I worked around real estate for seven years. No, I didn’t sell or list it, but I know just enough to be dangerous. I can ask the right questions. I can even catch small issues before they become big problems. But there’s no way I would sell or list property without a professional agent by my side.
The same could be said of you when you’re working on your blog or creating a video or podcast. You’ve read information like the posts here on iHOUSE, and you’ve jumped into the practice of content creation, but you wouldn’t consider yourself an expert. You rely on classes taught by real estate professionals or articles like the ones you find here and on other websites.
You’re not interested in learning the ins and outs of copywriting, blogging, and online marketing. You need to know to enough to get the job done, generate leads, and have a website that won’t embarrass you at the next big meeting.
I get it.
That’s why I don’t mind going out and gathering good information like that found on Copyblogger, to bring back to you. Copyblogger runs a well known blog, podcast, and membership site that teaches writers, like me and yes, like you, how to create better content and effectively use content marketing for your business.
And yes, they are definitely the experts on creating content.
When they released a series on the type of content every blog should have, I knew I needed to bring it to you and help it make sense for anyone marketing your real estate website.
These ideas are not my own – and I recommend Copyblogger for anyone writing blogs as part of their business – but to save you time and effort, I’ll break it all down for you so you can get back to doing what you do best a little quicker.
The premise is that there are four types of content you should create for your blog or website. Sometimes, these will overlap, and sometimes not. Paying attention to the type of content you create will help you grow your business, generate leads, and ultimately sell and list more real estate.
Whether we know it or not, we’re all very familiar with content created to attract attention. Think about every list you’ve ever read online: 5 Things You Must Do Before You’re 60, 101 Ways to Be Awesome. Did they catch your attention and make you want to read it? Maybe so.
How about those awesome infographics that get shared around? Famous quotes by dead authors, the different plants every garden needs, Harry Potter characters and personality types – go on Pinterest for a few minutes, and you’ll see all of these and more.
This type of content has one purpose – bring people to your website. Whether the headline is cute, cool, useful, or weird, the whole point is for someone to click on a link and go to the website. In real estate, this is simple: 5 Nightmare Stories from Sellers Who Didn’t Use an Agent, 99 Things You Must Do Before Selling Your Home, 33 Reasons You’ll Need a Glass of Wine After Your Closing.
This kind of content is great if you don’t have a big audience yet or a lot of content. When promoted well, it can bring more people to your website. What you do next is what keeps them coming back for more.
This type of content is a big one, and it’s one I recommend more often than anything else. How will people know you can find them the best house at the best price in the best neighborhood until they get to know you? Online, you have to build authority which leads to trust.
Using a video, a podcast, or written content, your job with this type of content is to give your audience the information they need to make good decisions and to understand the process. Over time, once they figure out you know what you’re talking about, you’ll earn their trust. They’ll know that you’re the one to go to for real estate advice.
Copyblogger has a great recommendation to take it to the next level. Write a series of blog posts – maybe about the process of buying a home. Once you’re done, take that content and bundle it together into a PDF or an ebook. You can give it away for free, sell it, use it as a draw to your website. The sky’s the limit, but when you share high quality, in depth information that your target audience needs, you’ll earn their trust and prove that you’re an authority in whatever part of the real estate industry you’re targeting.
In the real estate world, a commission check is great, but referrals are better. Am I right? Referrals mean that you’ve built good enough relationships that people are not only willing to share your name, they’re happy to do it. You’re so great, so nice, so efficient, so good at what you do, and they want their friends and family to experience it for themselves. They’ve made a personal connection with you on some level, and feel that their sphere will benefit from knowing you.
That’s powerful stuff.
So how do you do that online? It’s trickier, and more difficult, but it makes magic happen.
Building a community through content is done when you create what Copyblogger calls “Affinity” content. This is the content that shares a bit of who you are with your audience, and it may have nothing to do with real estate. This is the content that shows people you’re likeable and so they come back to your blog or your podcast over and over again. They join your community.
There’s no real formula for this type of content. Maybe you write about your struggles finding the right school for your children. Maybe you share a bad day in real estate and how you overcame it. You give people a peek into who you are as a person. It requires taking a stand, sharing your opinion, and being yourself – at the risk of not being liked by some. It’s kind of the secret sauce to taking your website to a new level.
You’ve added a human element to your blog. Yes, you may earn criticism for it, but you’ll also attract people who understand your struggle or feel similarly.
Okay, I’ve waxed poetically about (sort of) baring a bit of your soul in a blog post. But let’s be real. What you really, really want is people to take action, to do something after they read your post, listen to your podcast, or watch your video. I get it.
Every post can be an action post. Not every post should be the “Hire me to be your agent!” post, however. You need to get attention and keep it. You need to prove your authority. You need people to like you. So when it comes to creating action, start small.
Ask people to share your content.
Share their email address in exchange for even more information.
After a while, and with a steady stream of high quality content, this will happen sooner than you think, you can go in for the big ask. “Contact me today and let’s get your house sold!” “Email me and I’ll help you find your dream home!”
It sounds big and complicated, like it’s a multi-step process. It’s much simpler than you think:
Get people’s attention. Prove you know what you’re talking about. Give them a reason to like you. Make the ask.
You already do this at every networking event and every appointment. This helps you bring that same ability to your blog, YouTube channel, or podcast so that you can affect and touch your online audience as well, or better, than the people you meet in person.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.