If there is one message to take from this article it is that being an agent to everyone is naive, but being the best agent to few is the ultimate goal. Too many agents make the mistake of trying to cover too many markets and do too many things, unfortunately, this leads to agents not clearly establishing themselves as the local expert, and losing out to agents that have a good reputation in the area. The requirement to become the local expert is now more prevalent than ever.
Here are the main reasons you need a local content strategy:
1. Consumers want THE BEST local expert to sell their house.
Times have changed to what it was like years ago, the market was not as flooded with agents, and it was easier to win listings. Agents could expect to get listings called in and work pragmatically through the campaign. Not anymore. Today's market is filled with vendors who are very savvy, and generally the first place they will check is online. When they search your name online, the impression you make here, could very well be the difference between getting the listing or not.
Consumers will be looking for past results, testimonials, etc, and if you don't have it hear you're in trouble. More than that, they will be wanting to see evidence you are the local expert. Content marketing will help aggregate and demonstrate you past experience, and it is your duty to be getting that out to consumers.
2. Consumers want to see EVIDENCE you know the area.
The first port of call consumers is generally Google. If you don't have a presence here, you're in trouble. When they do find your profile, they want to see that you know your stuff. They want to see reviews, local information, and true insight in to the areas that they are looking at buying and selling. They want to see you know the businesses in the area, the local parks, and where the local footy team play. All of this goes to demonstrate YOU know the market better than anyone. It shows you know the local area, and more so, that you know where the buyer for their house is going to come from.
3. Consumers want trusted information early on in the process.
Before people decide to buy or sell a house, they generally look for expert information. Information on what the market is doing, what a certain suburb is like, and what they can expect to get for their current home. In this developing stage, they are going to search for expert information on these topics. This is where your content marketing helps. Suburb, street and neighbourhood reviews are the most general yet informative pieces of information for people looking to buy or sell.
Currently 78% of people start the search for their purchase online, so getting in at the earliest point possible is essential to be in with a fighting chance, once they come to engage an agent. By writing local content, you have the chance to appear when consumers search for topics like, schools in the neighbourhood, best places to park near Footscray station, etc. By doing this, you build rapport and get in before any other agent tries to steal your listings.
4. Content marketing provides a different value add to your consumers. Making you a multi-faceted agent.
Consumers are not always looking for a property, and you don't want to delete them off your list every time that have completed the cycle in a property purchase or sale. Instead, you need to keep them on your list, but value-add in the interim. You can do this with content marketing. Imagine if your consumers received an email each week about new places opening up, an analysis of the best primary schools in the area, or new attractions in their neighbourhoods. This content is relevant, informative and wanted by consumers. It adds value in the times you are not selling them properties and increases your service offerings.
This is the best way to ensure that your clients don't look at you as just trying to sell them homes when you get them, but rather an established and well educated expert.
5. Content marketing builds your brand and connects you to businesses.
One of the best ways to build your brand, is to connect with the trusted brands in the area. Creating a relationship with local furniture companies, cafes, etc. is the best way to get your brand out there for a relatively low cost. Providing them with local content to share with their audience is a great way to get referrals to your business. Ask them if you can write a review of a local suburb, and they can place it on the tables at their cafe. By building up market awareness in local areas, you increase your visibility and the chances of becoming trusted as a local expert.
About the Author:
Todd Schulberg handles all things marketing for Homely.com.au - Living and breathing property, Todd has a keen interest in the movements in the market and how agents can utilise new tools and technology in order to be more connected. Using all things social, Todd suggests different ways that agents can engage and think outside the square with their marketing approach.