Is content marketing a good solution for property sales?
I had wondered that myself, especially when it came to selling my home, but I decided that, as a content marketer, it would be silly not to try, so I put my reputation as a content marketer on the line and used content marketing to drive buyers to my property sale.
This is the story of how that went.
Why I Sold my House Myself
Divorce. It meant I had to sell my forever home, the place I thought I’d never leave, the house I loved for its quiet tranquillity and beautiful panoramic views over the neighbouring hills. Despite all this, it was time for a fresh start.
I searched for a real estate agent to help me market my property sale.
Chatting in my kitchen, he says “Well, you probably won’t get more than $50K profit as the market is pretty flat in this area.”
I felt uneasy. Other homes in the area were going for barely more than we originally paid for our property. I needed a win on this to reboot our lives so I was determined not to buy into the story that we wouldn’t get more.
It was clear that real estate agent had low expectations, so I ended up engaging an agent that I thought would be on the same page in terms of finding the right buyer for the home.
They did all the usual things: listed it on realestate.com.au, and contacted all of the suitable buyers on their list, however, the people attracted to the house were not ideal buyers. They just didn’t love it enough. After 3 months, I parted ways with the agent.
Six months went by before I had the energy to think about selling the house again but I was stalling because I didn’t resonate with any of the real estate agents I had spoken with.
It was at that point, I decided to sell my property myself. I thought, “if I can’t sell a house with content marketing, using the strategies I teach my clients, then I shouldn’t be teaching this stuff.”
First Step: Establishing the Ideal Property Buyer
The first thing I did was tune in to who the ideal buyer was for my house. Our house was a pole home, high on a hill. The views were amazing and there was room for extension, renovation, garden renos… lots of potential. I knew that a pragmatist, price-oriented buyer was not the right fit for this home.
What I needed was a buyer with dreams, optimism and someone who was capable of an emotional connection to the home.
I thought back to when I bought the house initially. I loved the open plan living room, the large kitchen, the views and space. I also brainstormed what area-features such a buyer would value, such as shopping, activities and services.
Next, the Property Sale Landing Page
There wasn’t much point in creating a whole website for my campaign, so instead, I created a landing page for the house on leadpages.net (no longer available sorry, as I’ve since removed it). I would now build it into my WordPress website with the Thrive Architect plugin.
If you want to get an idea of the content, it’s pretty much what’s on my listing as below but with more images spread throughout the text.
I did this so that I could place a Facebook ad pixel on the landing page. You can’t do that on a realestate.com.au website. You can, however, buy ads on realestate.com.au and they have packages that extend your advertising to Facebook and other social media platforms. This comes at a hefty fee though.
The Facebook Page for my Property Sale
I then created a Facebook Page to drive traffic to the landing page.
To provide a continuous stream of relevant content to potential buyers via the Facebook Page, I set up posts on Meet Edgar featuring area services and benefits that my ideal buyers would likely value.
I shared about how the bottle shop was well-stocked with organic wine, how you see gorgeous rainbows from the back deck after the rain, how the local Drive-in is an inexpensive and fun activity 2 minutes down the road.
I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on the Facebook Page so I put the posts on autopilot via Meet Edgar. Nowadays I use PromoRepublic instead because it adds the ability to edit and add images.
Normally, I wouldn’t do this with a Facebook Page because it is relationships and interaction that build your following over time. However, its purpose was not to build an audience over time but to capture people who would be likely buyers, so I could retarget them with an invite to the open inspection.
If I were to do this again, I would instead set up an Instagram Profile for the property sale and target ads at Instagram users. The visuals really sell a home and Instagram really lends itself toward marketing properties.
The Real Estate Listing for my Property Sale
Buy My Place also sent me a sign to put out front and a steady stream of emails to support me as I ventured into the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) world. It wasn’t as daunting as I first thought it would be. In fact, it was pretty easy!
I advertised my first open inspection, and, with the help of my teenager, met potential buyers at the door, took their details and answered their questions.
It was a lot of fun meeting people and talking to them about what they were looking for in a home. It was a distinct advantage being able to talk about my home from a place of love.
I had felt previously that the real estate buying process was a tad impersonal. We never met the people who bought our previous house.
The Offer for my Property
Our buyers made an offer at the open inspection. Our house ticked all their boxes and I knew from what they were saying that they were the right kind of buyers for our home.
When I asked them about what marketing attracted them to the home and what they saw online, they told me they found the house on realestate.com.au but then drove by the house. After seeing the landing page URL on the sign, they went to the landing page and Facebook page afterwards, and that sealed the deal.
Because they had visited the landing page and Facebook page, they were retargeted with an invite to the open inspection through a Facebook Ad Campaign but they saw the open inspection advertised on the listing as well.
While content was not the only factor that sold our house, it certainly contributed to the all important “know like trust” factor.
These buyers needed to have faith in us and faith in the process of buying from an owner direct. The communication that flowed between us ensured that we maintained a good relationship with them throughout the process. They needed to know the house would serve their needs and they weren’t interested in any bullshit sales talk. They wanted genuine inspiration and confirmation they’d made the right choice, so that’s what I focused on.
Where the Property Sale got Complicated
Getting a contract on the table was easy. What was hard was negotiating the terms of the contract and then dealing with the conveyancing lawyers.
I often felt like I was finding my way in the dark. The contract ended up taking a long time to resolve because the buyers had a development application on their property.
They offered us more than our asking price if we were prepared to sit and wait. We didn’t have any other firm offers on the table, and our neighbours had just sold their house for a lot less (they had a similar house), so, I took their offer and waited…. for 8 months.
When the settlement finally kicked in, I was feeling a bit over the whole thing. My credit card bills were maxing out and I was thinking about what I could sell to get us through another month.
Such is life as a startup entrepreneur. You don’t have a lot of spare cash lying around.
Finally, Property Settlement!
Settlement happened on a Friday and I cried happy tears!
We could finally move forward and with my startup taking me into the city 2 to 3 times every week, it was awesome to be able to move closer to the action.
What I Learned about Property Content Marketing
I learned that the most important thing about selling anything is the relationship you build with your buyer. We had such a long contract with our buyers and we developed a relationship over time. The property content marketing added value to this process.
When we finally handed over the keys, we also exchanged bottles of champagne. I love that my home has been passed on to a couple who love it as much as I did.
I drove by the house recently with my partner, curious to see what they’d done to the place and they had added a huge gate to the side giving the pool area more privacy. The trees out the front had grown so much. I felt happy that the home was in good hands.
What About your Property Sale?
Content marketing can truly sell anything if you value relationships over a marketing message and really understand why someone would want to buy from you.
Clever use of technology, including using known channels such as realestate.com.au, retargeting ads on Facebook, and landing pages definitely helps with your property content marketing too!
I ended up spending just over $2000 on my property sale and made $140K profit in a market where most similar homes in the area were selling for about $50K less.
I have also now created a short property content marketing Teachable course that walks you through the process of how to use social media and content marketing to sell your property.
All the best for your property sale!
I originally posted this on writally.com.