There’s no denying that last year transformed the real estate industry dramatically. Online real estate marketing took center stage due to the pandemic—and now that we’re well into summer, we wanted to know one thing: As we’ve all become even more dependent on the internet, how is real estate marketing evolving?

In our Mid-2021 Real Estate Agent Survey—graciously completed by our readers in July—we uncovered that only 35% said they felt confident with their online marketing abilities. Yet, despite their lack of confidence, agents are getting more clients from online channels this year.

Let’s unpack the results.

Just How Important Is Social Media?

Here’s a question that many real estate pros ask themselves with increasing regularity: “Is social media more important than my website for my marketing?”

The majority of our respondents said yes—60% of agents said social media is more important.

Real Estate Pros Say Social Media Is More Important

This result got us thinking—when we ranked the websites of 25 of the best agents, quite a few of them didn’t have websites at all.

However, we know agents who dominate search engine optimization (SEO) and drive consistent traffic and leads to their website. Like many aspects of doing business, the importance of your website vs social media depends on your goals and strengths.

If you’re in the “websites are most definitely important” camp, here are SEO tips for agents who want to win Google rankings. No matter which camp you’re in though, social media is seriously impactful for a lot of agents’ businesses.

CLOSE TIP: If you’re low on time but still want social media posts that drive engagement, check out Coffee & Contracts. They provide content that can boost your brand on social—including thousands of templates, captions, memes, and more.

Boost Your Brand on Social

Social Media Success in 2021: What Does It Look Like?

Social media is an investment. And luckily, the majority of agents can tie their social media efforts to getting new clients. For example, 64% of respondents said they plan on getting more clients from social media this year than they did in 2020.

Social Media Success in 2021

However, they’re not necessarily doing so on Facebook. In fact, only 34% of agents agreed with the statement, “Facebook is more important for my marketing than Instagram.”

That makes sense given how Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. Instagram successfully captures your prospects’ attention (and agents are taking note). It’s a highly visual medium that’s practically custom-made for house browsing.

Is Facebook More Important than Instagram for Marketing in 2021

If you’re feeling behind on your Instagram marketing, check out our article about 9 Instagram Hacks to Get More Followers & Engagement. It’s written by The Broke Agent, a hugely popular influencer who boasts 300,000+ Instagram followers. He also has a free e-book for agents who want to stand out by creating Instagram Reels (which is Instagram’s main video competitor to TikTok).

Get The Broke Agent’s Free Guide to Instagram Reels

Agents are also taking note of video marketing. 79% of respondents said that agents who use video in their marketing stand out more than agents who don’t. That explains why 61% of respondents want to learn more about video marketing products and services themselves.

Does Video Make Agents Stand Out On Social in 2021
Close tip: Create kick-ass marketing videos WITHOUT any editing experience. Animoto makes it easy—just check out the results these agents had with Animoto videos. Use code VIDEO15 to get 15% off a new annual subscription after your free trial ends.

Get Some Marketing Video Inspiration

Are Real Estate Professionals Confident Online Marketers?

Despite 64% of agents who claim they plan to get more clients in 2021 from social media than they did in 2020, only 35% of respondents feel confident with their online marketing capabilities.

Are Agents Confident Online Marketers

If you fall into that category, we hear you. Marketing changes all the time. It’s hard to keep up and know what’s important and how best to approach it.

That’s why we provide resources like the 47-Point Ultimate Listing Marketing Checklist. We’d love to know what in particular you’d like help with. Sound off in the comments!

Seller Leads vs Buyer Leads

The following set of stats will not shock most agents working in 2021 (but we’ll end on one stat that might).

93% of agents want to figure out how to get seller leads, while only 62% of agents want to figure out buyer leads. The low inventory in many markets, coupled with many eager buyers whose lives changed due to the pandemic (e.g., working from home, new jobs), has made seller leads all the more attractive to agents.

Seller Leads vs. Buyer Leads

Here’s one statistic that surprised us: Less than half (47%) of agents know their target client and what their niche is as an agent. We feel particularly passionate about this topic since we concluded our Generating Leads to Build a Long-term Business course with Close contributor Beverly Ruffner.

This 4-part Close Pro course focuses an entire module on the importance of targeting. Here’s just a short clip from it.

Beverly recommends looking into what your brand stands for and who it’s serving BEFORE trying to pursue just any lead. The reason? “When your message is for everyone, it’s really for no one.”

Key Takeaways

With 64% of respondents saying they expect more clients from social media this year vs last, social media is now a critical channel for many agents. So much so that 60% of respondents also said social media is more important to agents than their website.

While only 35% of respondents feel confident with their online marketing, it’s clear that ambitious agents will bridge that skill gap to give their brand a boost. Video marketing, in particular, has emerged as a tool that agents feel they need to stand out on social media. 79% agreed that agents who use video stand out more than those who don’t.

While 92% of agents want to find seller leads, only 47% know who their ideal client is and what niche they’re serving. Agents can be so busy working in their business that they forget to work on their business. Defining a clear value proposition, knowing your ideal client, and what niche you serve can only help agents stand out in the crowd.

We predict many agents will end 2021 a lot more confident with their online marketing abilities. We anticipate video to continue to be a force for agents on social media, and expect Instagram’s importance as a channel to continue to grow.


135 real estate professionals were surveyed in July 2021 through an online survey.

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