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.

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.

Blog Writing for the Real Estate Luxury Market

A marketing company pushed hard for one of my clients to subscribe to their direct mailing templates. Unfortunately, the graphic design paired with themes like “10 Steps for a Quick Sale,” and “The Pitfalls of Overpricing,” didn’t match the $400k-plus customers my client represents. Audience dictates everything: tone, voice, vocabulary, and subject. Writing to the high-end home buyer is different from a young family-minded buyer. Even within the luxury market, your niche could dictate decisions on topics and advice. Consider this: what information would a foreign buyer want to know that probably wouldn’t interest a celebrity buyer? When blog writing for the real estate luxury market, remember:

  • Keep writing succinct. High-end buyers are busy professionals who don’t waste a second of their day. They know what they want. Keep the blog short and focused. Make the writing scannable by using subheads, numbered lists, and bullets. Consider bolding key points or adding a “key takeaway” section at the top of the blog.Luxury Real Estate
  • Maintain a professional voice. I was tempted to write “don’t dilly-dally” instead of “don’t waste a second” in the previous paragraph as a non-example of an appropriate tone. Picture one of your top clients when writing. Hear their voice and use it. Luxury buyers are educated. Your vocabulary should match their level, but not in a pretentious way that demonstrates your language skills. Cut the superfluous adjectives. Instead, be specific by using researched data.
  • Zero in on topics. Write to their needs. Luxury buyers are investors. They’re concerned about the economy, stock market trends, and mortgage rates. Others stay tuned to interior design trends and trendy zip codes. Again, think about your typical client personas and narrow your topics to match their interests.
  • Images match the brand. Your blog should have images, but avoid cheesy graphics and illustrations. It is possible to find professional stock photography that corresponds with your topic for free or at a very low cost.
  • User experience matches the brand. Beyond the blog, your entire website user interface should reflect the latest in intuitive web design. Most websites are viewed on mobile devices, so a responsive design is a must. Check how your blog appears on devices of all sizes. The look should appeal to high-end buyers while being easy to navigate and read.

As an agent representing discerning buyers, you know what they’re looking for in real estate. Trust your instincts when it comes to your real estate marketing content. Based on my recommendation, my clients opted to continue with their current streamlined template that highlighted their brokerage’s branding and delivered data-driven content perfect for their audience.

4 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Virtual Assistant

Working in real estate is not easy. The hours are strange, the interruptions to life frequent, and the stress real. The average home buyer and seller do not understand the background effort that goes into preparing, marketing, and closing a sale. Plus there are the other stresses of the job: staying on top of trends, taking part in continuing education, the brokerage meetings, handling marketing materials, sourcing leads, and much more. There’s a lot on a real estate agents plate.

Depending on your business, hiring a full-time or part-time assistant may not be possible. Maybe your agency shares an in-house assistant or has a marketing team, but they’re used by multiple people and are swamped. A virtual real estate assistant could be the answer. Hiring a real estate virtual assistant could help because:

1. Virtual Assistants Are Affordable

If you’re willing to work with the real estate virtual assistant that telecommutes or works online, you can get expert help at an affordable and adjustable rate. There’s no need to worry about health insurance or perks, just paid an hourly rate or flat fee for the services they provide. Keep in mind, you do get what you pay for, whether it’s $10 or $30.

2. Virtual assistants tackle the busy work

Virtual Assistant at workManaging social media is a full-time job, especially if you want it done right. You have to source material, create material, track trends, schedule postings, and respond to clients. That’s eating into valuable time and you can’t do it driving in the car or during contract negotiations. A virtual assistant can curate the content and schedule it for you. They can even generate targeted at campaigns on different properties based on your specifications. Writing a real estate blog is something that takes at minimum an hour. Outsourcing your blog is a great way of generating content without eating into your day.

3. Virtual assistants are flexible

Working real estate ebbs and flows. Rather than hire a full-time person and dream up busy work during the slow season, you can adjust a virtual assistant’s work schedule to reflect your actual needs. Just make sure to discuss it with them ahead of time. Let them know when the busiest speak time of year is and when they can expect less.

4. Virtual assistants make you more productive

Feeling bogged down? Virtual real estate assistants can free your time to focus on the tasks that are most critical in your industry. Virtual assistants can screen your email, confirm your appointments, book travel arrangements, conduct research, take care of some accounting, or manage any other projects you don’t want to handle. Anything that does not require their physical presence or a real estate license can be done to make your actual job easier.

Real estate virtual assistants exist to make an agent’s life easier to manage. What you need them for varies from person to person, but they are an invaluable tool to boost your productivity without breaking your budget.


Casey McKenna-Monroe is an avid rowing fan with a passion for content writing. She works with real estate agents to create blogs, ebooks, marketing materials, and more. Contact at casey@power10social.com