There is nothing as compelling as a true-life success story. Writers and filmmakers are often told to "show, don't tell." That's because telling someone what you can do for them, how great you are, or how much they're going to love your service is never going to be as convincing as showing them what you've already done.
One of the foundational types of content writing for most companies is case studies. For example, a tech company can show how their platform saved time and money for a client and got them better results in their operations. A marketing company can show how their idea generated new leads and led to an uptick in brand engagement.
However, for real estate agents, case studies are even more compelling because they're not just based on data; they're based on meaningful, personal results. When you help a first-time homebuyer in a challenging market, you'd better believe that's impressive. When you help a single mother find a home for herself and her kids in their ideal school district, that resonates.
Many Gen-Z and Millennial renters don't believe they'll ever be able to become homeowners. Baby Boomer empty-nesters own twice as many large family homes as Millennials with growing families. There are real problems around affordability, client confidence, and industry perception. The ability to help clients successfully navigate the housing market today is something worth shouting about.
First things first
Before you begin putting together a case study, make sure that you have the client's permission. Remember, you owe a fiduciary duty to your client, so you don't want to share information that's personal or that could in some way jeopardize their interest.
Just like with client photos, it's a good idea to get a signed release form that allows you to mention details of the transaction. Make sure the release outlines what will and won't be included in the case study, including personally identifying information, financial details, and images of the client's children.
Case studies lend themselves to a variety of platforms, from a blog to a video to an IG story. You can present the case study yourself or interview the client, if they're willing, for even more impact.
Here's what you'll want to include in your case study:
Pain points and wishlists
Start out by describing the client's needs, including what they were looking for in a property and what challenges they encountered. You may want to include information about how they found you or why they chose to work with you. This is also the place to talk about timeline, concerns, and any other barriers the client faced.
Remember, there are many ways to approach the "problem" part of the case study. What was the client scared of, worried about, or in need of? What was the client excited for, happy about, and hoping? What kept them awake at night, either with concerns or with anticipation? Motivation comes in many ways and the tone can change depending on your audience and the vibe you want to convey.
This is your time to brag on yourself. How did you address the client's needs or overcome challenges? What made you uniquely qualified to help? Do you have special training, certifications or designations that made you the go-to choice? Here's where you should highlight any unique strategies, market insights, negotiation tactics, or niche specialization that helped make you more effective.
This is also a great place to include an interview with your favorite lender, closing agent, contractor, or other professional affiliate. Your professional network can be a powerful differentiator and can go a long way toward enhancing your reputation.
Once you've established the problem and your strategy, it's time to present the outcome of the transaction. For sellers, you may want to contrast days on market and final sale price with market averages. For buyers, you may want to share metrics that demonstrate success, especially in markets where buyers frequently end up in multiple offer scenarios.
While you'll want to use quotes at each point in the case study, this is where you really want to include your glowing testimonial or quote that indicates how delighted your client is/was.
With the client's permission, you may want to include photos of the property or neighborhood. If they'd prefer you not do that, you can include graphs or charts that illustrate some of the market analysis you used in your results.
This is the place to include lessons learned and insights gained from the transaction, both for you and the client. Here you can share some valuable tips and how-tos for future buyers and sellers and include a CTA for those who might be in a similar situation.
10 ways to share your case study with the world
Create social media posts that break down key points from the case study into standalone graphic or video elements and share them on your social media channels.
Produce a video story that illustrates the case study, including footage of the neighborhood or home and interviews with the client (if they're willing). Share the video on YouTube, TikTok, social media, and your website.
Write a blog post that expands on the case study's content and includes market trends and analysis to back up your strategy.
Create an email blast centered on the case study, especially if there are a lot of buyers and sellers in your market who would be in the same boat as the case study participant. Create a drip campaign automation that feeds multiple case studies to new leads over time as a lead nurture strategy.
Create graphic elements that highlight key statistics, success metrics and quotes from the case study. Share these infographics on social media and link to the full case study.
Host a webinar to share your experience, insights and strategies and invite prospects, current clients, and referring colleagues.
Feature the case study as a podcast episode. Interview the cooperating agent, the client, or someone else who can offer insight into the transaction, the market, or the strategy.
Publish a guest article based on the case study. Look for contributor opportunities in local newspapers or blogs, or in industry publications.
Incorporate elements of the case study, including testimonials, into marketing materials and on your website as evidence of your expertise.
Gather multiple case studies and compile an ebook showcasing agent success stories. Offer this as a free download or give it as a gift to new leads.
New clients often come to me for bios or marketing copy with the same talking points in mind. Practically everyone wants me to highlight the fact that they're "client-focused," "reliable," and "experienced." Everyone is "a people person" and everyone is a "master negotiator."
Differentiating yourself and your brand requires something more than buzzwords and platitudes. Remember, show, don't tell, why you're the best agent in your market.