Hidden Gem! Well-Maintained! Must See!
Do those terms look familiar?
If you’ve ever moved, then you’ve seen them.
If you’ve ever sold a home or helped someone sell a home, then you’ve made sure that someone’s seen them.
They’re three of the most popular phrases that appear in real estate listings, and they’ve held on to their position at the top of the charts since the dawn of real estate itself.
In fact, I suspect that even single-cell organisms used phrases like these to advertise spots in the primordial ooze (Won’t Last Long!) when they needed to net their equity before upgrading to a cozy micron of coveted oceanfront property.
The phrases are popular because, historically, they’ve worked.
Home buyers and renters, of course, are looking for Charming Cottages.
They’re looking for Plenty of Storage.
They’re looking for Breakfast Nooks.
They have an image of their dream house, and when they see aspects of it articulated with enthusiasm and apparent legitimacy, they pounce – out of excitement or desperation or the fear that someone else will find it first. Or all three, more often than not.
But real estate has come a long way since the competing classifieds sections of the Pangaea Gazette and the Big Bang Bugler. Have you checked out Craigslist lately? Talk about a cesspool. That scene would blow a single-cell organism’s mind.
The market is saturated with hyperbolic listings, seemingly half of which are scams, and let’s just say that the actual houses, condos, and apartments don’t exactly measure up to the expectations they create. These days, savvier consumers take listing language with a grain of salt, on a case by case basis. They’ve been burnt too many times before.
Good, honest real estate agents and locator apps must separate themselves from that herd of bull by taking a big step forward.
They need an edge. They need something else that home buyers and renters are looking for. They need a blog content campaign.
And to undertake one, they need keywords. Keywords are the modern-day real estate listing phrases – except better – and via strong blog content, they’ll drive search and social visitors to your website … where, with your acumen, you can convert them into clients.
[Tweet “Keywords will draw in motivated buyers researching mortgages, neighborhoods, schools, and movers.”]
Sure, they’re not necessarily as direct as “Big Yard With Lots of Trees” or “Beautiful Wraparound Porch” (although they can be), but keywords will draw in motivated buyers who are deep into their research and eager to find authoritative content on mortgages, interest rates, cool neighborhoods, school systems, and more.
They’ll also help you build a relationship with that potential client, so even if the first couple of visits to your site don’t result in a personal connection, handshake, and deal closing, they will result in word of mouth, referrals, Facebook shares, and email signups.
Keywords – the seeds that sow content – are more trustworthy than the boilerplate, watered-down descriptors buyers encounter in the classifieds. Keywords bring smart consumers together with realtors who can actually help them.
Because we love to help small businesses succeed, we’ve assembled a sample list of real estate blog ideas that could jump start your website and generate more leads beginning this month.
Remember: Your goal is to write about something a potential client would be searching for.
The keywords are marked in red and are based on our own in-house research. We’ve stopped at nine, but we could go on all day. For now, we’ll leave the 10th up to you – let us know in the comments if we can slot in a great idea that’s worked for your company!
9 Real Estate Blog Ideas
1. Help Them Make the Big Move as a Family
Title idea: Dear God, Don’t Forget the Blankie: Moving With Children
Suggested call to action: “Looking for a family-friendly home in [insert city], in the best neighborhoods? Let us help.”
Parents need a lot of help raising kids in general, let alone during a move. Many are never the same after experiencing the horror of a forgotten cherished toy or bauble. There are many other items on the child checklist, as well. Any guidance you can give to either new parents or parents moving with little ones for the first time will be appreciated. For many of them, this will be one of the early steps they take during their research. For others who are cramming the night before the movers arrive, your kindness will never be forgotten, and will likely be shared with members of their peer group who will have to plan a move of their own at some point.
Sandestin Real Estate did a fantastic job with this type of post, providing a comprehensive list with a clean design. And, like many of the posts we’ve collected here, it can be refreshed over the years, thus sustaining traffic to your website.
2. Help Them With Those Pesky Numbers
Title idea: How to Choose a Mortgage: Know Your Options
Suggested call to action: “Work with us and we’ll help you with every step of the mortgage process – from pre-approval to purchase.”
Blessed are those who break down the numbers for people like me, who believe in their heart of hearts that decimal points arbitrarily move on their own when you’re not looking, just to see if they can get away with it. Many home buyers in the market for the first time will need help getting a handle on what they can expect rate-wise, and how they can find the friendliest arrangements for their tax bracket, income level, and credit standing. Hey, nobody’s asking you to do pro bono accounting work for them or to co-sign on their loan, but furnishing resources for those casting about for some reliable financial information will go a long way in terms of loyalty.
The Holyfield Company in Mobile, Ala., has a straightforward, friendly, and no-frills primer on how buyers can get a handle on their mortgage capacity. They’ve also developed a calculator that’s embedded into their site, although that’s not required for a great blog post!
3. Narrow Down Their Options With City Inspiration
Title idea: The 10 Most Affordable Cities in the Country (and make sure yours is on the list)
Suggested call to action: “Looking for an affordable place in [insert city]? We have more than 100 listings under 100k in [insert neighborhood].”
This breed of post is always evolving to keep up with the changing demographics of American cities. For instance, if I had bought a nice piece of land and built a modest single-family home in an up-and-coming neighborhood of Austin when I moved there 15 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this right now, because I’d be a millionaire off squandering my fortune somewhere after selling out. So, you might be reading it a couple of years from right now, when I rejoined the workforce after a series of poor financial choices. The good news for both of us is that this post would still be relevant, because professionally mobile home buyers and renters are always looking for reasonably priced housing stock in destinations where they can stretch a dollar on food, entertainment, transportation, and education. Yesterday’s Austin is today’s Nashville is tomorrow’s Boise is the next decade’s …
Trulia has a nice take on this, focusing on middle-class families, complete with infographics! Their blog is definitely one to pay attention to and learn from.
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4. Help Them Find the Best Neighborhoods
Title idea: The 5 Best Neighborhoods in Denver to Live
Suggested call to action: “Looking for a friendly place to live in Denver? Let us help you find your forever home.”
The “best neighborhoods” format, with some keyword flexibility, can be adapted for college towns, midrange cities, and metropoli. I picked Denver because it’s a good example of the performance median. Plus, it seems like everyone’s moving there. But even people who aren’t moving are interested in lists like these, if they’re done well: Everyone likes reading about their own turf – and sharing it on social media.
Denver realtor Larry Hotz divides his extensive list between city and suburban living. He’s local, of course, but you don’t have to be!
Another angle on this is schools.
Title idea: The 15 Best Schools in New Orleans
Suggested call to action: “Have you done your homework and decided on a school district? Let’s see what properties make the grade.”
Public education is paramount among home buyers’ concerns for their children after a move. Parents might not know many others in their peer group upon relocating to a new city, and so can’t rely on anecdotal information and word-of-mouth recommendations. They need a source they can trust, which is where you can help. Again, I picked New Orleans because it’s a popular settling spot these days.
5. Be That Friend Who Helps Them Move (No Pizza & Beer Required)
Title idea: Hiring Movers: What to Know About Who to Go With
Suggested call to action: “Have you decided on a final destination yet? Find your perfect home in [insert city here] now!”
We all have nightmare mover stories. Preparing home buyers with questions to ask prospective companies is a great service, and shows that you offer plenty of experience and expertise. And while you shouldn’t call any substandard movers out, you can user this opportunity to plug other exemplary small businesses! In this post, cover insurance, troubleshooting, and what home buyers can expect when comparing rates.
Re/Max’s national site includes an upbeat but realistic look at the moving company landscape, with a good number of links that are helpful to those who trust Re/Max as their moving advisers.
6. Inspire Them to Move
Title idea: Who Owns the 10 Most Expensive Properties in the World?
Call to action: “On a smaller budget? We have some listings that are just as beautiful for under $300k in [insert your city here].”
Posts like these give new meaning to the word dream house. You don’t want to demoralize middle-class families looking for a fixer-upper, but people do love reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And, hey, it gives us something to shoot for! Great potential for big, eye-catching art.
Vox site Curbed has a great list and embedded map for the “11 Most Expensive Houses Ever Sold in America.” This type of post plays on inspiration, and could also feature recently sold celebrity homes, like Zillow publishes.
7. Be Their Guide in the Buying Process
Title idea: How Do Short Sales Work?
Suggested call to action: “We’re here to answer any question you have when buying a new home. Call us at XXX-XXX-XXX today.”
Consumers doing research on any major purchase love quick-hitting glossaries, primers, and FAQs that make us feel like we’re on level ground with the seller. While you as a real estate agent might not see much in profit from short sales, a step-by-step guide through one helps home buyers feel well-rounded in their knowledge – and they’ll be grateful for it.
Lender Freddie Mac offers some well-annotated advice on the different options that come up when buying a home, and of course they also integrate great calls to action that initiate a transaction between Freddie Mac and the reader.
8. Inspire Them to Buy Through Design
Title idea: 18 Tiny Bathroom Design Ideas
Suggested call to action: “Looking for a house with bigger bathrooms? We can help you find it!”
The long tail of blog marketing means tapping into your buyer’s home improvement interests. When they’re window shopping for homes, what are they looking for? Most likely they’re looking for types of houses, home designs, living room ideas, renovation ideas, and similar inspiration. Be their buddy in home design by serving as a go-to resource. You may also attract visitors from those who were thinking of buying another house, but happened upon your listings and change their minds. Link to your listings when you can!
9. Ease Pet Parents’ Worries With Helpful Advice
Title idea: Transporting Pets During a Move Doesn’t Have to Bite
Suggested call to action: “Need a big yard or a nearby park for your pooch? Let’s see what we can find for your family’s best friend.”
A close second to the kids’ schoolin’ is the well-being of the domesticated family creature. Trying to shield them from trauma, injury, or loss, owners without much moving experience will exhaust every last recommendation in protecting their dog, cat, or tank of piranha. Throw them a bone! Every pet owner can benefit from a bit of good advice now and then. Mitt Romney, for instance, clearly did not consult a blog prior to transporting poor Seamus.
GL Homes does a doggedly thorough job of outlining pet owners’ options and responsibilities during a move. And any time you can use a photo of a puppy poking his head out of a cardboard box, I say do it. Better yet, find a cat video and get ready to go viral!
You have so much knowledge and expertise at your company, it seems wasteful to not share it with the world. What better place than your website, where you can also establish links with potential clients? Every day, people are looking for new places to live, and they want the best possible anecdotal and data-driven evidence with which to inform their decisions.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Why, that’s kind of what BuzzFarmers is doing with my visit right now,” well, guilty as charged. Is it working? Just as you’ll be helping home buyers and renters with the research you can provide, we hope we’re helping you with these real estate blog ideas to turn your website into another source of revenue.
Let us know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to give us a call any time if you ever want to talk shop!