The real estate industry is a surprising force in content marketing, leaving its footprint throughout all social and digital realms. This is according to digital marketing expert Brian Hughes, whose recent article on explained how real estate agents are using content marketing in the most effective of ways.

According to Hughes, the industry is using social and digital avenues so effectively that other industries should be following its lead.

“Real estate agents aren’t just dabbling in content marketing, they’re dominating it with best practices that are relevant to all industries,” Hughes wrote in the article, “Consider It Sold:  How the Real Estate Industry is Crushing Content Marketing.”

Here is what Hughes said real estate agents are doing and what members of other industries can do to follow in their footsteps:

Get ahead of the curve –With all the tools available to prospective sellers and buyers, real estate agents know they have to provide useful information about what’s coming down the pike, not what’s trending now.

Takeaway or other industries — Determine how emerging industry trends will impact your clients or customers in the next one to two years.

“From industry articles to blog posts, be sure to weave this insight into all the content you publish,” Hughes wrote. “This knowledge is a key differentiating factor for your content marketing.”

Anticipate needs, solve problems — This is where real estate agents excel. Hughes used the example of how real estate agents have taken one of homeowners’ biggest pet peeves — growing amounts of clutter due to lack of storage space — and addressed it through blog posts and online articles.

“These articles do everything that great content should: educate prospective customers on a timely and relevant topic without ever giving a ‘hard sell,'” Hughes wrote.

Takeway for other industries — Find a problem that is plaguing clients in your industry and address it through informative, well-researched content, making sure to present it in varying formats.

“Don’t just publish one blog post and call it a day,” Hughes wrote. “Consider creating a weekly feature addressing a top problem through a Q&A format or even including short, how-to videos.”

Provide useful tools for estimating costs — Calculating expected costs isn’t easy, especially for small business owners. Real estate agents put cost estimating tools to good use. These tools range from web design calculators to amortization estimators to home remodeling tools.

Takeaway for other industries — Hughes suggested first figuring out the biggest issue your clients have with your quotes. If they believe they’re not getting enough service or product for what you’re charging, online calculators could help.

“Not only will an online calculator help your clients better understand what they can afford, but the calculator will also help frame their cost expectations in your favor long before you submit a proposal,” he wrote.