While estate agents live and breathe the business of buying and selling houses, many consumers are in the dark when it comes to such issues as freehold or leasehold and exchange or completion. Help them understand this confusing and stressful process, and your agency could be their first port of call when contemplating a house move.
A good blog is one of the best channels we can think of to put your expertise at the disposal of buyers, vendors, landlords and tenants. Write blogs packed with good, useful and sharable content and you won’t just drive traffic to your website. You’ll be seen as an authority, putting your brand on customers’ radar and improving your search rankings with Google.
Starting your blog is exciting, as website clicks and social media followers mount up with every post. But what happens when the novelty wears off; you run out of topics and it starts to feel like a chore?
The answer is to be prepared in advance with plenty of ideas ready at hand. It’s definitely worth having a planner - a spreadsheet where you can programme your blog topics over the coming months.
If you’re still stuck for inspiration, we’ve identified five distinct blog post types for estate agents that we think really make an impact:
1 The local influencer post
This type of post positions you as an authority in your local area. Think about blogging on anything that would influence people considering relocation - top restaurants, bars, shopping streets or parks, the history of the place or easy day trips. Talk about schools, and how to get a place, crime stats or transport options for commuters. And if you’re name-checking local businesses, let them know so they can share your blog through their own channels.
2 The handy checklist
Checklists are brilliant because they are so helpful as well as being a quick, easy read - and something people will bookmark and return to, keeping your business front-of-mind. You can create checklists for buyers, sellers, landlords or tenants - about moving day, buying for the first time, revamping your kitchen or what to do if you’re thinking of renting out your home. Give the checklist life beyond the blog by creating a PDF, which customers can print off with your branding and contact details.
3 The one that creates a buzz
Include the odd post, which gets people talking, alongside the useful, more everyday stuff - think celebrity house moves, lavish homes or a local take on a big topical issue. You could commission a piece from a famous guest blogger or interview an expert in a field - on anything from avoiding cyber-crime to using smart tech to make your home more sellable. Don’t underestimate the impact of a powerful image or great video in creating a buzz. Lists work will in this type of post too - top properties in historic buildings or five homes with garden rooms, for example.
4 The post which shares your wealth of knowledge
Think about topics which really nail down the buying, selling and letting process - particularly for the uninitiated. Lists of FAQs do this in a very clear and readable way. If you’re struggling for topics, think about the questions which customers ask you again and again - what happens at exchange and completion, which offer to accept or the best ways to stage a home to sell.
There’s no need to confine your blog topics to services you provide directly. Writing about any subjects, loosely related to real estate, can help you reach your target audience and boost your credibility. Examples include how to get mortgage, why you should use a surveyor or the conveyancing process.
5 The customer-engaging blog
Writing blogs which invite reader input are a good way of boosting your brand exposure and increasing traffic to your site and social accounts. If you’re writing about attractions, ask for views on the ground and include them in your blogs. You could share your testimonials or give people a better understanding of the buying and selling process with ‘day in the life’ posts from your staff. Data from Facebook or Twitter polls can be used as the basis for posts too.
These blog topic ideas have worked for us and our clients but remember that the digital marketing the world never stands still - you need to keep an eye out for fresh ideas at all times. So, if you see a piece of content that works, estate agency-related or not, think about whether it could be adapted to your business, and put it down on your planner!
Need help with your blog writing? Go to www.artdivision.co.uk and book a call with Nelly.