Wall Street Journal staffer Peter Grant looks at how real estate firms are increasingly doing content marketing in sophisticated ways.

This month, residential powerhouse Douglas Elliman relaunched Elliman, a publication that once primarily showcased home listings, as a glossy lifestyle magazine with stories on high-profile icons including supermodel Naomi Campbell and Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Similarly, commercial real-estate firm JLL launched Real Views, a website that explores the broad impacts of real-estate on economics and society earlier this month. Or just look at how the websites for firms like Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin have become media destinations as well, using news and analysis to attract online traffic.

“In the old model, the path to the audience was owned by the broadcaster or newspaper,” said John Hazard, a director with Contently, which sells software that helps brands become publishers. Now, he said, brands can build their own path, mostly with websites and social media.

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