Real estate marketing is a way to attract potential homebuyers and listings in your market. For fresh marketing ideas, check out our ultimate list of marketing advice from top-producing agents from all around the United States. You’ll find everything you need here to kick-start your marketing campaign, from virtual open houses to marketing to millennials.
Here are 43 of the best real estate marketing ideas that the pros use:
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that 92 percent of buyers house-hunt online. As the largest real estate website with more than 160 million visitors per month, Zillow is the first place you need to be. Zillow Premier Agent is Zillow’s platform that lets you advertise on local Zillow and Trulia listings. We estimate that for every $1 you spend, you’ll earn $2.60 in commissions. Click here to find rates in your area.
If you’re working as a listing agent, it’s important to create descriptions that will jump off the page and grab the buyer. A good tactic is to appeal to the buyer’s emotions. Use keywords that paint a picture. It’s not just about telling facts but also about selling stories.
3. Create Subdivision Website Pages
Anita Clark, Realtor, Warner Robins Real Estate
While you may not be able to compete with Zillow for search terms like “houses for sale in _______,” you might be able to rank on Google for more niche search terms for microneighborhoods, pretty streets or subdivisions. With photos, video, a market snapshot, school districts and pertinent information about the subdivision or area, they are a great way to build organic traffic to your website.
Once you decide to incorporate a drip email campaign into your real estate marketing strategy, create killer email newsletters. The subject line is the first thing potential clients will see, so use a strong subject line to capture the attention of your readers. Email newsletters should also be based on a visually appealing template and include a call to action that engages readers and converts leads into clients.
5. Employ Google AdWords
Mike Khorev, Growth Lead, Nine Peaks Media
One of the most effective marketing tactics that generate new clients for real estate agents and brokerages is Google AdWords remarketing campaign. A fairly new feature offered by remarketing is the ability to target people who recently visited specific websites and/or have typed in specific queries on Google. This way, you can target people who recently searched for “sell house,” “buy house” or “Realtor” and those who visited MLS (multiple listing service) listings and real estate websites, including those of your competitors.
To create that targeting list, go to the Google AdWords Campaign dashboard, create a remarketing list based on interests and add a list of websites URLs and keywords to build a remarketing list. After this, your advertising banners will be served to people who are currently interested in buying or selling houses — those who have visited these sites or searched for these keywords — and will drive qualified traffic in your regions to your website.
Imagine you were given $5 million to advertise your business with a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl. What would you say? If this question is leaving you scratching your head, you need to work on your elevator pitch. A 30-second-or-less speech that shows off your unique skills and experience offers value and can end up producing more leads.
Want to learn how to come up with a killer elevator pitch? Check out this quick video from Tom Ferry.
7. Host Local Neighborhood Tours
Jeffrey Goodman, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Halstead Property, LLC
When it comes to great marketing, nothing beats the personal engagement that comes from hosting a fun event for your sphere. Even better, why not host an event that shows off your own love and expert knowledge about your farm area?
Luxury Manhattan Real Estate Agent Jeff Goodman does just that. Goodman organizes regular walking tours of historic Manhattan neighborhoods for his sphere. Since he hires a professional tour guide for the events, he generally gets 70 or more people to attend each tour.
Here’s Goodman on his tours and the mutual benefit they give his sphere and his bottom line.
8. Livestream Your Agency’s Day-to-Day
Peter Lorimer, Founder, PLG Estates
Let’s face it — when scrolling through a social media feed, a “Live Now” tag is pretty much irresistibly clickable. People are just naturally curious. Seeing a new listing for the first time? Why not show your audience via livestream? They’ll feel like they’re getting the inside scoop, and you’ll be able to build your audience and get more leads. That’s a win-win situation.
In this edition of Beverly Hills superstar broker Peter Lorimer’s (amazing) Magic Minute series, he walks you through the process.
9. Make Your House Memorable with One Standout Item That Buyers Can’t Forget
Heather Witt, Realtor, Rodeo Realty, Inc.
Have one really quirky item in the house. This way, when a buyer is talking about it, they can say, “the house with the giant Buddha” or “the orange rug house.” Have something that stays in their mind about the style or design. Sometimes, a perfectly nice normal house can be forgotten about if it is the middle house of six houses seen in the same day.
With millions of daily users, you’d be remiss not to utilize Facebook as a marketing tool these days. Download this free e-book from Matterport to learn about some of the biggest improvements you can make to your business Facebook page, how to set up paid campaigns and many other helpful tips. It also discusses how to convert these leads to actual sales. Get started today.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a terrific way to use your business content to increase website visitors and expand the reach of your marketing. Certain keywords like “houses for sale,” “MLS,” and “for sale by owner” have higher SEO value than other terms. Optimize your online content even more with keywords that are extremely local like “Prospect Heights townhouse” rather than general like “real estate for sale.”
12. Use Professional Photography to Win More Listings and Sell Them Faster
Jeff Corn, Co-founder & CEO, Virtuance
Buyers are increasingly turning to online photography as the first step in the process of purchasing a property. It’s not enough anymore to simply put a sign in the front yard or raw data into the Multiple Listing Service. To compete with even an average listing agent, you have to create a story that compels buyers to take the next step. That story most often begins with a picture.
13. Send Postcards That Are ‘Fridge-worthy’
Karen Wachtel, Director of Communications, PorchLight Real Estate Group
In order to give your postcards staying power, Wachtel recommends using “fridge-worthy” subjects “like best metro area hikes, a great go-to recipe for guacamole, a guide to what the NFL referee signals mean or a table for timing your Thanksgiving meal perfectly.” As she explains, “we regularly hear from clients — and even prospective agents — who end up calling us or their agent directly based on a postcard that had been hanging on their refrigerator or memo board for months on end.”
With one billion monthly users, Instagram’s popularity continues to grow as other social media platforms plateau. To maximize your real estate marketing with the platform, use Instagram Stories to promote your listings and give your audience a look at your day-to-day life as an agent. In addition, Instagram Stories lends itself well to follower engagements because users automatically see your stories at the top of your feed. Maximize this feature by incorporating a poll or using the Highlights feature to promote specific listings.
Direct mailers can get lost in a pile of bills, but leads need to remove your door hanger to get inside their homes, guaranteeing that they see it. ProspectsPLUS! offers a variety of one-sided and two-sided door hangers specifically for real estate agents. Choose from one of their beautiful professionally designed templates or upload your own design.
16. Use Strategic PR to Stay Relevant and Build Authority
Mike Fabbri, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, The Corcoran Group
While many agents think PR is something that only celebrities and titans of industry can afford, very few realize they can do it themselves — for free. Mike Fabbri uses sites like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to pitch his expertise in real estate to journalists looking for sources. In return, he gets his name in the press as well as the chance to get a link back to his website, which is great for SEO.
If you’re a new or younger Realtor, it can be difficult to earn the trust and respect of clients. Young agents suggest dedicating as much time as possible to developing your skills and doing the legwork to help you excel. Agents also suggest finding a mentor and taking advantage of as many training opportunities as possible. Professionals who have a passion for real estate and commit themselves to being a lifetime learner will have the tools and attitude to succeed in the industry.
18. Showcase Your Charitable Side
Priscilla Vega, Founder, PR Vega
I think the best way to be successful at real estate is to give the prospective clients something to remember you by. Real estate professionals need to differentiate themselves, and the way to do that is through Giveback Homes. This organization is creating social change through the act of buying or selling a home, giving real estate professionals a good social platform and a way to differentiate themselves from the competition.
19. Create a Blog That Answers Client Questions
Ameet Khabra, President, Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc.
My advice would be to create quality content around the questions of my potential clients. Am I experienced with new homebuyers? If so, what questions do they usually have that I can answer through content on my site or blog? The same goes for clients who buy homes often or are looking for a bigger home for their growing family. There will always be a question and, the sooner you answer those questions, the quicker the client will trust you, which will lead to a sale down the line.
It’s an indisputable fact — in 2018, video is king. Agents who are using video to market their business are crushing it while those who don’t are getting left in the dust. If you have email marketing campaigns in place but aren’t converting leads, check out BombBomb to help you create personalized videos, insert them into your marketing emails, and track engagement.
Even better, BombBomb is offering our readers a free two-week trial to get you started connecting to more leads with video email.
Video marketing is a great way to attract clients through local and out of town buyers and Realtors. Use video to showcase your knowledge and demonstrate that you are an expert in your field and local market. Plus, YouTube is owned by Google, making videos a terrific way to increase your online visibility through optimized video descriptions.
22. Try Sending Handwritten Notes to Stand Out from the Competition
Danielle Procopio, CSC, Real Estate Broker & Certified Home Staging Consultant, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
I would say that my favorite marketing advice is to write thank you notes. I thought going the high-tech route when contacting people would be the way to go. I was wrong. People are very receptive to receiving handwritten letters and thank you notes. It sounds silly and simple, but this old-school technique seems to set me apart from my competition. Not many people are doing this anymore. In real estate, you need any advantage you can get.
Regardless of which social media platforms you prefer, it’s a great way to get your agency and listings in front of buyers. However, many agents make the mistake of carpet bombing social media with listings, market updates and tips and never really engaging with their audience. Instead, focus your efforts on discovering what content works best for each social media channel you use. For example, contests can work great on Facebook while behind-the-scenes videos might work better on Instagram.
24. Grow Your Network with Regular Events
Nicholas Lee, Licensed Real Estate Agent, Sierra Residential
Besides advertising exclusives on StreetEasy, Trulia and Zillow and sending out monthly newsletters, my top strategy remains the personal touch. I host a monthly happy hour open bar in New York City and invite my top clients and their friends and families. It’s a great way to grow your network organically, and I’ve gotten some of my best sales clients this way. I highly recommend it.
One of the most difficult marketing challenges for Realtors is capturing seller leads. Real Geeks offers a home valuation tool that you can put right on your website. By inputting a few details, sellers can create a valuation report for their property and receive monthly updates. You benefit from collecting these seller email addresses that are added to your list of leads. Click here for a home valuation tool demo.
Client testimonials are a great way to show potential homebuyers and listings that you’re well-established in your farm area. Ensure you have informative testimonials by asking clients targeted questions like “What made you choose me as your real estate agent?” In addition to relying on clients to provide testimonials, reach out via SurveyMonkey or Yelp to solicit reviews. Just be sure to share positive testimonials via your website and social media.
In an industry as fiercely competitive as real estate, many agents struggle to differentiate themselves. If you don’t have seniority or an endless marketing budget, you often have to rely on a strong personality to get the word-of-mouth going. Well, these Realtors took that about 10 steps further by dabbling in the absurd or turning themselves into some completely outlandish characters. The most outrageous part of it, however, is how they actually worked.
28. Bring the Open House to Clients
Reba Miller, Founder, RP Miller Realty Group
Using a proprietary technology, I hosted a virtual open house that used proprietary technology to offer 360-degree immersive panoramic photography. The result? A person attending the open house could feel like he or she was in the apartment doing an in-person walkthrough. To make it more attractive, I also attached a contest to the virtual open house. Anyone who walked through five of the seven rooms was automatically entered into a raffle for the chance to win an iPad. The unit sold in a matter of days.
29. Harness the Power of Cold Calling
Jon Sycamore, Jon Buys Utah Homes
While there are many strategies, a recent trend has been the revival the old marketing method of cold calling. New technology software has made it easier than ever for a real estate investor, agent or broker to cold call with relative ease. For example, a cloud-based service called Mojo Dialer will call three phone numbers at a time allowing you to make 300 phone calls in an hour. It’s also designed to comply with federal telemarketing rules, so you don’t get fined.
I’ve found that I get about a 3 to 4 percent lead conversion rate, so if you make it a habit of calling for at least an hour a day, you would likely generate a few leads every day, which leads to sales on a consistent basis.
Buying lists and skip tracing the records for phone numbers can cost between 25 cents to $1 per record depending on the services you use. So, if you spent $1,000 on generating a list, then diligently call the people on the list, you can expect to extract 30 to 40 leads and hopefully convert one or two of those leads into sales.
A personalized website gives leads and existing clients a place to search relevant listings and connect with you directly to schedule showings. Using a web designer to build a completely custom website can be extremely expensive, but you can get a personalized and user-friendly site through Placester for a fraction of the cost. In addition to providing an IDX [internet data exchange]-integrated website, you can choose from a variety of beautiful themes and optimize the site with various lead capture forms and an MLS search feature.
Infographics take useful data and present them in an attractive and easy to read format. If you’re on any Pinterest or Facebook real estate groups, you’ve likely seen and shared dozens of infographics already. At Fit Small Business, we use a tool called Venngage to create great-looking infographics.
32. Use Retargeting Campaigns to Drive Traffic Back to Your Site
Ira Chopovska, Marketing Manager, Agent Drive
A powerful way to enhance your marketing is to set up retargeting campaigns. The idea is to craft a great ad copy that directs people to a dedicated landing page or a single-property website with the listing you’re marketing. The ad follows your site visitors across the Internet and social media helping you redirect the traffic back to your site when they’re more ready to reach out.
Want to learn more about retargeting? Check out our Facebook advertising guide.
Maximize the impact of your real estate marketing by choosing the right farm area to establish yourself as a local expert and close more deals. To do so, research the average local age and income and area amenities and gain a comprehensive understanding of your farm area’s sales prices, turnover rate, and competition. Once you choose the right farm area, establish your presence with direct mailers, door hangers, and advertising.
34. Utilize the Latest in Social Media
Dustin Brohm, Author & Real Estate Agent, Search Salt Lake
Facebook is great and should continue to be a big part of your online presence, but it’s old news. Snapchat is the social network of the future. Everyone who is using Snapchat for real estate right now are just the early adopters. Soon, it will be just as common to use Snapchat for real estate as it is for Realtors to have a Facebook page.
Drip marketing emails are prewritten messages that can help you foster a relationship and nurture leads through the sales funnel. To maximize the impact of each communication while saving your team time and money, use a tool like Freshsales to automate your emails and tailor lead-specific content. In addition to maximizing conversion and revenue potential, optimized drip campaigns can save your team time and let you focus on showing houses and closing deals.
It’s estimated that 35 percent of all real estate buyers in 2016 were millennials. This is up from 32 percent in 2014 and will only continue to grow. In fact, the market is so important that Zillow recently launched a real estate portal just for millennials. To maximize the impact of your marketing on millennials, offer experiential marketing like in-person classes and events. Creating a brand that is authentic, informative and sociable will help you get over the finish line with millennial buyers.
One of the most exciting new developments in real estate marketing for 2018 is leveraging Facebook Messenger. Using Facebook messenger and a free app like ManyChat you can build real estate chatbots to engage your site visitors 24/7 and even send content to your Facebook audience as direct messages, getting open rates that are 242 percent higher than email!
38. Invest in Your Community to Generate Strong, Top-of-Mind Referrals
Annemarie du LeBohn, Community Engagement Strategist, TNG Real Estate
My favorite marketing advice is to embrace community engagement. For example, in May and June, we host two free community paper shred events, one in Los Alamitos, California, and the other in Brea. The event reduces paper in the landfill, and it helps people reduce identity theft. To help spread the word, our agents farm various neighborhoods with flyers and door hangers. People can shred up to five boxes of paper for free, which is about a $100 savings.
Viral videos are still all the rage. If you can capture someone’s attention with a funny or insightful clip, you can reach a wider audience through the power of social shares. Everyone loves sharing entertaining videos on Twitter and with family. Even if the audience isn’t your target, they may send the video to someone who is.
40. Set Up Local Community Pages
Ryan Fitzgerald, Owner, Raleigh Realty
One way we are able to generate five or more new leads daily is with our local community pages. What makes this such an effective marketing idea is the fact you are reverse-engineering attention to generate real estate leads. Once you put the work in up front, these leads are continuous.
41. Craft a Personalized Message for Your Buyers
Chris Haddon, Founder, REI 360
I have found the best results come from a personal message in my own voice. When you write your message, remember the following points:
- Make the message about them — they don’t care about you; so, tell them how you can help them as quickly as possible
- Be clear — if a seller is not sure what you want them to do, they’ll never call you
- Match your message to your seller
- Make your message short and sweet. In our fast-paced world, people rarely read all their email; unsolicited mail often hits the trash can; if you want your message to be heard, do it quickly
Believe it or not, your logo (or lack of a logo) is one of the most important elements of your personal brand. A great logo can help propel your brand forward while a bad logo … well, let’s just say it’s not going to help you attract more leads.
According to Patrick Sanders, creative director for real estate marketing powerhouse 1000watt, a great logo should “signal something exciting and new — a message to the greater world that your organization is always changing and getting better. The work should reflect that energy.”
43. Create a Video Series to Share with Leads
Matt McGee, Chief Marketing Officer, Cari McGee Real Estate Team
Social media is an important way to both stay in touch with people you know and to get our name out in front of new people. We post regularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and so on. We do a weekly video series called “Ask the Realtor” — we just finished season 1 and are planning season 2 — and turn those short videos into Facebook ads. The videos typically earn around 4,000 views each at about a nickel per view. They’ve been great for exposure to new people in our area.
The Bottom Line
The perfect real estate marketing ideas depend on your market, firm and preferred lead management tools. Maximizing your web presence, sharing videos and creating SEO-optimized content are effective tools for marketing your agency. Developing a marketing strategy also lets you streamline lead generation and client outreach so you can focus on selling houses.