DL cards, letterbox drops, bus stops, billboards, bulk email/sms…
There are two by-products of all the “traditional” forms of marketing in real estate: an occasional home run, and many strikeouts.
But this is what we’ve been taught about how marketing should be done in real estate. The traditional forms of marketing and messaging are so deeply ingrained that many agents and real estate businesses find it hard to fully let them go and try a new approach. For most, every piece of marketing must be a call-to-action.
Right now, due to COVID-19, real estate agents are pivoting their message to say things like:
- “Free contactless online appraisals for all”
- “We are adapting to the situation with virtual tours and online auctions”
Adapting to difficult times is something I admire about our industry but when every agent in your area is saying the same thing in their marketing (and they are!), you’re only part of the noise. You’re shouting the same thing with a different megaphone.
With fewer people in the market to sell and buy right now, these tactics are not inspiring the vast majority of your community. In fact, it could be turning people off your brand if you’re being too ‘salesy’ at a time like this. While you might hit a homerun (very unlikely right now), you’re going to waste your time and money having to keep coming up with clever messages to stand out among all of the other agents in your market.
Content marketing is the opposite of everything we’ve been taught about marketing in real estate. Instead of pitching for a lead, content marketing is about making your company inherently useful and interesting without expecting an immediate return. This mindset is in direct opposition to the principles of marketing and business that are deeply ingrained in real estate at all levels.
The long term payoff is far greater and more sustainable than any tactic or short term campaign because you’ve captured the hearts and minds of the people in which you serve.
Meet A Real Estate Agent Winning Attention With Content Marketing
SHE opened her business during a mining downturn so it’s no surprise real estate agent Lindy Harris credits persistence and communication to her success. Consistently recognised in the REB Top 50 Women in Real Estate, Lindy also has a swag of other awards and accolades to her name including taking to the stage at AREC in 2018.
It’s been a big 15 years for the mother-of-two since she started as an agent in Singleton, a small country town 197km northwest of Sydney, in 2012.
“Everyone thought I was crazy and I probably was at the time. I was concerned and frightened of the journey ahead (but) I wanted to open and to do it my way.”
After years of success with traditional marketing and prospecting strategies, more and more competition and companies with larger marketing budgets started to impact on Lindy’s brand awareness. So instead of trying to compete on the same playing field with the same message, Lindy turned to content marketing to have a different conversation with the community.
Starting in July 2019, with the help of a copywriter, Lindy started creating stories about the people, businesses and local history, and then publishing these stories on her website at the same time every week.
Once on her website, a series of promotions put the article into the ‘digital letterboxes’ of people in the local community.
Asked what impact this weekly article has had on her business, Lindy first makes the point “I am constantly stopped in the street by locals who tell me how much they loved a particular article about someone I’ve profiled on my website”.
On the topic of brand awareness online, Lindy’s website traffic has skyrocketed and remains consistent each and every week:
Does content marketing replace traditional advertising or prospecting?
Absolutely not. You’re a salesperson at the end of the day.
But here’s the thing… people don’t buy or sell real estate every day – especially right now – but a significant amount of advertising in real estate assumes that people do.
Content marketing is not always the obvious choice for real estate agents and, in many ways, it goes against the grain of how marketing has been taught in real estate for a really long time.
The case study above is a great example of how content marketing can give you a distinct long-term advantage over your competitors and keep you front-of-mind when they (or someone they know) are thinking of selling.
Get in touch with the team at Stepps today to learn how we help Australia’s leading agents and agencies implement an effective digital marketing plan centred around a content marketing approach.