There’s that pesky word again… “content.” Now before your eyes glaze over with visions of “Top 5” articles and makeup tutorials, let me remind you that content is simply the valuable information on your website or social media platforms that you share with your prospects.
You likely already have some content built up in your repertoire. Maybe you blog about areas in your geographic farm, share videos on Facebook, or perhaps you’ve created a downloadable checklist for first-time homebuyers. If so, you’re ahead of the curve!
Guideception: AKA, Your Guide to Guides
Our friends Becky Babcock and Brad Nix of Path & Post, are onto something good. They’ve developed sleek, informative, and user-friendly guides that accomplish two things:
- 1. They answer questions and solve problems for homebuyers
- 2. They convert curious onlookers into active leads
Step 1. Define Your Target Audience
Guides are a great tool in real estate to get a lot of information to your prospects in a neat and compact format. But if you go too broad and try to serve everyone, your guides will lose value.
“Don’t try to be all things to all people.”
Defining your target audience can mean a few things. First, (obviously), is your geographic farm. But who, specifically, are you targetting? First-time homebuyers, luxury, retirees, secondary market beachfront buyers… get as granular as possible.
Becky and Brad take this one step further and they developed a DISC-profile-esque method for categorizing their clients. They break down homebuyers into 4 categories: Bull, Owl, Lamb, Tiger.
- Bull: Straight-forward, busy, “just get it done.”
- Owl: Spreadsheets, detail-oriented, process and facts
- Lamb: Friendly, sensitive, nervous about the process, needs some hand-holding
- Tiger: Eccentric, quick-decisions, distracted by “bright and shiny” features
In their case, most of their clients are Owls and Lambs. So using very detail-oriented guides is a great way to hand-hold and provide answers to all of their questions.
Step 2. Decide on Your Content
Think about your market and your target audience and decide from there what content makes sense. Do you serve several cities? Neighborhoods? Area guides and neighborhood-specific PDFs are going to serve you well in this scenario. The best real estate agents operate as hyper-local experts. You want to be the “go-to” expert in your community, and an in-depth neighborhood guide is a perfect way to highlight this expertise.
Q: Can I outsource someone to write this for me?
A: Yes and no. You can outsource someone to proof/edit your writing and to design the guide/PDF for you, but you should write the content yourself. You’re the expert here… (if you’re not, *uh oh,* you should be!) so you really should be showcasing your knowledge.
Ideas for Guides:
- City Guide
- Neighborhood Guides
- Guide for First-Time Homebuyers
- Home Downsizing Guide for Retirees
Step 3. Optimize for SEO & Share
You don’t have to be a computer wiz to do this! SEO (search engine optimization) just means taking some steps to help boost your content in a Google search — increase your chances of getting more traffic.
Here are a few quick steps:
- 1. Use appropriate keywords (you can check Google Trends for the most popular search terms home buyers are using)
- Pick a strong, searchable title
- Use keyword-friendly headings throughout the guide
- Write a meta-description (follow these directions)
Once you’ve optimized your content, make sure they are displayed on your site and then share across all of your social media channels. Be sure to update the content as necessary with pertinent information. Informative neighborhood and city guides should never be out of date!
PRO TIP: Create a few guides that are “exclusive” to clients who have closed a deal. These could be extremely detailed closing guides, advice for flipping, etc.