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online_content_graphicIt has been encouraging to see a growing crop of real estate brands serving consumers with the information they need to answer their buying questions: What is the area like? Are home values growing? Which school will my daughters attend if we buy this home?

In 2014, one of the biggest challenges we hope to see real estate brands answer revolves around consumer experience. A simple question all real estate interactive brand managers need to ponder is: Are Web visitors (potential and future buyers) receiving the right content experience to match where they are in the buying cycle?

Lots of Content—Lots of Ways to Differentiate
All the content in your arsenal should face scrutiny. As brands face questions around how to differentiate, the refreshing part of this inventory process is that there are many ways to reach the consumer using the same content. In turn, one set of information can be utilized by 10 brands in 10 different ways.

If you’ve invested in content already, why not make the most of it? Doing so serves two purposes: getting the most consumer touch points while optimizing content to meet your Web goals.

Let’s use a single content set, such as School Attendance Zones, as an example of how to do this. This data set is one part of the larger school info that the 40 percent of homebuyers with children need to best understand their investment.

Generating new traffic: Suppose one of your goals is to increase organic search traffic. A huge opportunity exists to get people to your site by using search terms like a school district or school name. Building landing pages for schools or districts with a refreshing feed of properties could lure in someone who is very early in the search. Finding those buyers when they are searching early on can set your brand apart.

Keeping traffic engaged: Once they’ve arrived on your site, you want to keep their attention on the site to boost key engagement metrics. There are more than a dozen ways to do this with school content alone. You could build a map interface to show properties that fall in matching consumer search criteria. A more advanced rendition of this includes search functionality to let parents with multiple children find properties that overlap their needs.

Get them to return and reach out: Since we know buyers spend several months in the consideration and research phases, you may not hook them on their first visit. You can be proactive in getting them to return by sending out alerts when new properties go on the market in their desired school zones.

Of course, you may not be ready to tackle every goal today. If you want to start small, here are some suggestions:
1. Identify areas in your Web strategy where you need the most growth/improvement.
2. Inventory how your content is displayed and how it is delivering on these needs.
3. Pair shorter-term enhancements with a long-term strategy that rolls all your content together.

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