Content marketing is the new marketing. It generates three times as many leads as other outbound marketing and has conversion rates that are six times higher according to experts.
But what does that mean for real estate agents, how does it compare to traditional marketing behaviour and what needs to change?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is a strategic marketing approach that is focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content. Instead of boasting about yourself and your services, a content marketing approach provides truly relevant and useful information to prospects and customers to help them solve their issues.
In real estate, a content marketing approach is a key part of changing your mindset to becoming an attraction agent. Instead of boasting about your past performance, properties you’ve sold and your skills as a negotiator, its about putting yourself into the minds of a potential customer and asking yourself “What do my clients need to know before they sell their home, that will help them feel more informed and confident about that decision?”
Content market places sharing information above shouting self promotional slogans. It can and should change how you advertise yourself, do mail-box drops and drive what you post on social media and the information you put onto your website.
Taking an information-led approach has five other major benefits:
1. Content makes you a subject authority
Why should people hire you as a real estate agent? Not because you’ll sell their property – that’s a given. They hire you because they believe that you have the skills and expertise to get the highest price based on your market knowledge and insights and the experience that will protect them from the scariest elements of selling.
So share that expertise! Sharing reports and insights about property market performance – median prices, recent sales results, rents and yields – is a great way to demonstrate your knowledge. Providing advice on how you’ve helped past clients avoid the pitfalls of selling helps people trust you and positions you as a subject authority.
2. Content creates awareness
Every single week in my suburb, every single agent sticks a DL flyer in my letterbox talking about a property that is either on the market or that they’ve sold (but not with anything useful on it like a price explaining how much it sold for – they just big note their listing).
The awareness I’m left with is “I’m a real estate agent and I sell property”. My response? Big deal – because every single agent does the same thing.
But when you start having a different conversation – about property prices, about past people you’ve helped, about how the market is performing, about ways to reduce stress when selling – you immediately stand out. And the awareness you create is “this agent is different. This agent is here to help me, not sell to me”.
3. Search engines love content
If the only content on your website is property listings, your site will be relegated behind the major portals of realestate.com.au and domain.com.au because those sites have better audience and links, even at a local level.
But start posting unique content about your local area, property prices in your area, the people and events that make the area unique, and the combination of regular new content and content that is different will make you stand out to the search engines without the need to spend considerably on search engine marketing.
4. Content encourages engagement
When people read an article, a property report, or see your latest listings, they often have additional questions. This is great – don’t see it as an annoying imposition.
They want to know more. Helping them learn more, assisting them with their inquiry is to put yourself at their service, and gives you even more opportunities to both engage with them and demonstrate how you are different to other agents in your area.
5. Content improves prospect quality
What would you prefer – pitching to a potential client who knows nothing about you and your service, is dubious and needs you to start from scratch? Or pitching to a potential client who has read a lot of information about you, knows your approach to selling, has researched the market based on the information you’ve provided, and is really just having a personal interview to confirm the decision they want to make – that you’ll be their agent?
When you take a content marketing approach and make your goal to provide helpful and useful information and case studies on past people you have helped, you are in effect ‘warming up’ your leads. We know that buyers and sellers would prefer not to deal with an agent until they absolutely have to.
Taking a content-led approach means potential clients find out a wealth of useful information about you and how you do business that both reassures and assists them that makes picking up the phone and setting the appointment that much easier.
What else can you do to change your marketing to a content marketing strategy? Check out this podcast from Josh Cobb at Stepps.
Need help with creating content for your agency? CoreLogic has a range of automated content including reports and video. Contact us.