The advent of the web has changed everything in the real estate sector. According to the US National Association of Realtors, 44% of house buyers look online first, instead of using newspapers, visiting high street estate agents, or asking friends.
This isn’t just being powered by the growth in home purchasing and letting among younger people. While 40% of millennials look online first, some 48% of “younger boomers” (those born after World War Two) do the same. Searching online has become routine for property buyers, meaning that real estate brokers and listing sites need to respond.
Here are some core ideas that we’ve learned when working with real estate clients, which should help you fine-tune your real estate content strategy.
1. Make your website super user-friendly
The first place to start is with your real estate website. This matters for pretty much any content marketing strategy, but it’s especially important for real estate companies, who need to promote trust from the very first time a potential client visits their site.
Clearly show how to search for listings, with ways to filter by location, date of listing, property type, and price (or rent). Optimise your site for both desktops and mobile phones (which are becoming increasingly popular with property buyers).
Moreover, be very clear about how the purchasing process works. Customers want reassurance that the process is efficient, easy to understand, and trustworthy. So use unambiguous, precise language that isn’t deceptive or promotional.
Speed matters, too. Remember that visitors will probably scan through multiple properties, making loading times crucial. You’ll need images, but try to make listings as clear and efficient as possible.
Finally, contact methods really matter. Visitors will probably want to make enquiries about viewings, how to list properties, and how the buying process works. So include email details, phone numbers, and live chat if possible.
2. Connect with target groups via email marketing campaigns
Not all traffic to real estate websites comes from organic searches. In fact, successful companies don’t rely on having a sharp SEO game. They couple this with lead generation techniques – with email marketing often playing an instrumental role.
If you have built a client base from website enquiries, previous sales, and social media, you’ll probably have the potential to create effective email campaigns. They can be used to touch base with existing customers (who may need to move as their families grow), or customers who have expressed certain levels of interest (and could be prodded to take further action).
The important thing is to tailor email content to specific customer profiles – with calls to action that make sense for the stage they have reached in the customer journey.
3. Invest properly in digital advertising
Estate agents also tend to be attracted to PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. These ads can be cost-effective, as companies only pay when clients actually click them, and they can also generate high-value leads.
However, PPC can be a good way to waste resources as well, so exercise caution. Be smart about associating the right keywords with the right ads, and remember to toggle location options to catch searches by people in the correct area.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to bid for search terms based around your company name. If you don’t, competitors may place their ads over searches for your company, siphoning leads away from your business. No-one wants that.
84% of real estate companies in the USA use social media already, so there’s a good chance you are already active on Twitter, Facebook, and other channels. But are you using these tools effectively?
For instance, smart real estate companies know how to fuse on-the-mark, relevant social media posts with longer form blog content. That way, they can make their feeds more useful and interesting, generate traffic from their blog, and build a reputation for being “more than just a set of online ads”. They also know how to blend SEO and social media, to attract maximum follows and traffic to other digital assets.
If you combine blogs with high-quality listings and explainer content – or even innovations like VR house tours – you can start to build operations that capture traffic, build trust, and forge a digital brand that has real staying power.
How to mix content and real estate to build an online empire
The online real estate market is highly competitive – just like the bricks and mortar world of 30 years ago. But the route to success has changed. Nowadays, estate agents need a multi-dimensional content marketing strategy to stand out from the crowd.
The foundations of a strong content strategy include social media, blogging, driving traffic with targeted PPC ads, creating websites that are efficient, informative, and mobile-friendly – and generally building a presence that customers can trust.
Some real estate companies can handle the listing and selling side, while struggling with SEO. If that sounds like you, greatcontent offers a wide range of SEO content solutions for all real estate companies. So get in touch, and we’ll build a strategy that sends your sales soaring.
Text: Sam Urquhart