Real estate marketing is all about promoting your brand as an agent and securing buyer and seller leads by sharing your listings on social media, advertising your agency, and building your website content. For fresh marketing ideas, check out our ultimate list of marketing advice from top-producing agents below.
Here are 42 of the best real estate marketing ideas the pros use.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that 90% of home 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.
One of the most difficult marketing challenges for real estate agents 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, which are added to your list of leads. Click here for a home valuation tool demo.
3. Leverage Influencer Marketing
Chris Stapleton, Sales Representative, Blue Elephant Realty Inc. Brokerage
One way to gain social validity and expand the reach and hype of a listing is to utilize influencers and public relations. For example, if a listing is unique, you can reach out to local bloggers and Instagram influencers — whose followership matches your target buyer — and have them create related content and share it with their followers. There are also several websites and blogs that have a condo of the week showcase that you can try and have your space featured in.
4. Generate Referrals by Hosting Community Events
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 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.
5. Make Your Website Your Storefront
Lindsay Bolton, Marketing Manager, Finger Lakes Premier Properties
Our primary marketing tool is our website. In today’s market, it is the storefront to your business. Having a mobile-friendly site that ranks high in organic traffic will surpass any of your paid digital advertising. It not only has to showcase you and your differentiators, but also has to portray attention to detail when promoting your listings. The photography has to be on point, which you will use in every marketing piece, including social media posts.
6. Create Real Estate Websites for Individual Communities
Ryan Fitzgerald, Owner, Raleigh Realty
One way we can 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.
7. Provide a Complimentary Moving Truck
Candice Williams, Realtor, RE/MAX Space Center
My number one marketing idea for real estate is my complimentary moving truck, available for use by clients who buy or sell a home. I also offer the truck for use to nonprofit organizations. It’s a moving billboard, and no other agent in the area offers a moving truck. It gets lots of attention.
I also strategically park it in high-traffic areas when not in use. When events are in town that cater to homeowners, such as the home or boat show, my moving truck will be there.
8. Use Instagram Stories
Dustin Brohm, Host, Massive Agent Podcast
Instagram Stories are huge in 2019, considering that the number of daily active users of Instagram Stories has surpassed 500 million. The question is how to use them to sell more homes and grow your local brand recognition. Engagement is absolutely key, so use the polls and Q&A stickers within Stories. Ask questions, use GIFs, and make the content as easy to engage with as possible.
The more people engage with you, the more they will remember you, and the more you train the Instagram algorithm that you have great content, which IG will reward with more organic reach than if no one ever engaged with you. You can also run contests and giveaways within Instagram Stories. For example, have people take screenshots of them listening to your podcast, have them direct message you the image, and then choose one at random to win something. Master how to get people engaged and coming back for more, and you’ll win.
9. Send Postcards That Are ‘Fridge-worthy’
Karen Wachtel, Director of Marketing & Communications, PorchLight Real Estate Group
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 NFL referee signals mean, or advice 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.”
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11. 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 [city],” you might be able to rank on Google for more niche search terms for micro-neighborhoods, pretty streets, or subdivisions. Photos, videos, a market snapshot, school district information, and pertinent details about a subdivision or area are great ways to build organic traffic to your website.
12. Highlight Homes With Professional Photography
Chuck Vosburgh, Licensed Realtor, NextHome Gulf to Bay
In my experience, more than 95% of buyers start their search online, and the quality of the photography will determine if a property gets seen or not. It’s also a known fact that if the photographs are not excellent, the home buyers won’t stop and read the description of the property. Even when a real estate agent suggests a property to their customer, the buyer with a busy schedule will decide based solely on the photos if they want to spend their time going to visit a property. It’s difficult to overcome the initial bad reaction even if they do see the property.
13. Use Unique Décor to Set Your Listing Apart
Heather Witt, Realtor, Rodeo Realty, Inc.
Have one quirky item in the house. This way, when buyers are 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 during the same day.
14. Live Stream Your Agency’s Day-to-Day
Peter Lorimer, Founder, PLG Estates
When scrolling through a social media feed, a “Live Now” tag is pretty much irresistibly clickable. People are naturally curious. Seeing a new listing for the first time? Why not show your audience via live stream? 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.
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 sharing facts, but also about selling stories.
Market Leader lets you buy actual buyer and seller leads who want to be contacted by an agent. This lets you build your stable of leads and target them with compelling listing descriptions. Check to see if Market Leader has leads available in your ZIP code.
16. Focus Your Marketing Efforts
Adam Mitchell, Owner, We Buy Houses Fast in Dallas
We are a real estate investment company that looks to help homeowners in stressful home situations. We have learned that marketing more often to a smaller geographic area works better than marketing wide and shallow. We use a combination of direct mail, calls, targeted search engine optimization (SEO), and pay-per-click (PPC) to find our customers.
17. Make Connections With Local Businesses
Daniela Andreevska, Marketing Director, Mashvisor
Real estate is a people business. To market yourself successfully and to attract new leads and clients, you first have to make them like you as a person and to show them that you care about the local area and community. Establish relations with the local shopkeepers, business owners, and employees. Take part in local events. All of these efforts will not only make you feel better and more engaged but will also make you stand out from other agents and brokers who are not so involved in the life of the local community.
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, which is an organization of agents that builds homes for those in need. This organization is creating social change, 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
Tim Davis, Regional Brokerage Advisor, Corcoran
Real estate is always a hot topic of discussion, so any talking points I can provide in a blog is good reading. I have worked diligently during the last 38 years positioning myself as a market expert in the field of luxury residential real estate sales in the Hamptons. Clients and customers want to hear from me. Whether it is my update on current market conditions or my opinion/personal views on design and architecture. My breadth of business and market knowledge is encapsulated in the data I provide with quotes from me often used in the press.
20. 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 your 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 one and are planning season two — 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.
21. Stand Out With Handwritten Notes
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.
22. Employ Google Ads
Mike Khorev, Growth Lead, Nine Peaks Media
One of the most effective marketing tactics that generates new clients for real estate agents and brokerages is Google Ads remarketing. 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 multiple listing service (MLS) listings and real estate websites, including those of your competitors.
To create that targeting list, go to the Google Ads Campaign dashboard, create a remarketing list based on interests, and add a list of website URLs and keywords. 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 region to your website.
23. Grow Your Network With a Local Happy Hour
Nicholas Lee, Licensed Real Estate Agent, Sierra Residential
Besides advertising 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.
24. Target Serious Leads
Jay Macklin, Broker & Owner, Platinum Living Realty
One lead generation system I like a lot is changing the message from “what’s your home worth?” to “see what your home’s asking price would be instantly if we put it up for sale.” This removes the lookie-loos who want to know what their investment is worth so that you are more likely to get somebody eager to sell and wants to know the asking price of their home. This will drive the prospect to an automated valuation model (AVM) lead capture landing page that would instantly give them what their asking price would be based on active homes currently on the market in their neighborhood.
It’s an indisputable fact — in 2019, 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. Click here to schedule a demo.
26. Host an Annual Party for Clients
Brian Ma, CEO & Owner, Flushing Real Estate LLC
As a Realtor, the key to building a book of business is building relationships. To that end, our realty outfit always throws an annual Carvel ice cream gathering. The strategy is always a huge success as every year we build relationships with real people in the neighborhood and also project our brand while making families happy with free ice cream. I can count several dozen deals we have closed through the years that directly flow from our annual ice cream extravaganza.
27. Host Virtual Open Houses
Reba Miller, Founder, RP Miller Realty Group
Using technology, I hosted a virtual open house that included 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.
28. Harness the Power of Cold Calling
Jon Sycamore, Founder, Jon Buys Utah Homes
While there are many strategies [to real estate marketing], a recent trend has been the revival of 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 that you don’t get fined.
I’ve found that I get about a 3% to 4% lead conversion rate [when cold-calling], 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 equates to sales on a consistent basis. Buying lists and skip tracing [locating a person’s whereabouts] the records for phone numbers can cost between 25 cents to $1 per record depending on the services you use. So, if you spend $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.
29. Use Strategic PR to Build Authority
Mike Fabbri, Ryan Serhant Team, Nest Seekers International
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.
30. 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, make it short.
31. Use Retargeting Campaigns to Drive Website Traffic
Ira Chopovska, Marketing Manager, Agent Drive
A powerful way to enhance your marketing is to set up retargeting campaigns. The idea is to craft 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 readier to reach out.
32. Learn How to Market to Millennials
Emile L’Eplattenier, Managing Editor, The Close
It’s estimated that millennials accounted for 34% of all real estate buyers in 2017 and that 66% of millennials are expected to buy a home in the next five years. In fact, this audience 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.
33. 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 a video of Goodman on his tours and the mutual benefit they give his sphere and his bottom line.
Maximize the impact of these real estate marketing ideas by choosing the right farm area to establish yourself as a local expert and close more deals. To do so, research the average age and income of local residents as well as 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.
Postcards are an eye-catching and affordable way to directly market to home buyers and homeowners in your farm area. You can use direct mailers to market a nearby property to homeowners in a specific neighborhood, share statistics about recently sold properties, or promote your local real estate office. ProspectsPLUS! offers a variety of full-color postcards specifically for real estate agents. Click here to choose from one of their beautiful, professionally designed templates or upload your own design.
Once you decide to incorporate a drip email campaign into your real estate marketing strategy, create killer email newsletters. According to Outbound Engine, 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 (CTA) that engages readers and converts leads into clients.
Believe it or not, your logo is one of the most important elements of your personal brand. A great logo can help propel you forward while a bad logo is 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. [Your work as an agent] should reflect that energy.”
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. If you want to learn how to come up with a killer elevator pitch, check out the above quick video from Tom Ferry, a top-rated real estate educator.
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” or “FSBO” 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 keywords like “real estate for sale.”
Client testimonials are a great way to show potential home buyers that you’re well-established in your farm area. On its blog, idxcentral.com suggests ensuring 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.
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.
Videos that go viral via social media 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. Check out the Real Estate Marketing Blog via the link above for more guidance on how to make your real estate videos go viral.
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. Be sure to use the tips above to make the most of your marketing efforts.