Some things are worth taking a little more time over.
Stopping to watch the sunset.
Switching your phone off as your kids perform their ‘play’ in the front room.
Making sure that picture frame in your office has been put up correctly (don’t ask!).
And I think the A to Z of content for estate and letting agents that I’ve created below falls into that category of something that deserves a little more time.
It’s an eight-and-a-half-minute read, based on the average adult in the UK who reads at around 200 words per minute. But I’m confident it’ll be time well spent if you apply even just 10% of the tips here to your agency’s content marketing.
Have a read, let me know what you think and if you have any questions, ping me an email.
A – Audience. It’s about the reader, not your agency. It would be best if you treated your audience in the same way you would your community – with respect, generosity, and kindness. Start by answering these three questions: Who are my ideal audience? What questions or interests do they have? And how can my agency serve them with great content?
B – Blog. This should be the cornerstone of your content. A well-written blog has many productive uses. You can make a video version of it. Break it into smaller bite-size chunks for snappy image use. It can be emailed to your database, shrunk down into infographics, shared across all your digital platforms, and even turned into print marketing or editorials.
C – Consistency. An agency that regularly creates and shares good content will always beat one that posts fantastically brilliant, jaw-dropping content once in a blue moon. By maintaining a consistent and scheduled approach to your content, you will soon start getting noticed for all the right reasons. In addition, by showing up regularly, you’re giving your agency the best possible chance of getting noticed.
D – Diary (or Calendar). Having your eye on a calendar and diarising dates which lend themselves to excellent content opportunities will serve you well. Of course, there are the obvious ones like Christmas, Valentine’s and Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day. But some of the best opportunities lie in the more obscure dates. In the past, we’ve written great performing articles around World Book Day, Random Acts of Kindness Day, and even Professor Stephen Hawking’s death anniversary.
E – Well, four Es. Educating, entertaining, empathising, and sharing expertise are all important for agents who want to be recognised as the community’s go-to agency. Educate your community on the difference between what a good agent does compared to a bad agent. Entertain them with content they wouldn’t expect from an estate agent. Empathise by understanding their problems and concerns and use content to reassure and accurately inform them. Finally, highlight your expertise by not just talking about the local property market but also the community you serve.
F – Facebook. There’s no getting away from it. Mark Zuckerberg’s social media monster is where your content is most likely going to get the most eyeballs on it. There’s also the opportunity of creating a Facebook community page for your area. This is an excellent platform for your content and is proven to be a tremendous local PR move if you commit time, energy, and care to it.
G – Godin. I could have gone for the obvious G – Google. And yes, Google Reviews are valuable content, especially when you feature them on your website. But I’ve gone for Seth Godin. He’s an American business and marketing legend and author who is continuously ahead of the game. A lot of his ideas, i.e., being remarkable, building a tribe, and doing work that matters to people, have become mainstream thinking.
H – Helpful. If your content only does one thing, it needs to help people. It can be advice on various topics, including how to declutter successfully or ways to get your financial house in order. There are a million ways to help people. You need to find out what your community’s big questions are, what issues they care most about and then seek to answer them in a helpful, non-salesy way.
I – Interesting and Images. Your content needs to be interesting. And most people apart from maybe your close friends or family, don’t find estate agency interesting. So, focus your efforts on other things – no one cares (apart from you) about your market share, but they will show interest in your approach to community care. Another important I in content marketing is images. Try to make them area and agency specific. If not, no problem. Just don’t nick pictures from the internet. It’s not cool.
J – Journalistic. Think like a journalist when creating content – address the five bums on a set of rugby posts. Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How? If your content addresses those six categories, you’ll be well on your way to creating content that matters. Good content marketing turns estate agents into journalists – minus the three years of training, shorthand lessons, and rubbish starting pay.
K – Knowledge. Content marketing gives you a perfect platform to show you know your stuff. You can use it to highlight how to sell successfully in a challenging market or by working with other local experts like solicitors, surveyors, and architects to tap into their knowledge bank. Show that you know what’s going on locally and in the market.
L – LinkedIn. Often overlooked by estate and letting agents when it comes to content strategy. But the world’s biggest online ‘professional’ network provides a good way of targeting and getting in front of landlords, property developers, and investors. Take the time to understand how LinkedIn search works, as this will help you build the right audience.
M – Medium. Thanks to smartphones, you have all the tools in the palm of your hand to create your agency’s broadcasting channels. But pick wisely. Facebook is excellent for community content, LinkedIn for a more professional audience, YouTube to house your videos, and Instagram to share images of properties you have on your books. But the most underrated medium you have for getting in front of people is your email database. Ignore that at your peril.
N – News. How can you truly be the community’s agent if you don’t have your finger on what’s happening locally? People are only really interested in what happens in their square mile. Take this example, a British person who wins the EuroMillions is news. A local man from your patch who wins the jackpot is HUGE local news. Set up a Google News Alert for your town to know when news is happening.
O – Observation. Observe and identify the outcomes you want your content to achieve. For example, do you want your content to win you loads of leads? Of course you do. But set the outcomes sensibly. Outcomes could be, for example, to create an e-guide that gets downloaded 250 times or a community Facebook page that has more than 500 followers. Monitor your content’s outcomes monthly.
P – Power. When harnessed properly, content marketing for estate agents has the power to persuade people that your agency is the best known, the most liked, and the one locals trust the most. This puts you in a commanding position to win future business.
Q – Quantity. How much content is too much? Again, there’s a balance to be had here. Too much will mean your content becomes white noise to people. Too little, and you won’t build up enough of a following to make your content worthwhile. A decent rule of thumb is to post something on social media every day, blog once a week, and keep in weekly contact with your database.
R – Reactive. It’s essential to plan your content, but some of the most interesting stuff you’ll do will be reactive. Keep an eye on the news, nationally and locally, think and act quickly. If you see something another agency (not a rival) is doing that is working well, adopt and adapt it.
S – Sustainable (or Scheduled). You need to have a schedule and a structure for publishing your content. It’s no use having a scattergun approach. Having a plan will help you and your audience. Also, remember that it’s super easy to get distracted by social media if you spend too much time on it. So, set time blocks in your schedule around when you will pop onto the likes of Facebook etc.
T – Testimonials. Whether it’s Google Reviews or any other way of collecting testimonials, you need to be all over this like wasps on an ice lolly. People want to know your agency is good at what you do and is trustworthy. People are reassured by hearing good things about you from past clients – this social proof leads to them having confidence in your ability.
U – Understanding. Excellent estate agency content marketing understands what its community is interested in. I think it’s a common mistake by estate and letting agents only to focus their content around property. Put it this way, a tiny portion of your community is thinking about selling or letting at any one time – but an infinitely more significant number are interested in things affecting their community. This is a big opportunity for you.
V – Video. No doubt it’s the future of content for estate agents. That’s whether it’s delivering market updates, showcasing new listings, or turning written articles into videos. Video also gives you a chance to get your agency’s personality and tone of voice across.
W – Word Count. As attention spans shrink to that of goldfish with ADHD, you need to know the importance of delivering concise content. Set a time expectation for your audience. For example, 400 words are around two minutes’ worth of content. Let the viewer or reader know how long they can expect your article/video to be.
X – X-Rated. Steer clear of political, religious, or even sporting comments. Also, don’t criticise your rivals and avoid sharing ‘news’ from self-professed social media experts. Reliable sources are trusted because they check facts before publishing.
Y – You or Your. The two most exciting words to your audience and community. Check this headline out: ‘How we sell the most houses in AREA’ compared to ‘Here’s how your home could sell quickly and for a price you love’. Make your content all about them, not your agency.
Z – Zzzzzzzzz. Don’t be boring. Most people find well-told stories more compelling than lists of statistics. Since the dawn of man (and woman), kind humans have learned through storytelling, not number crunching. And you can use this innate desire to tell your agency’s story. Why do you do what you do? How does it help others? What problems are you solving? How does your work bring happiness to people? What makes your agency different? Why does your work matter?