Having been in the title insurance business since 2005, I know that real estate agents love to tell their audience the latest and greatest real estate news. They tell them everything: what the market is doing, homes that just sold, inventory levels, new government regulations and so on. Agents like to take this information and post it to their social media accounts, send out blast emails and more. They do this thinking it adds value to them. Guess what — it doesn’t.

You know who does gain that value? The person responsible for creating the original article.

So, what do you do? It is a lot more helpful to create your own original content rather than “repurposing” existing content to increase your value proposition going forward.

Don’t: Publicize other people’s stories

As a real estate agent, you are busy, and taking the time to write articles might not sound appealing. But creating original content in your “own words” to a target audience by telling your side of the story holds a lot more value than a mere copy and paste of someone else’s work. If there is important real estate-related news that your sphere or target audience needs to know, it makes more sense for it come from you, versus someone else.

Why would you post an article written by someone else, possibly in another part of the country, telling their side of the story? At the end of the day, you are trying to increase your value proposition with prospects and past clients. By posting a website link or a video posted by another person, even another real estate agent, it allows your target customer to click on the link and go to their website or blog to see their value, not yours.

Do: Repurpose content

If you don’t want to come up with original articles, you can always “repurpose” existing content and push that out to your sphere and prospects. Repurposing is when you read an article and instead of posting it out, you rewrite the article in your own words taking a stance “for or against” the main point.

We have all read articles (even on Inman) where we strongly agree or strongly don’t for whatever reason. What an excellent opportunity to repurpose that article and post it to your website. The primary goal is to keep your clients and prospects on your website and videos versus someone else’s. Driving your customer base into the arms of another will only end up hurting you in the end.

Don’t: Ever … do … this

I have had real estate agents ask me numerous times if it is OK to copy and paste an entire article from one website over to theirs. Don’t ever do this. Why? First off, you are stealing someone else’s content, and if it is without permission, you might receive a letter from an attorney. It’s called plagiarism.

Many people and big companies have “Google Alerts” set up that monitor their content and brand, so if anything is used on the Internet without their consent they are notified right away. Also, by doing this, you are using content and information that is not in your words. In many instances, your clients can see through that, and it will dilute your value. Lastly, it is not a very professional thing to do.

The takeaway

In the end, it is all about you. You want to come off as the authority and answer to your clients’ real estate wants and needs. The one thing you don’t want to do is drive your prospects and clients into the arms of another professional or agent by posting their content on your social media sites.

Besides not being “top of mind,” this is a big way that agents lose business, and they don’t even realize it. Take the time and incorporate original content or repurpose existing content to add value to yourself, and keep your clients and prospects close to you. In the long term, you will be glad you did because the next time you see an article shared on a social media site, it could be yours.

Wade Vander Molen is the director of sales/marketing for Stewart Title and has been in the title industry since 2005.

Email Wade Vander Molen.

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