Developing and maintaining relationships with people at every stage of the buyer’s journey is key to a successful marketing strategy and ultimately, a successful business. Real estate companies don’t have the same advantage of quick turnaround sales that smaller businesses with high-turnovers on affordable products may have. So building a lead nurturing strategy should focus more on being the tortoise than being the hare to win the race and survive the long sales cycles within complex, decision-making that is inherent with buying or selling a home.
Understanding lead nurturing is understanding the buyer’s journey and what content to provide at what stage. Home shoppers used the internet to research a specific home 100% of the time. Through valuable content and offerings, you’ll be able to attract, convert, close and delight, turning your leads into customers and promoters. The days of cold calling are over as many outbound marketing strategies are falling short of harnessing valuable leads.
Behavior and research
At this stage, a person has realized and expressed symptoms of a potential need or problem. 78% of new home shoppers visit 3+ sites prior to taking action on a real estate site. They are typically researching to find a vendor, but doing so through a neutral party to make a decision on their own without being swayed by a company’s ‘spin’ on things.
The best content for this stage is typically neutral-based reports and compiled research. You’re not selling anything, so don’t talk about yourself, your brand, or even mention anything related to getting someone to become a customer. You’re building trust and helping provide information to convey that you care more about helping someone that making a sale. Some types of content to consider for this stage are:
- Research and Analyst reports
- eGuides and eBooks
- Educational and Editorial content like blogs
- Contests to offer something that others do not, but don’t overtly sell your brand
Behavior and research
By the consideration stage in a buyer’s journey, a lead has clearly defined and named their problem and is looking to move towards a solution, although they may not know exactly what that is at this point. Maybe they’re a middle of the funnel lead, so you want to remain relevant while also expressing your expertise. They’ve already researched, say, where they want to buy a home or if the market is a good time to sell, but they’re not quite sure at the point of making a decision who to go with to meet their buying or selling goals. They’re considering and researching all available approaches to solving their problem and recognizing at what stage your potential clients are in will help increase your relevancy in their eyes and thus your chances of gaining their business.
The content at this stage can be more involved and focused as coming from an expert. You still don’t want to jump-the-gun on outwardly promoting your brand, as this is the time to bring people in and show that you are an expert in your field. It’s your chance to provide a solution and begin to convert those leads. Initially you attract people through general topic posts and basic information. Now is the time to go deeper with content they may have to sign up for to receive, thus providing you with more contact information and demographic details. These details can be used to create segmented lists for email opportunities, and data for the type of returning lead. Content that goes with this stage is typically in the form of:
- Comparison white papers
- Expert guides
- Interactive content like a podcast or video
- Educational email follow-ups
- CTAs and Thank You pages
Behavior and research
Alright, so here it is. The decision stage. This is the point where a lead has defined their solution, method or approach and is ready to take action. They’ve done their research and, like the majority of consumers these days, have reached a decision on their own before talking to anyone in sales.
This is where you hit them with your brand. People are ready to buy or sell their home, they’re committed, so take them through to the closing process. By this time they’re aware that your brand is an expert and you’ve established trust through your content distribution during their consideration stage. Live up to your content and promote it to provide a solution and decision to moving forward and resolving the problem. You’ve gained trust and now your brand is the solution the lead is looking for through content like:
- Brand comparison
- Product highlights
- Face-to-face interactions or appointments
- Open houses
- Literature to guide through the buying and selling process with your company
By attracting, and converting people through the buyer’s journey you’re creating a stronger, more qualified lead that may eventually close. What’s more, after the close, delighted customers are more likely to become a promoter for your brand, sharing their experience with friends, family and their social networks. Through understanding your target buyer persona, mapping out a buyer’s journey with relevant content, and tracking leads through life cycle stages and the sales funnel, you’ll be able to segment who is viewing your content and know what content is more successful that other content.
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