Venturing into the online arena and creating content can be scary for many real estate agents. “Where do I start? What type of content do I create? What do I say?” All of these are valid questions.
In my experience, agents want to be the No. 1 Realtor on the Internet for large areas, like cities or counties; they want their websites to show up high in a search for “homes for sale in Washington, D.C.” or “top Realtor in Northern Virginia.” Those search terms are generic and cover a large area, making it very difficult for an individual Realtor to rank. Competing online for a word or phrase that is very popular, and against companies that pay a lot of money to the search engines, can prove to be very expensive and difficult.
So how do you get to the top of a search engine and noticed by your ideal client? By creating consistent hyper-local content.
What is hyper-local content?
When consumers know what they want, they ask the search engines exact questions. Instead of looking for “homes for sale in Washington, D.C.,” a home buyer will search for neighborhoods and types of property, such as: “condos for sale in DuPont Circle.” If you know that your ideal clients are people who want to buy condos in the DuPont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., then that should be the focus of your online content. That online content can consist of blogs, YouTube videos, podcasts, social media pages and more.
Creating hyper-local online content will help capture buyers and sellers who search specifically, vs. generically, for their real estate needs. Hyper-local content will, in many instances, allow your website to rank ahead of large aggregates like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.
Where do I start?
You start by identifying who you are looking to attract with your online content. Buyers or sellers? Where is your marketing area? Cities are more hyper-local than counties, and subdivisions or neighborhoods are more hyper-local than cities.
What type of property do you wish to sell? Condos, townhomes, luxury homes, row houses, single-family homes? The more specific and hyper-local your online content, the greater chance that you’ll be discovered online by that exact person with that specific real estate need. If you want to see how people are searching online for certain words or phrases, sign up for Google AdWords, which will provide a better understanding of how your content needs to be constructed.
What do I create content about?
Now that you have identified your ideal client’s “who,” “where” and “what,” take a moment and think about everything that a person with that need would look for online. Next, create a top 10 list of the best blogging and video ideas that answer their real estate questions or needs. Take that content and publish it on your website, YouTube channel and social media outlets. The more consistent you are with creating this hyper-local content and pushing it out to these platforms, the greater chance you will gain trust and business from people that find you online.
What do I say?
If you are saying “I’m not a writer!” No worries … that is fine. Blogging is only one method for creating online content; video is another. Videos are a great way to convey a message, and posting them to YouTube is free.
Make sure your message contains educational information and you will come across as the thought leader or best source for your prospect’s real estate needs. Having a strong call to action is essential; it is one of the final steps to having that end client reach out to do business. Getting these prospects to “like,” “follow” or “subscribe” to you online is important, as well. This allows you to always be top-of-mind as you continue to post relevant content. What you don’t want to do is create content that is overly self-promotional, has little to no engagement and promises to answer a pressing question but fails to follow through. Doing this will push prospects away … and into the arms of another real estate agent.
Creating hyper-local content is important in the online marketing arena. Following these steps will help you attract the right clients with your content, driving them back to your website and helping your clients learn more about the value you provide in the process.
Wade Vander Molen is the director of sales/marketing for Stewart Title and has been in the title industry since 2005.