To say that the best real estate marketing ideas have been all over the place in the past few years is a wild understatement. While cold calling and sphere prospecting will always work, technology keeps making agents second guess their utility.
While a growth mindset helps, you still need to find new secret sauces and to learn how to cook with them. To help you find that sauce and start cooking, we put together this list of what we think are the top real estate marketing ideas for 2020.
In today’s uncertain market, agents need a solid marketing plan now more than ever. That’s why we created this handy template so you can prioritize and organize your marketing strategies to come out of this with your feet firmly on the ground.
27 Real Estate Marketing Ideas:
1. Market Your Listing Skills With BoldLeads
The Close Team
Let’s face it, accurately valuing homes is one of the most important skills Realtors have. Of course, writing the best CMA in town isn’t going to help you if you can never get in front of homeowners when they’re ready to sell.
That’s where BoldLeads comes in. They build killer home valuation landing pages to get you exclusive qualified seller leads & buyer leads in your ZIP code. They also offer a text-based concierge service to screen and nurture your leads for you so you can generate and nurture leads on autopilot.
Visit BoldLeads below to see if your ZIP code is available.
2. Boost Engagement With Contests, Polls & Q&A Stickers on Instagram Stories
Dustin Brohm, Host Massive Agent Podcast
“Engagement is absolutely key, so use the Polls and Q & A stickers within Instagram Stories. Ask questions, use gifs, make the content as easy to engage with as possible. The more people engage with you, the more they will remember you, and the more you train the IG algorithm that you have great content, which IG will reward with more organic reach than if no one ever engaged with you. You can also run contests and giveaways within IG Stories. Master how to get people engaged, and coming back for more, and you’ll win.”
3. Offer Home Valuations to Capture Seller Leads
Chris Linsell, The Close
Want to turn your website into a lead generating machine? Use the Real Geeks home valuation tool to capture seller leads and generate listings. You can embed their property valuation widget on your website to entice users to get a home valuation report. New leads are added to your list and nurtured with regular valuation reports and updates. Click here for a home valuation tool demo.
4. Market Your Listings by Creating Videos That Sell a Lifestyle
Logan Link, Marin County Realtor, The Logan & Bernard Group
“To today’s buyers, falling in love with a property is less about square footage and fixtures—HGTV has taught us all that we can do things like update a kitchen. Now, it’s all about how the home and neighborhood will make them feel; what daily life could be like in this new place.
Videos catch people’s attention and do a great job conveying emotion—especially short films that display well on social media. We tried this out in 2018, received a fantastic response, and are putting even more focus toward the concept in 2019.”
Check out the videos Logan and her team are using to market a lifestyle here.
5. Reach Out to Your Sphere Across Multiple Platforms
Jennifer Okhovat, Beverly Hills Realtor, Compass
“I think that the best marketing strategy for 2020 is to reach out to your sphere of influence in multiple campaigns: through direct mail, social media, and email marketing. When your contacts see you in not one—but all three mediums of marketing—they are more likely to think of you when it comes to making any real estate decision. You are present to them wherever they turn!”
6. Increase Open Rates by 390% by Ditching Email & Automating Text Messages
Let’s face it, text messaging and private messaging through apps like Instagram and Facebook are replacing email, and fast. In fact, studies show that text messages alone have open rates up to 390% higher than email.
In order to start marketing to your leads via text without breaking the bank, a lightweight, flexible CRM like Freshsales that integrates with a texting app like Twilio make a killer pair. Best of all, Freshsales starts at only $12 per month and Twilio only charges a fraction of a cent per text. Join your leads in the 21st century by getting a free trial of Freshsales below.
7. Work With Local Clubs to Create Special Events For Your Listings
As founder of the Luxury Listing Specialist designation, Michael LaFido definitely practices what he preaches in his bestselling book and luxury real estate marketing courses.
That’s because he doesn’t just write about marketing luxury real estate, he works in the trenches, crafting marketing strategies for luxury properties in his native Chicago and beyond.
Most recently, LaFido leveraged his relationship with a local exotic car club to create an event that brought 80 high net worth individuals in 40 Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and other supercars to his $9 million listing—the mansion featured in the hit series “Empire.”
8. Use “Show vs Tell” Branding for Your Team
Since joining Compass in early 2018, Josh has partnered with the in-house marketing team to integrate a “show versus tell” mentality into personal team branding, with a sharp focus on content marketing. After seeing results from incorporating marketing recommendations, Josh made the decision to shift the core of his marketing strategy from solely print marketing to incorporate digital and out-of-home channels for a multi-pronged, integrated approach to his brand.
9. Become The “Digital Mayor” of Your Farm Area
The Close Team
If you’re looking for new ways to farm your own neighborhood using social media platforms, becoming the “digital mayor” of your area online can bring big wins. Using a community networking platform that focuses on relationship building with local business owners like Parkbench can help you position yourself as the go-to, hyperlocal real estate expert in your area. It creates hyperlocal websites that highlight small businesses and local influencers. Even better, they only allow one real estate agent per area so you can become the “digital mayor” without competing with other agents. Click here to claim your neighborhood.
10. Send Video Messages & Make Sure Your Videos Have Captions
Dan Smith, Real Estate Author, Speaker, & Strategist
“Video. Video. Video. Messaging in Video or through apps to make still photos appear “Video-like” and with captions. Over 80% of videos will be watched without sound in 2020 and captions are a MUST!”
11. Farm Your Local Area With the Power of Predictive Analytics
The Close Team
Want to know which homeowners are the most likely to sell their homes in the next 12 months? With SmartZip you can. Leveraging over 250 data points across the internet and from your local MLS, SmartZip uses a predictive algorithm to identify who is most likely to list their home for sale—giving you the superpower of knowing which homeowners you should reach out to in your farm area.
Smart Realtors know the vast majority of homeowners work with the first agent they talk to. Get your foot in the door first with Smartzip and lock down your farm area here.
12. Run Facebook & YouTube Ads For Your Videos to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Tyler Marrin, Director of Marketing The Keri Shull Team
“Everyone knows that video marketing is hot and it’s here to stay, but the real edge in 2020 will be to leverage it using hyperlocal targeting. At The Keri Shull Team, we consistently produce video for the neighborhoods we want to be the face of, and we cover numerous housing, entertainment, and lifestyle benefits of those areas. To best reach viewers in your preferred areas, keyword-stuff your titles and run Facebook and YouTube video ads with strong calls to action (CTAs) that drive traffic back to your website.”
13. 10x Email Engagement Rates With Facebook Messenger Ads
Here’s the thing. The changes to the Facebook news feed last year mean more agents are going to try their hand at buying ads on Facebook. That means more expensive ads. Even if they don’t go up, learning the latest techniques to generate leads from your Facebook advertising is a smart move.
One way to get noticed in the coming sea of Facebook ads from Realtors is to try Facebook Messenger ads. Want to Learn More? Check out our quick start guide on Facebook Messenger Ads here.
14. Take the Time to Sharpen Your Expired Listing Game
Brian Beatty, Realtor, The Brian Beatty Team
“About 60% of our business comes from proactively calling expired and canceled listings. Another 28 deals came from circle prospecting just listed or just sold homes in our targeted area. Now that we’re starting to face a market shift, more and more inexperienced or unqualified agents will start to drop the ball, leaving plenty of sellable homes expired or canceled off the market.
This is an enormous opportunity for us to earn the business of the expired or canceled prospect and, using our marketing plan, sell their homes faster and for more money than most other agents.
However, traditional cold calling methods and hand dialing numbers one-by-one is a thing of the past around here. In fact, using our systems and software, our Inside Sales Agents make a minimum of 1,000 dials per day. If you have the systems and processes as well as the phone sales skills, 2019 is the year of the new and improved cold call.”
15. Up Your Client Communication Game With CINC
The Close Team
Real estate agents leave a lot of money on the table every year because they aren’t following up with the right clients at the right time. When you’re working as a part of a team, this prioritization can get even more complicated. If this is you, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
CINC’s lead scoring system underscores the importance of “now vs nurture” business so you can put your energy in the right place, moving your clients down the funnel. You can set up custom triggers to change a client’s lead score based on things like how often they’re visiting your website, how many properties they’ve viewed, and how regularly they open the email you send them.
The bottom line: CINC helps you stay active in the conversations that matter most to your business.
16. Share Your Expertise by Submitting Articles to Local Magazines or Newspapers
Rose Sklar, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Florida
“Team up with your local magazines to work on a monthly real estate column. Always create relevant content highlighting your ‘Micro’ community. Become the ‘go to’ person and community expert. After it is published, share the link on all of your social media platforms using a link tree tool in your profile and posts. This allows your content to live longer than the initial feed.”
17. Send Conversational & Video Text Messages to Your Sphere
Jay Macklin, Broker/Owner, Platinum Living Realty
“Conversational and video text messages are a great way for agents to humanize themselves and stay in touch with potential leads as they are short messages that are more likely to be viewed by the recipient and do not feel as sales-y or bothersome. The key is to ensure that when you are drafting the text of the message that you sound genuine and not pre-scripted so that your messages work toward building your positive relationship with the recipient.”
18. Start Your Own Real Estate Reality Series With IGTV Series
“You are the star and there is no need for the Bravo crew. What better way to brand yourself and share your story. Utilize this tool to also educate potential clients. The buying process for buyers. What to expect when selling your home. How escrow works. Using IGTV series will help your potential clients navigate through great information about the real estate process, but also let them know about you and the value you bring.”
19. Reach the Full Potential of Your Contact List
Miranda Paquet, Marketing and Operations Director, The Close
“Even if your lead isn’t ready to buy or sell right away, make sure you’re staying top of mind by sending out a monthly newsletter. An easy-to-use email marketing tool like Constant Contact makes it an easy lift with their drag-and-drop editor and professional templates. Even better, you can track your email opens and clicks to see which leads are the most engaged.
Ready to save time and increase response rates? Check out Constant Contact with a free 60-day trial.”
20. Get Out There & MEET PEOPLE in Your Farm Area!
Brian LeBow, Sales Manager Coldwell Banker Dynasty
“This is the most simple and powerful way to build a real estate business—yet most agents can’t or won’t do it. I’m talking about door knocking FSBOs & expires. This classic method is still one of the best if you know how to approach each seller and provide value at their door, this is an excellent way to build a fantastic business.”
21. Team Up With an Agent in Another State to Target Second Homebuyers
Joe Belz, Naples Florida Realtor, Compass
Joe ran multiple lead gen social media campaigns to target prospective second homebuyers. Joe was able to use fellow Compass agent Jeanmarie Conley’s positive reputation in the Boston area to gain trust that he could handle their transactions in Florida. Not only did Joe gain leads, but also gained a strong relationship with Jeanmarie that ended up in a referral for a $13 million listing that closed in late February 2019. This works in 2020 because it combined a highly targeted digital approach with a personalized idea and referral-based strategy.
22. Collaborate With an Influencer to Push Social Engagement
“Collaborating with an influencer is the new celebrity marketing. Influencers have thousands and millions of followers who are engaged with them every single day. Just as influencers promote products, they can promote real estate agents by getting the agents name and expertise out of a wider audience.”
23. Become a Contributing Member of the Markets You Serve
Christopher Fling and Karen Yang, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Silicon Valley
“In a sea of agents and in a downshifting market, we believe true relationships and friendships will dominate superficial social media and other advertising. Get involved: volunteer regularly—’own’ an event or a time slot for a cause you care about—get to know both other supporters and recipients of the services. Door knock with purpose—pair old-school door knocking with a social or community purpose. Get known for being a champion of not only real estate values in your area, but for adding to that value through community building activities and support.”
24. 2X Your Closings by Marketing Yourself on Zillow & Trulia
The Close Team
Let’s face it, with 180 million visitors, ALL of your leads are going to start off on Zillow, and many will never leave. That means marketing your services as a buyer’s agent or listing agent on Zillow is crucial for success in 2020.
In fact, agents who market themselves on Zillow close 2x as many properties per year as agents who don’t.
Click below to check out marketing opportunities in your ZIP code on Zillow & Trulia.
25. Create Purposeful Content About The Area Where The Listing is & What Else is There
“There’s nothing more lifestyle than where a person lives—it says everything about who they are, what they value, and the places where they spend time. Create and recycle content about the life someone is going to lead if they lived in your listing—explore restaurants, coffee shops, gym, parks, and any other highlights to market the full picture and not just the place itself (especially in cities where every neighborhood has its own feel).”
26. Authentically Put Your Community First & Integrate Them in Your Creative Marketing!
Laura Levy, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Colorado
“Consider multi-faceted marketing that focuses on promoting your community more than you promote yourself or your listings. People choose a hometown before they choose a home. And supporting that community will create passionate ambassadors who will support your real estate business. In 2019, we decided to commission a well-known local musician to write a song about our community. We launched a professionally produced music video for the song that featured the town and many locals. The video told a very relatable story. Later we released the song on iTunes and other streaming services. All proceeds were donated to a beloved community nonprofit.”
27. Join Local Organizations to Meet New People
“Get involved in an organization that you are passionate about which will continually expose you to new people. Follow up and meet each person (when possible) to get to know them better and learn how you can help them by introducing them to someone new. Think of how you can help someone; people remember acts of kindness and will pay it forward.”
Bonus Tip: Master Mobile After You Master Video
The Close Team
We hope by now you should be 100% convinced that video real estate marketing is here now, and it’s here to stay. While mastering video is crucial, it’s only half the marketing story for 2020. The other half? Mobile.
If you’ve been dragging your feet about using a mobile first real estate marketing strategy, you might be giving up leads in 2020. If you’re still not convinced, I’ll let this year’s data (compiled by Buffer) speak for itself:
- Facebook: 94% of its monthly active users are on mobile
- Twitter: 82% of its monthly active users are on mobile
- LinkedIn: 60% of its unique visitors access LinkedIn via a mobile device
- Pinterest: 80% of its traffic comes from mobile devices
- Snapchat: 100% of Snapchat users access the app through mobile
- Instagram: No data, but Instagram is primarily a mobile first app
So what exactly does a “mobile first” real estate marketing look like? Well, this might look very different for different Realtors. That said, here is a 2020 cheat sheet to make sure your current marketing is up to snuff for mobile:
- Make sure all images, videos, or animations look great on mobile
Do you have copy, or other elements of your images that won’t be legible on mobile? Make sure to look for images that look great on phones and tablets.
- Use landing page software like Unbounce to create responsive landing pages
How nice your landing pages look on mobile should be your primary concern if you’re advertising on any of the above platforms.
- Make sure your Facebook ad headlines don’t get cut off on mobile
While your lengthy headline might make sense on desktop, it could be getting cut off on mobile. Before you publish your ads, make sure your titles work on mobile AND desktop. In most cases this will involve shorter titles.
- Make sure to use large “call now” buttons on your mobile site and landing pages
Even if your site and landing pages are mobile responsive, you still need to make it easy for people to call you. While tapping text phone numbers works on iPhones, it doesn’t always work on Android. Use buttons instead.
- Use mobile first design for your email list
According to one study, mobile emails have a 61% open rate. That means that the chances of your audience opening your email on their phone or tablet are high. Make sure they open something that looks great on mobile.
- Make sure your paragraphs in blog posts are no more than three lines tall
If you’re a fan of my articles on Fitsmallbusiness.com, you may have noticed a difference here on The Close. Since our audience is primarily mobile, we use shorter paragraphs. Much easier to read!
Have a killer real estate marketing idea that you think our readers need to know about? Let us know in the comments.