“You should try content marketing for real estate.”

This is the kind of recommendation you might have heard in different versions already.

But how do you actually create a content marketing strategy for real estate?

1) Know the problems and pain points of your potential or current clients.

2) Based on 1), create a customer journey including different product and service awareness levels.

3) Map out the content you will need to produce for each stage combined with a search and competition analysis.

Content marketing can be a time-consuming endeavor that doesn’t get you results as quickly as, for example, paid traffic methods.

And not knowing how to do it efficiently and effectively can make you lose a lot of time and money, leading to poor or no results.

You certainly don’t want to spend months and months creating content, and, in the end, you only hear “crickets.”

And that’s where today’s article comes in.


What is (Real Estate) Content Marketing?

There is a nice definition from the Content Marketing Institute:

“… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

It’s a long game aiming to build a quality relationship with your target audience by creating relevant content.

And a long game usually means consistency over a longer time.

Starting out with content marketing also means you can’t test new offers (e.g., a lead magnet for seller prospects) in the short term as quickly as with paid traffic methods.

In this article, I discussed that you need to invest at least six months of constant content production and promotion until you get sufficient market data to test whether what you offer converts.

As you can see, it’s not publishing content today and generating high-quality real estate leads tomorrow.

Creating real estate content is not limited to one type of format.

You can use different formats (written, audio, video, etc.) using different platforms to distribute it (e.g., a newsletter, video platforms, social media, etc.).

However, the type of real estate prospects and their awareness levels will and should inform what format and distribution platform you want to use.


Why Real Estate Content Marketing in the First Place? 

  • It improves brand reputation and helps in building trust.
  • According to the Content Marketing Institute, 72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement, and 72% state that it increases the number of leads.
  • According to Lyfe Marketing78% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads.
  • Again according to the Content Marketing Institute, 61% of online consumers in the U.S. decided to purchase after reading recommendations on a blog.
  • It improves your search engine optimization efforts, so you get found on Google’s organic search results.
  • It can be a cost-effective way to bring in new leads.
  • It helps your business to showcase your expertise.
  • It makes it easier to set yourself apart from your competition.
  • Content can support other digital marketing strategies (e.g., repurposing articles for a newsletter autoresponder campaign, social media posts, etc.)

Improves brand reputation and helps in building trust
It's not free if you don't have the time
Increases engagement and increases the number of leads
You will need a lot of creativity
78% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via articles rather than ads
Measuring the results can be difficult.
61% of online consumers in the U.S. decided to make a purchase after reading recommendations on a blog
It changes rapidly, especially the Google algorithm
You get found on the organic search results of GoogleIt's not easy and is, in fact, hard work
A cost-effective way to bring in new leadsIt can be expensive for video, visual, or audio (podcast) content.
Helps your business to showcase your expertiseYou will still need to promote your content, especially in the beginning.
Makes it easier to set yourself apart from your competition
It can be used to support any other digital marketing strategy

By the way, if you still need to figure out your viable marketing channel for your lead generation based on your goals and constraints, here you can learn how to increase your overall success rate with a new tool I created.


Your Real Estate Content Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

Various sources, such as thisthis, and this one, agree on one key challenge most have with content marketing.

It’s generating high-quality leads.

So, what can you do to achieve the goal of creating high-quality leads in this context?

You will need a good real estate content marketing strategy that increases your chances of success.

A content marketing strategy can be 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 customer experiences, a content strategy refers to the planning, developing, and managing of content.

The latter is rather about tactics once you have a content marketing strategy in place, and it’s basically the next step after a content marketing strategy.


Step 1: Prepare As If You Would Write a Piece Sales Copy

Developing a real estate content marketing strategy has much in common with preparing a sales copy.

How so?

While in copywriting, you usually focus on a particular sales page or an ad and include all its elements.

In content marketing, you distribute those elements across different content pieces throughout your website and other traffic or distribution channels.

But you also apply this to each piece of content.

Sure, there are still differences, such as you don’t usually go for a hard sell in an article or video, and it usually maintains an informational character.

But where developing a content marketing strategy can particularly benefit is what needs to be done before starting to write even a single word.

The research phase often represents almost eighty percent of the copywriting work.

And what you need to do before you start writing the first piece of sales copy or content is…


Step 2: Getting to Know Your Target Audience’s Needs, Pains, and Problems

This can be tough, and there are different methods to help you with it.

What you can do about that depends on how experienced you are and how well you can interact with your target audience, especially in your local community.

A completely new real estate agent probably needs to learn more about the target audience’s problems than someone who has already been in the business for several years with many closed deals, regularly interacting with clients, and being deeply involved in the local community.

So, the difference is that the aspiring real estate pro will need to work with assumptions and secondary knowledge. 

At the same time, the experienced one will likely have first-hand knowledge from their existing clients.

You will obviously have an advantage if you already have a list of clients to survey or interview.

Besides, many typical problems in real estate are already well known (e.g., the sellers who want to get rid of their properties because of a divorce, etc.).

But you can also do most of the following three methods, even if you don’t yet have a client list.

This topic could fill about 20-30 articles and even books.

Speaking of books, one that comes to my mind about finding the real customer’s problems is “Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice by Clayton M. Christensen.

For you not to leave hungry, let me give you a shortlist of things you can do to discover your target audience’s problems.

1) Identify Your Target Audience’s Needs, Pains, and Problems in Your Local Community/ Your Neighborhood

The local aspect is a key characteristic, especially for real estate agents. 

So you simply want to be aware of potential needs, pains, and problems in your local community you may come across daily.

This local aspect is also essential for the content marketing strategy you want to develop and the different pieces of content afterward.

Everyday interactions can give you hints and ideas for problems.

That can be just visiting the local supermarket or restaurant or reading a local newspaper.

But also participating in community events can give you hints when you talk to people, ask questions, and start to listen and observe.

Another approach could be partnering up with other service providers related to real estate in your area.

From these partners, you can also get inspiration regarding your target audience’s problems, pains, and needs.

2) Interview Your Potential Target Audience and/or Your Current Clients

If you already have a list of clients, you can just interview them and get fairly accurate data.

Better even if some just tell you about their needs and problems without you asking.


Human psychology is weird sometimes.

Often when you ask a particular question, you don’t get an unbiased answer but an answer the person answering thinks you want to hear.

So it will always be better to identify problems and needs from an observer’s perspective.

If you are just starting out as a realtor, this may be trickier, but still, you may be able to learn about their needs and problems from colleagues.

And if you are entirely alone, you can use Reddit and its subforums or different Facebook groups related to your local area and neighborhood. 

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.”

Or you may find the problems and needs by observing just by reading through the different threads.

3) Look for Language Patterns

This method is related to the former, so you know what to look for.

So, here, you look 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. (in your local area).

So, if you can find people complaining in forums or other public channels, such as

Facebook Groups, Twitter, and Reddit, you can get hints about a problem they are having.

Any complaint is an opportunity.

In this context, you might want to look for language elements, such as “I hate, I wish, I need, etc.”


Four Typical Categories of Problems and Pain Points Also Applicable to Real Estate

Most of the time, you can categorize the problems and needs you may find in four different ways:

1) Pains and Problems with Cost:

They want something similar to what they currently use at a lower rate or without additional fees.

This could be a tenant looking for a new apartment similar to the one he currently lives in but at a lower rent.

2) Pains and Problems with Productivity:

A potential client feels that he is wasting time and is less productive because of the current product/service or lack of product/service he is using.

For example, if your target audience is made of partner real estate investors for wholesaling, this could mean that they lack a good way to get updated on relevant deals you have.

If you find a solution, they might prefer you in the future and not your competition (provided, of course, you still have good deals in your pipeline).

3) Pains and Problems with the Ease of Process:

Here, your target customer or audience needs help with an unnecessary or complicated process and is looking for something easier.

For example, a property management company makes their tenants use a paper form to apply to fix broken things that must be sent by mail, vs. a property management company with a downloadable app.

The tenant can have a handyperson fix a toilet with just two taps.

It could also be an easy way to apply for a loan for potential buyers.

4) Pains and Problems with 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 to the client’s surprise, they hand out the phone number of a moving service after the closing.


Step 3: Create a (Real Estate) Customer Journey

A helpful tool to start with the next step of building your real estate content marketing strategy is using the problems, pains, and needs you found earlier and making a customer journey.

While creating a customer journey, you might even identify further problems and pain points you weren’t aware of before.

Have you heard the “walk in their shoes” expression? 

If yes, then you already know broadly what a customer journey is.

For example, 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.”

For example, let’s use a real estate agency in the secondary housing market in Florida.

Here, a customer journey could look roughly like this:

1) Bill from Minnesota goes on a business trip to Miami and falls in love with the location.

2) Because of his new “love story,” he is already flirting with the idea of buying a second home there and becoming more aware of properties for sale in this area. 

He might already bookmark or take note of some real estate offers and agencies.

3) 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).

4) Bill searches the Internet for further property offers in his favorite neighborhood and comes across several real estate brokers.

5) He contacts a broker that convinced him because he had many virtual house tours on his website, which he consumes like a madman. And there, he finds his dream property.

6) Although he could buy the property remotely just by seeing the virtual house tour, he still booked a flight to do a final check with the broker.

7) On The same day of the physical property tour, he makes an offer from his hotel room. 

The deal is done after one counter-offer from the owner and one final counter-offer on his behalf.

8) The closing papers are prepared at home in Minnesota, and escrow is opened.

9) Since the broker works with an escrow office that can handle closings remotely, Bill, the buyer, can close the deal from Minnesota.

So, now you know what a customer journey looks like.

Depending on the type of customer you have, it could vary differently. 

The one I used looks hassle-free and is for a potential buyer client.

But the vital part of creating one is trying to put yourself in the shoes of one or more client types you have or might have.

This will help you identify the different awareness levels: from not being aware of a need to getting aware of your product/service, closing a sale or making a purchase, and even making repeat purchases.


Step 4: Map Your Real Estate Content Based On the Customer Journey and Customer Awareness Levels

The content mapping part is the logical next step after creating your customer journeys for different client types.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t developing a content marketing strategy anymore but rather developing a content strategy.

Remember the difference I discussed at the beginning of this article?

As you can see, the line is fine between content marketing and content strategies.

The central part is taking the understanding you gathered through the customer journey and defining and creating content for each prospect’s stages of buying your (product or) service.

As mentioned in my article about real estate sales funnelsit’s a rare occurrence that a person goes straight from discovering you to becoming your real estate client and signing a contract.

It’s possible if you have a highly persuasive sales copy. 

Still, it’s not best to count on that because the seller and buyer prospects have different awareness levels.

And in addition to the customer journey, you also need to consider these awareness levels when mapping your real estate content.

You will automatically discover the different awareness levels if you do a good job with the customer journey.

Below is an infographic from my article about different real estate lead types that illustrates the different customer awareness levels to consider when mapping out your content.

Let’s use some examples to bring the above point home.

1) Unawareness Stage Real Estate Content

Remember, in our example, Bill doesn’t even know or realize he needs a second home in Florida.

So, the content would be more general about Florida, emphasizing 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

2) Problem/Need Awareness Real Estate Content

Here, we catch our Florida fanboy Bill with relevant content when he is considering getting a second home in the area.

The content could be created to channel the wish for a second home and include articles such as…

  • 10 Reasons You Might Consider Staying for Longer Than Just 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

3) Solution Awareness Real Estate Content

Since Bill from Minnesota is now looking for houses for sale in a particular neighborhood or via the Internet, the content can get more real estate-related.

These are now the more apparent 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

4) Product/Service Awareness Real Estate 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 2-3 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

5) “Most Aware” Real Estate Content

Now, Bill from Minnesota has already bought his second home and tells 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 part of after-sales service content.

It means you can still provide him with informative details that fall into the landlords and property owners category, which can mean a whole new set of problems and pain points that must 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.

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
  • The need 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 in Miami


Final Thoughts

Creating a real estate content marketing strategy is great for growing your business and creating more leads.

Moreover, it will increase your chances of success because you don’t just publish random content without a strategy.

And the key to working out an effective real estate content strategy to generate more quality leads is understanding your potential clients’ problems and pain points.

Based on that, you create a customer journey, compare the journey steps with the different customer awareness levels, and further brainstorm and map out the content you will need to produce for each awareness level.

Additionally, if you can combine the above with (local) keywords (a better word now is “search intent”) that have a decent search volume and not too much competition, you are good to go.

You can get further inspiration for the content ideas from my article, which provides 254 real estate content ideas and a little trick to multiply this number.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher