The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Duplicate: Good For Quality Bad For Content

Duplicate Content Real EstateSo I am minding my own business watching the Disney channel – my 8 year old is watching So Random – {hurl}. So since I had some extra time, [I am not a fan of So Random], I figure I will entertain myself. What better way to do this than with my adult pacifier – the iPhone. I check my email, text messages and since this show is still on, I move to Linkedin. I chose Linkedin because the updates tend to offermore value than Facebook with the “my hubby is the best!”

As I am skimming the updates I am paying particular attention to the articles REALTORS are posting. I’m looking for signs that REALTORS here in Phoenix have started to adopt more web 2.0 or inbound marketing real estate practices like blogging. One of those signs would be links or shortened links [,,, etc] that land on their real estate websites instead of REALTOR dot com, Zillow, Trulia, the NY Times, Inman or anywhere else REALTORS get and repost content from.

I scanned the first 15 or 20 updates and found no signs of blogging, there were plenty of updates but like I said, they were REALTORS reposting someone else’s content. When I teach my blogging classes to real estate peeps I do my best to debunk the belief that blogging is hard or time consuming or stupid, I explain – blogging is marketing, even better, it is a great way to get “found” online. One of the cornerstones of blogging is creating content. Content can be blog posts, pictures, videos, ebooks, podcasts, to name a few. Not just any content but unique, engaging, dynamic and valuable content for your ideal client to find.

If you are a short sale REALTOR® you can blog about short sales, what YOU have seen in the market, challenges YOU and YOUR clients have faced when buying or selling a short sale. Problems that arose and HOW YOU were able to overcome them. This content is information consumers search the internet for when they have a need, specifically when they are trying to gather information or solve a problem.

This content can bring consumers that need YOU, your HELP your EXPERTISE to your website through a search engine like Google, Yahoo, Bing or YouTube and you won’t have to write about how “Awesome” you are like traditional real estate agents, consumers can tell from your content. But there is a catch, the content has to be unique. Our friends at Google are not really interested in directing consumers to 2nd or 3rd rate content, they want the best content and the best content usually originates on the website that created it to be begin with. The originating websites gets the credit for creating it and the rest get little or nothing. Nada. So can you see why copying a NYTimes article about real estate values in Phoenix will not really help you get found?

Back to Linkedin. I was probably 30 updates in when I spotted a title person that posted an article on their website about housing prices stabilizing. It read:

If you’re waiting for home prices to reach its bottom, you may have missed your window. After 3 consecutive months of easing, the Pending Home Sales Index jumped 10 percent in October, lending credence to the belief that housing is in recovery.

I read the article and then continued on to another update – that damn So Random was still on! As luck would have it, I stumbled on to another blog post written by yet, another title person that sounded familiar to the first. It read:

If you’re waiting for home prices to reach its bottom, you may have missed your window. After 3 consecutive months of easing, the Pending Home Sales Index jumped 10 percent in October, lending credence to the belief that housing is in recovery.

By now I am shaking my head. Both title people had the same content on their website. Content is great for when your ideal client gets to your website but duplicate content will not necessarily help them get there, Why? Yes – because Google is not really interested in Duplicate content. So just for shits and giggles I thought I would see how many websites had the same content on them as these two title people, so I copied and posted a paragraph into Google. This is what I found:

Duplicate Content Real Estate

According to Google there are 343 other websites that have this exact same article, this exact same content on them. Because this content is not unique, regardless of how awesome the article is, how valuable the article is, it most likely will not help the REALTORS or title people that posted it get found online.

In my experience marketing is best when presented  as a story, presenting value, presenting your unique selling proposition, your value proposition – what make you better, different than your competitors. What problem you are the answer to. Often times this value is being found online by consumers that have a need for your products or real estate services. Regardless of how engaging your content  [blog posts, pictures, videos etc] is, if it is canned, [not unique], Vanilla [boring]or an exact copy from another website it will be an uphill battle to get found online.

It all starts with creating your own content, your own story. If you would like help creating unique, engaging and dynamic content for your ideal client to find, please fill out the form below.

By the way, this post is Unique. ;-)

Stephen Garner “MyTitleGuy”

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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Justin Haines

    Fantastic article Stephen, I see this alot of this on Facebook where an agent posts an article from Yahoo Real Estate news and 9 other people have “shared” the same exact content. I feel that blogging is such a mystery that a lot of Real Estate professionals don’t take the time to even learn it. I don’t claim to be a fantastic blogger myself but I have definately brought in clients right from Organic Google searches from my blog posts and thats alot more than many real estate agents can say.

    -Justin, Electric Loan Officer  –

    • Stephen Garner

      Thanks for stopping by Justin, yes, blogging is a mystery to many realtors because they hang out with the wrong people. Blogging requires creating content for your ideal client, that means they need to start hanging out with more consumers and less real estate agents! Every question a consumer asks becomes content that can help another find you online. You are certainly a different kind of loan officer if you are getting found online, keep it up – your competitors will catch on in 18-24 months …