How to start content marketing for estate agents
Hopefully you’ve realised how important content marketing is for increasing an agency’s’ exposure and attracting more clients. If you are still a little unsure, check out our recent post on why estate agents should use content marketing. Still here? Great! Let’s talk about what you need to do to start using content marketing effectively.
Find out what your audience wants
Content is a very broad term, so what exactly should you be talking to your audience about? It’s quite simple really: just find out what interests them. We know it is impossible to go around asking individually, that would be incredibly time-consuming. But you don’t really need to talk to them directly, as you already have a good idea what their main interest is, at least in relation to property: their home. So start by talking about that, or at least how their home fits into the local market. If they are thinking of selling or letting, they will want to know if their home is at least equal to other similar types of properties on the market in the area.
Another way to engage customers is by talking about what’s happening locally – what are the hot property topics? Maybe there’s some news about broadband that would make a good piece, informing people how broadband speeds affect house prices? Or perhaps there has been a boom in rentals recently, and you feel it’s important to inform possible landlords of opportunities that may be available to them. You’re already an expert in your area, so just talk about property-related news that’s based around the local market.
Make a content plan
Make a list of article ideas and make sure they are relevant to the audience. Remember this is not about selling your services, they know what you do. It is about being informative, finding what they are interested in and tapping into that to strike a chord and engage.
Take the list and remove the ones that do not make the grade, then prioritise the ones that are left. We recommend starting off with the one that you think is going to have the biggest impact or something that has been in the news lately and will be fresh in people’s minds.
Research, research, research
Nothing excites potential homeowners more than cold, hard facts about the local market and how their property relates to it. This kind of information helps them to make their mind up when deciding whether it is worth selling or letting their property. By providing information that is statistically rich and data led, clients are bound to be more impressed than potentially receiving a few branded pens through the door.
Statistical information grabs the attention, it gives an instant take away from the content and can also attract more people to read the whole article and engage with your business online or offline.
The information can usually be sourced for free, with The Land Registry and local Census excellent starting points. You can find all sorts of useful data, from percentages of people moving into an area to the most popular type of houses sold.
Try to use the data to decipher patterns other agents aren’t picking up on. Has there been a particular area of the market where you can foresee growth in the future due to past movements? Once you have the information, put it down in a blog, newsletter, or even a quick tweet, because this kind of content will go a long way to convincing clients that you are the most important voice when it comes to local property.
Rightmove Plus is another handy tool to use. It comes free with your Rightmove sign-up and is filled with lots of juicy stuff, including where information on where agents are excelling in their area. It even allows you to print certificates with your accomplishments so you can show them to clients.
Just make sure that you interpret all information relating to numbers correctly. There would be nothing worse than providing your audience with incorrect data, misleading them and potentially losing their trust. Go over the numbers and applied methodology multiple times to make sure they are correct.
Keep your articles focused
Remember, keep it local. There is no point talking about what is going on in other parts of the country. Sure, if there is some property news happening nationwide then it might be a good idea to have an opinion, but only an opinion on how it affects the local market. By focusing on what you know – your area – you are already on the way to providing good content marketing that is relevant.
Keep the content strategy going
Delivering information of a consistent timescale promotes reliability that will be associated with your brand. You never see publications missing a date or having delays, as they don’t want their content to drop in quality and devalue the brand.
Content marketing for any business takes time. A client may only see it one month and not actually read it until the next. The more visible it is to them, the more engaged they become with your brand. There will be a point when you start to own some of their mindshare which is what marketers strive to do. When a purchase decision comes about, you are in their mind already rather than trying to market to them at the point of decision, which takes a lot of constant exposure and is very expensive.
Keep delivering content for a minimum of 12 months before reviewing the return on investment and how it has improved your business. We will be writing about how you can track your results in an upcoming article.
Have the resources to deliver the goods
It might sound like a lot to take on, but in the long term the results are worth it, especially if the locals come to see your agency as the leading voice in the market. This can be achieved if you are a very small estate agent or if you have multiple offices – it’s a great marketing tool to reach your audience.
Make sure you set aside time each and every month to generate the content and check it over so it is of a quality your business would be proud of. This way it won’t get left to the last minute, and you do not get the results your business deserves. If you are going to make the commitment, you need to do it properly.
And remember, if you feel you can’t do it all yourself, we are always happy to give you some tips and point you in the right direction. You can always use the service as a base for your content marketing. Check out our local housing market research, as you could write articles around this or just use it on its own.