According to TV presenter and property expert Phil Spencer, most consumers are confused and ill-informed about property transactions - but estate agents are best-placed to change that.
Writing in Estate Agent Today, he said: “The modern consumer is certainly more information and resource-led than ever before. By providing clients with the advice and information they require, you can keep your brand 'front of mind' and increase your chances of becoming someone's go-to property expert for life.”
Starting a blog is one of the best ways we can think of to fill that knowledge gap - at the same time as generating leads for your estate agency and making conversions happen.
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; making your estate agency business more visible and improving your search rankings on Google.
When you start a blog, writing your first few posts can be exciting, as visitors to your website and your social media followers pile up. But what happens when the novelty wears off; you run out of real estate topics to feature and blogging starts to feel like a chore?
The answer is to be well-prepared in advance with plenty of blog post ideas for real estate ready at hand.
You’ll also need a planner - a basic spreadsheet will do - where you can programme your future blog ideas over the coming months. This will help you add variety to your blog and keep it seasonal and topical.
Obviously, you’ll be looking to direct your list of real estate topics to your target audience. However, it’s a good idea to go for a mix of both subject matter and format - so your blogs are never boring, and customers keep returning.
To find out more about the different types of blog format, read our article about Six blog post types you should be using right now.
Today, however, we’re looking at blog topics. There are lots of generic lists of real estate topics to be found on Google. But, using our experience of what works best, we’ve pulled together our top 10 types of blog post, with plenty of ideas of our own.
These blog posts target people who might be thinking of moving with really useful information to get them interested in your area. Target possible buyers with details of the best local schools, and how to get a place, information about how safe the area is with crime stats or transport options for commuters, for example. Or make yourself useful to potential sellers by explaining something complex in a handy, how-to format.
This type of blog positions you as an authority in your local area. Think about blogging on anything that would influence people who might be relocating here. Talk about top restaurants and local attractions; the history of the place or day trips easily reached from your location. Really help potential movers see the ‘before and after' of their move by building up a picture of how they’ll fill their weekends in their new home.
Tip - if you’re writing about local businesses such as bars and restaurants, let them know so they can share your blog through their own social media accounts.
Checklists are brilliant because they are a quick, easy read - and something people will bookmark and return to. 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 property.
Tip - create a PDF of your checklist as a resource, which potential customers can print off on registration. Include your branding and contact details as a reminder that you’re out there, if needed.
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.
If you are looking to attract buyers, especially first-timers, think about topics which really nail down the process for the uninitiated. Lists of homebuyer FAQs do this in a very clear and readable way. Or look at explaining complex legal areas people might struggle to understand - the difference between exchange and completion or leasehold and freehold, for example.
Tip - If you’re struggling for topics, think about the questions which buyers ask you again and again.
It’s in your sellers’ best interests, and your own, that they present their properties to the market in the best possible light. Use your experience and knowledge of local conditions to write blogs about staging a property, which renovations bring the best return on investment and affordable garden makeovers. Again, look to your past sellers’ frequently asked questions for ideas - how to decide which offer to accept, for example.
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 local restaurants or visitor 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.
It’s a good idea to include the odd post which creates impact and gets you noticed, alongside all of the useful, more everyday stories. Think celebrity house moves, especially if it’s into your area. A local take on topical events or your town’s most lavish or expensive homes.
Get more people viewing your site with content that’s unique and interesting. Going outside of your real estate business with interviews of relevance to home buyers is one idea. You could commission a piece from a famous guest blogger or interview an expert in a field - on anything from avoiding cyber-crime to predictions for the future of the housing market. Think of ideas that people can use to solve a problem now - how to use smart tech to make a home more saleable, for example.
Many of the ideas we’ve talked about will be sharable on social media if they are well-written and contain valuable, original content. Remember, if you want more shares, don’t underestimate the impact of a powerful image or great video in your blog and related social posts. List type posts work well in this respect too - such as top properties in historic buildings or five homes with garden rooms.
If you’d like some help planning your content marketing strategy and producing blogs that really make an impact, we at Art Division can help. To learn how you can use blogs to generate more pre-qualified leads and enquiries, contact for help and advice today.
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Want to discuss how we can help you grow your business?
The key to a good real estate blog is in the research. You can select to write about a topic people are already Googling and so you can provide the answers in your blog, OR a topic that people will want to share.
Ultimately, a good real estate blog gives value to the reader, and helps them in some way.