National MLS search engines like Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com dominate the MLS search market, making it easy for homebuyers to search for properties before ever connecting with a Realtor. So why would clients visit your website or download your app when these national brands are familiar and accessible?
In order to compete with Zillow, you have to provide value to your clients that corporate can’t. Competing with corporate does not mean playing their game their way. In fact, quite the opposite.
The way to compete with Zillow is to not try to be Zillow.
Your greatest strength is that you are small and local. Corporate companies will never be able to provide the personal, local information through content marketing that an individual agent can. You know your area and your clients in a way that corporate executives never could. That is why clients hire you: because they trust you to personally manage the home-buying and selling process for them.
This is why we built Wovax apps with content marketing in mind. Wovax apps are not just IDX search apps: they also integrate fully with your website. Anything you have in your website may be added to the app. As you provide value on your website that is local and pertinent to clients, you can link it all to your app and send push notifications whenever you publish updates. As you consistently provide value through your app, you will keep clients engaged and connected to your branding.
Not sure where to start? Here are four ways you can use content marketing to keep clients engaged:
1. Write a blog for your niche market.
Is your town full of foodies? Post reviews of local eateries and whole foods stores. Do the locals love live music and boutique breweries? Consider writing a blog people can count on for weekly reviews of local beers and for finding out what’s playing this Saturday evening. Perhaps your local market is saturated with dog-lovers. Zillow doesn’t know and, frankly, doesn’t care.
2. Add local info to your listings that is not found in the MLS.
If your community is into all things green, highlight the energy efficient lighting system and solar panels on the properties you’re marketing. If your town can’t get enough of the stars and stripes, include local history in the property descriptions. If a house was owned by Booker T. Washington, make sure that information is on the listing. Clients will come to your site to find this kind of information they can’t find on corporate IDX sites. Because Wovax pulls the MLS listings into your site as editable pages, you can easily add this kind of information directly to an existing listing.
3. Review local vendors and affiliates.
It takes more than one to sell a house. Your clients will need to work with appraisers, contractors, electricians, home-stagers, plumbers, loan officers, financial advisors, etc. Make their job easier by providing a list of local service providers you’ve had a good experience with. And since fresh content on your website drives traffic and boosts SEO, consider adding a vendor-highlight category to your blog, where you can periodically feature various vendors.
4. Keep a calendar of local open houses.
Choose a day of the week and post a list of upcoming open houses, then send push notifications through your mobile app linking to that post. Oftentimes locals enjoy knowing what’s going on in the real estate market, even if they’re not quite ready to sell their homes.
Real estate really is all about the relationships, and Wovax enables you to use technology to build and cultivate those relationships.
If your goal is to compete with corporate by playing corporate’s game, you’ve already lost. The way to compete with Zillow is by doing what they can’t: playing it local.
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