Broker Carrie Little is challenging you to go bigger when it comes to leveraging big data in your real estate business. She urged real estate professionals at a REALTOR® Conference & Expo session on Saturday to conduct a “2018 content reboot” that uses more data to craft relevant content that will build stronger ties with buyers and sellers in your market.
For next year, Little encouraged real estate pros to come up with 12 real estate topics specifically about their market—the qualities that make your city unique, reasons why someone would want to move to your city, etc.—to discuss each month. Little also suggested producing videos and blog posts around a variety of market-focused topics: exciting things to do in the area (parks, theaters, the symphony, etc.); market updates (monthly stats by the county, city and niche market); what’s happening (upcoming events); and housing trends (e.g. smaller homes or casitas).
In addition to videos and blogging, the next step includes developing a strategic plan to deliver more content through email marketing, postcards, monthly seminars, or infographics. Vow to be consistent online by setting a specific day and time that you will post content on your accounts.
Consumers are scouring the Internet for real estate information—be the source they land on, Little said.
“Real estate agents fear being replaced, and they will be. They’ll be replaced by a real estate agent with technology,” Little said. “The younger generation needs you to be their thought leader on content. If you’re not becoming the person creating content online, you will be pushed out of the way.”
To get a jump start on her content rebooting for the coming year, Little’s brokerage carMarc Realty Group in Glen Ellyn, Ill., is doing an eight-week campaign that provides weekly real estate tips to their market audience leading up to 2018. They will use the hashtag #8to2018 and plan to create infographics, such as one that shows consistent market improvement since 2013.
“We need to be data-driven, create relevant content, build relationships, and we need to come up with a strategy to start dominating the online world,” Little said.
Little, a digital marketing strategist with Smart Girl Media Marketing, said real estate pros already have access to multiple data sources to pull from—like the MLS and REALTORS® Property Resource—that can be used when creating more data-driven campaigns. They can leverage data—such as days spent on the market and the absorption rate—to create other visual-driven infographics and further deliver their content on social media and blogs.
Here are a few more of Little’s tips in developing a content strategy:
Don’t expect promotions that say things like “Call me! I’m a buyer’s agent!” or “I sold 100 homes this year!” to resonate with younger audiences, Little said. To be more relevant, you need to know specifically who your audience is and where they are in their housing needs.
Little also uses Discoverly to learn more about prospective clients who contact her online. The tool is an add-on to your online browser so that you can access information about a person’s social media, such as their LinkedIn profile. For example, Little once noticed that a prospect who contacted her was an engineer because she used the online tool.
Be the data provider.
Have market statistics ready and weave them throughout your content. Be able to explain your market’s absorption rate in quick, non-jargon terms, and create graphics that are interactive. Little uses InfoSparks from ShowTime, which is an interactive data tool that allows you to display and share housing information through customizable trend housing analysis reports. You can select an area, choose a metric, and then filter the results for interactive infographics for your blog or social media channels. Also, Little recommended using Canva, a type of graphic design software, to create and present data in a more consumer-friendly way for your blog’s visuals or for presentations.
Don’t forget about relationship marketing.
Use the content you create as a basis to building stronger relationships. “As the owner of your brand, you have to be the person who answers,” Little said. “We have to engage.” Post responses or start conversations on Twitter or Facebook, or host monthly seminars to talk more about the data face-to-face with your target audience. “If you talk about the data enough, you start to own it,” Little said. “You then become an expert in it by sharing it.”
Melissa Dittmann Tracey is a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, writing about home & design trends, technology, and sales and marketing. She manages the magazine's award-winning Styled, Staged & Sold blog.