Real estate is a hyper-competitive industry across the world. Unlike some industries where capturing existing demand might suffice, real estate is a proactive arena. You’re competing against other real estate agents who are contacting the exact same pool of prospective buyers and sellers. Not only that, the cycles are time sensitive limiting the pool of opportunities at any given time.
Waiting for clients to discover you or relying solely on referrals could leave you steps behind in the race.
The solution lies in not just capturing but also generating demand. In a market that’s as saturated and competitive as real estate, waiting for the phone to ring is a strategy of the past. This article aims to equip you with a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that can transform your approach. Instead of merely reacting to the market, you’ll learn how to be an influential player, driving interest and turning that into quantifiable results.
Whether you’re a seasoned realtor or new to the industry, by the end of this guide, you’ll have a well-rounded understanding of how to leverage digital platforms to not only capture but also create demand for your real estate services. So, let’s dive into how you can make digital marketing the cornerstone of your proactive real estate business strategy.
Most home buyers and sellers begin their journey online, searching for properties and vetting agents. A strong online presence helps real estate agents connect with these consumers at the initial stages, offering relevant content that meets their needs.
Online reviews and testimonials serve as social proof, building credibility and trust among potential clients. Given the increasing reliance on digital recommendations, agents can significantly benefit from a well-curated online image.
Real estate listing websites have transformed property search methods, offering convenience and a wide array of choices. Agents who use these platforms gain increased visibility and can take advantage of targeted advertising tools. Moreover, digital marketing provides valuable data analytics, helping agents understand consumer behavior, optimize their strategies, and improve their return on investment.
The primary audiences for a real estate business can be broken into 3 sections.
Buyers: This group is actively looking to purchase property. They’re interested in listings, mortgage rates, and neighborhood information. Typically, they spend time browsing real estate websites, using mortgage calculators, and perhaps even following real estate influencers on social media for insights and tips.
Sellers: Sellers are individuals looking to sell their property and may be focused on maximizing their return on investment. They are often interested in market trends, property valuations, and strategies to stage their home for showings. This audience might frequent blogs about the real estate market, or they may engage with content that helps them understand how to price their home.
Landlords: Landlords are interested in property management and maximizing the long-term value of their investment. They want to know about tenant laws, maintenance tips, and how to find reliable tenants. This audience is likely to engage with content that helps them manage their property, including digital tools for tenant management, tax tips for landlords, and so on.
The single overarching goal of digital marketing for real estate agents is to generate a positive customer interaction.
While immediate conversions—getting a client to list, or sign over management right now—are undoubtedly important, they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building a sustainable business model.
After all, only a small percentage of these audiences are probably looking to sell or change management agents at any given time. That’s why real estate digital marketing strategies should be focussed on long term plays. Think marketing way before they have even considered speaking to an agent.
Below, we unpack a digital marketing strategy for buyers and sellers.
To be honest, most of the listing websites do all the hard work for buyer acquisition and pass them onto your business as an open inspection or enquiry. Your website or CRM may also pick up activity by itself. Lets combine this activity to drive revenue and turn buyers into potential future listings.
1. Work on building a database of buyer leads segmented by time in market, financing situation, what they are looking for and budget. Every time a lead comes into the system, you should be capturing this information or even updating it. Treat information capture as the objective. Targeted marketing because qualified information will improve your credibility with buyers which is the goal here.
2. Develop automations in your CRM to flag qualified buyers. Not all buyers may be a fit for your listings – it’s important to leverage technology to prioritise your efforts on the ones that are a fit. An example workflow could be to first identify buyers with an active interest after an open home. This can produce a list for phone call follow up while the not interested ones can get lower touch email follows ups with related properties that could be a fit.
3. Leverage retargeting ads across social or display. Based on your CRM audience segments, you should be able to send targeted messages based on how they interacted with your business. For example, buyers who are interested in a specific area get shown ads of recent sales. First home buyers can see messaging that helps guide them along the home purchase.
Establish yourself as a trusted “buyer’s agent” who not only helps in finding the right property but also guides buyers through the complex maze of purchasing a home and revenue will naturally follow.
Listings are the bread and butter of real estate agencies so we going to spend more time running through digital strategies for the acquisition of this cohort. We can break down listing behaviour into 3 broad audience sets.
No intent: This cohort of sellers are are not even thinking of selling, they are not searching for information and they have no intent to buy from you. Starting your digital marketing at this stage is perfect because the competition will be low. Focus on the following playbook:
In-market: This set is basically thinking of selling so its time to move into gear. They are going to start research into recent sales, things to do before selling and real estate agents that can help them. Your brand needs to be across all of them.
Active consideration: once you’ve spoken to the leads, the marketing does not stop. You’ve probably met up or sent through a proposal. The next step is to get another meeting for the signature. Follow this playbook:
Landlords can become both future listings and improve your cash flow in the form of rental roll so this cohort is a high value set. Treat landlords by account and prioritise based on the number of properties they own. The strategy would mirror that of the seller audience set with the key diference being what content is distributed.
There are stark differences in the content and urgency between the two. Content aimed at landlords often focuses on long-term benefits, such as consistent income and property management services, and might include educational resources like eBooks or webinars about the rental market. For sellers, the content leans towards showcasing immediate gains, such as current market trends that favor sellers or quick ways to increase home value for a speedy sale. The urgency also varies; landlord acquisition campaigns may be spread over a longer time frame, nurturing leads through periodic content and updates.
In digital marketing for real estate, common mistakes include poor audience targeting, such as using overly broad demographics and neglecting behavioral signals. Content quality is often compromised through the use of low-quality images or inconsistent branding.
Failing to track performance using analytics tools or focusing solely on vanity metrics instead of conversions can also derail marketing efforts.
On social media, ignoring negative feedback and posting inconsistently can harm your reputation and engagement levels.
Real estate likely get reviews from tenants which could both boost or lower your review scores. Focus on effective reputation management to ensure your target audiences see the right reviews relevant to them.