How to Create Real Estate Reports That Impress Leads
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Content marketing evolves every day. New trends in content creation and promotion pop up regularly. But, one piece of content that has always been (and will continue to be) a staple for agents is the real estate report.
The reason? There are innumerable topics, statistics, news stories, trends, and updates you can cover in a real estate report that are of interest to your audience.
The key, though, is making these reports not only comprehensive and educational, but also beautiful and even entertaining.
Discover the subjects that work best for your real estate marketing reports, learn how to make them look gorgeous and easily readable, and view expert examples of reports from several agents and firms below.
Popular Types of Real Estate Reports
The great thing about developing real estate reports for buyers and sellers is there’s no shortage of directions you can take them in. Here are several types of reports you can create, make downloadable on your website, and use to generate real estate leads.
Provide an update on your local housing market.
Whether the local housing conditions are rough or flourishing, sharing data pertaining to home prices, sales, and other noteworthy statistics in your reports can better inform your audience. Add your own perspective on the figures — like recommending neighborhoods buyers should check out or when you think the market might pick up — to show you’re knowledgeable about the community you service.
Where you can find data depends on the size of your real estate market. If you operate in a large city, chances are there will be statistics from major housing reports, like those released by the National Association of Realtors, CoreLogic, and RealtyTrac. If you work primarily in a smaller market, your best bet may be to turn to your local government to get public housing records.
Spotlight notable available and sold properties in your area.
You can’t go wrong with appealing to what is typically your real estate website visitors’ top reason for checking out your site: to look at local market listings.
Whether you were lucky enough to close the deals for them or not, highlight some of the most interesting and attractive properties sold in your market. Prospective home buyers like to see examples of residences in a community, so providing them with a glimpse of the best of the best to pique their curiosity can improve the odds of getting them to routinely search the local listings on your site.
This report is an essential (and relatively simple) one to create, and one you can develop regularly. For instance, turn it into a recurring report offered monthly to give updates on the latest and greatest listings around and you could develop a greater online following.
Tie your business to events, trends, or holidays.
Just as you can create emails based on trending events and occasions, like holidays, produce reports that revolve around these special days, trends, and happenings. In December, for example, put together a holiday-themed report that notes where local residents can enjoy holiday festivities, get special deals at local businesses, or even how to cook popular holiday meals. When the Super Bowl comes around, develop an infographic featuring notable sports heroes from the area or compare and contrast the housing markets for both of the title game contenders.
This report type requires some creativity, but it’s this creativity that tends to make content go viral and lead to more site traffic.
Conduct a survey and make the responses the report’s focus.
Get insights from your primary real estate audience to learn what they think about topics both large (e.g. new housing market legislation) and small (e.g. favorite interior wall colors) by implementing surveys on your real estate website, via your email marketing campaigns, and through your social media accounts. Some of the same tools you can use to get real estate testimonials can also help you secure feedback from local home buyers and sellers. There are even add-ons you can download on Facebook to create and promote polls and surveys to your followers, like Surveys for Facebook and Polldaddy. Once you’ve accumulated lots of responses from your contacts on a variety of questions, visualize that data for your report.
Offer local business information and recommendations.
Google, Yelp, and TripAdvisor can all help prospective home buyers gain a better understanding of the types of businesses and industries that are prevalent in the area in which they plan to purchase new residences, but you can save them time and effort by providing your own suggestions. For instance, compile a list of your favorite restaurants, theaters, concert venues, and attractions, and generate a report on them. Essential services, like daycare and dry cleaning, are also good to provide information for, even if you don’t patron them. You can even interview the owners and operators of these establishments, shoot photos and videos of them, and incorporate others’ online reviews to use in your collateral and, in turn, paint a picture for your audience.
Write a year-in-review roundup for your real estate agency.
Social proof for real estate agents comes in many different forms, including reviews and testimonials, but a unique way to show you’re a successful real estate agent is to prove it: Showcase statistics regarding your own closed deals from the last calendar year (or 12-month period if you decide to write this mid-year), including the different sales price totals you helped seller clients get, the average purchase price you secured for buyer clients, and what kinds of homes you sold during the period. Even client feedback can be peppered in throughout this kind of report to support your data and show you’re not only a prosperous agent, but also one who’s trustworthy and a pleasure to work with.
How to Make Reports Visually Appealing
It takes time and energy to gather numbers on your sales activity and market conditions, track survey and poll results, and keep up with the latest news and events to use in your real estate reports. Thus, it’s more than understandable that you may not want to expend the same type of effort to make those data points presentable. Luckily, with the visual content creation ideas below, you won’t have to worry about long nights and headaches.
Hire a designer to develop graphics.
First and foremost, consider hiring a professional graphic designer to make your data, audience information, and other report details look organized and snazzy. This certainly isn’t a viable option for every agent — particularly ones just starting their real estate careers — but once you’ve made some money on the job, consider investing in an experienced designer or design firm to make your reports and other real estate marketing collateral shine.
Use an even mix of written and visual content.
Producing a real estate property report that predominantly features photos of listings you closed in the past year with very little copy will likely confuse your audience. Conversely, writing a report that includes zero visual elements whatsoever could put your audience to sleep. Find a happy medium of images/video and written copy. Two-thirds of people are primarily visual learners, so the more photos, recordings, SlideShares, infographics, and other visual content you add to your reports, the better. Having said that, be sure to use plenty of copy to explain those visuals as needed.
Go big and bold with your images and copy.
Whatever type of media you use in reports, make it sizable and stylish. Develop the copy for your report first, then use that content to determine what visuals to include. For instance, if you write about the results of a survey you sent out to leads and clients, produce charts or graphs that detail your findings, or even record a short video of yourself broadcasting your thoughts regarding the results. Written and visual elements go hand in hand — similar to your real estate branding components — meaning regardless of which you create first, the latter content type should relate closely to the former.
Create or find relevant videos to embed.
Your busy schedule may mean recording and editing a real estate video isn’t feasible. The good news is you can leverage others’ videos, so long as you follow a certain protocol. If you want to include a video shot by a local group or organization, for example, ask them if it’s okay to include their content in your report. The ideal way to handle such requests is to offer to cite the video creator accordingly in a report.
The important thing to remember is the majority of the multimedia you use in your reports should be created by you or a professional you hire. The last thing you want is to be called out for including others’ content (especially restricted content) without permission.
Strategically add your real estate branding.
Using your logo and including links to branded collateral on your site are things you should do with any and every kind of report (and really any content) you create. Linking to your real estate website in as many digital locales as possible only boosts your chances of driving traffic to your site, so while actual report creation may take some time, the end result is usually worth it. Of course, this linking requires you to have plenty of places to link to, meaning including lots of content you’ve created, like landing pages, real estate blogs, and guest posts on others’ publications and blogs.
Branding isn’t just about visuals you create to promote your brand. It’s also about consistently delivering a concrete and unified message through various types of content, speaking engagements, advertisements, and anywhere else you can spread word about your business.
Examples of Premier Real Estate Reports
Take a look at these exemplary examples of real estate reports done right and note which types of content, visuals, or mediums you like the most for your own.
Successful real estate agents and firms can afford to create high-quality content marketing collateral. Take the California-based The Agency, which regularly blogs and develops other top-notch content, including guides for buyers and sellers, and especially the report above, which highlights the company’s successes in 2014, how the area’s luxury housing market is shaping up, and even popular hot spots and personalities in the Los Angeles area.
Real estate video marketing’s popularity continues to skyrocket. Listings videos, client testimonials, expert interviews — the genres of recordings you can create are many, but one that is straightforward to create are (you guessed it) real estate reports. Provide a market overview, like Denver-based Live Urban Real Estate team does in this clip, to accompany a written version and you have well-rounded content you can make routinely, not to mention quickly — aside from compiling data and implementing graphic overlays, this video likely didn’t take the Live Urban duo long to produce.
Who says you have to spend several hours typing away to create a real estate report worth checking out? Georgia-based Realtor Anita Clark used another popular content type — the infographic — to relay a summary of stats from her local market. The color scheme of black, white, and teal looks uniform and easy on the eyes, while the large icons and bold, all-caps lettering makes it easy to jump from one set of figures to the next.
Another half-infographic-half-report comes from Mountain Oak Properties of North Carolina. To bolster its Placester Site, the agency put together this winning report, featuring the state of the local market: everything from how many homes have hit the market to what kind of job growth the Asheville area has seen in recent months. Appealing images detailing the sights of Asheville, pertinent real estate and business figures, and a modest but effective call to action (CTA) at the end of the post make this graphic quite the achievement.
If you have the wherewithal to produce a several-thousand-word report like this one from Rand Realty, which services areas of New York and New Jersey, you’d be smart to do so. No, not everyone will have the time to consume the entire study, but the thoroughness of the report, which details major housing stats from every county the firm operates in, shows a commitment to providing its audience with data that can give them a clear understanding of the local market and what to expect should they decide to buy or sell. The clean, branded layout makes up for the lack of dazzling imagery and still makes this market review one that’s easy to read.
If regular copy-heavy reports, well-designed infographics, or video overviews don’t interest you, turn to e-magazine publishers. Digital magazine services like Issuu and Madmagz make it simple for professionals and brands to easily produce stylish publications, reports, portfolios, and other enticing long-form content. Whistler Real Estate of Colorado took advantage of the service Virtual Paper to create its detailed examination of everything about the Whistler and Pemberton communities, including notes on cool attractions and amenities, maps of the area, and profiles of its notable listings.
CityRealty can be filed under “Tech-Savvy Real Estate Firm” for its trifecta of developing a living, interactive chart highlighting housing conditions in New York City, producing a splendid written report featuring historical sales data, and recording a spectacular real estate video presenting much of the data included in the PDF version. Add in regularly posted real estate blog posts focusing on life in the Big Apple, intriguing luxury real estate transactions, and info on new housing developments and it becomes crystal clear CityRealty is on its content marketing A-game.
Published on March 10, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.