You’ve jumped into the world of real estate, and you’re ready to take on your first clients. Maybe you’ve been in the game for over a decade, and things have just become a bit stagnant. Heck, you might be growing at a steady pace, but you know real estate content will help you grow even faster.
No matter your reason, you found this blog post for one of a few reasons:
- You know real estate content is essential, but you don’t really know what you need
- You’re curious about real estate content, and you want more information.
- Someone mentioned real estate content to you in a conversation, which you pretended to understand, and now you’re trying to find out more.
It doesn’t really matter what brought you here, I have what you need. This article will give you all the information you need about content for real estate agents. Whether you’re just getting started or you’re a veteran, read on to find out why you need content and what types of content will bring you more leads.
Content is the Foundation
Online marketing comes in many forms. Just about every type of marketing today requires excellent content as the foundation.
Without well-written content, your SEO marketing won’t take you where you want to go. Social media marketing relies on high-quality content. Even paid ads need great content to engage the visitor once they click.
Often, when Realtors, Brokers, or Agents set up their website marketing, they focus on getting more traffic. It seems like this just makes sense, but focusing on the traffic is just one part of the equation.
A website can receive thousands of hits per day and never make a single sale or gain a single lead. The traffic you gain has to stick around and take action. Great content helps keep your visitors engaged and helps lead them into your sales funnel.
Just as you would want a strong foundation for your home, you should create a strong foundation for all your online marketing efforts. With high-quality real estate articles for your blog, professionally-created community/neighborhood pages, and excellent guides for buyers and sellers, your foundation will stand the test of time.
Benefits of Using Content Marketing for Real Estate
Content marketing is one of the best long-term strategies for any business online. Real estate websites have the unique opportunity to cash in with content marketing because 50% of home buyers found the home they purchased online in 2018, according to the National Association of REALTORS. In addition, many buyer and sellers find their agents online.
Without a strong online presence, you’re likely leaving money on the table. A basic website is a start, but a full content marketing strategy just makes sense for Realtors, Brokers, and Agents.
There are several benefits of content marketing for your real estate website. Let’s look at a few of the main benefits.
Real estate content, especially blog posts, helps to increase trust with website visitors. Blog posts help to position you as a leader in the real estate industry and your local market. You have the opportunity to share knowledge about buying, selling, the local community, and much more through your blog.
Blogging is such a great way to build trust that 55% of marketers actually made creating blog content is their top priority when it comes to inbound marketing, according to Hubspot.
Build Better Brand Awareness
Your real estate brand matters and content marketing helps to build your brand awareness. Using real estate articles published on your blog, you can increase brand awareness by targeting long-tail keywords and sharing your posts on social media channels.
Did you know companies publishing 16+ blog posts every month received about 4.5 times as many leads compared to companies publishing 0 to 4 blog posts per month, according to Hubspot?
I have provided thousands of blog posts for real estate agents over the years and the ones seeing the most success from content marketing always post at least 3 times a week.
Better Search Ranking
Content marketing for real estate offers the ability to increase your search ranking. Not only can you create blog posts linking to your main pages, but you can also use content to increase the value of your main pages. Imagine if you could rank better for all your main keywords, the top neighborhoods in your market, and thousands of other keyword possibilities you haven’t even discovered yet.
Blogging Creates a Wider Net
A well-thought-out content marketing strategy will start with the main pages and continue with regular blogging. Targeting the main keywords, such as specific neighborhoods, types of buyers, and types of sellers, should be done through pages and more comprehensive content.
However, without a good blogging strategy, you’ll be missing out on the long-tail keyword opportunities within your market. Blogging helps you cast a wider net and capture more leads over time.
Imagine if you posted 16 real estate articles to your blog every month. After just one year, you’d have nearly 200 blog posts. Each one of those blog posts can rank in the search results for long-tail keywords giving you a much larger net compared to just offering a handful of pages on your real estate website.
Content Provides an Organic SEO Strategy
A good SEO content strategy will take care of the rest of your SEO needs without any help. Sure, you can hire an SEO firm to help and get there faster, but the organic growth you can gain from an excellent content strategy is all you really need.
Combining real estate blog articles with a good social media strategy shows the search engines you mean business. This type of organic SEO strategy has proven to produce results about 5.66 times better than paid search ads, according to Hubspot.
Provides a High ROI
Whether you compare content marketing to paid advertising, email advertising, or more traditional forms of advertising, it comes out on top with a higher ROI. Typically, content provides more leads for less money over time.
One of the best things about content is the simple fact that you still have it after you’ve paid for it. When you invest $100 in a well written real estate article, you get to use that article for the rest of your business career. Compare this to spending $100 on paid advertising, which leaves you with nothing after the cash is gone.
Many other benefits come along with a good content marketing strategy for your real estate business. If you don’t have well-written pages, blog posts, and other forms of content, such as eBooks and guides, you’re missing out on one of the most powerful, long-term marketing strategies online today.
What Qualifies as Good Real Estate Content?
Before you go hiring a real estate content writer and blasting your blog with 5 or 6 posts per week, you need to understand what qualifies as good content. Anybody can regurgitate the same 500-word article and call it a blog post. Just because an article doesn’t have any typos or grammatical errors doesn’t make it good content.
High-quality real estate content will do the following:
- Inform, entertain or both
- Hit a pain point of a buyer or seller
- Provide a solution to a problem
- Answer a burning question
- Back up the entire article with credible sources
While it’s not necessary to check off every item on this list for every blog post, it must hit at least one. For example, an excellent real estate blog article may simply answer a burning question for a first-time home buyer, such as “Why does my Credit Score Matter when Buying a House?”
The key to creating good real estate content is making sure each article has a goal. This goal can simply be to inform your audience of a new home listing, or maybe you want to let potential sellers know it’s a great time to list their home for sale.
Now, when we take this a step further, and we look at what a good content strategy will include, it gets a bit more complicated. Within a good content strategy, you will use blog posts, community/neighborhood pages, guides, eBooks, social media, and more. You will likely add-in video content and infographics to make your strategy even better.
The key to a great content marketing strategy is planning. You must have a good content schedule, goals for each real estate article you publish, and a clear objective.
Setting Content Goals & Expectations
Your content goals matter, and so do your expectations. I have worked with clients that thought ordering 10 real estate articles was going to push them ahead of their competition in a matter of weeks. This is what I call an unrealistic expectation.
Real estate content has to be continually developed, and it must have a goal. Your blog content needs to have clear goals, while your pages and guides should have different goals. A good strategy may include the following goals:
- Neighborhood/Community Pages – Increase awareness of homes sold in specific neighborhoods through well-written content, displayed listings, and regular linking from blog posts to the page.
- Buyer/Seller/Other Guides – Comprehensive content used to rank high in search engines, inform target audience, and link to from blog posts
- Blog Content – A continual strategy used to build excellent interlinking and external linking for better SEO, while engaging the target audience and leading them to a neighborhood/community page or a guide.
This is very basic as a more specific strategy may also take into account your actual target audience. However, even this basic strategy provides goals and a plan to use the content properly.
Of course, your content goals should also include sharing the content on social media, which will vary from one channel to another.
The expectations you set for your content plan should also be addressed. You want to make sure these are realistic, and you’re not setting yourself up for disappointment. Often, it takes 50 to 100 real estate articles on your blog to really see a difference in traffic and leads. Content marketing is a long-term strategy and not meant to create leads quickly.
When you set your expectations correctly, you will likely want to commit to six months or more of consistent content. It’s best to plan on creating a two-year content plan with re-evaluation every six months.
Developing a Content Schedule
Many businesses think they have a content strategy because they blog and they share each new blog post on social media. This is great, but adding some organization to your plan makes it even better.
Each one of your real estate articles has plenty of potential. They gain even more potential when you properly plan your strategy and create a content schedule for your real estate articles.
A content schedule spells out completion dates, publication dates, share dates on social media, re-share dates, and more. It can be populated with topics and act as a running list of blog ideas, as well. When you use real estate content for social media, a content schedule is vital.
There are several tools you can use to set up your content schedule. Personally, I am a bit old school as I prefer Microsoft Excel, but I have also used several calendar apps at the request of my clients.
Types of Content to Use
Realtors, Brokers, and Agents have various kinds of content to choose from. You don’t have to use every single type of content, but you do need to select the type of real estate content you want to add to your strategy. Let’s look at a few options.
According to an article from Forbes.com, you should be using the following four types of content:
- Educational Content
- Branded Content
- Email Content
- Entrepreneurial Content
These are great, but when I refer to types of content, I don’t look at it the same way. As a writer, I focus on types of content as they make sense to me, which will fall into these categories differently. Here are the types of real estate content I recommend and how to use each one.
The core, the foundation, the most important content on your website, Pillar articles are vital to long-term content marketing success. Of course, this is my opinion, but Hubspot also talks about Pillar pages, so I am not alone.
Pillar articles, when researched and written correctly, offer the most comprehensive real estate article on the given topic. They target one main keyword and a series of supporting keywords throughout the article. Often, they top the 3,000-word mark.
A great example of a pillar article is this one you’re reading right here. I wrote this piece to target the keyword phrase “real estate content” (for obvious reasons) and a series of supporting keywords.
For your real estate content strategy, I recommend at least a few pillar articles used as pages, such as:
- Buyer’s guides – These can be specific to a type of property, such as fixer-upper, historic, luxury, etc.
- Seller’s guides – These target specific types of sellers, typically.
- Larger Neighborhoods/Towns – If you target larger neighborhoods or towns, a Pillar article about each is a great way to rank better on the search engines.
- Top Lists – These can target top area attractions, top condo buildings, top restaurants, etc. They can be very specific or very broad.
There are many other types of Pillar articles you can use, depending on your target audience.
Each Pillar article becomes a place to direct traffic from your blog passively with contextual linking. For example, if you create a Pillar article about buying a historic property in Atlanta, every single time you mention a phrase similar to buying a historic home, you can link that phrase to the Pillar article. This helps create better interlinking for SEO and helps to direct your audience to the Pillar article.
While these are very comprehensive articles and they become the cornerstone of your content strategy, they are also backed up by plenty of sources. Often, one pillar article will be supported by a dozen or so sources, which helps create good external linking. In addition, you can contact each of those sources letting them know they were included in the article.
Pillar articles created as a “Top List” can be very powerful as you can contact each attraction, restaurant, etc. on the list and they may share the article on their social media or link to it from their website.
Every Pillar article needs supporting articles. These real estate articles may be used as blog posts or as pages in a “resource” section. The supporting keywords used in the original Pillar article will become the main keywords of each supporting article. In addition, each supporting article will link to the Pillar article.
This type of real estate content will usually end up between 1,500 and 2,000 words in length. It will take one of the keywords from the Pillar article and go in-depth creating a topic from that keyword phrase.
Long-Form Blog Posts
The most powerful blog posts you will ever use are long-form blog posts. Google and other search engines prefer longer content, so if you want better rankings, you need more comprehensive content. According to Search Engine Journal, the average content found on page 1 of Google is around 1,900 words.
Of course, the length is only one of the ranking factors, but longer, well-written content ranks better than shorter content most of the time.
Long-form blog posts give you the ability to target a topic comprehensively. They act as mini Pillar articles, but for your blog. The word count for long-form blog posts ranges anywhere from 1,000 words to about 2,000 words. Supporting articles for your Pillar articles can be used as long-form blog posts, too.
Short-Form Blog Posts
While shorter content doesn’t rank as well, not every blog post is designed specifically to rank well on its’ own. Sometimes, you want to talk about an event going on in your community, or you want to cover something else not requiring 1,000+ words.
Short-form blog posts range from about 350 to 750 words, and they work great for real estate articles. Since real estate websites often become a hub for community information, short-form blog posts can be mixed in to cover events, local attractions, restaurants, etc.
These can be combined with Pillar articles to create a great interlinking strategy. For example, if you have a Pillar article about the Top 25 Local Attractions, you can do 25 new short-form blog posts covering each attraction from a different angle compared to how it was covered in the Pillar article. Now, you can go back to the Pillar article and link to the blog posts on each attraction instead of directly to the attraction’s website.
Usually, when Pillar articles are written, a list of potential short-form blog posts will be created to help support the Pillar article. These go along with the supporting articles giving your website’s content library more value.
Many real estate websites use short-form blog posts specifically to cover upcoming events. This is an excellent strategy if you want to build a community by sharing community events on your social media channels.
Most real estate websites already have some type of structure including community/neighborhood pages. These pages, however, need more than just listings. They require rich content about the neighborhood or community, what’s nearby, the types of housing found there, and more.
With rich content on these pages, you will be giving your audience more than just listings to sift through. In addition, these pages are great to link from blog posts to whenever the neighborhood or community is mentioned.
EBooks or downloadable guides are excellent to use as lead magnets. They can be designed to be given away when a home buyer or seller signs up to your email list. These guides can also be housed in a resources section giving you the ability to better connect with your audience.
Guides may cover any topic in real estate outside of the other types of content mentioned above or even including the content above. They can range from about 5,000 to 15,000 words and can even be printed to be given away in person.
Why Every Real Estate Website Needs a Blog
You may think blogging isn’t for you or it’s just something you don’t have time for. Investing in a real estate content writer to create long-form and short-form blog posts goes a long way to building a content library, better overall SEO, and a long-term marketing strategy capable of creating new leads without new effort.
Your competition is blogging, so you need to be doing it, too. According to thebalancesmb.com, “Real Estate Blogging is Not An Option.” This article also states that Google gives SEO clout to fresh content, which is precisely what blogging provides.
Pillar articles and neighborhood/community pages are static content. They may get updated every year or so, but they don’t provide fresh content very often. However, your real estate blog offers fresh content regularly.
Without a blog, you’re losing ground online every single day. Your competition is likely posting 4, 5, or maybe even 6 times per week and you’re not. By the end of the year, they will have a mini content library, and you’ll still be wondering why you never started blogging.
I have seen clients with more than 1,000 blog posts already published continue their blogging strategy and continue to see growth. A well-thought-out blog strategy has the ability to give you plenty of social media content, SEO juice, and plenty of other benefits.
Here are a few more reasons why every Real Estate Agent needs a blog.
Real Estate Blog Content Ideas
Whether you want to use real estate content for social media or just for your blog, you need plenty of content ideas. Here’s a shortlist of some of the best real estate content ideas you can use in your local market.
- Customer Testimonials/Stories
- Neighborhood Spotlights
- Attraction Spotlights
- Restaurant Spotlight
- Buying Tips
- Selling Tips
- Property Types
- Real Estate News
- How To Real Estate Articles
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Upcoming Area Events
- Holiday Posts
- And More!
There are tons of things you can blog about to build your blog community.
Combining Real Estate Blog Content with Social Media
Your real estate content is great without social media but becomes even better when used properly on social media. It doesn’t matter if you want to use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or any other social media channel, your blog content will be a huge part of the strategy.
While you want to post more than just your blog content to social media, you do want to make sure it’s shared properly. Every channel is a bit different and requires a little bit of a different strategy. For example, Twitter only allows 280 characters but does allow a link, while Instagram doesn’t allow you to include a link in our posts, but you can create a longer post.
Sharing your blog posts to each social network also requires you to create the right size pictures. While Facebook and Twitter images can be the same size, Instagram needs to be a different size, and so does Pinterest. Without the proper dimensions, you’ll end up with only a portion of the picture showing up in the feeds of your followers.
Engagement is the key so it may be best to focus on just a couple of social channels. I recommend using Instagram and Twitter the most while sharing your blog posts to all other channels. Facebook comes in third, but it’s one of the harder ones to truly build up a following.
Both Instagram and Twitter use hashtags (#) which makes it a bit easier to build your following. Twitter requires more posts per day than any other social media channel, while LinkedIn probably requires the least.
A custom strategy to fit your specific goals and your social needs is the best choice. This strategy should include creating engaging content you can use on your blog and use all throughout your social channels.
Hiring a Real Estate Content Writer
If you’re a Realtor, Broker, or Agent with time to write your own content, you’re either a superhero, or you don’t have enough business. Most Realtors need to hire a real estate content writer, like me. There just isn’t enough time in the day and your content plan keeps getting put off. That’s why I exist!
You cannot just hire any writer, however. You need one that knows the real estate business, understands your goals, and can create a real SEO content strategy for you.
Your real estate content writer should:
- Know how to write content for your target audience
- Understand proper SEO
- Be able to provide several types of content for your website
- Have a strong understanding of the real estate industry
- Use proper formatting including header tags, ALT tags for images, etc.
- Should use an Extensive editing process, such as my Three-Phase Process
Good writers don’t come cheap. When you buy content, you are making an investment. You get what you pay for, and someone offering to write real estate articles for rock-bottom prices will likely provide regurgitated real estate articles with no sources, no real thought behind them, and potential plagiarism.