How to Create Area and Community Pages for Your Real Estate Website
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Securing leads and closing deals — those are pretty much every real estate agent’s first and second priorities for their business. Without a strong real estate marketing plan in place — and, more specifically, a robust content creation strategy — securing several leads and earning clients online becomes harder and less achievable. Simply put, your website needs to contain multiple landing pages featuring inviting imagery, absorbing copy, and relevant information about your brand, sales history, client satisfaction, dedication, and your local market.
While the ultimate goal is to get website visitors to your listings page to check out homes for sale in your market, or to your about page and contacting you about a property they want to sell, area and community pages are the bridge that gets them there. These pages show off your local market savvy and knowledge and, in turn, position you as the all-knowing agent in your market. In this post, you’ll learn how to craft and promote area and community pages for your real estate marketing.
Let’s explore the differences between area and community pages.
You might have clicked into this post and thought, “Area and community pages — aren’t those the exact same thing?” In short: They’re not exactly alike, though they’re not too far apart in terms of focus. Here’s a rough breakdown of how they differ from one another.
With area pages, focus on where the housing action is most prevalent.
Area pages, also sometimes referred to as “neighborhood pages,” focus on specific areas and neighborhoods within a city, county, or region that are notable for one reason or another. Perhaps you work mostly in one part of your town that has nice housing developments, for instance. Dedicating three individual area pages to these housing tracts that explain what makes each unique can paint a clearer picture for prospective home buyers searching in your market.
On a larger scale, you could highlight your entire market to act as the primary area page of your site, then develop smaller, more detailed pages to describe the most popular streets and neighborhoods in your market (depending on the size and scope of your area, this could amount to 3–4 pages or possibly dozens).
With community pages, it’s all about your market’s culture and lifestyle.
Community pages, on the other hand, take a different approach. Instead of honing in on the physical areas in your market where homes are most popular, these pages contain information on what’s happening in the area: what festivals and community get-togethers take place year-round, the state of the local jobs market, how many great ice cream shops and record stores there are in town, and more to feature on your real estate website.
Anything you deem positive about living in your market — for everyone from kids and Millennials to Baby Boomers and seniors — should be considered for community pages. Of course, it’s important to take into account whom you work with most often when deciding which details make the cut. If you principally work with first-time buyers with growing families, for example, then the majority of your community pages should revolve around family-oriented elements of your market, like the quality of local schools and where the best pediatricians are located.
Before creating either page type, determine keyword popularity around your topics.
One primary commonality between these two landing page types is the need for search engine optimization (SEO). There should be some popular keywords associated with the element of your market you want to highlight in order to justify their creation. Your town may have five very unique and interesting theaters, for instance, but if no one is searching to learn more about them online, developing a community page centered around this topic is likely unwarranted.
Simply put, keyword research is the first step when putting together area and community pages, so before you come up with numerous page ideas, head to Google’s Keyword Planner or similar keyword tool to determine if the page subject in question is one your audience members search for online and, in turn, are eager to learn more about.
Detailing your real estate market through area pages is essential.
Now that we understand what distinguishes area pages from community pages, it’s time to dive in and explore how to create each type and focus on landing page optimization, including what goes into copy development and how to integrate images and videos to bolster your text.
Feature noteworthy streets, neighborhoods, and developments that stand out in your market.
Even if you’re a wily veteran of the real estate business, it’s worth your while to brush up on the ins and outs of your market. Take a close, hard look at the most pertinent housing market statistics for your area and understand where the most sales occur, which kinds of homes sell most, how long it takes for homes to come off the market, and other revealing data points that would be of interest to home buyers and sellers in your area.
Let’s say you allocate most of your time to helping buyers purchase homes in your market’s most Millennial-friendly neighborhood. Compile your own sales history for that neighborhood, including the average age of buyers you work with, when each bought homes there, and price points they targeted. Then, create copy detailing this data and painting a picture of the neighborhood.
For this latter content, talk to your former clients and learn what they enjoy about their homes (e.g. lots of space, integrated with smart home tech) and neighborhoods (e.g. the “green” community, great parks nearby). This demographic information, both stats-based and preference-based, can help your area page resonate with your buyer persona and show them the neighborhood in question is right up their alley.
As mentioned, though, it’s not just the niche focus of a page that matters, but its search popularity as well. Here’s a real estate area page example below for one of Boston’s most notable neighborhoods. For the sake of this example, let’s assume the phrases highlighted in blue are ones commonly searched about the area. Notice the different facets that make this mock page so compelling: It features succinct but informative copy that explains what this housing market is all about, including some stats, and a can’t-miss call to action at the end of the post (a short form that allows visitors to get more information on the housing market with a bright submit button that catches the eye) all while keeping in mind SEO. This is the way to connect with your audience organically and personally:
Harness your inner-writer and wax poetic about what makes each area of your market great.
“I’m not a writer” isn’t the best excuse for any professional … and that includes agents and brokers. Your marketing success is contingent on, at least occasionally, blogging, crafting social media posts, and drafting landing pages — the latter of which requires just as much creativity as the former two content types.
Knowing how to accurately and appealingly describe the homes, streets, and neighborhoods in your market can go a long way in molding your brand — in other words, transforming you into the I-can-tell-you-anything-you-need-to-know agent for your local market. All you need to do to become such is ask yourself questions like:
- What style of residential property is most popular in my market?
- What’s the population of each neighborhood and the market as a whole?
- What housing data for my market do I not already know than can help me sell better?
- Which demographics are buying and selling the most in my market?
- What are the most common amenities for residences in my market?
There is no piece of information that should be considered too minute when learning about the housing landscape of your market. The best way to track the various details is by putting them in a spreadsheet, segmented by homes’ physical traits, your market’s sales data, and any other categories you deem necessary to monitor. In time, this info can help you determine new area pages that can and should be created, or existing ones that can be modified accordingly.
Highlighting niche market elements on community pages is a must.
As you likely already know, it’s not just the home values of a particular market that factors into home buyers’ decisions to research and purchase in certain areas. Buyers of any background want to live somewhere where their lifestyle preferences can be easily met. That means creating community pages for your real estate website is a must.
Spotlight the pros about local schools, commerce, amenities, and other factors that motivate buyers.
Chances are if you’re happy working in your current market, business must be good. For your community pages, it’s vital to think about exactly what makes your market so appealing to buyers — and, in turn, homeowners — so you know what to detail on your website. If lots of new startups are popping up and revitalizing the economy, that can be a focal point of a page. Another could be if there are many recreational opportunities, like hiking and kayaking, nearby. List all of the lifestyles you notice among your buyers and the community at large and you’ll get a great sense of which are worth mentioning on your site.
The restaurant scene in Boston is booming, for instance. Therefore, any agent working in a popular neighborhood where great eateries are, like Back Bay, would be wise to put together a real estate community page like the one below, that capitalizes on the most popular search terms related to restaurants, cafes, bars, and nightlife in the city. Again, the blue-highlighted keywords are ones that represent what could be popular terms and phrases an agent could implement on their pages to maximize their organic search success. Note that this page isn’t stuffed with dozens of keywords, but rather a select handful. All it takes are highly searched keywords that are moderately competitive to make a splash in Google and Bing’s search results pages:
Think of your buyer personas’ lifestyles and develop pages geared toward their hobbies and preferences.
The quality of restaurants in your market, of course, is just one of innumerable niche topics you should take note of for your market. Surveying your leads and clients to learn what made them move to the market (and stay there) can give you a glimpse into how to structure your community pages. Some preferential factors you could ask about include:
- Education: What do your contacts think about the school system in your market? Are there great colleges and universities nearby? What about adult education classes?
- Commerce: Are there a lot of great retail options in the area? Does the market have lots of chain stores? What about mom-and-pop/independent shops?
- Employment: What’s the state of the local jobs market? Are many employers hiring in the area? Are your contacts satisfied with their jobs, hours, and commutes?
- Entertainment: Where do your contacts go to have fun nearby? Are there movie theaters, golf courses, and local events? What do they do to enjoy themselves in the community?
The list of lifestyle preferences and choices goes on and on, and over time, you can glean more insights from your audience about what attracted them to your area, but these factors offer a fantastic starting point for creating landing pages based on your buyer personas’ wants and needs.
Creating content for and promoting your pages is essential for success.
Aside from knowing how to create a landing page in the first place, you also need to know what elements can bolster the performance of your area and community pages — both on-page and off-page.
First, consider what ways you can bolster the effectiveness of the pages themselves. For example, adding the newsletter sign-up option as used in the examples above can ensure you get personal contact details for your visitors and nurture them over time. You can also offer free ebook downloads, a consultation, or simply a link to a blog post that highlights the same topic as the page (e.g. if a page focuses on Victorian homes in your market, link a blog post there that discusses the best home types in your community).
Second, consider how you will spread awareness of your pages. Email and social media are the chief tools to use to get your audience learning more about you and your market, so ensure you automate scheduling posts for your pages on all of your social media accounts, and include relevant links for them in your various emails: from promotional ones for particular listings to digests featuring pertinent blog posts.
Stellar real estate website design requires not just many detailed area and community pages, but also consistently updated site elements. Learn how to improve your site for lead generation in this detailed Academy post.
How do you develop unique, intriguing real estate marketing ideas for your site’s landing pages? Tell us how you mold and modify your real estate listing website in the comments section below.
Published on July 29, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.