Over 90% of homeowners look online for information during their home search process, and as a result, online content marketing has become crucial for real estate agents. Here are 5 reasons you need a real estate blog.
The vast majority of home buyers and sellers these days are either Gen X and Gen Y, two cohorts that live and breathe all things digital, and conduct their own research before engaging with any potential product or service provider.
If you want to get on the radar of this savvy group, you must look at your content strategy and explore 5 compelling reasons you need to get your blog up and running now.
1. Pull in your leads, rather than push
Most real estate marketing tactics focus on pushing potential leads into a sales funnel and typically, a push strategy involves “taking the product to the customer”. Its sales 101 tactics include cold calls, billboards, bench ads, etc.
This sort of marketing is what most customers associate with real estate agents. And more often than not, they’re negative associations. (You don’t want this.)
In comparison, Pull marketing aka Inbound marketing is typically a positive experience. This is when you provide enough value for the customer to arrive at your product of their own free will. This is sales 2.0 and includes word of mouth, referrals, and (you guessed it) online content.
Inbound marketing begins with one crucial step, one that makes all the difference. The customer reaches out to you. They want to learn more about a specific topic. They type their question into Google. They go to you.
Why? Because you’re the one who has offered the best chance for a quality answer. And it all begins with a real estate blog.
2. Capture a younger generation of homebuyers
Generation Y – those born during the 80s and 90s – represent the largest demographic cohort since the Baby Boomers. They’re tech-savvy and will soon emerge as the largest group of homebuyers.
And there are a few important behavioural traits that every real estate agent should know about them:
- First off, they don’t answer the phone. (This means that cold calls won’t do a thing.)
- Secondly, they possess little to no brand loyalty. (This means that traditional advertising won’t hold much sway.)
- And thirdly, they conduct lots of research before they ever contact an agent.
So how do you plan on attracting this new wave of first-time homebuyers?
Cold calls and mailers? …Try again. With online content, you can get in front of them where it matters most Google.
The authority that Google provides is indisputable. If a potential buyer or selling asks a question and you show up at the top with expert answers, then you’ve already far ahead of your competition. You won’t win the trust of Gen Y with ads, slogans, and professional headshots – but through your knowledge.
3. Foster better engagement with potential leads
Online content will provide answers to all those research-hungry buyers and sellers, but a blog also provides them with an outlet for any follow-up questions they may have as well.
A cleverly placed call-to-action can encourage page visitors to:
- Send you an email
- Leave a comments
- Give you a call
- Or send a text message
The real estate landscape has changed, and potential clients don’t just want to find your listings and open houses, they also want your help with market research, knowledge of an area, and legal advice. And with a real estate blog, you can encourage this relationship to take place.
This deeper level of engagement with your customer will result in a much stronger connection. So even if they decide to not sell or purchase at that exact moment, when the time does come, your name will be recalled as the one who helped them out.
4. Build up your email subscription list
Another benefit of online content is its ability to dramatically improve is the size of your email subscription list and I think we’d agree that email subscribers are the lifeblood of many agencies.
With a blog (and newsletter), you’ll have people who like your content so much that they want to be updated every time you publish something new. They’re loyal. And you’ve got to keep them loyal and keep them coming back for more.
If you introduce downloadable content that answers the questions your audience have, you can also add more names to your subscriber list each time your content is downloaded – but, you must be providing high-quality educational content for this strategy to work.
5. Position yourself as an expert
A real estate blog is a bonafide way to increase the authority you possess. And your perceived authority is the main reason why a prospect will choose to work with you over someone else.
This authority can be established in many ways. Traditional marketing that claims ‘No 1 agent’ has little to no sway among many younger prospects who have grown immune to this Mad Men approach.
Instead, the authority has become reliant on social proof (eg reviews, testimonials, word of mouth and awards). Social networks and third-party review sites will help you gain some social proof, but a blog will solidify it.
As a real estate agent, there is no end to the range of ‘valuable’ content you can generate and share with your prospects, and your audience is accustomed to spending hours researching online before making any real estate decision.
Give yourself an advantage. Get your blog started now and make sure it’s your content your prospects find and learn from.