usually based on your opinion and are presented in a conversational style and tone.
Videos don’t need to be stylized and highly-produced. Interviews with homeowners and experts recorded with phones can generate a lot of engagement. Now that the technology is accessible, 360 and drone videos are popping up on many real estate sites.
Images are at the core of the real estate industry and should be part of every blog written for your site. Keep in mind that a single image can stand on its own if it tells a story or conveys a powerful message.
Articles are fact-based and built on research. Articles may include expert interviews and cited references.
eBooks and Guides are typically a compilation of previously produced content that has been reorganized and expanded upon.
Infographics are a graphic representation of data that tells a story. Infographics are an easy way to explain data using diagrams, icons, graphs, and timelines.
One basic rule to follow when creating content
Absolutely no selling. Do not violate this because it will destroy any goodwill that you generated. You are here to serve, not sell. That’s why it’s important to reframe your thinking when producing pieces for your content system.
One other basic rule to follow when creating content
In On Writing Well, William Zinsser explained his four principles to writing: Clarity, Simplicity, Brevity, and Humanity. The first three are self-explanatory, it’s the fourth that catches people. You are a human communicating with humans. Do not write as a business or other entity. Write in your own voice.
This is all very high-level information, but it was exactly what my audience of real estate agents needed to get started. In the next and final blog, I’ll give you an overview of publishing.