The modern real estate agent understands that content marketing is a requirement for growing and thriving in their business. However, for many, generating enough material to outrank the competition is proving to be a real challenge.
As a result, more and more agents are tempted to borrow or even steal content to keep up while others are struggling to buy the right kind in order to yield results.
The following tips will help you get what you need without destroying your marketing or worse yet, your reputation amongst your peers.
What to avoid
If you are like most real estate agents, you are more interested in managing clients and transactions than you are writing blogs or scripts for your videos and podcasts. To save time, you may want to hire a professional real estate writer to ghostwrite your content for you.
Many agents also opt to purchase bulk content (like blogs) on the cheap but remember the old adage “buyer beware”. These mass-produced blogs will only serve to damage your search engine optimization (SEO) and drag your website to the bottom of search engines because they are considered to be unoriginal and invaluable by sites like Google.
Lesson: If you’re going to buy your content, make sure it is always original and ethical.
Hiring a winning real estate writer
The true rock stars of copywriting will do so much more than just write blog articles for you — they will be able to dramatically improve your SEO, position you as an expert in your area and attract your ideal customers. From time and energy saved to clients and cash gained, investing in a real estate content writer is a no-brainer.
But how do you go about hiring one?
There are actually quite a few options out there in terms of places to scoop up content writers. Some are OK, some are abysmal and others are shockingly amazing.
When you hire your real estate content writers, you need to make sure they not only have significant experience working in real estate, but that they have a fundamental understanding of the following:
- The needs, problems and motivations of buyers and sellers
- Real estate laws
- Comprehension of the title and closing process
- The real estate contracts you use
- Real estate slang terms and marketing tactics
- Market trends
You can save money by hiring overseas writers to produce your content, but you will end up spending more time teaching them about real estate and proper English grammar than you will be selling real estate. Considering the fact that content marketing is 69 percent more effective (and less costly) than traditional real estate marketing methods, you should be willing to devote the majority of your marketing budget to your writers.
The community of U.S.-based real estate copywriters is extremely small. To find one, you can run a Google search for the best real estate writer or post a job to job boards like SnagAJob. Always interview writers before hiring them — you want to make sure they are fluent in English, SEO, content strategy and real estate.
Before you borrow
Often, content service providers will allow you to post their content on your website as long as you list them as the author and link back to their website. In the past, this was considered good practice by some SEO experts because it allowed agents to add content to their site frequently.
However, these days, posting “borrowed” content does more to hurt you than it does to help you. Remember that you are spending a lot of time and money getting traffic to your website and the last thing you want to do is drive that traffic away by linking to other websites.
Furthermore, consider that your content is meant to position you as the local real estate expert, not someone else. When you borrow content written by others, it is like you’re saying, “I don’t know enough about X, but this person does, so check out what they have to say.”
That is a dangerous message to put out there.
Nervous about accidentally using content from another agent or source? Sign-up for an account with Grammarly, a spelling and grammar software that will also check your content for plagiarism. Make sure all of your content is plagiarism free before you upload it to your website or you will pay the price with search engines.
Stealing content is never a good idea — it’s an unethical business practice that could severely damage your credibility and lead to a lawsuit and permanent removal from Google search results. Not to mention, stealing content is flat out illegal!
There is nothing wrong, however, with looking at other agents’ content for inspiration. For example, if you notice another agent is doing well by producing hyper-local content like school reviews, there is nothing wrong with creating the same type of content in your market. Just be sure that your content is unique, original and valuable to your ideal clients.
There is no question that creating original content is a must in today’s digital era of real estate. The agents who can create and post the most valuable and unique content will be able to build the most dominant web presence, and ultimately crush their competition.
If writing is challenging for you, try hiring a professional real estate content writer and then multipurpose that content into podcasts and videos to accelerate your results.
Sarah Layton is the real estate content marketing expert behind www.bestrealestatewriter.com and owner of Layton Media.