When you write your email newsletter or blog post or social media post, do you feel like there are times that your message just falls flat? I think we all go through that which is frustrating because you want to put your best foot forward whenever you publish anything to your clients. Then there’s the idea that maybe you could publish something so epic, so awesome that it goes viral. Isn’t that every writer’s dream? That viral post that is retweeted hundreds of times, that is shared a hundred more times and has comments coming in every 5 seconds?
Now as a Real Estate Agent what would that epic post, that viral content mean for you? Would it mean more buyers? More listing appointments? Yes, maybe, but what it would really could provide you is the opportunity to become a subject matter expert in your area. Let me say that even better. You would have the opportunity to become The Real Estate Subject Matter Expert in Your City if you publish something that goes viral. Now wouldn’t that be cool?
How do you write that epic post on your blog, on social media or in your email newsletters? Well first let’s cover the 4 topics that won’t get you there.
Do statistics stir up any emotions in you? I know they don’t for me, unless you count sleep as an emotion because an email or post filled with just statistics puts me right to sleep. The best posts or emails evoke an emotion, usually a good emotion and statistics won’t do that. If you are only posting about the latest home sales for a neighborhood or the median sales price, you are going to lose your audience before you even have the chance to catch them. You can be seen as an industry expert without quoting stats all of the time. People don’t like it, they won’t respond to it and they sure will not share it.
2. Just Listed or Just Solds
I know that sending postcards with your latest listings or Just Solds have been going on since the beginning of time and I do think there is merit in this practice. It shows that you know the area and are good at selling homes in the neighborhood. This can help show that you are in fact The Real Estate Subject Matter Expert in Your City. However, these are not the kinds of things that get shared on social media or really even in print media. I think people file it away as a note in their head that says “Okay Joe Smith sells a lot of homes in my area. If I decide to sell, I might have to interview him.” But it doesn’t make people go “Oh wow, Joe sold 42 houses this year! I have to tell my friends and family about this Real Estate Agent.” Again, there is no emotion tied to the Just Listed or Just Sold postcards. It feels more like a statement of fact like sending out statistics.
3. Asking for Referrals
Ask and you shall receive? Not so much when it comes to social media posts or email marketing. If your sole purpose in sending an email or creating a post is to ask for a referral you are more than likely not going to get one and you will turn off your followers. Sure there is a way to ask for the referral in both social media and emails, but you have to give something of value first. And that something of value isn’t just the fact that you sold them a house. Asking for referrals requires a finesse to do it right and get results and straight out asking isn’t how you should do it. These kind of emails or posts don’t get shared either because it feels one sided. It doesn’t help anyone but the Agent and it doesn’t make anyone’s life better, but the Agent’s which is why you won’t see these kind of posts or emails getting shared.
4. Asking for a Review
For this point, I have a true story to tell you about. My friend bought a house from a Real Estate Agent 3.5 years ago. In that 3.5 years she heard from their Agent once and it wasn’t a holiday card or a birthday card or even a newsletter. It was an email asking her to rate his service on Zillow on a transaction that happened 3.5 years ago! You want to leave a bad taste in your client’s mouth? Try that marketing tactic on for size! Again of course you can ask for a review, but if that is your only line of communication in 3.5 years, you will lose a client over it. Plus this is not information that will ever get shared except in a negative way like I am sharing with you now. That is the kind of sharing you want to avoid at all costs.
Now how can you start to create content that is share worthy? Here are 3 simple tips to get you started:
1. Tell a Story
Everyone loves a well thought out and well told story. You know the kind of story that I am talking about. The one with the great headline that draws you in, the opening paragraph that hooks you, the middle that keeps you wanting to read more and the ending that leaves you feeling satisfied and happy.
How can you do that with real estate? Think of one of your best clients and tell their story. I have an example of my own to share with you.
In October of 2005, my then boyfriend and I were getting ready to close on our first house that we had built. I was buying the house in my own name because we weren’t married or even engaged and I knew that was the smartest decision for both of us in case we didn’t make it to the altar. I am kind of a control freak (or a total control freak depending on who you ask) and I had everything planned out the day we were closing. I had arranged what we were going to do right after the closing (breakfast) to when we were picking up the moving van to the time that our friends were meeting to help us move our stuff.
Little did I know there was an entire plan going on behind my back that everyone else knew about, including our Realtor. Our Realtor had arranged for my boyfriend to get into our house early before we even signed the closing docs. Our Realtor is the one that kept all of the closing plans on track so that my boyfriend could keep his plan on track. Our Realtor is the one who pushed me to skip the post closing breakfast and go straight to the house.
When we got to the house, my boyfriend went first and there laid out for me was my romantic marriage proposal. I am not an easy one to surprise (again control freak) so to pull off this surprise took the help of a lot of people, including our Realtor.
Now think if that was your story as a Realtor and how fun that would be to share. You were apart of not just helping two people find their first home together, but also apart of their marriage proposal. Think about sending that out as a romantic Valentine’s Day message instead of the standard “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, I love my clients, send me more referrals” message. Which one do you think is more likely to get shared over and over? Tell a good story that is worthy of getting shared and you will be rewarded!
2. Solve a Problem
The best thing you can ever do for your clients is to solve their problem. You will be seen as a hero or at the very least a friend, both of which are great for keeping that long term relationship going. How can you solve their problem if you aren’t aware of it? You need to be constantly engaged with your clients so you know when issues may arise. Friend them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, pick up the phone and ask them what is going on in their lives. Then listen, just listen. More than likely your clients will share with you an issue they are facing. This gives you the opportunity to write a post about it or send out an email newsletter. More than likely they aren’t the only one having questions around this issue and your other clients will benefit from this information. And if other clients will benefit from it there is a good chance that their friends or family will too which makes it even more likely your content will get shared.
Other ways to look for issues are to scan your local newspapers for real estate related issues. For example, in my city we are having an issue with local water main pipes that need to be replaced. There are assessments that are going to be placed on homeowners to the tune of $8,000-$10,000 per homeowner. That is no small chunk of change my friends! Now you know what I would appreciate from a Real Estate Agent? An email or post about what this means exactly. Does this affect my neighborhood? Can it be spread out for 10, 20 or 30 years? Will I have to pay it in full before I sell? These are all things that were on my mind when I saw this article. I can also tell you that it was on the minds of my neighbors as we were all talking about it one night. Now imagine as an Agent you sent me an email breaking out the details of this assessment and it really helped us to understand it. I would very much be inclined to share it with my neighbors and other friends in my city. This is great shareable content!
3. Provide Value
Something else that you can do in your posts or emails is to provide value to your clients. Providing value makes people feel good and as though you care about them. If it is really great value, it will get shared!
What kinds of value could you provide? You could partner up with a local restaurant to provide discounts to your clients. You could provide them with a list of the best family friendly activities in your area during the winter. You could give relo clients a list of the best restuarants off the beaten path in your city. You could create a weekly series highlighting the best local businesses in your area. These value based items do not have to be real estate related at all. The value items should exist to make peoples’ lives easier or better. Anytime you can do that, your content will get shared over and over!
If you are doing any kind of blogging, posting on social media or email marketing you want to find those posts or emails that will truly speak to your clients. The kinds of words that will find your clients engaging with you and sharing your content with their family and friends. Once you get really good at this, your clients will look forward to hearing from you and will actually start looking forward to your posts or your emails. If you take the time to truly put thought behind your words and provide value to your clients you will have a database that cares about connecting with you and bringing you business, but you must show them that you care about them first!
Take a look at the blogs that you follow or the emails that you have signed up for. Which people do a good job of telling a story, solving your problem or providing value for you? Which posts or emails do you always look forward to? Tell me about it in the comments below and tell me what you would like to do different in your own marketing. Thank you for commenting on my blog!