45 Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas and Strategies

45 Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas and Strategies


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 45 of the best real estate marketing ideas that the pros use.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that 92% of homebuyers 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. Create Subdivision Website Pages

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.

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.

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. 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. 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.

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.

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 a video of 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

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.

9. Use 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.

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” 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.”

12. Highlight Homes With Professional Photography

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 put a sign in the front yard or raw data into the MLS. 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

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 1 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 see your stories at the top of your feed automatically. Maximize this feature by incorporating a poll or using the Highlights feature to promote specific listings.

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.

Market Leader lets you buy actual buyer and seller leads who want to be contacted by an agent. Check to see if Market Leader has leads available in your ZIP code.

16. Use Strategic PR to Stay Relevant & 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.

If you’re a new or younger real estate agent, 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 [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

Ameet Khabra, President, Ameet Khabra Marketing Inc.

My advice would be to create quality content around the questions of 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 who 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.

Photos can make or break a listing, so it’s important to attract potential buyers with gorgeous, high-definition photos. Not only is BoxBrownie.com inexpensive, but it also offers high-quality virtual real estate staging, professional image enhancement, and day-to-dusk editing services with quick turnaround times. Click here to receive three image enhancements plus one day-to-dusk photo free when you sign up.

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.

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. HubSpot suggests focusing 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.

23. 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.

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.

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. Click here for a free 14-day trial.

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. These real estate agents 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 that this approach worked.

27. Bring the Open House to Clients

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 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% 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 equates 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.

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 FitSmallBusiness, we use a tool called Venngage to create great-looking infographics.

Grow your marketing audience using LinkedIn to capture lead contact information through landing pages. BoldLeads gives you ZIP code-specific access to more than 40 different landing pages you can link to from your LinkedIn profile and articles. You can also use BoldLeads to capture info from a visitor’s social media profile to get a partial lead if prospects only enter an address. Click here to claim your ZIP code.

31. 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 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.

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 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.

33. Utilize Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing

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 is just the early adopters. Soon, it will be just as common to use Snapchat for real estate as it is for real estate agents to have a Facebook page.

According to Emile L’Eplattenier of The Close, It’s estimated that 35% of all real estate buyers in 2016 were millennials. This is up from 32% in 2014 and will only continue to grow. 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, L’Eplattenier suggests offering 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.

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. Click here to choose from one of their beautiful professionally designed templates or upload your own design.

One of the most exciting new developments in real estate marketing for 2019 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% higher than email.

37. 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 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.

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.

39. Set Up Local Community Pages

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.

40. 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:

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 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. The work should reflect that energy.”

42. 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.

43. Optimize Your Listing Photos

Chuck Vosburgh, Licensed Realtor, NextHome Gulf to Bay

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.

44. 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 to potential clients 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.

45. Leverage Influencer & Community Marketing

Chris Stapleton, Sales Representative, Blue Elephant Realty Inc. Brokerage

Another way to gain social validity and expand the reach and hype of a listing is to utilize influencers and PR. 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.

Also, you can partner with a business in the community to host an event at [a property you’re selling] to gain publicity and get foot traffic. For example, if the space is great for showcasing art, you can partner with a local gallery to host a “gallery night” in the property and invite anyone you can to the property.

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. Be sure to use the tips above to make the most of your marketing efforts.

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