Why Generic Content Doesn’t Work in Real Estate

Too many real estate companies get caught in the same net of generic content as other industries. But “10 tips for buying your first home” and “how to find a realtor” is kitschy content that has been done over and over. After you’ve written one of these generic posts, it’s time to start adding some strategy to your content production process.

Realtors who are well-connected, have a background in the community/local environment, and who pay attention to details find success more easily than others. It’s that understanding of the market that gives realtors an edge over the competition. If the content you’re distributing online does not reflect that insider knowledge, then you may not be seeing the kind of results that you need from online engagement.

It’s easy if you outsource your content writing or have a busier season to let your content game fall, but doing so is like throwing money into the wind. With millions of pieces of content being circulated across blogs, websites, and social media platforms every day, you can’t afford to post content that anyone from anywhere could have written.

Unfortunately, many commercial and residential realtors keep posting generic listings and content pieces that are poor drivers of search engine optimization (SEO). Zillow and other real estate mega-sites are not the only online places realtors should be using to get their listings noticed.

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How do you avoid writing the same pieces of content and start adding value to your online presence? Here are some tips to help you focus your content strategy and start making your real estate business get recognition online:

  • Keep your branding front and center – Your mission statement, core values, and brand personality are the bedrock for content production. While they may not overtly be used in content writing, any writer for your brand should easily be able to see and use this information to inform writing pieces.
  • Connect with the community – Start following organizations online. Following social media pages for local news outlets, law enforcement agencies, chambers of commerce, and other community-driven agencies can help you in a couple of different ways. It can help you discover useful information to relay to prospects and it can help you broaden your network.

Be part of the discussion when you can, and dedicate time to volunteer work every week. Almost everyone searching for a home (92%) uses an online search to facilitate their decision-making process. If you’re not actively engaged online, your name may never come up.

  • Use local news as a launch pad – Community changes can be powerful real estate conversation starters. New construction, law enforcement initiatives, and sustainable business programs may all affect your target market. Find the news that locals in the community are interested in, and then use it to create compelling and value-adding content. Those tangential conversations, like newsletter updates, can lead to a referral, even if your existing network isn’t looking for a piece of property at the time.
  • Use lots of imagery – Real estate is primarily a visual and tactile selling environment. Hardly anyone buys a home before he or she has personally walked through and inspected it. Homes that are listed with one or two pictures are not offering prospective home buyers much incentive to take a closer look. People want the ability to research a decision before reaching out to a professional, so give it to them. Use video, infographics, and pictures to tell a story and entice buyers and sellers to work with you.
  • Develop buyer personas – Take some time to map out ideal home buyers for a community. The age of the community may take precedence over many other factors, and each generation prefers a different selling approach. Understand your target market and you can cater your content to their needs. Targeting young adults who may be starting a family and making their first home purchasing decision? Help them understand the way a real estate deal works. Older folks, however, may prefer smaller homes with affordable and sustainable living costs. Write articles exploring home and community energy-efficiency practices.
  • Keep up with new platforms – Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are perfect for helping realtors get great pictures online and circulating, but there are always new ways to try engaging with your audience. Although drones aren’t yet used by many realtors, at least one has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a real estate marketing exemption. Imagine posting aerial footage of a home that helps people get a real feel for the placement before they ever stop by for a walk-through. Don’t forget that video recordings, gifs, and photographs are also content assets, not just the articles you write.

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  • Never mimic competitor pieces – It’s easy to fall into the trap of using competitor posts to inform your own direction, but doing that may only contribute to online noise rather than elevating your brand above the competition. If you do look at competitor postings, use one aspect of an article to approach from a new angle.
  • Avoid promotion; focus on value – Online posts from a real estate website don’t have to all be listings related or advice pieces. Target your audience’s other interests in life, such as offering visually appealing seasonal tips. Try highlighting a former client in a new home (with his or her permission) or sharing a funny office story.

Get your whole office involved in coming up with post ideas, and don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of content you need to produce. Blog and social media posts don’t have to be long or formal to make an impact. Try submitting a few high-quality articles to reputable websites throughout the year, but then focus on developing easy-to-read content that is relevant, conversational, and fresh.

The real estate market goes through regular fluctuations. The beauty of content marketing is that it can keep your name out there even when buyers aren’t actively looking. Great content invites readers to take a further look, and it can make you stand out in a referral or when someone does a local, online search. Great content is important in any industry, but it truly can make a world of difference when used properly in real estate.

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Rachel Winstead

When she isn’t writing, Rachel spends as much time as she can outside hiking or working in the yard. Kayaking and paddleboarding are two of her favorite outdoor activities, and she’s looking forward to teaching her pit bull-mix, Sawyer, how to balance on a board. She routinely goes camping in the mountains of North Georgia with friends and her boyfriend, David.

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