Why every Estate Agent needs a blog
With more than 90% of people looking online for information when they begin the home-buying process, a good blog is an effective marketing tool for estate agents who want to increase their reach and customer base.
Content marketing in this way is inexpensive and an easy way to grow your online presence – a blog will help people find you if they’re Googling your local area and its amenities, for example.
We’ll look at some specifics – such as tips for setting up a blog, content ideas, and the importance of good images – in future posts, but firstly here’s why we think every estate agent should have a blog:
- It will drive traffic to your website.
Property marketing generally pushes rather than pulls – it takes the product to the customer through newspaper advertising, flyers and so on. A blog is inbound marketing and does the opposite – it brings people to you through their own free will.
There’s no such thing as too many visitors to your website, so anything that ensures more people find you on the internet is a good thing. If your blog comes up in search engine results when someone asks a question and provides the answers they need, you’ll be in their minds when it comes to choosing an estate agent.
Every time you publish a blog, it’s a new indexed page and fresh content on your website – something Google and the other major search engines love. It shows your business is active and increases your organic search listings.
- It establishes you as an expert in the property market
A good blog addresses questions and issues that customers – current and potential – might have. So, if you’re publishing content your target audience will find helpful, it serves to build your credibility in their eyes.
As well as valuable insights into the process of buying and selling a home, you can offer up-to-date news about the locations in which you operate or information about local amenities – all of which will strengthen your reputation.
If people find what they need on your blog, they’re more likely to trust you during the sales process because they already know you can help them.
- It will raise your profile on social media.
Every time you publish a blog post on your estate agency website, you’re creating content that can be shared on social media. Obviously you’ll do so yourself on your estate agency’s Facebook page and Twitter feed, your own LinkedIn profile and so on, but if it’s well-written and informative, others will be prompted to share it among their own networks in turn.
By including social buttons on your blog, you’re giving readers a way to share your content easily, creating a neat circle where other users are directed back to your website to read your posts – and are then encouraged to share them again to a new audience.
- It’s a chance to increase leads
By providing interesting and relevant content for all those home-seekers, you’re building an audience you’ll want to keep – so make it easy for them to ask any follow-up questions and get in touch with you directly. Add a call-to-action button to your posts encouraging them to email, call or text you, or give them the chance to comment. Invite them to start a conversation by letting them know you’re there to help with their research. A blog is a great, non-pushy way to reach a deeper level of engagement so that when they are ready to buy or sell a home, you’re the name they’ll think because you helped them when they needed it.
- It’s a way of connecting with younger homebuyers
According to industry studies, those born in the 1980s and 1990s will soon become the largest group of homebuyers. If you want to tap into that market, you need to be where they are – and as internet ‘natives’ they are more likely to carry out online research than any other demographic. If your blog can answer their questions and provide useful information during that process, it will become an effective sales machine among younger buyers, who are much less likely to respond to cold calls, for example.
- It can bring long-term results
Thanks to the way search engines work, your blog has a long lifespan. Post an update on Twitter and it drops down your followers’ timelines pretty quickly, assuming they follow a reasonable number of people. But your blog can go on generating interest for months – even years!
There’s the initial rush of interest when a post is new, and then views will drop away.
But when someone types a relevant phrase into a search engine it will re-emerge, so it’s worth making sure most of your posts will stay relevant for a considerable period of time.
A word of warning…
While we advocate blogging as an essential part of your marketing, you should be aware that once you start, you need to carry on.
Regular posting is the key. Every month is better than not at all, and every week is better than every month. You want people to see that your estate agency is active and thriving, so you don’t want a blog that hasn’t been updated for six months.
This isn’t as daunting as it might sound as there are many different types of content, and planning posts in advance will help keep you on track.
Online shoppers are used to doing plenty of research before making a purchase – and that applies as much to buying a home as new furniture. If you can provide a source of relevant, informed and useful information for them during that process, you’ll build your reputation and establish yourself among a new audience for your services.