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Breaking the Mould – Writing for Estate Agents

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As we rapidly head towards our second anniversary, I grabbed Andrea for a quick chat to find out more about writing for estate agents.  Where did her passion come from, how did Citrus Content start and what challenges and key trends do we face.

How did Citrus start? 

I have always had a passion for property and interiors, but writing?  My career took me down a different path until 4 years ago when I joined twitter.  Here I shared my love for property and started to attract a following, this led to my first blog post.  I was asked to write a guest post on my passion, incredibly it was for Rightmove.  Over the next couple of years I was asked to write more and more, and realised two things; firstly, I loved it and more importantly, the industry wanted more.  So two years ago, I grabbed my pen and paper and started to write as a profession.

Why?

Let’s face it, estate agents historically don’t have the best reputation and are renowned for being stuck in their traditional roots.  I admit some agents are grasping onto their past with both hands but many are embracing the future and breaking the mould to emerge as a new breed of estate agents.

What are the challenges?

Estate agents are not marketers, designers or creative professionals but the business community and our technological society is asking them to be.  They often find it hard to translate their knowledge and personality into content that emotes the reader.  But being able to be the solution to this challenge is so rewarding.

Are there any key trends?

Like similar industries, traditionally estate agency content has been cold and corporate.  This has changed, whether it’s down to social media or customer needs, the industry leaders seek warm and engaging content that speaks directly to their clients.  We work hard to establish a tone of voice for each agency to highlight their individuality.  I have created, what we fondly call, our Voice Document.  This document is the foundation of everything we write and also means we can write numerous articles on the same subject and you can clearly identify which agent it was written for.  Storytelling for estate agents is now very client centric, we focus on using words such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ rather than ‘we’ and ‘our’.

Estate agents are also fusing this new trend with traditional values.  They want to be seen as not just based within the community but also part of it.  There is a growing demand for editorial content which features local businesses and events.  Blog posts, newsletters, and magazines featuring a community touch are a trend that again is growing.  No matter whether we feature a local store, artisan, or product, we have to find a way of relating it to the agent or buying, selling, renting or letting a property.

We are required to be all things not just writers.  Working with estate agents is fantastically creative; we are often required to be marketers, coming up with inventive ways to promote their business.  Some clients require even more, we have written press releases, organized events and so much more.

How have things changed?

Every day I see a change in the industry and a growing acceptance that engaging content is a necessity not a luxury item.  There is still a long way to go, as this acceptance is still very much a minority.  This is not to criticize those that have not adapted the new trends, as a culture change in an industry never happens over night.

Looking to the future

There is definitely a change in customer perception, and an estate agent is no longer the most hated profession.  I often say ‘There is nothing more powerful than words.’  Words are breaking down stereotypes, strengthening the client and agent relationship, aiding an agency to financial success and most importantly, changing how the industry operates.

I’m proud to be part of this incredible change and look forward to breaking many more moulds in the future.  Writing for estate agents is anything but dull, it is often said when buying a house you think with your heart and your head.  Passion, industry knowledge, and adaptability are key to our success at Citrus Content.

The Rightmove for your Content

The Rightmove for your Content

It is essential when we start writing for an estate agency that we understand not only the company but also their clients. Your content needs to have your voice whilst speaking directly to your past, present and potential clients. It can often be a challenge to find innovative ideas for customer centric content, but we have been given a sneaky peak into a content creation haven.

MysteryShopPacks

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Rightmove seminar, where the Rightmove:Hub was introduced. The Hub is a wealth of information on your market and business that will aid you to be more targeted with your marketing as well as being an amazing resource of content ideas for your blog, website, newsletters and more.

rightmove hub logo

The hub is divided into 4 sections:

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Webinars Rightmove have a continuous series of live webinars each of which lasts 30 minutes. Full of advice and best practice from Rightmove and key partners, they are well worth a look.
Events A full list of seminars, workshops and trade events.  As we found, the seminars provide an invaluable insight into homeowners.
Workshops are a new edition, and provide you with a more classroom style of training; there are currently two workshops to choose from; digital marketing and back to basics.Events – Rightmove exhibit at a number of key tradeshows throughout the year, find out where they will be next!
Marketing Here you can:·

  • Order a range of free marketing material.
  • Watch a range of videos that will help you make the most of the tools available on Rightmove.
  • Gain insight into your market share on instructions, available stock and agreed sales in your local market on Rightmove Intel.
  • Everyone loves a stat, and in the insights section you will find many.
Mystery Shopping Find the truth about how your agency responds and handles your clients. The results will enable you to produce strategies that meet the needs of your clients.

Understanding what motivates homeowners, discovering insights and stats into the local area and your results from mystery shopping will provide you with a wealth of powerful content to drive customer engagement. Launching on 11 May, we highly recommend that you make the Hub part of your content regime.

Want a sneaky peak too? We can exclusively give you pre-launch access now to Rightmove:Hub

rightmove hub logo