51 Real Estate Marketing Strategies: Ideas, Tools & Plans
The real estate business is fiercely competitive. A staggering 87% of new real estate agents fail within the first five years and one of the main reasons why is that they are unable to market themselves effectively.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median income for real estate brokers in 2017 was $56,730. However, the top 10% of real estate brokers earned more than $150,000 a year.
One fundamental difference between being average and in the top 10% is the best real estate professionals do a great job of marketing themselves. And if you start doing the same, your business is bound to skyrocket.
In this article, we share 50 real estate marketing strategies used by top real estate agents and brokers. These are real-life examples that brokers are using, not just theoretical marketing ideas. We will also share the most useful tools you need to implement these strategies.
These 50 real estate marketing ideas will get you more leads, build your brand, get prospects to trust you, enabling you to close far bigger deals.
The article is divided into different sections, each focusing on a specific aspect of marketing. You can use the contents below to jump to a particular section that interests you.
- Strategic Focus
- Partnerships and Team
- Showcase Your Properties in Style
- Get More Leads from Your Website
- Content Marketing and SEO
- Craft Exciting Email Marketing Campaigns
- Promote Yourself on Social Media
- Use Videos to Attract a Larger Audience
- Building Your Brand
- Optimize Your Listings
- Offline Real Estate Marketing Ideas
- Build a Stronger Relationship with Your Clients
Your strategic focus is the most crucial aspect of your real estate marketing plan. It’s vital that you nail this before you start implementing any of the other techniques.
- Target a Particular Niche
People have no shortage of real estate brokers and agents to choose from. So how do you become their first choice? By specializing in a particular niche within the broad domains of residential or commercial real estate.
John A. Jensen Realty Inc. is a great example, as they have carved a niche in the senior housing sector and are one of the leading agencies in that area of the real estate industry.
Focusing on a niche gives you several advantages.
- Your marketing messages are targeted towards a specific audience and are therefore far more impactful.
- You can dedicate your limited time and resources to building your expertise in one niche.
- That expertise helps build your credibility which is necessary to connect with a particular demographic.
Honey Bar Media has a huge list of ideas for niches you can adapt for your business.
However, before using this strategy, you should be familiar with your audience. It’s best to pick a niche in the real estate industry whose audience shares the same interests with you. For example – if you have an interest in the military, you can help army veterans find their future home.
- Know Your Audience
How do you ensure you meet your clients’ expectations?
Know as much about your target audience as possible. This is an important driver of succeeding in one particular niche. This is especially vital if you are planning to get into the luxury real estate market.
The better you understand your potential buyers, the easier it will be for you to grasp their needs and give them what they want. You need to spend substantial time developing an in-depth knowledge of your audience’s lifestyle, habits and needs.
This will also help you emotionally connect with your clients, build your relationship with them and earn their trust.
Partnerships and Team
Successful businesses are never built by individuals. They require partnerships and teams.
- Co-list with Other Realtors
By co-listing with other agents and brokers you can ensure you will get enough leads to survive, by receiving important referrals that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to. If you are concerned about giving away half your profits to other realtors, remember that you will get the same in return.
- Hire a Marketing Team Member/ Virtual Assistant
Executing any marketing plan will require time, and you will never have enough of it. You will never have enough time to do adequate marketing and service your clients at the same time. So go ahead and hire an employee, or a part-time virtual assistant if you are on a budget.
Hiring a virtual assistant from websites like Cut Your Payroll can save time on routine work. Barbara Kauffman from Iron Valley Real Estate says that her virtual assistant helped her qualify prospects in her database and focus only on those who are genuinely interested.
Since real estate agents work out of the office most of the time, they can use the iovox mobile app to easily collaborate with their employees or VAs. You can share records of each phone call with clients directly through the app. You can also have real-time discussions with your team with the built-in messaging functionality.
Showcase Your Properties in Style
- Hire a Pro Photographer
Photos are an essential component of real estate marketing materials. 89% of all homebuyers believe photos are useful during their decision-making process.
You can take the DIY route and shoot photos on your own, but there’s nothing like professional photographs to make a great first impression on your potential buyers. Impressing through your marketing materials, encourages people to call you or attend an open house.
Long and Fosters Real Estate use expert photographers who utilize advanced techniques and lighting techniques to showcase a picture-perfect house that clients will love.
- Try Out Matterport Scans
Want to go beyond still pictures?
The Matterport 3D camera will be a cutting-edge addition to your real estate marketing toolbox. It combines all the photos of the interiors and exteriors of the property to create a three-dimensional representation. Prospects can remotely explore the property through VR headsets if they choose.
Matterport even gives you access a wide range of network of photographers you can hire.
- Take Your Audience on a Virtual Tour
Another way to build an immersive experience for your potential clients is through online virtual tours.
Real estate agent, Steven Ho takes homebuyers on a virtual journey through the serene neighborhood of Erin Mills. At the end of the video, the prospects get a decent understanding of the lifestyle that their future home would involve.
Virtual tours also highlight certain amenities such as nearby schools, hospitals that can help home buyers in their decision-making process.
Virtual tours can also be valuable in commercial real estate deals where people are too busy to personally visit every option.
- Use Stunning Drone Shots
Camera drones are one of the hottest technologies in photography and videography. However, only 14% of realtors use a drone while shooting for their marketing materials. This gives you a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the competition through attractive aerial shots.
Robert Paul Properties captures sweeping landscapes of their waterfront estate resulting in a beautiful video shot with camera drones. Since buying a home is a huge emotional decision, the music captures the sentiment perfectly.
Get More Leads from Your Website
According to the NAR in a Digital Age 2017 Report, 95% of people visit company websites while looking for a realtor. If you don’t have a website, 95% of your target audience has no way of knowing that you even exist.
Having a website is the foundation of building an online presence. But that’s just the beginning. This section will give you plenty of marketing ideas about how to get more leads from your website.
- Design a Compelling Website UI
Outdated websites can turn off most potential buyers, so even if you already have a website, consider giving it an overhaul.
Real estate websites have to achieve three things:
- Impress visitors with beautiful design
- Make it easy to find the information through intuitive and simple navigation
- Prompt potential clients to take action and call you
Your website design reflects your brand and therefore the design should be in sync with the values you want to depict to your target audience. Hilton & Hyland, a leading luxury real estate brokerage, has an incredibly sophisticated design and beautiful property pages.
Ensure that homebuyers can browse through your listings with ease. Add important information such as price, specifications, etc. Real estate veteran, Jason O’Beirne‘s listings page demonstrates this simplicity.
You don’t need to hire an expensive web designer. You can create real estate websites very quickly with Placester.
- Make Your Pages Conversion-Centric
Your real estate website only has an average of 8 seconds to convince visitors to stick around longer. That’s why your site’s home page should be simple and visually appealing.
But more importantly, design your pages to entice potential clients to take action.
The Corcoran Group has a homepage that displays a stunning picture of their listing and entices visitors to get an estimate of their home’s value. Visitors enter their address and contact details which is then captured in their database.
Another conversion-centric tactic you should use is call tracking. Buying a home is among the most important purchases we will ever make. Many prospects want to talk to someone instead of just filling out a form on a website and hoping to get a call back later. Immediacy matters. With call tracking solutions like those from iovox, brokerages or individual agents can issue unique telephone numbers for different marketing channels and then review analytics to determine which marketing channels are converting better than others. For brokerages that spend a lot of money on advertising and promoting properties for agents, what better way to remind an agent of your value than something as simple as a call whisper? Call whispers are simply a recorded message the agent would hear before speaking with the caller that can say something as simple as “lead from ABC Brokerage”. Watch this video for tips on how Zoopla – one of the largest property portals in the United Kingdom, uses call tracking from iovox.
- Grow Your Email List Through Opt-ins
You need to convert as many website and blog visitors into leads as possible. If you rely only on your contact page, you will only get a tiny fraction of the leads you could potentially capture. What you need are opt-ins.
Opt-ins are like pop-ups that get automatically triggered when visitors fulfill certain conditions on a page, such as stay longer than 20 seconds, or scroll more than 30% of a page. They are great for capturing leads.
OptinMonster helps you create forms, personalized pop-ups, and welcome messages that have a call to action. For instance, you can create a pop-up that invites visitors to sign up for your newsletter.
OptimizeMyAirBnB.com, a property listings consultancy, grew its email list by 650% solely through opt-ins!
- Add a Home Evaluation Widget to Your Site
The #1 question most homeowners ask is “What is my house worth?”
Allow users to evaluate their home on your website. Real Geek‘s Home Valuation Tool calculates the home value by studying market reports of a given location. Users are prompted to sign up to view their value report, and their information is saved as a lead.
- Create a FAQ Page
You may also receive hundreds of questions about your real estate services and the technicalities of the buying/selling process. Lake Ontario Realty has compiled a huge list of Frequently Asked Questions for website visitors.
The more informed the buyer/seller about the nature of your services, the greater the chances that they will call you.
- Add Live Chat to Your Website
Be always available to connect with website visitors through live chat.
Live chat plugins such as ReadyChat engages with users when they are browsing through your site or looking at a particular listing. In your absence, ReadyChat agents talk to visitors and send you qualified leads the moment they get it. You can quickly follow up with prospects after that first interaction.
- Keep Client Testimonials
After a successful transaction with your client, don’t hesitate to ask them for a testimonial. If the client had a great experience, they would be willing to leave a few good comments on your website.
Testimonials improve your credibility and encourage more website visitors to contact you.
- Add Yelp Reviews to Your Website
Along with testimonials, ask your clients to leave a review on your Yelp Page.
88% of clients read up to nine reviews before forming an opinion. The more reviews you gather, the more trustworthy you become. You can embed Yelp reviews on your website through Spectoos, a free testimonial widget.
- Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Having a mobile-optimized website is the easiest way to stand out from the competition.
Because 52% of users browse your site through mobile devices. However, only a handful real estate agents and brokers have mobile-optimized websites, giving you an edge if you optimize yours.
Small screen size doesn’t limit The Wilhelm Team‘s website. Rather, it enhances its impact. Place large buttons and a home search tool on your mobile website so that visitors can find what they need and contact you easily.
Ensure that visitors can navigate through your website seamlessly and find the perfect listing. AraSellsLa.com has a simple interface with three options that appeal to both buyers and sellers.
Google’s mobile first-indexing algorithm requires that your mobile site be SEO-optimized. Not doing so will negatively impact even your desktop search results.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you see the number of visitors your website is getting, as well as which pages are most popular and the corresponding sources of traffic. You can use this information to set content publishing targets for your real estate brokerage, as well as which channels are working for you and focus on those.
For example – if you want 400 leads in a month, you need to see what content is converting your visitors into leads. With that knowledge, you can then create and promote similar content on your website and social media.
Here’s a definitive guide to Google Analytics that you might find useful.
Content Marketing and SEO
Content Marketing is all about providing relevant and useful information to visitors so that they begin to view you as a credible source. In the long run, it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to get quality leads with an online presence.
- Maintain a Useful Blog
A useful blog about real estate is a great way to provide value for your future clients. The more helpful the content, the more you can build trust with future buyers/sellers.
From real estate investment to general tips, showcase your expertise just like the BREL Team. Catchy headlines and in-depth insights separate them from other agencies.
Real estate agent Anita Clark has an exhaustive list of homecare and renovation tips. That’s a great way to build an audience of existing homeowners who have the potential to become future clients.
- Create Eye-Catching Infographics
People love visuals, which is why infographics are so popular. Infographics are a great way to depict useful information and statistics in an easily consumable format that people enjoy viewing and sharing on social media.
Infographics like “3 Ways Real Estate Agents are better than For Sale By Owner,” do a great job of demonstrating why people should go to an agent rather than try to sell their properties by themselves. Jason Fox Real Estate Marketing has a large collection of infographics that you can embed within your own blog posts.
Visme is an easy-to-use tool for creating infographics without any knowledge of graphic design.
- Publish Free eBooks
Give your readers valuable insights about the real estate buying and selling process by publishing a free eBook like IMC Real Estate.
Have landing pages on your website that allow users to gain instant access to these e-books by entering their contact details. Users can receive a wealth of information and you can gather leads.
- Improve Your Search Rankings (SEO)
Before people can visit your website, you have to make sure they find you on Google, Bing or other search engines. That’s why you need to do SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to get your website and blog articles to rank higher in Google searches.
This is where your blog posts make a difference. Do in-depth research of keywords that people use to search for real estate properties or brokers and agents online and then write articles focused on those keywords. Ahrefs or Moz are SEO tools that can help you select the right keywords to target as well as keywords you should include in your article, so it ranks higher in local searches.
This real estate marketing strategy is essential when you have a large volume of competition in your neighborhood and you need to stand out in search engines.
Both the Ahrefs and Moz blogs are vast resource hubs to brush up on your Search Engine Optimization skills.
Craft Exciting Email Marketing Campaigns
After you have captured leads from your website forms, ads, etc. you need to nurture them through emails. That’s where real estate email marketing comes in.
- Draft the Perfect Subject Line
Before you write the email body copy, focus on your subject line. That’s the key factor that will determine the success of your email marketing campaign. A staggering 69% of recipients report email as spam solely based on subject line. If recipients don’t recognize your name or email address, they will open your email only if the subject line offers immediate value.
Spend time composing your subject lines. Here is a list of 100 cold email subject lines to inspire you.
- Use Drip Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
Instead of sending emails manually, why not automate the real estate email marketing process? The drip email marketing approach helps you set an automated sequence of emails to nurture a lead and convert them to opportunities.
For example – After your prospect enters his email address on your website form, he or she receives regular updates of nearby property listings on a regular basis.
Drip email tools also automatically segment your email subscribers based on the actions they take with your emails, such as opens and clicks. Marketing automation features can send emails with informative articles on buying, selling or renting tips to subscribers who are at the top of your marketing funnel.
When subscribers click on transaction-related articles or call-to-actions in your emails, it indicates that they are further down in your marketing funnel and have an interest in making a transaction. Accordingly, your drip email campaigns can send them invitations to an open house or similar transaction-oriented emails.
Drip marketing campaigns are highly effective. They receive up to 3x the clicks compared to regular campaigns. They also help you scale-up your marketing efforts. Here is a list of apps that help you enhance this strategy.
- Create Stunning Video Emails
Video emails get 81% more responses than regular ones. Jay Carden from RE/MAX properties doubled his growth solely through video emails.
He sends personalized emails to prospects via BombBomb, a video email service. In the above example, Jay sends a thank you message to clients for sending in their referrals. By adding a human touch to your emails through videos, you can build a strong client base.
- Do More with Email Signatures
Make sure your email contacts can get in touch through their preferred mode of communication.
As htmlsig recommends, add your headshot, website link, mobile number and link to your social media accounts in your email signature.
Promote Yourself on Social Media
Social media can get you plenty of leads – organically as well as with ads. It’s also a valuable supplement to other marketing efforts such as content marketing.
- Invest in Facebook Ads
Facebook ads give you the ability to serve ads to a niche audience based on different parameters such as age, gender, region, interests and more.
For this particular listing GoodLife Realty used Facebook’s customizable audience feature to target users that might have an interest in golf. Facebook’s targeting capabilities and the nature of the platform makes it the most effective pay-per-click advertising medium.
- Get a Larger Audience with Instagram
Instagram is a great platform for engaging with millennials. Younger millennials might not be buyers, but they will look for places to rent, so don’t ignore this platform. Moreover, Instagram posts also have a higher engagement rate than Facebook.
Realtor Lance Tuazon has built a huge following on Instagram with 30,000 followers. Note how he uses a lot of hashtags so his posts would appear on more searches.
While creating a post, try to be as informative about your listings as possible.
In addition to organic traction, you can also do pay-per-click advertising on Instagram.
- Create a Listings Catalog with Pinterest
Your Zillow listing might not always be seen because of intense competition. Pinterest is a great platform to get the attention you need and encourage your audience to contact you or attend an open house.
The Boutique Real Estate Group has organized Pinterest boards where their audience can browse properties like a magazine catalog.
- Reach Out to Clients on Quora
Real estate buyers and sellers always have several questions during their research phase.
Open Listings realtor, Beatrice De Jong uses Quora to answer their questions. Plenty of people reading these answers will see you as an expert and be tempted to get in touch with you.
- Capture Interest of Millennials on Snapchat
If your target market includes millennials, you can find them on Snapchat.
Young real estate agent Bucky Beeman uses Geofilters to showcase the coolest spots in his neighborhood.
Use Videos to Attract a Larger Audience
It’s no secret that videos are way more appealing than photos. Here’s how you can use them in online marketing.
- Create Amusing Viral Videos
Real estate marketing shouldn’t always be serious. The most off-the-wall strategies are often the most effective. So why not get creative with your strategy?
Realtor Megan Hill Mitchum became an overnight sensation by breaking the mold. Her viral parody of ‘Hello’ by Adele received 310,000+ views on YouTube!
If you can capture someone’s attention with a funny yet insightful clip, you can reach a larger audience through social shares.
- Kickstart a Live Vlog Series
Live videos on social media are attractive and gain a lot of clicks. Stuart Benson from Benson Auctions regularly streams his real estate transactions.
Live Streaming your day-to-day routine inspires trust because your prospects can understand how you work. This pushes them one step further towards converting them into your clients.
- Host a Free Webinar
Another effective way to display your expertise is through webinars.
Lance Mohr educates his audience through a comprehensive webinar detailing the home buying process.
Building Your Brand
- Design an Awesome Logo
Hire a professional designer to create a suitable logo for your brand.
Your logos should indicate your niche, so it’s important to align it with your target audience. Take for example – Williams & Williams Estates Group. What better way to indicate that you are a luxury real estate company than using John Lautner’s iconic Goldstein residence as your logo. Audiences can relate this to the rich history of luxury and elegance in the LA area.
Logos don’t have to be fancy to make a statement. Century 21’s simple logo symbolizes a global real estate company that represents almost everyone from all walks of life.
- Engage Your Audience with Emotional Storytelling Methods
While designing your marketing collateral and messages, think in terms of selling a lifestyle, not just a listing.
Don’t just write down every feature of the house. Connect relevant features with the specific needs of their clients. Talk about opportunities new homeowners can experience in the neighborhood.
Storytelling builds an emotional connection with your audience. The more relatable the story, the more trust you create.
Check out this handy real estate marketing guide for storytelling.
- Become a Credible Source for News
Realtor Andrey Bustamante leverages his wealth of experience by appearing as a real estate expert for many local news channels. Acquiring press coverage can get you massive exposure in your community as well as nationwide.
You don’t need connections to be an industry expert. HARO allows you to be a source for journalists, radio and TV networks.
- Join a Charitable Organization
Another great way to distinguish your brand is through public service.
Giveback Homes is an organization of real estate agents from all over the globe that are dedicated to charity. When you associate with such organizations your clients will have something purposeful to remember you by.
Optimize Your Listings
- Optimize Your Google Business Page
Your Google Business page listing can make your company appear on the first page of Google search results.
Become A Local Leader has a step by step Google Business Page guide that can help you improve your local rankings.
- Fine Tune Your Zillow Listings
With 188 million visits per month, no wonder Zillow listings are the most popular amongst Real Estate Agents. However, with 67 million homes listed currently on the website, your ad will be practically invisible.
Use this checklist by Zillow which can help you get 10,000+ views of your real estate listing on their site.
Offline Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Yes, offline still works! So, don’t rely solely on online marketing.
- Organize Local neighborhood Tours
Sometimes, it’s best to engage with your audience personally. A great way to do that is through neighborhood tours.
Highly experienced agent Jeff Goodman organizes walking tours around Manhattan, revealing the rich history behind his neighborhood.
There is no way better of showing off your expertise and connecting with prospects than being out in the field. The next time you organize an open house, potential buyers who have joined your tours will be far more inclined to attend.
- Send Personalized Postcards for the Season
Connect with your prospects during the festive season via postcards.
Unlike digital marketing strategies, direct mail is more tangible. Prospects notice a postcard more frequently around the house and are more likely to take action. As a result, postcard marketing rate has a conversion rate of 5.7%, which is twice as effective as digital marketing.
Sending direct mail is also a cost-effective real estate marketing idea. It would cost approximately 50 cents per card. Real estate marketing company, Corefact publishes personalized postcards for every holiday.
- Distribute Door Hangers
This is one of the most underutilized real estate marketing methods.
Joshua Smith from RE/MAX used a version of this strategy to close more than 100 houses per year. Door hangers are guaranteed to be seen by prospects, as they need to remove them while getting into their homes.
ProspectsPlus! offers an exclusive range of one-sided and two-sided hangers to real estate agents.
Distributing thousands of hangers in a week is practically impossible. However, California marketing company, Direct to Door Marketing offers to distribute them in any given neighborhood.
- Hand Out Promotional Items
Hand out promotional items to your prospects during a meeting or an open house, because let’s face it, everybody loves free stuff!
Pens, keychains and coasters with your logo and name improve brand recall. You can also give your clients promotional items as a thank you gift.
For example – After a successful transaction, you can gift essential items to the new homeowner, such as calendars, toolkits and keychains.
Lori Ballen has a list of great gifts that you can give your prospects.
- Strategically Place Your Billboard Advertisements
Billboards and outdoor advertisements are only as effective as their placement.
For example, real estate professionals might assume that the best billboard location is in the heart of the city. This location might look attractive but may not deliver results for all audiences. Many of the city residents would already have a home and might not be interested in doing business. You could try placing your advertisements near airports, train stations, or the highway to inform newcomers to the city about residential options in the market.
The best location depends on your target audience. Figure out the locations they frequent and buy ad space there.
Build a Stronger Relationship with Your Clients
Real Estate Sales is all about relationships. Here are a few ways to build stronger ones.
- Utilize a CRM Software to Keep Track of Clients
At a given time, you will be working with multiple leads. Keeping track of listings, leads, interactions and prices can be extremely complicated, especially if you rely on an excel spreadsheet or a Microsoft Word document to maintain records. Consequently, you might forget to follow up or send a contract on time.
You can use the iovox mobile app to keep track of all your leads. The iovox app is especially useful if your business revolves around phone calls.
The app allows you to tag each call and client with custom keywords of client requirements, helping you keep track of everything. A few common tags residential realtors use are:
- Buyer or seller
- Location preference
- Number of bedrooms
- Budget range (keep a tag for every range)
- Funnel stage of the prospect
You can also add notes to each call or client and use the search feature to refer to your records. Iovox also has a desktop version that allows you to see details of all your leads as well as measure your sales productivity with a customizable analytics dashboard.
Iovox also integrates with Zoho CRM in case you need more advanced CRM features.
- Ask for Referrals
Getting referrals from clients is a basic real estate marketing strategy every agent should have in their arsenal. In fact, 89% of agents believe they are important to their success.
The reason behind this is simple. People trust recommendations from friends and family far more than an ad.
- Write a Heartfelt Note
Connect with your clients the old-fashioned way with just pen and paper. With tons of printed letters, the handwritten note stands out from the competition.
Megan Owens, an agent at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, believes in the power of the written word.
She says that a handwritten note shows that you have taken some time out of your busy schedule to write a message. That’s a great way to maintain a relationship.
- Gift Your Clients a Care Package
Welcome your clients to their new neighborhood. Send them gifts such as tickets to a local game, restaurant gift cards, or movie tickets. They will remember you first when a friend or family member asks them to refer a real estate agent.
- Maintain a Relationship After Sales with iovox
Remain in touch with clients long after the sale and they will keep sending referrals your way. A simple way to do that is to give them a quick call now and then.
The iovox mobile app allows you to take notes and store information about your clients such as birthdays, anniversaries and other important life events. You can also set reminders within the app to make calls on those particular dates.
All it takes is a few minutes a day to make a few calls. But this simple gesture can be your most useful real estate marketing strategy.
- Make Connections on Reddit
One more lead source you can include in your marketing plan is Reddit. Being a forum for everyone about everything from knitting to heavy machinery, you’ll definitely find your audience. Check the subreddit that corresponds to your field be it real estate or home ownership.
Provide as much value as you can in your conversations when connecting with people online. Answer questions thoughtfully and thoroughly and let your personality shine through. Networking on platforms like these can pay off at the most unexpected moment.
Getting more leads and closing bigger deals requires executing a disciplined marketing process. Pick a few real estate marketing tips from this article and start rolling them out. What other marketing strategies have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below and happy marketing!
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