ICYMI September 17: Home values rise, properties get more expensive, and fintech is changing the game

What’s cooking this week? Plenty of news, but pressed for time, we picked three stories. Here’s our in case you missed it in real estate this week:

  1. Mobile-home values might rise as fast as regular homes — here’s why that matters.

Mobile homes might be a better investment than you think. If you look carefully at the market, their home values are increasing. This could have implications for affordable housing. Read on Marketwatch.

2. Three Ways Commercial Real Estate Lenders Are Going To Change The Way We Work

This is a space witnessing a ton of disruption. How we finance real estate is definitely changing, and we think for the better. Mark talks about how innovation here is changing the process and how we work to get deals done. Read on Forbes.

  1. As rent soars, southern half of United States hit hardest

Housing affordability is a real concern across the United States. More evidence on its impact: as people move South to escape the expensive North, demand is naturally increasing the cost of living. Read on Inman.

 

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!

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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Need some help finding your voice? Schedule some time to chat with us!