When Real Estate Content Marketing Isn’t Your Priority

The truth is real estate blogging and social media management is hard.

As a service provider, I know why real estate professionals outsource content marketing to qualified copywriters like me. As a full-time human, life has demands: my toddler, my husband, the laundry mountain, dinner, the toddler (again), the bill collectors, my clients.

Each day I prioritize tasks and choices. Sometimes you’ll see I don’t publish content as regularly as I’d like. Most often, it’s because I’ve prioritized writing quality marketing materials for my real estate clients over writing the Power 10 Social blog.

Real estate professionals, you make similar choices. If you have to choose between writing a blog and discussing a client’s concern over some leasing terms…well, the choice is clear. Client first. It’s something we share in common.

While finding research on how much money real estate agents spend on marketing is pretty easy to find, how much time real estate agents spend is a bit tougher. Of course, time spent varies. Maybe your brokerage handles many of the tasks. Maybe you’re using an automated solution.

In commercial real estate, Buildout and theBrokerList publish an awesome annual report called the DNA of #CRE. Part of the survey covers marketing. Their 2017 survey found 80 percent of brokers at large firms have marketing support, but at small firms, 53 percent of brokers lack help. Brokerages of all sizes identified maximizing exposure of their greatest challenge.

I imagine some of these marketing struggles are shared with residential brokerages.

Content marketing is where you need help. Outsourcing real estate content marketing can be more affordable than you think and it will help you prioritize your clients without sacrificing the brand awareness building afforded by blogging and social media management.


Need help real estate blogging and managing your social media? Check out Power10Social.

Personal or Business Instagram? What’s a Real Estate Agent to Do?

Instagram makes sense for a visual-driven industry like real estate. According to Sprout Social, around 71 percent of US businesses are using Instagram. Its astonishing growth rate means it has surpassed Twitter for marketing purposes, and leaves late adopters wondering what to do. Recently, a real estate agent asked if they should make a business Instagram or keep their personal Instagram. The answer boils down your intentions for the platform.

Benefits of Personal Instagram for Real Estate

Instagram is really an image-forward extension of Facebook. A personal Instagram page that shares quality material organically reaches others searching for similar content using hashtags. As a real estate agent, youInstagram Icon are your brand. Naturally, a personal Instagram is an extension of your brand. After all, a client isn’t just buying real estate, they’re buying you: your work ethic, experience, advice, etc. It makes sense to have a personal account that post images as you go about your day. 

Benefits of Business Instagram for Real Estate

What a personal Instagram account lacks is more detail, advertising, and metrics. An Instagram business profile allows for your brand to promote posts and see the analytics on your followers and posts. You’ll learn which content works and what isn’t engaging followers. Savvy social media marketers can use this data to build profiles of clients.

You’ll be able to link your website, create a professional-looking profile, and sync with your Facebook page. A business profile allows you to link your website to an Instagram story, a valuable feature when three-quarters of users take an action after seeing a post.

Drawbacks to a Personal Instagram

To summarize the differences, let’s consider the negatives of using a personal account for real estate marketing. Individuals don’t have access to analytics or advertising. That means no paid boosting listing posts on a personal Instagram. There’s no ‘contact’ button with Stories or on your page, meaning those newly discovered users don’t have an easy way to reach you. Finally, remember it’s a personal account. If you plan to exclusively use Instagram for real estate, great! If you’re mixing business with pleasure, curate carefully or create a different user account for family and friends photos.

Drawbacks to a Business Instagram

A business account requires a Facebook business page. This means you won’t be able to link your business Instagram to multiple Facebook profiles. No sharing between personal followers and business followers! You’ll additionally no longer be able to make posts private. You will be able to share posts directly from Instagram to your Facebook business page, but not your personal page or other owned pages.

Still confused about which option suits your real estate brand the best? Check out this handy Instagram account infographic that will determine which profile type will serve your needs.


Need help with your real estate social media marketing? Let’s chat!

Why You Need a Social Brand

Want to present a professional image to the world? Define your social brand. Creating your branding guidelines is part of designing a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Without a clear social brand, you present a mismatched face to the world.

What is a social brand?

Social brand means your present a unified approach to social marketing in terms of images and written voice. Every Instagram post and Twitter announcement sounds like your brand.

What will a social brand do for you?

  1. Provide a focused approach to social media. Simply put, guidelines inform what’s okay for the brand. I find in many ways, this simplifies the scope of the work by eliminating visual or textual clutter. For writing, it lays the foundation for what the style will be. Casual blogs versus thought leader have small differences in tone and posting styles.
  2. Recognizable marketing across platforms. Few users stick to one social media platform. While they may prioritize one or two, occasionally they’ll check in something else. When they do, your content should clearly represent your brand. There’s no question this image or white paper is from you.
  3. Sync into a greater marketing program. As previously mentioned, the social branding is part of the larger marketing program. It provides total cohesion with print and digital marketing, your website, and any other materials.

Things to consider

 

  1. Your profile images

 

These images need to sync across social platforms, but each network has different sizing requirements. For instance, Facebook’s image is a itty-bitty 170 px x 170 px while YouTube can size up to 800 px x 800 px. GoDaddy has this handy profile sizing cheat sheet updated in 2018.

Find a unified way to use your logo and brand colors in the profile and header imagery. Real estate agents with a photo of their city or a home might want to experiment with filters that can make those images more customizable and still be within brand guidelines.

  1. Your profile text

Once again, each social media platform varies with the number of characters allowed in their profile. Craft a short tagline and a longer bio. Align these biographies with the overarching marketing strategy. If you’re claiming to be the snarky, honest real estate pro, show it off in these bios!

  1. Your voice

Every social platform should ooze your voice. It’s essential for posts, responses, and blog content to all read like you wrote it. Make this section of your social branding guideline specific. Include do’s and don’ts with clear examples. Like:

DO: Use punctuation to show excitement

DON’T: Wrt lke a tngr txtng hr boo!!!!!!!

Don’t skip this essential step in drafting your overall content marketing strategy. A Pardot study found 80 percent of consumer are more likely to evaluate solutions from the brands they follow on social media. A clear social brand helps customers identify you no matter where they contact you. It’s much more than just logos, but tone and style.


Looking for a savvy real estate content writer? Let’s chat!

5 Ways to Reinvent Your Real Estate Blog Content

Get creative with your expertise! You don’t need to just write blogs. Different content types appeal to different audiences. Repurposing blogs into new content forms creates new avenues of reaching potential customers. And who doesn’t like expansion? Next time you’re not looking forward to clicking away at the keys, try these alternative content types to reinvent your real estate blog.

Video

Produce engaging visual content with video, both pre-recorded or live. Added bonus: statistics show videos receive more content traffic than blogs. Practically every major social network supports video: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Periscope, etc. Keep in mind some networks do restrict length. Plus, viewers prefer short and sweet to lengthy.

Podcast

This content form has made one impressive comeback. Users like to stay informed while multitasking: driving in the car, making breakfast, doing chores. Make the most of your podcast. Conduct interviews with industry colleagues, offer customer advice, and other important tidbits. Check out these podcasting tips from Social Media Examiner.

Infographic

Taking data-heavy blogs and transforming them into a mobile-friendly graphic encourages audience engagement. Infographics appeal to us because they’re visual, are quick to scan, and contain valuable nuggets of information. The best infographic content should be: evergreen, informative, and factual. Careful to keep the design streamlined, and remember to cite your sources. Check out one of our infographics, Social Media Hashtags for Real Estate, or how start building an infographic for free.

Downloadable PDF

Turn your blog into a helpful, downloadable PDF that clients could take with them. For example, a house inspection tips blog could become a house inspection tips checklist. Visitors love free offers. It makes you seem more approachable. Free content says you are more interested in helping people and not viewing clients as a paycheck.

Ebook

Have a series of related posts? Curate them into an e-book to offer website visitors. Ebooks serve as evergreen and unique content. Capture the downloader’s email address for your email list and keep serving them with exceptional content.

Looking for more ideas to reinvent your real estate blog? Talk to me at Power10Social about how we can help you craft real estate content.

Making the Most of Your Real Estate Photos

You’ve paid for them. They’re loaded on the MLS and into your marketing program. Now, how do you make the maximum visual impact with your real estate listing photos? Social media extends the life and reach of your photos. Consider the following social media marketing options.

Facebook’s Countless Methods

How you can pitch your photos knows no bounds on Facebook. Before you go down this path, a few things first: 1) for maximum impact, you’ll need paid advertising. Facebook’s continuing news feed changes downplay content from businesses, like real estate agent pages; 2) familiarize yourself with the video ad specs, including length limits; 3) have a targeted marketing plan.

Once you’ve addressed the above, it’s time to market those photos. On Facebook, you can create a photo album, a photo carousel, a slide show, or a canvas.

One of my clients loves the slide show option. The dynamic scroll makes a strong visual impression and the feature rotates up to 10 pictures. Music and captions can help elevate the slide show, but I’m not a fan of Facebook’s available music options for real estate.  

A photo album could be a great way to market an especially notable listing. A typical 3/2 family home wouldn’t catch as much play here as promoting an album from a luxury property or an expansive commercial listing where you truly want to show the scope and features.

The photo carousel requires a destination link. If your property has a specific marketing website, this could be an excellent promotion for driving traffic.

Twitter Photos

Twitter allows you to upload multiple photos, but it’s best to stick with the best 1-3 shots here because Twitter is such a quick medium. You have two choices: use photos to highlight details included in the 240 characters or use a photo with details not described or hashtagged. I would edit the photos to include a short text overlay on a key idea. Examples: #privateyard, #remodel, NEW LISTING!

Instagram Photos

This image-first platform is ideal for showcasing incredible residential or commercial property shots. Use the mobile app and editor to post a single photo or several shots for scrolling photos. If you choose to upload more than one, the first image must be stunning enough to invite the scroll.

Other image-editing apps, like Canva, allow you to create an Instagram-optimized visual post with multiple images in one shot. For an extra kick, purchase a sponsored post to highlight your best-performing property photos. Remember, Instagram works best with high-quality or striking images so choose wisely.

Pinterest

What, Pinterest for listing photos? Yes, you can! The best way to draw business via Pinterest is by creating specific, location-based boards. If you’re interested in going this route, I recommend reading this blog by Kate Ahl about Pinterest and real estate marketing. Her interview with Lynn Pineda is chock full of great tips.

Email Campaign

A targeted email campaign is a real estate agent’s secret weapon. The key word is “targeted.” Today’s sophisticated CRMs and databases should be able to handle that part for you. The second part hinges on great email design. The leading image should have that “wow” factor that encourages the opener to continue scrolling and finally clickthrough to the property’s website. Carefully curate the photos chosen for the email campaign. Keep the text to a minimum and let the visuals do the talking.

 

What Can Real Estate Agents Do to Improve Facebook Marketing?

Facebook: the bread and butter of social media marketing. Or is it? In case you missed the news, the social giant changed its news feed prioritization algorithms. Now our personal feeds feature more content from family and friends (yay!) but less content from business pages and organizations (boo!). What’s a real estate professional to do?

Accept that to make the most of Facebook advertising that you will have to devote some marketing cash to paid promotion, especially if you are a newer user that missed the boat on organically building an audience. Once you have budgeted funds, leverage how you market to improve Facebook marketing.

Using your clients

Let’s start with organic strategies. Name the last time you tagged a client in a Facebook post. If you haven’t, try it. You don’t have to tag their property (unwise) but say on a day showing potential homebuyers properties you make a lunch stop. Take a photo, announce how much fun you’re having, and tag them. Share photos of happy, smiling clients that just closed on a property. Most agents use their business page to promote listings. Tell your clients when the listing post is scheduled and ask them to share on their news feed to boost likes and engagement.

Invite your client list to follow

At least four times a year, in an email campaign invite your clients to follow your business page. This holds true of any social account you own. Why four times a year? As your business grows, so does your client base. Quarterly reminders help expand your follower count, and as they are people already engaged with your brand, they’re quality followers! They could see a property that appeals to one of their friends and forward to them.

Post videos

Video engagement is higher than text-only or photo-driven posts. This is true on Facebook, too, which receives billions of video views a day. Right now Facebook is prioritizing video content. That may change in the near future as more users become accustomed to Facebook Live! and video viewing on the platform. Use your tour videos or Facebook’s slideshow feature to create your own. Interestingly, most videos are watched without sound. If possible, add captions to the video.

Paid Ad vs Boosted Post?

Now we’re into spending money. Facebook offers multiple advertising options. Spend a little time exploring what you can do. Options range from boosted posts to paid advertising. Personally, I prefer creating paid, targeted ad campaigns over boosting posts for real estate clients. The reason is simple: you can’t target the audience on a boosted post. You can promote it, but it may reach audience members that don’t match your ideal customer. By using targeted campaigns, I narrow who sees the listing by income, area, and other demographic information. This increases my client’s chances of sourcing a qualified lead and boosts return on investment. The campaign can be optimized by driving traffic to the website or video views.

Optimize your settings!

Check out your business page. Provide as much information as you can in the profile settings to make your page more searchable. This includes a business location, operating hours, an attractive header with your photo, and the right call to action button.

Be smart about promotions and use best practices to improve Facebook marketing. Real estate agents should not shy away because of the platform changes. Facebook remains an essential marketing tool.