Virtual open houses, digital closings, conversations from behind face masks — what productivity looks like for real estate agents this summer covers new terrain for all of us. All June, Inman surveys the New Productivity: the tools, skills and insights needed to make it work now.
This article series is largely taken from the Real Estate Marketing Playbook with permission from the author.
If you’re serious about generating leads, in the long run, you’ll need to focus on organic traffic. However, some people don’t have the time or know-how to create original content and would prefer to just pay for the web traffic. Although there’s nothing wrong with this, you should ensure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
You can invest millions in SEO. In reality, getting a top spot on Google is way too competitive for an individual agent. Long-tail keywords about things that are local are more likely to show up in search engine results. Create content on your website tailored to what your audience is looking for so that when they search, your site comes up.
You can pay people to create this type of content, which may include blog posts or web page copy. However, paying for content can backfire if the person you hire isn’t knowledgeable about your region.
Additionally, most services that sell content are selling you language that isn’t unique to you — and consumers don’t care about the generalized information delivered by this type of mass content creation. What they want to know is local information and how it affects them. When you write and post original content, you are in control and can incorporate the details you want clients to see.
Also, when you invest in your personalized content, you will have it for years to come. It will always be working for you even after you’ve finished paying for it.
With pay-per-click, you are spending money at a regular clip. Once your ad budget is used up, that’s all you get. Ultimately, the best approach is a hybrid of the two, to drive traffic and convert leads at a successful rate.
Effective content marketing is all about creating original, valuable content. A lot of people go wrong by copying and pasting others’ work or by essentially regurgitating what another expert has previously said.
Also critical is to ensure that your content is relevant to your reader and to your overall goal of selling real estate. You could write all day about your favorite movies, recipes, etc., but that will not help you sell homes.
Buyers want to read about different neighborhoods and what amenities areas have to offer. Schools districts are of particular interest to buyers with young families, so providing buyers with quick links to boundary maps and information about the different schools in the area is very helpful.
You can pair this with a jump search you’ve created through your broker or IDX provider. This way, when buyers are interested in a particular elementary school, they will be able to find homes in that area.
Sellers want to know what techniques you can offer to help sell their home. If homes in a particular area are selling quickly and for more money, those homeowners would be interested to read about it. Are you doing something different than your competitors to market properties? Write about it!
Consumers are out there surfing the web right now, and if you have original content to offer, they will want to read it. Content marketing for real estate is a great way to capture buyers’ and sellers’ attention before they enter the marketplace.
The internet database exchange, or IDX, allows you to display listings on your website. It also gives you the capability to create content, like specific pages focusing on a particular school or neighborhood, with included listings matching that topic.
Most buyers use the internet to search for homes, not for agents. Offering an easy way for them to find properties will result in leads, either through a squeeze page (a page that pops up and blocks you from going further until you put in information) or from inquiries on individual listings.
There are a limited number of vendors who sell the ability to integrate data. Individual web developers can set up your website with this feature. It’s best to work with a developer who is familiar with building real estate websites to ensure proper functionality. Spending more on your site pays off, both concerning the leads you’re able to generate, as well as the control you have over the information you share.
Pages with embedded saved searches capture visitors’ preferred search factors, which will tell you what’s important to buyers. Examples include searches for information on schools, neighborhoods, new construction developments, specific condo buildings or lake homes. Having saved searches that complement your niche will promote you as an expert.
Saved jump searches combined with original content are a great way to provide value to viewers. Once the pages have been created, they will automatically update as new listings come on the market.
If you aren’t sure how to set this up, you can hire someone to do it for you and to train you how to make the best use of it. Services like this, while useful, can be costly, so make sure this strategy makes sense for your business before taking this leap.
Real Estate Marketing Playbook was inspired by observations and experiences over many years in the real estate business. This series includes example strategies from the playbook, and the full text is available on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — Re/Max Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.