Real Estate Website Content Marketing Tips from Writer Jacqueline Fisch
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Real estate website content can come in many forms, including:
- A blog post series that shares your expertise and wisdom
- Videos that explain your services and showcase your market
- Guides and checklists that contain buying and selling advice
- Community pages that explore specific neighborhoods
Pieces of real estate website content like these are a key component of establishing your web presence, bringing benefits such as boosted search engine traffic, and new leads outside your sphere of influence.
While we recommend handling this content creation yourself if you can, others — like freelance writers — can fill in the gaps for you when you simply don’t have the time.
Jacqueline Fisch is one such freelance writer. She’s produced stellar, highly engaging content for a variety of professionals.
Why do clients hire her? For starters, it’s due to her expert content creation skills. However, it’s also because she understands how to reach niche marketing audiences.
Find out how Fisch develops top-notch real estate website content for her agent clientele in our Q&A below.
Whether you’re inspired to use Fisch’s content creation approach or find a freelancer like her to help attract new business to your brand, the insights below can certainly help.
1. Tell us what kinds of content you produce and who your typical real estate clients are.
I write mostly website content — “about” pages, landing pages, and also tons of blog posts and newsletters.
My real estate clients want to stand out. They’re in an industry with a lot of noise, and many of them show up with the same writing on their websites, in their Facebook posts, in advertisements, and elsewhere online.
There’s a lot of opportunity for REALTORS® to stand out just by letting their personalities shine through on their real estate websites.
Often, they do business differently than the other agents in their area, but they just don’t know how to talk about it in a way that makes their potential clients pay attention.
2. How do you work with your agent clients to ensure you’re writing exactly what they want?
Before I write or edit a single word on their real estate website, or specifically for their blog, I dig into who we’re writing to.
I want to know who their clients and potential clients are:
- Where do they live?
- How much money do they make?
- What do they do for a living?
- What kind of car do they drive?
- What keeps them awake at night?
If you don’t know who you’re writing to, you’re not going to be able to speak their language and create real estate website content that resonates with them.
Next, I put together what I call a creative brief. This high-level outline summarizes the main themes in their messaging, the tone they want to take, the voice (fun, professional, approachable, etc.), and their unique value proposition.
Once my clients agree with everything I’ve outlined in these two important steps, I start writing.
I also dig into my clients’ personalities, their story, and why they’re in this business. This is all part of a story that can and should be shared on their real estate websites to help build trust with their audience.
Doing this research upfront saves me and those I produce content for from having to make tons of revisions and edits.
With everything outlined ahead of time, I can often get a piece of writing right the first time around.
Most often, though, my clients and I go through a few rounds of edits. The more I write for them, the more I get comfortable using their voice.
3. What topics do you cover for the agents for whom you produce real estate website content?
I write for a variety of audiences — mostly suburban and rural buyers and sellers — and cover all sorts of topics:
- Detailing the ins and outs of the home buying and selling processes
- Explaining how to get preapproved for a mortgage and the loan itself
- Offering tips on how to buy unique residential properties, like farms
- Sharing insights on the emotional aspects of buying and selling
Regarding that last subject: People are emotional, and speaking directly to what they’re feeling before, during, and after the home buying or selling process helps agents position themselves as trusted experts.
4. What’s your writing process? How do you develop titles, topics, and formats for your content?
Once I get in an agent’s head, and we discuss their business goals, current market trends, and topics they’re knowledgeable about, I like to brainstorm up to a year’s worth of real estate website content.
From there, we prioritize the specific subjects and write one article at a time. Before I begin writing, we’ll chat about the points the agent wants to make sure to hit on in the post (e.g. focus on X in the beginning; mention Y a few times) then I get to work writing.
For titles, I like to come up with several variations, suggest my favorite, and let the agent choose which one to go with.
When it comes to blog post structure, lists and actionable posts do very well. People feel like they’ve accomplished something after reading a listicle — even if they’re just reading a brief list of action items.
5. What’s the ideal length and structure for the various types of real estate blog posts you write?
Depending on the topic, the blog posts I write range from 500-1,500 words. For longer posts, we break them up with subheaders to keep the reader engaged.
The length of the post isn’t always that important. Sure, it plays a considerable role in real estate SEO success, but the real key is to communicate what the reader needs to know in however many words it takes.
6. Speaking of SEO, how do you optimize posts for both keyword use and natural language?
If real estate agents have identified particular keywords they like to use, I’ll work those into the real estate website content as I see fit.
My job is to make you sound like a human. Often, people get overly focused on SEO and keywords, and then their blog posts sound like a machine wrote them (something Google doesn’t like very much).
Remember: You’re writing to real-life people — your leads. Some of my favorite tips to help agents’ writing sound more natural is to write like they speak. Using a conversational tone and contractions is a great way to make any writing feel personal.
Business is personal — and so is choosing a real estate agent, so I make sure my clients know that they should always let their personality shine via their real estate websites.
7. How do you measure the success of your real estate content and improve upon it over time?
The first few times I write for a new agent, we might have lots of edits (it’s only natural for this to happen). It takes a couple of rounds sometimes to get the agent’s voice just right. And other times, it’s spot on with the first draft, which certainly makes me happy.
I have my clients monitor which blog posts are the most popular. From there, we can see what worked (content we should replicate) and what didn’t (content we can avoid creating moving forward).
It may have been a relevant topic, a particular format, or the use of a certain storytelling method that made a particular piece of content stand out.
Whatever it is that makes real estate website content shine, we write more posts just like those and go deeper into those topics.
8. What’s your advice for an agent just getting started with their real estate content marketing?
Focus on building trust with your audience by sharing fresh content regularly (publish a real estate blog post at least twice a month) and aim to be helpful in every single piece of content.
Listen to your current and potential clients. Have coffee with them, and truly listen to the actual words they use to describe their pain points and general business preferences.
When you use the language your target audience wants to read, they’re far more likely to respond than with generic content.
9. How can real estate agents make their content as engaging and effective as possible?
As mentioned, if you can get your point across in 500 words, don’t write 1,500. Your potential clients will appreciate you putting them first by giving them useful, succinct content.
Also, using at least one photo in every piece of content is generally a good idea. As often as you can, spend money to have a professional photographer take some photos for you (e.g. you and your team in and out of the office; shots of the local market).
This way, you can avoid having to rely on boring stock photos and start to build even more trust between you and your potential clients.
10. What time management tips can you offer agents who want to start creating their own content?
First, they need to know where they’re spending their time. If you don’t track your time yet, you need to be doing this — especially as an agent, where your attention lies in several places simultaneously.
Understand the time that goes into every single aspect of your business. When you do this, you’ll get some key insights.
For instance, you might spend too much time on paperwork an assistant could handle. There might be an opportunity to outsource tasks like this one.
Or, maybe each real estate blog post takes you three hours to produce. If that’s the case, you could pay a professional copywriter to free up more of your evenings to organize leads in your CRM or set up those email nurture campaigns.
For your daily to-do list, I suggest writing down no more than five top things you need to get done each day. Write these out the night before, so you don’t even have to think about what you need to do the next morning.
The simple act of tracking your time forces you to pay attention to how long every task takes you and forces you to be intentional about plugging through your (likely lengthy) to-do list.
Find out how to transform your real estate website into a lead-generating machine in our guide:
Published on October 10, 2017
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.