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 43 of the best real estate marketing ideas the pros use.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that 90% of homebuyers house hunt online. As the largest real estate website with more than 195 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 following matches your target buyers—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 to 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 upfront, 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 a home show or boat show, my moving truck will be there.
8. Book Public Speaking Engagements
John Crossman, CCIM, CRX, CEO, Crossman & Company
One marketing idea that is unique and has impact is public speaking. Most people hate to do it. If you train to be a public speaker, you will get asked frequently to speak. This will assist you being seen as an industry leader, and you can leverage it to market your properties.
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.”
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.
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 microneighborhoods, 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 homebuyers 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 Decor 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.
One of the best ways to gain the trust and loyalty of real estate clients is by marketing yourself as the expert in their neighborhood. To help, Parkbench lets you create a neighborhood website and then provides helpful content for your followers, including hyperlocal news and deals. Agents can then use their website to build relationships with other local businesses and generate leads through referrals. Click here to learn more about how Parkbench can help your real estate marketing efforts.
16. Create High-quality Content That Is Interesting & Unique
Andrew Weinberger, Founder & CEO, PropertyClub
The best way to show your expertise is to give potential clients something they can’t find elsewhere, which is why most of our content is very detailed and less about us or our product. For example, some of our best performing content is about investing in real estate, architecture in New York City, or tax tips and information regarding owning properties. Agents who will create high-value content for readers will be marketing their expertise and setting themselves apart from the crowd.
17. Market to a Smaller Area
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.
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 or 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.
Postcards are an eye-catching and affordable way to market to homebuyers and homeowners in your farm area directly. 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.
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 to generate 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 Homebuyers
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.
25. Create Custom, Property-specific Signage
Daniel Steinfeld, CEO, GetOnTheBlock.com
Our most effective marketing practice has been “antimarketing” in its implementation. In a city bogged with sign after sign focusing on the agent and brokerage rather than the listing itself, we have produced custom signage for every property we sell. The ability to market the home itself to passersby provides additional benefit to our client and sends a message to would-be sellers that we understand our focus is selling real estate, not ourselves. We were shocked at how many more inbound calls we received as a result of this conscious attempt not to market ourselves so directly.
26. 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.
27. Cross-pollinate Clients
John Vagueiro, President & Founder, Adapting Social
One of the strategies we like to employ is what we call “cross-pollinating,” where we build relationships via social media with local restaurants, stores, boutiques, and so on in towns where the agent is looking to dominate. We can run promos such as a contest for followers to win a gift card by following both accounts and tagging friends, a simple shout out, or even a tagged picture of the agent at one of these locations.
This helps the agent because it highlights their expertise of the landscape or, as we say, presents them as the “mayor” of the towns they’re looking to target. They’re familiar with the local establishments, have relationships with local business owners, and are ultimately generating engaging content, getting their name out there in front of new people who follow these local businesses.
28. 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.
29. Use Strategic PR to Build Authority
Mike Fabbri, Ryan Serhant Team, Nest Seekers International
While many agents think PR [public relations] 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. Host a Neighbor-exclusive Preview
Morgan King, Realtor, Morgan King Real Estate Group
Prior to listing a home on the market, host a neighborhood exclusive preview. Door-knock the area prior to the event to invite the neighbors with an invitation. Let them know it is good for them to pop by not only to see how the house compares to their home and understand their home value better but also if they know of anyone who is looking to invite them along as well.
31. 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.
32. 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 ready to reach out.
33. 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.
34. Focus on a Small Client List
Audrey Darby, Founder & CEO, Match Me With an Agent
It may sound like a contradiction, but my real estate experience has taught me that if you want to get big—you have to start small and get personal. Many top agents typically concentrate on a database of fewer than 200 clients and give these clients extraordinary personalized service, items of value, and inclusion in all things real estate-related. The most important thing is to be “top of mind” as the go-to real estate agent for these elite few and ask for the compliment of a referral consistently with every interaction. This approach gives the opportunity to build a solid and loyal clientele, typically resulting in the warmest new leads.
35. 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.
36. Don’t Be Too Generic
Jennifer Murtland, Team Leader, eXp Realty
Don’t be so generic. We are in a digital age and information is readily available, so how do you stand out? Marketing is about personal connection. Most agents need 150 people that they are regularly talking to when trying to accomplish their sales goals. With 15 of those being “A” clients, or people that refer you the most business who are likely your friends, too. Get to know these people; add value to their life. For example, instead of delivering a [generic] pie to them at Thanksgiving, give them their favorite pie or donate to their favorite charity.
37. 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.
38. Beef Up Your Open House With Giveaways
Ryan Stewman, Owner, Hardcore Closer, LLC
I’m a real estate wholesaler, and we run something called “the open house on steroids” to move our listings. We spend $500 geo-targeting anyone who’s visited the ZIP code of the home in the last 30 days. Then, we have sponsors and giveaways like iPads as door prizes. We have everyone register via a phonesites.com link, and then we call them to let them know if they won or not on the following Monday for follow up. For $1,000, we typically get 200 people at our open houses.
39. 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 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 Instagram 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.
40. Send Clients to Your Website
Nick Disney, Owner, Sell My San Antonio House
If you have spent a lot of time and money on your website, use social media to send more people to your website. A great website will start to tell the story of why a client should choose to work with you and having links or running ads will help drive more traffic to your website. Adding posts on your own social media is a free way to drive traffic to your website and paying for ads on social media networks is much less expensive than some of the other online advertising options.
41. Become the Face of Your Business
Jerryll Noorden, Owner, WeBuyHousesInConnecticut.com
Credibility is everything in this business. Whenever we buy a house, we put up a huge 8-foot by 2 1/2-foot banner with our logo, company name, and our faces. We take pictures and videos either of just the house with the banner or of us next to the banner with our call to action. We then place this on our number one-ranking website. We get more leads than we can handle and all for free. This works so well there’s no need for any paid advertising, but using the pictures or video for Facebook ads also works great.
42. 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, and unsolicited mail often hits the trash can. If you want your message to be heard, make it short.
43. Get Google’s Attention With Long-form Content
Matthew Baltzell, Real Estate Analyst, Boardwalk Wealth
At Boardwalk Wealth, we’ve noticed long-form blog posts and content with more than 1,500 words generate more traffic and is more valued with Google. As a result of publishing fewer “Top Three” articles and other briefer forms of content, we are seen as more professional and can get more traffic and real estate leads.
Bottom Line: Real Estate Marketing Ideas
The perfect real estate marketing ideas depend on your market, firm, and preferred lead management tools. However, maximizing your web presence, sharing videos, and creating SEO-optimized content are generally effective tools for your real estate marketing plan. For more ideas, be sure to use the tips above to make the most of your marketing efforts.