Hot sales, highly competitive bidding, and limited inventory are terms easily synonymous with the real estate market of 2018. It’s clear – people want to buy, finally. Yet, just as there are plenty of interested buyers, there are countless agents to meet their needs. No matter if you are a real estate agent, a marketing firm, a listing company, or just someone hoping to sell their home, the most powerful tool to help you do so is content marketing.
Why Content Matters in Real Estate
Here’s the bottom line – today’s consumer is smart, picky, and downright very much the knowledge seeker. They will not make a move to list or buy without information. And, they want real-time information – housing stats, facts and figures about their neighborhood, not just their city, and information about the next five years. As a real estate agent or marketer, you simply must be able to share high-quality, attention-grabbing content to get them to turn their heads.
As a real estate agent or marketer, you simply must be able to share high-quality, attention-grabbing content to get them to turn their heads. Tweet This!
There are two key things to keep in mind:
- Content needs to be highly informational and engaging. It has to capture their attention in seconds.
- You need to position your content to be in front of your most likely buyers: Millennials, seniors downsizing, and middle-aged buyers.
How do you do this? Attract buyers with visual, information-packed, and easy-to-access information about homes, market conditions, neighborhoods, and even the best place to get a fantastic burger nearby. Let’s explore what it really takes.
Nurture Your Ideal Buyer
The very first step every real estate marketer must take is to identify their ideal buyer. Content marketing for the real estate industry allows marketers to target a very specific subset of buyer. And, this is how to distinguish yourself and get the largest ROI possible for your marketing efforts. Don’t look for buyers in a specific city. Instead, target:
- Buyers in specific neighborhoods
- Ages of buyers
- Lifestyle of buyers
- Demands of buyers
- Needs of buyers
Plenty of people are buying including the Millennial buyer who moved back home after college and is now positioned to invest. Baby Boomers are moving into smaller homes, but they don’t want your typical, senior neighborhood. More so, your first time home buyer is older. Millennials are finally in the market, but they have no interest in starter homes. In fact, they are moving from their parent’s basements into their dream homes. They’ve had more time to build down payments to do so. Research from the National Association of Realtors found 30 percent of Millennials purchased homes valued at $300,000 or above in 2017, as reported by USA Today. This is up from just 14% in 2013.
Tailor your marketing based on who this buyer is and what they want. Getting to know your individual neighborhood helps here.
Recognize and adjust your marketing efforts to avoid the competition. Who is the competition? Apartments. A recent Pew Research Center survey found 36.6 percent of people renting their homes – the highest percentage of people renting since 37 percent in 1965. Urban living is capturing the attention of many would-be buyers. And, somehow, real estate marketers need to pull buyers out of the thought that they can only rent. Your market efforts should, then, focus on the benefits of buying and just how affordable it can be. Show them they can buy.
Tapping Tech: How Content and Tech Link
You’ve heard about it, you’ve thought about it, and you know you need to invest in it: technology. Technology is an incredibly valuable and even a must-use tool in real estate marketing today. Buyers want to see, visualize, and understand what their options are right from their smartphone. Link this technology to your real estate marketing efforts. Here’s a closer look.
Grab Their Attention by Streaming Video
People love live video. Real estate agents can capture this addiction by broadcasting live. For example, perhaps you are just listing a home for sale. You’re excited and energized. This is the perfect time to stream live. Do a virtual tour with your smartphone camera. Ask and answer questions in real time.
This allows you to have content for your marketing effort. You can capture your buyers’ attention immediately and then use this video for a blog post and social media content later on. Supplement it with property descriptions or insightful documents on the neighborhood.
Go Sky-high with Drone Footage
Drone footage is perhaps one of the most diverse new tech solutions available, and it should be a part of your content marketing strategy for 2018. How do you make it work?
- Link with a local drone video company. Most areas have plenty. Have a high-quality drone flyover completed.
- Use the video as an attention-grabbing component in your next social media campaign.
- Build a content marketing strategy around the drone footage. Teach your buyers about the region, schools, and the current neighborhood opportunities.
- Send insightful emails with an embedded link to the drone footage to your email list.
Make It Real with Virtual Reality
Realty Times notes the importance of modern virtual reality in the real estate industry. Next-generation tech in VR is creating opportunities for home buyers to step into a would-be home and get an idea about the way it feels.
Take this to a new level in your next campaign. Instead of just showcasing a current listing, why not build a content marketing strategy around it? For example, work with a VR company to develop video that lets people test out various floor plans. Let them visualize rooms in different colors or layouts. This type of hands-on tech will allow you to pull people in from your marketing to your website. It builds your brand as innovative. And, it helps you sell. Couple VR video with how-to articles or even comprehensive e-books on color choices or home building methods.
Automation Keeps You Fresh
A final innovative component to your efforts has to be automation. You’ll develop various content pieces you want your readers to, well, read. To make it possible for them to engage with you, you simply must automate and customize. Here are some tips:
- Use software to customize names and details within emails to ensure your readers know you are talking specifically to them.
- Use artificial intelligence services to develop chatbots for your website. This lets someone ask questions about a listing at 3 am if they want to do so.
- Always automate solutions through email. This includes giving them automatic access to how-to guides, eBooks, and MLS listing breakdowns.
Develop Your Content Market Strategy: Here’s How to Pull it Together
It’s an exciting time to be in the real estate marketing industry. People want to buy. All you need to do is direct them to your listings. So, how do you do that with content?
#1: Visual matters most
Every component of content you create must have a visual element. Use drone footage, live video fees, video content, or even just a photo. Give them high quality shots.
#2: Pack in the info
These buyers don’t want a hard sell – skip the “check this out and buy now” type of language. Instead, give them incredible information and insight. What will they really get from buying right now? Facts and figures matter.
#3: Develop resource-based information
The average how-to-buy a home isn’t going to work here. Instead, create insightful and information-packed guides to neighborhoods, schools, shopping areas, and where they can get that fantastic burger.
#4: Tell them how to do the things they have to do
They have to clean up and declutter. They must stage their home. And, they also need to tackle those overgrown trees. Make it as simple as possible for your buyer or seller. Provide information about local services. You can also create infographics to help show your homeowner what is going to sell their home. Be specific about what’s working and important in your local market.
#5: Target what’s valuable locally
Today’s marketing has to use keywords. Make sure you are putting words into your documents and content that pertain to what buyers want right now:
- Sustainable homes, solar panels, and eco-friendly and energy-efficient appliances
- Low maintenance and easy living
- Urban living and walkable communities
#6: Get It Out There
Now that you have all of these ideas, pull it all together in a comprehensive strategy. You will need to tap a wide range of tools to get your content out there. This will always include:
- Blogs from a specific real estate agent (rather than just your brokerage)
- Social media pages for agents
- Conversations with agents in Facebook groups and other social media sites
- Image posts on Instagram
- Engaged conversations with your community in apps like NextDoor
Publish your insightful and hands-on information consistently. Most agents should be active on social media daily. More so, you should be working hard on next season’s buyers. The key here is to be ready to engage with people when you see opportunities. Be able to send off links to your website with guides to getting a mortgage when someone asks you for information. Post strategic about your local neighborhood sales. And, be sure to engage. This means opening the door for two-way communication.
Let’s be clear – content marketing for the real estate industry in 2018 is comprehensive and complex. It’s a good thing you don’t have to do it alone. Check out WriterAccess’s most popular Real Estate Writers!
Sandy B offers in-depth content in numerous subjects including finance, health, insurance, investment planning, legal, healthy living, offline and online marketing and other many other avenues. She also loves researching and doesn’t think any topic is too far out of range. She works with real estate agents and brokers, health care marketing companies, lawyers and attorneys from the U.S. and Canada, IT professionals, and financial analysts of all types.