Resource guides are invaluable tools for readers, real estate agents, and search engines. Find out how to write a practical resource guide here.
What is a Resource Guide in Real Estate?
A resource guide is an article or a blog post that includes a comprehensive overview of a particular topic or issue in real estate. Resource guides also contain various links, tools, and other resources that are invaluable to the reader.
Because these extensive pieces of content are so comprehensive, they can even be compared to evergreen content. This is because the information included in them is so all-encompassing that resource guides will more than likely remain relevant over a long period.
A resource guide on moving tips, first-time homeownership, or staging will stay fresh and applicable for months or even years in real estate. This evergreen content is extremely valuable to an agent’s website, as it will continually draw better quality—and greater quantity—traffic.
Other possibilities for resource guides include problems or challenges homeowners face. Each guide then features a solution made possible by the agent. In turn, the reader will learn how the agent can help them with their problem and, sequentially, hire the agent.
The Benefits of Writing a Resource Guide
Readers, clientele, and even search engines benefit from resource guides.
Readers and clientele love resource guides because the compiled information in one easy-to-find place is a helpful tool—and one they can bookmark for future reference.
Search engines love resource guides because they include lots of helpful and relevant content. This content can be crawled, indexed, and ranked in the SERPs (search engine result pages).
How to Write an Effective Resource Guide
But what makes a compelling resource guide, and how are they written?
An effective resource guide is thorough. It answers all the questions one can think of and more about a certain topic. It is targeted to a specific audience, includes quality writing, and points to solutions.
When writing a resource guide, there are a few guidelines one should follow:
• Demonstrate your authority
• Be upfront with your audience
• Organize your content
• Write quality content
• Go beyond the expected
• Update, update, update
Demonstrate Your Authority
Resource guides are an excellent way for real estate agents to position themselves as authority figures around a particular subject. In turn, their experience is viewed as a valuable commodity and can make them more hirable in the public’s eye.
In addition to showcasing one’s expertise through the content itself, consistently publishing resource guides over an extended time is a great way to demonstrate authority to the public and search engines.
Be Upfront with Your Audience
Often, businesses and organizations pay to be listed as a solution or recommendation in the resource guide. When this is the case, it is recommended that the writer let the audience know that the post contains affiliate links. Many authors choose to leave the disclaimer at the start of the guide.
Some authors worry that a bare-bones disclaimer about affiliate links may leave a bad taste in the reader’s mouth. In these instances, feel free to build trust with readers by explaining why affiliate links are included. One common reason authors incorporate affiliate links is because they truly are valuable resources to the reader.
Organize Your Content
Lengthy content bursting with information is challenging for any reader, especially when it is on the Internet. Web-users enjoy content that is well-organized, pleasing to look at, and easy to read. This can be accomplished by breaking up lengthy text blocks. Simply shorten paragraphs to include a sentence or two.
There are a variety of ways to organize the content in a resource guide, including:
• Adding descriptive headers to break up monotonous blocks of text
• Separating different areas of thought into categories, similar to chapters in a book
• Creating unique web pages for each category
Write Quality Content
Quality content is important to clients, readers, and search engines alike. Human readers are less likely to trust content that includes spelling and grammatical errors, irrelevant information, and overall sloppy writing.
People are less likely to trust—and read—this content. Search engines follow in suit. This makes poorly written resource guides less likely to be ranked higher up in the SERPs— and less likely to be found by humans.
Go Beyond the Expected
Many real estate agents simply write and publish a resource guide, publish it, and call it quits. However, there is more to be done. An agent can go beyond merely getting their guide out there. They can also grow their following, prove themselves as an authoritative figure, gain more clientele, and ultimately reap more sales.
One surefire way to grow a following is by connecting with followers. After their resource guide is published online, real estate agents can make themselves available to questions, comments, and concerns from clients and readers. Some of the best ways agents can open up lines of communication are by:
• Responding to social media messages
• Responding to emails
• Responding to comments on their website or social media pages
• Adding a live chat to their website
Encourage Followers to Share
Whether through social media or their website, agents can foster traffic growth by encouraging followers to share the resource guide. Sometimes a simple call to action is all a reader needs to share the post.
How to Get the Word Out
Once a resource guide is written, there are various ways agents can share it with the world. Depending on the target audience and the intention of the guide, the most common methods are:
• A PDF, which readers can download or print
• A webpage dedicated solely to the guide
• A snippet followed by a link to the rest of the guide in a pop-up
• A snippet or infographic followed by a link to the rest of the guide in a social media post
Update, Update, Update
While resource guides are considered evergreen content because they are so comprehensive, they are not necessarily time-proof. Things change over time—sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. It would be an act of disservice by failing to update a resource guide at least once per year.
There are two main reasons why it is essential to update a resource guide regularly. The first is that resource guides’ goal is to provide accurate, relevant, and helpful information to readers and clients. Outdated or irrelevant data doesn’t do anyone any good and ruins the entirety of the guide.
The second reason updates are so important is because it shows followers and clients that the agent is still active and engaged. Other agents may have resource guides or similar pages on their websites, but that information may be outdated. This provides an opportunity for agents to set themselves apart from the rest—and could be the main reason why a client hired them instead of someone else.
The Bottom Line
Resource guides are a beneficial tool. They benefit the real estate agent by showcasing their knowledge, providing valuable information to clients (and improving client satisfaction), and acting as a tool to set the agent apart from a sea of others. They benefit the reader by offering thorough information not available elsewhere. And they benefit search engines by providing a generous amount of helpful content, which in turn draws a greater quantity and quality of traffic to the website.