107 Proven Real Estate Marketing Ideas
By Sandra Manzanares
About Inbound Marketing
Implemented correctly, strategic and innovative real estate marketing ideas give agents an advantage over the competition, generate leads, and make it much easier to convert those leads into customers. Marketing tactics range from essentials that put your brand on the map to exceptional extras that can make you a competitive go-to agent in your area.
We’ve rounded up a list of 107 of the best real estate marketing ideas that you can take action on right away. We’ve split each major area into:
- Fundamentals: For the new agent who’s just getting started in marketing.
- Advanced: For agents with experience in marketing who want to take things to the next level.
- Innovative: For the savvy agent who wants to break the mold with something new.
Note: This is a large list and it’s not ideal to try to accomplish all ideas at once. The best way to use this list is to get through the basics (most of which won’t take too much of your time), and then pick a few of the advanced or innovative ideas to tackle over the course of a few months or a year. Outline them in your real estate business plan and work through them diligently to measure their effectiveness for your business.
Download a free printable real estate marketing ideas checklist that includes all of the tactics in this Academy post by clicking below:
- Develop a strong real estate agent bio and add it to your About Page.
When leads find your brand online, they should be able to get a strong sense of your professional qualifications and personality. Craft a real estate bio that leads will love, detailing your experiences, value, and interests, and put it prominently on the ‘About Me’ page of your website.
- Get a professional headshot.
You are your brand, so your personal photograph should exude a friendly demeanor and elevate your brand with a professional look. Hire a professional photographer who can provide tips on positioning, and who can make sure the final product is crisp and presentable in a variety of formats. If you’re low on funds early in your career, you can also opt to take one on your own that looks professional.
- Define your brand identity and marketing plan.
This is a to-do that will help you plan the other tips on this list. Spending just a bit of time to understand and define your brand, as well as develop a business and marketing plan that helps you set and track goals, will allow you to plan out exactly what marketing strategies to prioritize.
If you want to be a successful agent, you should not only have unique characteristics that set you apart from the competition, but you should be able to define what those unique features mean to your clients, leads, and community. A short value proposition should exhibit your value and strengths as an agent. This statement will be reused in your marketing materials again and again.
- Devise a schedule to make website updates once a week.
Your website is the main portal to your brand. If a lead sees the same information on your blog or homepage constantly, they’re apt to think you have limited value to provide them. Make sure you’re constantly refreshing featured listings and adding new content for readers — once a week at minimum. You should also attend to any maintenance tasks or fixes at this time.
- Prepare a 30-second pitch to use when talking to new leads.
If you created a value proposition (above), you can think of a pitch as something very similar. But how things are read on paper doesn’t necessarily translate well to personal interactions. In your initial conversations with leads, you should be able to make a brief but powerful statement that conveys you’re a knowledgeable agent who knows the market better than anyone. Once you’ve created your pitch, practice it out loud.
- Get some swag printed with your branding.
Brand exposure in your area can help grow your business. Get items like calendars, pens, keychains, and notepads, and have your name, logo, and contact information printed on them to pass out to clients or at local events.
- Send a request to clients to review your services online.
Online reviews have a prominent presence in search engines, have a large impact on your business’s reputation, and are a major source of lead referrals. Take control of your brand by requesting online reviews from good past clients, and make it easy for them to post in multiple places.
- Attend local events and join local meetup groups and associations.
Being a force in your local community means showing up in places where you can build real face-to-face relationships. Use local groups, festivals, or meetings to grow your contact base.
- Make sure your business information is consistent and accurate on review sites and business directories.
Your business’s marketing potential is grounded in consistency. Did you move, change brokerages, or have a new number or domain name? Review your business information on every site to enhance brand recognition and make sure folks can get in touch with you. This includes sites like Yelp, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, MerchantCircle, Local.com, YellowPages, Angie’s List, Google My Business, Bing Local, etc.
- Ask your best former clients for testimonials.
Happy past clients are your best brand ambassadors. Their opinions and feedback on your site will give your brand social clout. Approach some of your best former clients and ask if they would offer feedback for a testimonial. Written is good, but testimonials with photos or video are even better.
- Get custom graphics for your car.
Brand yourself wherever you travel by putting custom graphics from your brand on your car.
- Have a unique signature item or look.
Many agents have a distinctive look, whether it’s a color they wear often, a style of dress, a hat, or hairstyle (our VP of Marketing, Seth Price is known for his pink-hued pants). Develop a positive, distinctive factor for your personal brand that is recognizable and memorable.
Website and Blog
- Create a responsive website with multiple search features.
Online users are diverse: They access websites in a variety of ways (mobile is only increasing by the day), and they want to search for properties in different ways. Make sure your website is responsive so it can adapt to any device, and that there are varying ways to search so they can seek out the ideal property types for them.
- Secure a keyword-rich domain name specific to your area.
Odds are users are googling local terms to find services like yours, and not your name. Many agents make the mistake of getting a domain that showcases their name, but miss a great SEO opportunity to get traffic by using search terms in their domain name. Learn how to create a domain name that is both branded and represents optimal keywords for your area. (Use our guide to research names already taken and to understand .realtor top-level domains.)
- Put your contact information on every page of your website.
With lead generation being one of your top priorities, your contact information shouldn’t be hidden or only on one page of your website. Prominently showcase your contact information on every page to make it easy for leads to reach out.
- Set up squeeze pages or lead capture forms on your site for lead gen.
Lead capture forms are great ways to secure lead information so you can take communication into your hands. Set up squeeze pages after someone clicks on a property advertisement, or perhaps before someone gets all the information about a property on your site. Additionally, you should also have optional lead capture forms on each website page for leads interested in getting more information. Forms should ask for name, phone number, email, and have an area where someone can pose a question.
- Add social sharing buttons to your site.
Social sharing is a huge part of generating referral traffic and building brand recognition online. This process should be easy for your website visitors so anyone can click them and share your content quickly with minimal effort. Many website themes carry these as standard, or you can opt to install a plugin for your site.
- Write and publish content on your blog regularly.
Successful inbound marketing starts with consistent content creation. This enhances your search engine optimization, generates traffic, and gives real value to your clients. Consistency is crucial in blogging: You should expect to publish between 2–5 blog posts per week on your market, listings, area details, and real estate statistics. See these 101 blog post ideas for inspiration.
- Vary post types.
Not every piece of content has to be a long-form piece. In fact, most readers love variety. Create a mix of written blogs, ebooks, infographics, videos, photos, lists, etc.
- Develop guides for buyers and sellers.
Nearly every lead you encounter is going to have lots of questions about buying or selling, which means you’re probably answering similar questions over and over and scrambling to find resources that might help them. Create your own downloadable or printable guides you can give to leads that include lots of information about processes and expectations.
Most people place calls to action at the end of a blog post, but you should use them in other areas of your site as well, like sidebar prompts to sign up for your newsletters, a homepage area asking folks to get in touch with you, or at the top of lead capture forms so folks can get more information on a property. Effective calls to action include enticing copy that get a user to take action on your site.
- Spy on competitors.
You’re likely competing with other agents in your area, and it’s good practice to know how you stack up against them. Use tech tools to see how their sites perform online, their SEO and search engine marketing strategies, where they get backlinks from, and the power of their social media presence.
- Optimize your pages and posts with targeted keywords.
There’s no way around it: If you want your pages and content to rank well on Google, you need to determine the competitive keywords that will generate qualified leads and you need to use them effectively on your website. Start with keyword research and follow up by learning how to use these terms to optimize your pages.
Once you’ve requested testimonials from your happiest and most vocal clients, showcase them on your homepage to leverage the social proof they provide.
- Include beautiful royalty-free local imagery.
When it comes to building a great online experience for your website visitors, nothing does the job quite as well as local photography. Getting access to royalty-free images can be difficult, but use one of the many online and local resources to get great shots of your local area.
- Use newjacking to create new content.
Covering timely topics can elevate your content in searches at times when users are searching for similar phrases in high volume. Offer your thoughts and perspective on major news events and optimize posts to generate traffic.
- Submit a sitemap to search engines.
- Curate content from other sources to include on your site.
Not every piece of content on your site has to be completely original. Effectively curating content from other sites, crediting the original source, and adding your own perspective makes content creation simple and quick.
- Make viral headlines.
Studies show why blogs with certain phrases get shared more. Craft striking headlines using proven tactics to enhance the visibility of your posts.
- Market blog posts to your entire network.
If you publish a blog post and no one reads it, does it exist? In Google’s estimation, probably not. Make sure your blog is seen and read by the people who’ve already shown support for your business. This includes your newsletter list, friends, family, notable bloggers you have relationships with, and social media followers.
- Use analytics to drive your marketing.
Whether it’s a piece of content that gets high traffic, a listing that gets high time-on-site statistics, or an influx in referrals from a particular blogger, monitor your website analytics and visitor behavior to determine where to focus your marketing.
- Produce original art.
Original art for your blog, website, and social media content will make your brand stand out. Not a natural artist? No problem. Sites like Canva offer easy-to-use platforms where you can create interesting banners, icons, and images with little to no experience.
- Set up dedicated landing pages for major pieces of content or events.
If you’re advertising a major piece of content (like an ebook) or an event (like a major open house), create a dedicated landing page to focus visitors on taking a particular action, like a download or RSVP. Include images, details, a strong value proposition, and a call to action.
- Guest post for high-traffic blogs.
Marketing your content off-site can be effective if done on high-traffic sites with a visitor base similar to the leads you want. Creating new content for a guest post will help debut your writing (and name) to a new, larger audience.
- Create multiple websites.
While you may already have a real estate website, many successful agents representing large geographic areas or many properties create multiple websites, with each covering specific niche areas of the market so they can target the needs of specific leads.
- Thoughtfully comment on relevant articles written on other sites.
Developing a voice can simply start with your thoughtful comments at the end of a relevant high-traffic post. When you comment, include your URL in case readers want to know more about your business.
- Give leads expense information and calculators.
Most clients have financial questions. Create a document you can give to leads to help them calculate their expenses, before, during, and after a sale.
Nurturing Leads & Clients
- Follow up with leads immediately and often.
Once you’ve captured lead details, follow up within minutes. Then, continue to follow up daily via phone and email.
- Send information to leads that will inform them about their market and listings.
Inbound marketing thrives on informing leads with the expectation they will better convert to customers. Send informative content to leads that provides value at each stage of the sales funnel.
- Develop your target customer personas.
Understanding who your customers are will help you focus your marketing efforts more effectively to the right people. Write down who your best leads and clients are, and the types of content and services they’re seeking.
- Connect your email or text messaging to lead capture forms.
You’re busy, and often lead capture forms will be filled out when you’re on the road or in the midst of another task. Have notifications sent directly to your email or phone (whichever you’ll see immediately) so you can follow up as soon as possible.
- Streamline communications with marketing automation.
Leads on a longer sales timeframe still need to be nurtured, but that doesn’t mean you have to lose sleep trying to remember to stay in touch. Use marketing automation messages to time communications they will like, and supplement your personal communications.
- Use your CRM to track clients’ needs.
Every client will have different likes, dislikes, and must-haves. Use your CRM to track these, and develop easy search fields so you can search for and alert clients of listings and content that meet their needs.
- Share an event calendar or use an app to simplify scheduling.
Tracking down the best time to show a listing can get tricky. Set up a shared calendar or mobile app where leads can see your availability and can add proposed times to make scheduling easy.
- Send personalized gifts after a sale.
Leave a lasting impression after papers are signed by sending thoughtful gifts to clients like pizza dinners on their first night in the home, artist renderings of their new home, homeowner starter baskets, or host a welcome block party.
- Develop a referral system.
Great past clients can drive referrals. Develop a system to encourage folks to let their network know about your services, with deals or freebies as incentives.
- Check in with leads a month and year after move-in.
If you want to maintain long-lasting relationships (and get referrals), stay in touch with leads. Appropriate times are a month and a year after move-in, which are often happy anniversaries. Send cards or make a phone call.
- Develop a real estate podcast and host on iTunes to generate leads and nurture clients.
Real estate advice online will help you generate an audience that trusts your expertise. Podcasts are a great way to showcase personality and engage leads, without having to worry about too much production work.
- Post listing information on every social media outlet.
Listings on your website are great, but let your followers know about new featured listings by posting them on each social media site.
- Construct great real estate listing copy.
Great writing can make or break a listing’s potential. The bare minimum details won’t do the trick if you want to get the best leads and offers. Write great real estate listing copy with interesting adjectives and descriptions that entice readers.
- Make your listings look their best.
- Optimize listing pages.
Optimize your listing pages with local keywords, proper address formatting, appropriately sized photos, and the necessary links.
- Dedicate blog posts or landing pages to showcase your listings in detail.
A dedicated post or landing page for a listing can help you build a robust marketing campaign for a property (beyond just the listing page). Add more in-depth descriptions, photos, video, and information about the area to better pitch the property, and optimize the post with hyper-local keywords, address names, and property type keywords to attract organic traffic. Share your blog with your network as you would a regular blog post.
- Advertise listings in a dedicated newsletter to your leads and clients.
Leverage email’s great ROI by using your newsletter to advertise your listings to clients. Keep your message fairly brief and to-the-point, adding in alluring subject lines and headers, a few striking photos, descriptive detail, and a link to your listing or landing page for the property.
- Create detailed property documents and distribute at open houses.
Don’t let interested leads walk away from your open house empty-handed. Detailed booklets describing your listing, a mockup of the floor plan, and even showing how your property stacks up against comps in the area can help leave a long-lasting impression after the open house. The cover page should hold all the details a lead would need to know, along with your contact information if they’d like to get in touch.
- Create video presentations for your listings.
Photos are expected as part of listings, but video can build a fuller experience for your leads and give them a more in-depth perspective on the property. Create professional property videos for priority listings to generate a host of interest.
- Develop listing boards on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a great platform to create mood or informational boards around listings. Include pictures of your property, scenes and highlights of the area, and general tips and advice for buyers. Be sure to include your contact details and links to the listing page or landing page for the listing.
- Create an event RSVP email and landing page for your open house.
Open houses take lots of time and effort, so build anticipation with an event page and invite. Create a dedicated landing page to highlight what to expect at the open house and send leads an email that links to the landing page where they can RSVP.
- Use technology to develop multimedia listing presentations.
Whether you’re meeting with clients in person or remotely, go above and beyond and use technology to make your listing presentations shine.
- Setting up social pages.
Your brand should have a strong presence on social media, as these are a major driver of successful marketing campaigns and referral traffic. Even if you don’t currently use all of them, it’s good practice to secure usernames on every platform in case you choose to use them later, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, SlideShare, Foursquare (Bonus: Instagram, Vine, etc.). If possible, use the same account name across all platforms.
- Create custom social media bios for each platform.
Every social media site is unique: Their users interact differently and expect different types of personality (think a hilarious video on Facebook versus a career advice article on LinkedIn). Additionally, each platform gives you different amounts of space to write a bio. Write social media bios that stand out on each platform but still sound consistent across all your social media channels.
- Invite friends and family to like your pages or follow you.
Every page starts with zero, so allow your personal network to give your online social brands a boost. Invite friends, family, colleagues, and past clients to like or follow your professional pages so you can build an immediate following (and so they can see and share what you post).
- Post regularly on each social media platform.
Social media is only as effective as how it’s used. Successful agents using social media know it takes a consistent posting to build an audience that will engage with you. This means posting almost daily on your core social media sites. Use our post to learn more about what types of content work best on each social site.
- Secure a Google My Business account.
A great presence on Google will only enhance your marketing. Google My Business is a free account that ensures your business’s contact information and domain name will populate prominently in Google searches, along with reviews written about your business and recent Google+ postings.
- Get a social media scheduler.
Being an avid poster on social media doesn’t have to mean being glued to your computer every minute of the day. Many posts, like blog posts, announcements, property details, and general advice can be scheduled in advance using automated systems like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Edgar.
- Network with other influencers.
Influencer marketing can help you gain knowledge from successful marketers, and potentially amplify your marketing message with their built-in audiences. Start by sharing their content, developing natural conversations, and slowly build a relationship before requesting they share some of your content.
- Showcase your savvy with video.
Video specials that offer your real estate knowledge, advice to buyers and sellers, or give in-depth previews of listings can deliver a major return on your marketing. Additionally, optimizing your YouTube videos can increase the SEO of your content.
- Generate slideshows.
Multimedia presentations produced from content on your website can build readership from audiences who prefer visuals to plain text. Publishing slideshows on platforms like SlideShare puts your content in front of potentially thousands of users.
- Include social follow buttons on your website.
You should make it more than easy for folks to find and follow your social media accounts. Whether it’s in your header, footer, or sidebar, make sure your icons are prominent on the page.
- Join a Twitter discussion (or run your own).
Twitter is a great platform to engage with other professionals or leads. Follow major real estate–related topics by searching relevant hashtags and offer thoughts or pose questions. You can also host your own Twitter chat, in which case you’ll need to advertise it to your leads via email and social media, letting them know how to engage with you during that time to get their questions answered.
- Develop or join groups, and start discussions there to build thought leadership.
Many discussions and coalitions are built within social media groups. Join some to build your network, or create your own to build a resource where you can offer advice.
- Run a contest through social media.
Contests can be an effective way to generate leads. Use social media to host a contest, and offer a prize, like a gift card to a local business or a free consultation.
- Publish new, original thoughtful articles on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn now allows anyone to create thoughtful articles in their publisher platform. Using this platform can get your thoughts in front of thousands of readers.
- Set up email sign-up forms on your site to grow your recipient list.
You can only get a good return on your investment in email if you have a substantial recipient list. Use on-site sign-up forms with effective calls to action to get readers to sign up.
- Create an email signature with essential details.
Your email signature should include your full name, phone number, email address, and website address that links directly to your site. Not only is this an easy way to provide your information, it also ensures that if your email is forwarded, the recipient will see all of your brand details as well.
- Construct responsive email templates that look good on every device.
Email templates come in all shapes and sizes, but you should be using a newsletter template with responsive design and clean layout.
- Craft alluring subject lines.
Email open rates are heavily dependant on great subject lines. You should spend significant time crafting a few enticing subject lines with elements of storytelling for every email, and pick the best option.
- Personalize emails.
Including a recipient’s name and other details from your interactions can make emails feel more personal and will deepen their trust.
- Segment your email list.
If you want to give very personal experiences to your leads, segment your email list based on client personas and needs. Then, target communications with details pertinent to each client.
- Use storytelling and imagery to increase engagement.
Include effective storytelling elements and videos or images to increase click-through and conversion rates for your emails.
- Set up autoresponders for thank-yous when not immediately available.
Whether it’s late at night or you’re away at a conference, set up autoresponder messages to let clients and leads know you’re not immediately available but that you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. The same goes for messages to those who download a resource from your site or RSVP to an event.
- Set up a dedicated landing page for your email newsletter sign-up.
Create a landing page that outlines all the great features of your newsletter, and includes a value proposition and call to action. Then, use that link in your social bios and posts to direct users to sign up.
- Add social media accounts and share buttons to your emails.
Increase cross-platform engagement by encouraging users to share your email content directly on their social media accounts with share buttons placed in your email. Use a modern template to get these features.
- Adapt your email calls to action based on needs.
Use your list segmentation and lead tracking to figure out the best call to action to offer each lead as a next step, whether that’s getting new leads to sign up for your newsletter or getting a client close to sale to download a closing checklist.
- Develop an email course for leads.
Your leads are likely facing similar roadblocks or questions. Increase email engagement by offering an exclusive email course to go over various real estate issues, offering a new tip each day or week.
- Learn how to set up advertising campaigns.
Whether it’s for search engines or social media, learn the basics of setting goals, understanding pricing, and setting up campaigns.
- Develop targets.
Set your targets for both the focused keywords you want to target and the types of customers who would make the most qualified leads. You’ll use this information later when setting up campaigns.
- Write your advertisement copy.
While the length and scope of your copy will depend on platform, most ads contain a value proposition and call to action. Write these early and give yourself a few options to test against each other.
- Choose a vendor to set up campaigns for you.
Setting up, monitoring, and tracking advertising campaigns takes time and lots of advertising savvy. Agents who want to maximize the impact of their ads should work with a reputable company where they can have a human oversee their campaigns and provide guidance on how they are performing.
- Creating an ad budget.
- Use social media.
Social media advertising can put your message in front of targeted users. Major networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn offer options to put your message in front of their large audiences.
- Develop captivating graphics for ads.
The strongest ads have visual elements to draw users in. Create custom photos or video to pair with your ads and maximize their potential.
- Advertise in high-audience newsletters.
There are popular consumer-facing real estate brands that send out regular newsletters. Advertising there can put your ad in front of thousands of readers, but it’s best to go with hyper-local newsletters.
- Create a dedicated landing page connected to your ad.
If you want to increase lead generation from your ad, a click should lead to a landing page where you provide more value to your lead (based on the content of the original ad), as well as a lead capture form.
- Create custom media around featured properties.
For featured listings, create custom images, graphics, and video to advertise the best aspects of a specific property.
- Targeted video advertising of single properties.
Target specific users with YouTube advertising by showcasing captivating video of single properties.
Print & Local
- Establish partnerships with local area businesses.
Develop relationships with local businesses and request to put your real estate cards or listing information at their desk or bulletin board.
- Sponsor local events.
Local events, churches, schools, and sports events are constantly seeking sponsors. Look into fees in exchange for brand advertising on booklets, t-shirts, banners, flyers, etc.
- Advertise your business and listings in local media.
Advertise your brand in local media like newspaper, magazine, radio, television, etc. to get your messaging in front of local leads.
- Create a physical high-quality mailer.
Mailers can help get listings and your brand in the hands of everyone in your community. Use high-gloss paper and sophisticated design to generate premier real estate mailers for your area.
- Write a consistent column for your local media.
A regular column in your local newspaper, magazine, or online blog will help you present your knowledge to a local audience and build recognition in your community. If you’re a better talker, add your thoughts to a regular radio show.
- Take local sponsorships to the next level.
Be creative with local sponsorship opportunities: Sponsor the coffee mugs at your local coffee shop, the golf tee boxes at a golf club, or a stand at your local farmers market.
- Run a sophisticated open house.
Develop open houses where you can interact closely with local leads and provide intimate walk-throughs. Make sure the house is staged well, and provide lots of snacks, packets about the property, and free swag with your company logo. Collect information via an open house sign-in sheet and follow up with leads the day after your event.
- Develop a marketing niche with a group in your community.
You can’t make everyone happy, but you can make a niche group very happy and willing to work with you, and be able to target your most qualified leads for a better return on your marketing. Find niche groups you identify with and become an active member of their communities so you can become their go-to agent.
- Host free seminars on topics concerning buyers or sellers in your area.
Don’t just offer value to locals when you have a listing on the market. Find areas to host informal sessions to offer your knowledge and advice to locals. Use a sign-in sheet to collect information so you can follow up with attendees after.
- Use custom banners, balloons, and signs to advertise your open house.
Build brand recognition every time you host an open house by providing signage and other extras. Go the extra mile by putting your brand name or logo on them.
What are your favorite marketing ideas from this list? Any great ideas we should add? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Published on December 5, 2014
Written by Sandra Manzanares
Writer, editor, and marketing manager with a passion for helping brands enhance their content marketing strategy. I'm a firm believer that creative storytelling is an essential part of the way we communicate. Constantly striving to fill my head with as much creative and analytical information as possible.