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.

Statistics on What Blogging Can Do For Your Real Estate Business

Debating the blog? Whether you’re considering starting one or ready to throw in the towel, you need to understand why your real estate marketing team talks up blogging as a content marketing strategy. These statistics tell the story behind blogging’s allure for real estate agents or real estate service providers.

  1. “Businesses who blogged 16 to 20 times per month got over 2 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month.” HubSpot

Translation: The more you blog, the more traffic you receive. Before you rush off to write 16 blogs a months, think for a moment. Sixteen blogs translates to four times a week. Do you have enough time and enough quality content to write four blogs a week? How about five blogs? This is why some real estate agents quit blogging: the workload. When in doubt, quality will always trump quantity. One blog a week is better than no blogs at all.

1) “Businesses who blogged just 16 to 20 times per month got 3 times more leads than those who didn’t blog.” HubSpot

Translation: Blogging helps generate traffic, and traffic means leads. Turn choice blogs into landing pages that convert visitors into email subscribers or potential clients.

2) Businesses with over 200 total blog articles got 4.6 times more traffic than those with under 20 blog posts. HubSpot

Translation: While page count may not rank influence search engine optimization as much as it once did, it’s clear it still plays some role in ranking. Regularly updated blogs show your page is active. Additionally, the more content you have, the more search terms organically appear connected to your page. Logically, the more pages you have, the higher you will likely rank.

3) “Businesses websites with 401 to 1,000 web pages have 9 times more traffic than those with 51 to 100.”

Translation: See the notes from above. Logically, the more pages you have, the more traffic organically generate.

4) 70% of home buyers prefer to get to know a real estate agency through online content over paid advertistements. Blue Corona

Translation: Your website is how buyers get to know you. A blog can be a critical component in landing a client. They’ll see your expertise, find valuable information, and begin to trust your brand.

5) Adding a blog to your site will increase your chances of ranking on search engines by 434% Hubspot

Translation: Why does a blog increase your SEO? The big three reasons: They’re loaded with keywords. You promote blogs through your owned marketing channels, drawing in traffic. It shows your webpage is active through regular updates.

6) 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. (HubSpot, 2016) Hubspot

Translation: View blogging as a long-term strategy. You may receive a short-term bump when you first post a blog and share across networks. Your biggest organic gains will be over time.

7) B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. Hubspot

Translation: Blogging 2-3 times a week generates more leads than once a week. If you’re considering increasing your posting frequency, this is helpful information. You may not have to jump from once a week to once a day to see results.

8) The average word count of the highest-ranking content in Google is between 1,140 – 1,285 words. Search Metrics

Translation: Consider a different strategy for your blog. Instead of short form 500-750 posts, go deeper into a topic. You’ll have more material to post, more information for spiders to index, and more evergreen content.

9) After 21-54 blogs, businesses see a traffic increase to their blogs by up to 30%. Traffic Generation Cafe

Translation: Don’t quit! Stick with the blogging program. If you blog once a week, this means it could take up to a year to see an increase in blog traffic. Again: blogging is a long-term strategy!

10) 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content and are also more likely to buy from that company. Source

Translation: A blog can develop a relationship with your potential clients without ever sending an email, text, or phone call. Use a blog to differentiate your services from the other real estate agents in the area.

After reading these key statistics on blogging, if you still want to try a different content strategy, that’s fine. Make an informed decision based on how you run your business, the time involved, and your use of social media. A blog is one small part of a greater content marketing strategy.

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Want to see some more interesting content marketing statistics? Check out this infographic from Top 10 Website Hosting.

Finding the Right Real Estate Writer

Your blog is your brand. How could you turn it over to someone else? How your real estate blog possibly be as good as without you writing your ideas?

As someone who’s worked with macro and micro-managers, I can attest: you can outsource your real estate blog. The key is finding the right real estate writer to work with you. The right person might produce content good as you, if not better. Why?

Real estate copywriters are:

  • Knowledgeable about the industry
  • Focus just on delivering quality content for you
  • Deliver content on time and consistently
  • Help generate new ideas

Tips for Finding the Best Real Estate Writer

The challenge is hiring the perfect fit for your blog and your management style. Before starting your copywriter or blogger hunt, consider drafting a profile of the ideal candidate. The perfect writer varies person to person. Characteristics to consider:

  • A writer knowledgeable in your area. Think residential, commercial, or the local market.
  • Someone with excellent research skills as they’ll be drafting data-backed and informative blogs.
  • A writer who can craft an amazing blog from just a few notes or a working title and link.
  • A blogger who adapts the content to your tone and audience.
  • A marketing-style writer who can sell through their copy.

In addition to thinking about the writer, come up with a game plan for your relationship. This will be based on your personality style. Hands-off bosses might want a writer to just go with it. Hands-on editors want more detail provided during the idea phase and more discussions over multiple revisions.

Ask yourself, “How much time will I have to support the writer?” In the beginning, naturally more contact is required to discuss the process and the work. After the relationship is established, how often to you expect to work with the copywriter? Daily, weekly, monthly, as needed?

Additional Real Estate Blogger Tips

If your real estate niche is extremely specific, say medical commercial real estate or real estate investing abroad, you might want a subject matter expert. That would save time training the writer in your industry content.

A final piece of advice: don’t be afraid to take a chance on someone. Many writers work remotely and have never visited your local market. That doesn’t mean with the right guidance they couldn’t craft compelling copy. The wealth of online information makes it easy to learn about neighborhoods, markets, and metropolitan areas. If you don’t want a full commitment right away, hire them for a test blog and see how it goes.

When you’re ready to find a winning real estate writer, numerous job panels and boards exist. Each has its disadvantages, as we’ll discuss in the future.


We’re taking on new clients! Let’s chat about your real estate blog and social media.

Six Real Estate Bloggers Exemplifying Blog Voice

To finish out my series on blog voice, I’ve picked some real estate professionals who exemplify writing with personality. Forget the plain-jane business-casual tone many bloggers adopt in the real estate industry. There’s nothing wrong with a conversational feel, but if you want to be distinct and memorable, zeroing in on that blog voice is key. See how these  real estate bloggers attracted a dedicated audience thanks to a strong voice.

Duke Long

This commercial real estate broker is infamous in the industry for his frank blog. Duke Long’s blog is blatantly honest, or, as some might say, “lacking a filter.” The tactic is polarizing, but in a humdrum world of commercial real estate blogging, Long’s powerful statements have cemented his reputation as a CRE tech leader.

Jeremy Neuer

Real estate agent Jeremy Neuer tagged his blog Neuerspace as “Commercial Real Estate with Personality.” He and I clearly are on the same wavelength about the copycat boring real estate blogs. Neuer infuses his blog with anecdotes and sports references that help connect with his audience and put a new spin on the industry.

Jonathan Schultz

Jonathan Schultz is another CRE Tech guru, as you will see when visiting his blog. What I like is his slant: there’s tech, but many topics discuss work life and human motivations. The bold statements right in the titles grab your attention, like “Are YOU Holding YOU Back?”

Coppola Cheney

Here’s a different example: a corporation with some pizzazz instead of an individual. What I like about real estate consulting firm Coppola Cheney’s blog is it sounds like you’re sitting over coffee discussing the market. The voice is knowledgeable, but casual. Occasionally they connect what’s happening in the industry to their lives, a strategy that makes their brand approachable.

Mark Ferguson

Mark is another blogger that exemplifies how going personal works. He brings you into his world of real estate investing, rehabilitation, and running a brokerage. Readers appreciate honesty and he does it very well on Invest Four More.

Coach Carson

Another real estate investor speaking from personal experience, Coach Carson creates his voice through metaphors and anecdotes. His guest interviews are excellent as he asks insightful questions of intelligence people. Not everyone has that talent. Read Coach Carson’s blog here.


Read the full Real Estate Blog Voice Series.

1- Understanding Your Blog Voice

2- Why Should You Care About Your Blogging Voice?


Need help crafting your blog voice? Let’s chat!

Why Should You Care About Blogging Voice?

I recently wrote about understanding blogging voice and how real estate bloggers can find theirs. During the process, an important question cropped up: why should you care about your blogging voice?  Is it really important to your real estate content marketing efforts?

The Blogging Voice Challenge

Take this challenge: read five of your competitor’s or service provider’s blogs. Include your brokerage’s blog. You don’t need to read the entire blogroll. Pick one or two articles that seem interesting. When you’re done, wait a day and see if you remember any of them. I’d bet most likely not, but if you do, it’s probably because that blog had something special to leave a lasting impression. The special sauce? Chances are, it’s the voice!

Why You Need to Find Your Blogging Voice

Everyone has read something that has induced a page coma: when your eyes scan the page but nothing sticks. Maybe you’ve read something just to fall asleep. Conversely, you have probably read something gripping from start to finish, whose suspense caught you still turning the pages into the wee hours of the night. Another article literally made you laugh out loud. Why can’t those qualities follow through in a blog?

Maybe you’re not a jokester. That’s okay. Some people can paint such a clear picture with words about any subject that it sucks in its audience. Perhaps that is your style. Others adeptly connect complex topics to real life scenarios. This, too, is a valuable skill and way to generate a unique voice.  Some people write with a no-nonsense style, and there are readers that appreciate cutting to the chase.

Many big brands have the same voice. They are trying to be business casual: conversational, politely informal, and quick to read. That’s not to say their content isn’t valuable or worth reading. I simply mean after a while, they all sound the same. You, as an individual, can be distinct and rise above the corporations, by finding a unique blogging voice and writing with a distinct personality.

Stay tuned for our next blog, which will have examples of real estate professionals with strong blog voices.

 


Want to craft a unique blogging voice for your content? We’re currently accepting new clients! Give us a shout.

Understanding Your Blog Voice

I find one question often trips up new clients. In fact, most of the disconnect I see with first draft expectations boils down to an inaccurate understanding of voice. Whether writing it yourself or outsourcing to a team, you must have a clear understanding of your blog voice to create a cohesive brand.

What is voice in writing?

Voice is tricky. When we read, the words take on a personality. This “personality” is formed from the grammar, rhythm, and word choices writers make. Writers use character adjectives to explain voice. For example, if I said, “this article sounds like it was written by a professor,” that likely means the writing is bogged down by jargon, complex sentence construction, and advanced vocabulary.

Why the voice disconnect?

During initial client consults, I’ve had people say they want an informal or casual tone.  The first draft is delivered, and in the reviewing remarks, it becomes clear they wanted something else entirely. A response might be that the content seems too basic, delivers a surface-level grasp of content, or needs more data. What the client is really expressing a desire for a different voice. They would like something more business casual, like discussing the industry during a conference panel. Their audience is familiar with the industrial jargon and trends; these can be used casually during the writing.

When coming up with your content marketing program or when getting ready to draft your blog, really put some thought behind what you want your blog to sounds like. You may have heard of the content marketing term “persona.”  I find creating personas a viable exercise, especially if more than one person will be working on your marketing. Having a document that gives a clear understanding of the company voice is invaluable. I particularly remember reading one detail from a “Social Media Persona” document: “The individual is in with the latest trends; they are likely to buy Warby Parker and Bonobos.”

Advice for understanding your blog voice

I recommend giving some solid thought to your blog voice. Create a persona. While you don’t necessarily need to go so far as to describe where your content marketing character is going to shop, don’t boil it down to just one or two words. Describe the person behind the blog. Determine if it will be in first or third person. If you would like to be more formal, how formal do you want to be? Are you looking for a more scientific blog devoid of opinions?

Consider this:

If you want your blog to position you as a thought leader, your voice might be:

  • Professorial. Shown through data and research.
  • Positive. Upbeat language showing excitement for new developments.
  • Confident. Self-assured opinions about industry directions backed with research.

If you want your blog to appeal to a luxury audience, your voice might be:

  • Formal. Likely third person.
  • Sophisticated. Write naturally with advanced, but not obnoxious, vocabulary.
  • Confident. No wishy-washy suggestive language like “should be” or “might.”

If you want to appeal to a millennial audience, your voice might be:

  • Business casual. Discussing the industry without showing off jargon.
  • Fun. Use clichés or pop culture references.
  • Informal. A first-person that addresses the reader.

For one of my clients, I think, “upbeat, cheery, positive” when I write. They want their content to be knowledgeable, but in person they are extremely friendly and easy to talk to. Their excitement is palpable. Their blog combines a deep knowledge of the local residential real estate industry with an approachable personality. It’s what is most natural for them.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into understanding your blog voice. My final word of caution: don’t try to be something you are not. If you’re trying to adopt a bubbly, youthful persona when that’s just not you, your marketing effort will fail. Make the blog voice natural to your brand and business.

 

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