There are some major challenges when it comes to content marketing strategies for real estate.
And in my first part of this short article series, I found these to be the major ones:
- Creating content that generates quality leads (54%)
- Creating content that attracts more traffic (52%)
- Developing content that resonates with the target audience (45%)
I concluded that the major challenge regarding real estate content marketing is creating high-quality leads.
So, what can you do to achieve the goal of creating high-quality leads with real estate content marketing?
You will need good content marketing strategies that increase your chances of success. And that’s what this article will be about.
The Bird’s Eye View of Content Marketing Strategies for Real Estate
A content marketing strategy can be quite easily confused with a content strategy.
While a content marketing strategy analyzes the different ways content marketing can be applied across the buyer’s journey, the customer life cycle and different types of customer experiences a content strategy refers to the planning, development, and management of content.
So, the latter is rather on the level of tactics once you have a content marketing strategy in place. It’s basically the next step after it.
And Again It’s Based On Copywriting Principles
Content marketing strategies have many similarities to the approach of preparing a piece of copywriting.
While in copywriting you usually focus on a particular sales page or an ad and include all its elements there, for content marketing, you distribute those elements across different content pieces throughout your website and other traffic channels.
But you also apply this on each piece of content meaning that again, you have a fractal there.
So, in the end, it almost always comes down to one or more variations of the copywriting framework called AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action), or my modified and slightly extended version of it, which is Attention/Hook, Interest/Problem Description/Agitate, Desire/Solve, Action (Call to Action).
By the way, I go a bit deeper into that principle in my “Free Copywriting Checklist” that you get when you subscribe to the Valhalla Real Estate Marketing Insiders Newsletter.
But to have all the elements ready to apply you will need to do some preparation work.
Because, in order to know what will make your target audience spike their ears (attention/hook) and what problems you can describe to them to keep them interested and consume your content, you will need to know their problem or needs beforehand in the first place.
How Do You Find Out About the Problems and Pain Points of Your Target Audience?
This can be a tough one and there are all kinds of different methods out there to help you with it.
What you can do about that all depends on how experienced you already are and how well you are already interacting with your target audience.
A completely new real estate business owner, let’s say in the niche of fixing and flipping houses, probably doesn’t have as much knowledge about the target audience’s problems as someone who has already been in the business for several years with many deals under his belt and interaction with customers on a regular basis.
So, the difference is that the aspiring real estate pro will need to work with assumptions and secondary knowledge, while the experienced one will likely have first-hand knowledge.
This topic could fill about 20-30 articles alone, and even books.
Speaking of books, one that comes to my mind about the topic of finding the real customer’s problems is “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice” by Clayton M. Christensen.
But in order to not let you leave hungry, let me give you a short list of things you can do to find out the problems of your target audience.
You will obviously have an advantage if you already have a list of customers that you can just survey or interview.
But most of the following 3 methods you will also do even if you don’t have a list just yet.
1) Language Patterns
Here, you are looking for complaints about X.
The “X” can be your specific real estate business niche, such as, for example, finding a property, getting rid of a property, etc.
So, if you can find people complaining on forums or other public channels, such as Facebook Groups, Twitter, Reddit, you can get hints about a problem they are having. Any dislike is an opportunity.
In this context, you might want to look out for irritation language elements, such as “I hate, I wish, I need, etc.”
2) Channel Research
This is similar to number one.
Here, you check on e-commerce platforms such as Amazon products in your niche, and what customers are publishing as reviews, especially the negative ones.
The three-star reviews are usually the best ones to look at, as many of the one-star reviews are very often not that objective or elaborated.
3) Interview Your Potential Target Audience and/or Your Current Customers
Here, you can once again use Reddit and its sub-forums or different Facebook groups. Another option is Craigslist, Instagram, and Twitter.
Once you have found a good channel, you can ask your target audience about their problems, challenges and frustrations regarding “X”.
And, if you already have a list of customers, you can, of course, use this method with them and likely get even more accurate data.
The 4 Typical Categories of Problems and Pain Points
Generally speaking, you can usually categorize the problems and pain points in four different ways:
1) Pains and Problems about Cost:
They want something similar to what they are using at present at a lower rate, or without additional fees.
For example, this could be a tenant looking for a new apartment that’s similar to the one he is living in right now, but at a lower rent.
2) Pains and Problems about Productivity:
A potential customer feels that he is wasting time and is less productive because of the current product, or lack of product he is using.
For example, if your target audience is made of partner real estate investors for wholesaling, this could mean that they are lacking a good way to get updated on relevant deals you have.
If you find a solution to that, you might be preferred by them in the future and not your competition (provided, of course, you still have good deals in your pipeline).
3) Pains and Problems about the Ease of Process:
Here, your target customer or audience has some trouble with an unnecessary or complicated process and is looking for something easier to use.
For example, a property management company making their tenants use a paper form to apply to fix broken things that needs to be sent by mail vs. a property management company that has a downloadable app and the tenant can have a handyman come in to fix a toilet with just two clicks.
4) Pains and Problems about Assistance
In this case, your target audience or customers buy a product or service and find out quite early that there is only limited technical support or product assistance.
An example could be a real estate broker offering assistance in moving, but after closing the deal, just hands out the phone number of a moving service.
How Do You Apply The Problems and Pain Points To Your Content Marketing Strategy Once You Have Them?
A helpful tool to get started with the next step of building your content marketing strategies for real estate is using the problems and pain points you have found and making a customer journey.
By creating a customer journey, you might even find further problems and pain points that you weren’t aware of before.
What Is a Customer Journey and How to Create One
Have you heard the “walk in their shoes” expression? If yes, then you already know broadly what a customer journey is.
My friends from Survey Monkey (a great tool, by the way, to create surveys for existing or potential customers to ask about their problems) used a nice definition of the customer journey:
“The customer journey is the complete sum of experiences that customers go through when interacting with your company and brand. Instead of looking at just a part of a transaction or experience, the customer journey documents the full experience of being a customer.”
As an example, let’s use a real estate agency in the secondary housing market in Florida.
Here, a customer journey could look roughly like that:
- Bill from Minnesota goes on a business trip to Miami and falls in love with the location
- Because of his new love story, he is already flirting with the idea of buying a second home there and becomes more aware of properties for sale in this area. He might already bookmark or take note of some real estate offers and agencies.
- Back home in Minnesota, he is talking with his family and/or wife about his wish to buy a second home in Miami and can convince them to move forward with the plan (although he had low odds)
- Bill keeps searching on the Internet for further property offers in his favorite neighborhood and comes across several real estate brokers
- He contacts a broker that convinced him because he had many virtual house tours on his website, which he consumes like a mad man. And there he finds his dream property
- Although he could already buy the property remotely just by having seen the virtual house tour, but nevertheless he books a flight to do a final showing with the broker
- The same day of the physical property tour, he makes an offer from his hotel room and after one counter-offer from the owner and one final counter-offer on his behalf, the deal is done
- Back at home in Minnesota, the closing papers are prepared and escrow is opened
- Since the broker works with an escrow office that can handle closings remotely, Bill the buyer can already close the deal from Minnesota
So, there you have a customer journey.
Depending on the type of customer you have, it could turn out in different variations. The one I used looks quite hassle-free.
But the important part of creating one is that you try to put yourself in the shoes of one or more customer types you have or might have and lay out the different steps from not being aware of a need, getting aware of your product/service to closing a sale or making a purchase.
Now Comes the Content Mapping Part Based On Your Customer Journey
The content mapping part is the logical next step after you have created your customer journeys.
The main part of it is taking the understanding you gathered through the customer journey and define and create content for each stage of the journey toward buying your product or service.
As I already mentioned in my article about real estate sales funnels, it’s rather a rare occurrence that a person goes straight from discovering you to buying.
It’s not impossible if you really have a highly persuasive copy but it’s not the best idea to count on that.
Which brings me to the different levels of product or service awareness:
- Unaware: Your audience doesn’t even know or realize they have a need or a problem (e.g. Bill from above traveling to Florida without the need to buy a second home there yet)
- Problem/Need Aware: They realize and recognize they have a need or a problem but don’t know what to do about it (e.g. Bill being in Florida and finding out he wants to have a second home there).
- Solution Aware: Your target audience is aware and knows different solutions to their problem or need, but doesn’t know which solution is right for them. They also don’t know your business with a specific product or service yet (e.g. Bill looking for houses for sale in a certain neighborhood or via the Internet).
- Product Aware: Some of your target audience know your product or service, but hasn’t bought yet. They are informed about what’s available in the marketplace but are not sure if your solution is the right one for them. (e.g. Bill having taken note of some real estate listings from the area and focusing on 2-3 which happen to be from your agency).
- Most Aware: This is someone who knows your product well and is already a brand ambassador. These are customers who have made multiple purchases and/or endorse your product or service (e.g. Bill having bought through your agency and telling others about how smoothly the closing went and what great 3D virtual tours you have on your website).
So, as you can see here, by using the content mapping based on the customer journey you created and applied the different levels of product or service awareness.
And now, you can create a real estate sales funnel powered by your content marketing in each step.
This approach can bring the potential customer from knowing to liking to trusting you.
Thus, you can create content for each estate of product or service awareness.
Content Examples According to Product or Service Awareness for Our Florida Fanboy Bill
Let’s use some examples to bring the above point home.
Unawareness Stage Content
Remember, in our example, our Bill doesn’t even know or realize he has a need for a second home in Florida.
So, the content would be made of more general things about Florida with an emphasis on the positive side of things that could cause the wish to stay longer in Florida than just for a business trip or a vacation.
- 10 Amazing Things you can do in Miami
- How to find the best surfing beaches in Florida
- The 10 best beach restaurants in Miami
- Why Florida is the best state to retire to
Problem/Need Awareness Content
Here, we catch our Florida fanboy Bill with relevant content when he already has the wish for a second home in the area.
The content could be created in a way that channels the wish for a second home and include articles such as:
- 10 Reasons You Might Consider Staying for Longer Than Just for A Short Trip in Florida
- 5 Advantages of Having a Second Home in Florida
- How to Surf the Beaches in Florida 365 Days per Year
Since Bill from Minnesota is now looking for houses for sale in a certain neighborhood or via the Internet, the content can now get a bit more real estate related.
These are now the more obvious real estate content ideas realtors usually come up with.
Titles could go like this:
- How to Buy Your Second Home in Florida Remotely
- The 10 Pitfalls of Buying a Second Home in Florida Most Realtors Don’t Want You To Know
- The 3 Best Strategies To Buy Your Second Home in Florida and Save Taxes
- Product Awareness Content
Now, we are getting closer to the product, which in our case and for this example is a second home you want to sell as a realtor.
Remember, Bill from Minnesota might have taken note of some real estate listings from the area and focusing on 2-3 which happen to be from your agency.
In the content, you might even pretend that he has already bought a second home from you.
So, these could be the content ideas:
- The Typical Buying Process of Property in Florida
- The 10 Most Common Property Damages in Florida and How You Can Avoid Them
- How to Calculate Your Insurance and Property Taxes in Florida
- How to Rent Your Home to Tourists During Your Absence
- Our Selection of Second Homes with Top Nudge 3D Virtual Tours That You Can Buy Remotely
- Our Selection of 10 Second Homes with Ocean Views for Under 300k
- How To Maintain Your House Cool Without Breaking the Bank due to High Electricity Bills
Most Awareness Content
Now, Bill from Minnesota has already bought his second home and is now telling others how great your product or service was.
He knows your product well and is already a brand ambassador.
So, what content could possibly be created for this stage?
This is basically the part of after-sales service content.
It means you can still provide him with informative details which fall into the category of landlords and property owners, which can mean a whole new set of problems and pain points that need to be solved.
It could even mean creating a new customer journey and/or identifying further pain points, so you can create a new content map. Again, it’s almost a fractal 😉
So, some pain points at this stage could be:
- Having to deal with tourists that book their second home during their absence in Minnesota
- Managing maintenance work remotely from Minnesota
- Dealing with the hurricane season
- Needing to sell again
Some content ideas could be:
- The 10 Best Vacation Rental Management Companies in Miami On a Budget
- How to Prepare Your Second Home for The Hurricane Season
- The 7 Most Efficient Ways to Prepare Your House for a Fast Sale
So, the key of working out effective content marketing strategies for real estate to increase your chances of success and to generate more quality leads is to have a good understanding of the problems and pain points of your potential customers or current customers.
Based on that, you create a customer journey and compare the journey steps with the different stages of product and service awareness and further brainstorm and map out the content you will need to produce for each stage.
I hope this was helpful, and if you liked this article, feel free to share it.
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