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A Real Estate Agent's Guide to Creating Marketable Content
June 9, 2020

A Real Estate Agent's Guide to Creating Marketable Content

by The CE Shop Team

Creating Content That Matters Can Help Your Real Estate Career

Content is king. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. Creating killer content engages your audience and makes them aware of who you are and what you do (i.e. Your Story). It’s a crucial part of social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing methods, and has somewhat replaced other mediums of entertainment, like newspapers and television. There’s a reason why Instagram influencers make millions of dollars from content; people want it and, for the most part, it’s free.

In a 21st-century society that’s becoming even more socially distant, there’s never been more of a need for agents to create and market their services through content. It’s inexpensive, it requires limited experience, and with some minor editing skills you can learn off YouTube How-to videos, you can make something that truly resonates with your audience.

Creating Content as a Real Estate Agent

As a real estate agent, you need to tell your story. Utilizing content shows off your brand and the overall scope of your real estate practice in an engaging way that creates a two-way communication system between you and your followers. You post your content, they respond with a Like, Share, or Comment, and the conversation begins.

There are many different skills and time requirements needed for every content type. Some content pieces may take you five seconds to write (e.g. a sentence-long social post) while others may take you a month (e.g. thought-leadership ebooks). It all depends on your abilities and experience. After reading this piece, you will understand:

  • Level of Difficulty per Content Style
  • What Skills are Needed to Create
  • How to Create the Piece
  • How to Share the Piece

Becoming a content guru takes time and patience. However, the hardest part is commiting to this proven marketing endeavor. Once you learn what you need to do, you’ll be able to tell your brand’s story and push your career to the next level.

Social Media Post

A social media post or status is a statement a person makes on their own social media feed. It’s usually seen by their friends and followers and allows for the simplest form of back-and-forth communication. Social posts are also by far the easiest way to reach your target audience with almost no effort. All you need to create a post is the following:

  • Social Media Account
  • Phone or Computer

You’ll first need to make a business social media account. If you’re confused about how to do this, simply Google “How to create a business social media account for (Insert Name of Social Media Platform).” Once you do that and build a following, you’ll be ready to post at will.

To post, you simply type a message into an area that says something like “Create Post” or “Share Your Thoughts.” Every social media platform is different but, for the most part, it’s pretty intuitive where to create a post.

Before posting, review these notes for optimal performance:

  • What am I trying to say with this post?
  • How am I positioning my brand?
  • Am I offending anyone?
  • Have I spell checked this?

Use your common sense. There’s nothing worse than writing some frivolous, nonsensical spout about nothing and having your potential clients write you off as a buffoon. Instead, you want to come off as intelligent and knowledgeable about the industry. That all being said…

Don’t limit your posts to being just about real estate and your business. Discuss other items, like your favorite sports teams or restaurants in town. There’s nothing wrong with creating weekly content that has nothing to do with your career. People want to see the real you; after the houses, you're the product they will be most interested in learning about.

Also, make sure to engage with your audience by commenting on their posts and responding to their comments on your posts. It’s a great way to get your “touches” in, create new partnerships with local businesses, and demonstrate to the audience that you’re just as engaged as they are.

Including imagery and other graphics along with your post is also suggested but not necessary. It depends on the purpose of the post. If you’re trying to discuss a home property and want to post the details using images of the home that also include details about the home? Absolutely. If you want to tell us your quick thoughts on the real estate market? Probably not as necessary, unless you create an infographic to support your opinion. Again, it depends on your intentions and the type of information you’re trying to convey.

Memes

A meme is an image, video, phrase, or some combination of a visual along with bolded, capitalized text that is virally shared across social media networks and blogs. They usually play off popular culture references and are one of the most shared content types on the planet.

Creating memes is a simple way to get your point across using popular images and writing clever headlines that work with the image. Here is a great example of a popular real estate meme currently trending:

Making memes can be relatively simple and done using sites like Meme Generator or Imgflip. Meme content pieces require the following:

  • Popular culture image
  • Witty headline playing off said image
  • Adobe skills or meme generator

Steps for Creating Memes

  1. Find a well-known image that most people would know. For example, the “Crying Jordan” meme is extremely popular on social media.

  2. Think about a clever headline you can place over the image. Using our Michael Jordan example:

    COPY: Me when the home buyer decides to “go in a different direction”

  3. Share on your social media feed(s) and newsletters (when appropriate)

Memes can be tricky but profitable to your business. We strongly suggest real estate agents make memes that relate to their industry but is something that will resonate with a potential home buyer or seller. You don’t always have to do this. However, creating something that people can relate to that also relates to what you do will lead to an optimal impact.

Blogs

A blog is a discussion or informational website published on the internet consisting of discrete, often informal diary-style text entries. This forum is an excellent way for real estate agents to voice their opinions and information regarding the industry (and the world) and share it with their clients.

If you’re looking for an example, this content piece you’re reading right now is a blog from our Agent Essentials resources. We use this medium to inform agents about how they can begin their new career and effectively grow their business. And just like this blog, you too can help your audience understand who you are and the services you can provide them.

Steps and Needs for Creating a Blog

  1. Determine a theme and branding similar to your real estate business.
  2. Choose a blogging platform. Some good ones are Squarespace and Medium.
  3. Pick a domain that makes sense for you. For example, JohnRealtyGroupBlog.com would be a good choice. You can also use your business website domain to host the blog as well.
  4. Find a web hosting company. The blogging platform you choose probably already has this on their site.
  5. Design your blog using different layouts and themes for inspiration.
  6. Write your content.
  7. Promote your content on your website, newsletters, and social media channels.

Try and be consistent when you publish posts. Gaining readers will depend on following a weekly structure they can depend on for their content fix.

Creating a blog post will require you to sit down and come up with topic ideas you feel you can discuss in your writing. Topics that you are passionate about that mix in real estate, like “How the New Football Stadium Will Send Los Angeles Housing Prices to the Moon,” will be your most successful blog content. It’s seamless content that combines what you know about real estate and what you’re passionate about that people most want to see. However, don’t be afraid to write solely on real estate or on your passion.

Topic Ideas for Your Blog:

  • Weekly or Monthly Real Estate Report
  • Reviews of Your Favorite Local Hangouts
  • Op-Ed on Real Estate
  • Weekly Reflections on Pop Culture
  • Advice for First Time Home Buyers
  • Future Outlook on Real Estate

Feel free to discuss things outside of real estate but don’t stray too far away or too often. This blog should be your podium for telling the world your intelligent thoughts and selling yourself as a thought-leader real estate agent.

Doing research may also be important to your blog topics. Make sure to properly credit any imagery, infographics, embedded videos, and linked sources for all information you present. Incorporating these items will also increase the likelihood readers will go through your entire post. You can find a ton of stock photos from Unsplash and real estate videos on YouTube.

When creating, use writing software like Google Docs or Word for blog drafts, and have a friend or family member look over your work. As frequent blog writers, the experts here at The CE Shop know better than anyone how important a good second set of eyes can be for a piece.

Look at other blogs for inspiration and to see what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to topics and presentation. Otherwise, use Grammarly for spell check and common sense. And never be afraid to rewrite. Some of your best work will happen the second time around.

Email Newsletter

An email newsletter is an emailed communication sent out to inform your audience of the latest news, tips, or updates about your product or company. They are a step up from blogging. Here, you will compile your best content and send a templated email featuring all of your pieces. This is where you can showcase your blog, social posts, memes, and other more advanced content like videos and ebooks. This is also a great way to stay in touch with clients and share your best listings.

This type of email marketing is extremely effective for tons of corporations and small businesses. It gives your reader an entire scope of your business’s brand and can, in many ways, tell your story and what you’ve been up to.

Steps and Needs for Creating an Email Newsletter

  1. Purchase email marketing software from companies like MailChimp. They will be the ones distributing your newsletters to your email list.
  2. Hire a designer to create a customizable template. You can also subscribe to email companies like MailChimp for a more standard template that’s quick and easy to create.
  3. Compile your content (blogs, social media, videos, ebooks, market updates, etc.).
  4. Compile an email list of clients and leads. Your brokerage may already have a list for your usage. Just be careful sending cold call emails, as it can cause your newsletter to go into their spam inbox and hurt your domain’s reputation.
  5. Build your newsletter with subject lines and CTAs for links to content and your website.

Subject Line

When creating a subject line, make sure to follow these rules:

  • Lines should be no longer than 40 characters
  • Create lines that advertise what’s inside
  • Avoid using these specific words to avoid being flagged as spam

The subject line needs to be pithy and sell what’s inside. Spending time reviewing these best practices will help you create subject lines that increase open rates.

Example of a Subject Line (The CE Shop):

Agent Essentials: Life After COVID-19

You may also have the option to write preview text. This is the small sliver of text you’ll see under most email subject lines. This line should be a quick summary of what is in the email.

Example of Preview Text (The CE Shop):

Your May Agent Essentials newsletter is here!

Call to Action

A Call to Action (CTA) is a marketing term that refers to the next step a marketer wants its audience or reader to take, usually through sales language that directs to a product or contact page. Your newsletter will have CTAs throughout the email, linking to specific pieces of content and your website.

Example of Call to Actions:

  • Read On
  • Learn More
  • Get Home Buying
  • Become a Homeowner Today
  • Let’s Talk

Be creative with CTAs and use sentence capitalization rules. Even the first two examples we mentioned above should be used sparingly due to their inherent mundaneness.

Want to get a better understanding of what a successful newsletter looks and functions like? Sign up for The CE Shop’s Agent Essentials newsletter and see what we’ve been cooking up in the Content kitchen.

Video

For those living under a rock, digital video is an electronic representation of moving visual images in the form of encoded digital data. Creating videos can be rather difficult, especially if you do not know what you’re doing. Assuming you will not be hiring your own $10,000-a-day production crew, here are the necessary basics for creating video:

  • Camera (iPhone, computer, or professional)
  • Editing Software
  • Social Media (Distribution) and Website
  • Writing Software (Scripts)

The type of video content will dictate the level of investment you will make into the camera and editing software. If you’re keeping it simple with selfie videos and vlogs, everything we suggested above should suffice. However, if you’re trying to do outdoor videos with many different moving parts, you will need a much more advanced camera and a cameraman who understands how to properly operate the camera. You also may need someone else who understands proper lighting techniques and an art director and the crew list can go on and on.

We strongly suggest if you’re going to create video content that does not center around filming a home on the market, to keep it simple. You’re a real estate agent after all. No one expects you to be the commandant of video production.

Here are some suggestive topics for creating simple video content:

  • Five-Minute Daily Local Real Estate Report
  • Instagram Live Q&A Sessions About the Industry
  • Quirky Videos Discussing Your Services
  • Weekly Home Tours Where You Discuss Your New Listings

At the end of the day, you want your videos to be engaging and worthy of someone’s time. People want to be entertained throughout the day and use social media to fill this void. Creating content that can capture their attention for even a minute a day will benefit your career tremendously by keeping you top of mind with your audience.

Steps for Creating Video Content

  1. Determine your theme and topic
  2. Research your topic and provide sources
  3. Write out a script using Google Docs or Word
  4. Film yourself and/or use video clips and graphics
  5. Edit using iMovie or more advanced software like Adobe Premiere Pro*
  6. Add in closed captions to your video using Big View app
  7. Get feedback from colleagues, friends, and families
  8. Share on social media channels, newsletters, and your website

*Live videos will require you to skip steps 4-6; scripts also may not be as necessary for this instance.

The length and dimensions of your video should also coincide with the social media recommendation. By following these requirements, your video will perform better:

Social Media Recommended Dimensions Recommended Duration
Facebook 1280 x 720 30-105 Seconds
Instagram 600 x 600 (square), 600 x 315 (landscape), 600 x 750 (portrait), 600 x 700 (carousel video dimensions) 30-105 seconds
YouTube 720 x 720 (square), 1280 x 720 (landscape), 720 x 1280 (portrait) 10 minutes
LinkedIn 256 x 144 (minimum) to 4096 x 2304 (maximum) 2-3 minutes
Twitter 720 x 720 (square), 1280 x 720 (landscape), 720 x 1280 (portrait) Under 1 minute

Make sure to check your editing and look for any unintended errors before and after filming. There’s nothing worse than redoing a video because a frame in the background is reflecting your significant other sitting on the toilet. And even worse than that is not checking your finished work before sharing that video on social media.

Use closed captioning in your videos. The majority of people view their social feed with the sound off. Including closed captioning elevates your video and will lead to more views over time. Here is a good list of closed-captioning software for videos.

Also, be careful using other peoples’ music, videos, and images in your video. Most social media channels now have software that can detect infringement on copyrighted items. If you use it too much in the video, the channel will likely take your post down. Sports leagues like the NFL and multinational conglomerates like Disney are at the forefront of this crackdown.

Also, be careful using other peoples’ music, videos, and images in your video. Most social media channels now have software that can detect infringement on copyrighted items. If you use it too much in the video, the channel will likely take your post down. Sports leagues like the NFL and multinational conglomerates like Disney are at the forefront of this crackdown.

Ebooks

An ebook is an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer, tablet, ereader, or smartphone. The popularity of ebooks has skyrocketed over the past decade, many thanks to Amazon and their near-monopoly on the market. Through these pieces, you’ll be able to show your audient your in-depth knowledge of a topic. It’s also an amazing opportunity to provide them the information they may need for a smooth home buying experience.

When creating ebooks, you’ll need to:

  • Write using software like Google Docs or Word
  • Hire a Freelance designer
  • Find an editor and/or use Grammarly
  • Conduct intense research and source

Ebooks are usually dense content pieces. You’ll likely need a designer to create your ebook using design skills and elements you probably don’t have the time to invest in. Since some of these pieces could eclipse 3,000 words or more, you’ll need an editor to make sure your ideas are flowing and the content does not contain any grammatical errors. And, like most other content pieces, you’ll need to do research. Ebooks provide you the ability to be the ultimate thought leader; you need to know your stuff and be able to back it up.

Steps for Creating an Ebook:

  1. Choose a topic that you’re informed on
  2. Research and provide sources
  3. Write your ebook
  4. Send to your editor
  5. Once finalized, send to your designer
  6. Edit one more time
  7. Share on social media, newsletters, and your website as a downloadable PDF

When coming up with topics, consider what you believe will benefit your audience the most and, more importantly, information they may not be able to find anywhere else. As an agent, you have a front row seat to a unique industry. Providing content that works off your experiences and cannot be replicated by outsiders makes your ebook priceless. Also, creating an ebook that helps them in some way will help establish yourself as a trustworthy source.

Topics for Inspiration:

  • Business Guide to Choosing the Perfect Home for You
  • How to Choose the Right Agent for You
  • Business Unusual: What Homebuyers Need to Know in a Post-Coronavirus World

Use other content pieces to demonstrate your interests and personality. Ebooks should center on your expertise as a real estate agent with the purpose of helping and informing.

Looking for an amazing example of an ebook? Check out our Business Guide to Marketing and Advertising in Real Estate. It’s a great piece that demonstrates how we help our clients (e.g. agents like you) and what an effective ebook design should look like.

What are the Next Steps for Content Creation?

The only thing more important than content creation for a real estate agent is to track your content’s success. Measure your success by setting up a Google Analytics account. As you get more advanced with your content creation, we strongly suggest getting your Google Analytics certification, as it will make the tracking part of the job much easier and more fluid. And beyond that, “Just Do It.” You’re not going to be perfect and will have to experiment to find what works and what doesn’t, but the most important thing is to go out and create. The more you do, the more you’ll understand what works and what you need to improve on.

Good luck in your content creation adventures and if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Liked what you read? Download our one-sheeter PDF on creating content for quick reference while creating killer content.

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