Advertising for Real Estate: 3 Strategies for Success in 2021

03.04.2021 Cox Media

The pandemic disrupted almost every aspect of life for many Americans in 2020. One thing it didn’t disrupt, though, was demand in the housing market. In spite of local shutdowns and safety restrictions brought on by COVID-19, 2020 was a strong year for the housing market—and that momentum has carried forward into what many predict will be even greater housing demand in 2021.

That’s great news for real estate agents, which are now faced with a unique challenge: How does an agency get real estate clients, and efficiently broker new purchase agreements, with the safety restrictions and concerns still in effect?

With interest rates low, new home constructions on the rise, and current and prospective homeowners eager to transition into a more favorable home, there’s no shortage of interested buyers and sellers on the market. As the real estate market gears up in 2021, here’s how your agency can generate more leads and improve your lead-to-sale pipeline.

1. Support Virtual Home Showings and Other Digital Tools

Zillow isn’t the only digital tool drawing high usage among potential home buyers. As the pandemic has increased demand for residential real estate in many markets across the country, safety restrictions enforced by COVID-19 lockdowns disrupted many of the traditional ways of touring and viewing these homes in-person.

Rather than put their house hunts on hold, many prospective buyers grew comfortable with digital tools to view and research potential properties. Virtual home shows, video tours, apps that assess walkability and public school options, and other digital tools have become cornerstones of the modern real estate experience.

Today, 24 percent of consumers say they’re willing to buy a home without seeing it in person. For real estate agencies, this has several implications. First, virtual tours and other online tools can accommodate more of a self-guided approach for many of your clients, reducing the time spent visiting homes in person. As a result, agents can take on larger client case loads—which means there’s suddenly new value in generating a higher volume of leads.

Agencies can leverage this opportunity by promoting digital house-hunting tools and services, which will attract real estate leads who are already inclined to using those solutions. At the same time, agencies may want to increase their ad budgets to increase their real estate lead generation results, stockpiling clients and increasing your market share.

If your business is successful in leveraging digital tools to create a streamlined, efficient shopping experience for your clients, you can ultimately increase the clients you’re serving at any given time.

2. Reach Local Buyers & Sellers with Targeted Mobile and Digital Ads

Curious how to get real estate leads in your local area? Target your ads to the geographic regions where you’re focused on representing home sales.

If you’re trying to capitalize on increased demand in a nearby suburb, for example, you can create leads and opportunities by running campaigns targeted to would-be sellers in those areas. Direct mailings that tout your selling acumen are a tried-and-true strategy, but geotargeted campaigns that leverage mobile advertising—including display, search, and social media channels—can work together to increase your agency’s visibility in this geographic area.

Meanwhile, a separate ad campaign can be launched to target buyers living in a higher-density part of the city where residents are looking to leave. These ads can emphasize your experience and reputation representing buyers in popular suburbs and other neighborhoods of interest.

First-time homebuyers should be a prime target for this strategy, since they have no existing real estate relationships to turn to. These real estate leads may also offer a high conversion rate: according to the National Association or Realtors, 73 percent of buyers only interview one real estate agent as they start their home search. In other words, there’s a lot of value in being first on their list.

3. Emphasize Urgency as a Pain Point for Buyers and Sellers

Since the start of the pandemic lockdowns in March 2020, both buyers and sellers have shown increased urgency to close deals on real estate listings. While buyers have been motivated by low interest rates and a desire for more space and lower-density residential living, sellers have also been motivated by several different factors, including a desire to downsize, to move into the suburbs, and/or to move closer to family.

Research shows that home sellers displayed more urgency to sell after the start of the pandemic: 46 percent were at least somewhat urgent to sell their home after March, compared to just 39 percent before, per NAR. This desire for fast results can be an tool to attract both buyers and sellers to your agency: By emphasizing your success in executing fast sales, and/or by promoting digital tools that facilitate a faster, more efficient real estate search, you can

The desire to move fast is also another reason to maximize your agency’s visibility through advertising: With consumers eager to buy and sell quickly, your agency might experience greater success with its real estate lead generation efforts. As consumers work to enter the market quickly, you can leverage advertising by being visible at the moment of consumer impulse.

Your ad strategy can support this lead generation goal by maximizing visibility across different digital and traditional ad channels, including cable TV, display advertising, and social media ads. By targeting behaviors that signal a desire to buy or sell, you can expose your agency to a target audience with stronger buy or sell intent—which is likely to lead to a better conversion rate.

Don’t let the real estate opportunities of 2021 pass your agency by. Build an ad strategy that speaks to your prospective clients’ needs, and generates a new influx of leads to keep your business busy. A digital ad partner can help you build an ad strategy that maximizes visibility and relevance through strategic ad messaging and multi-channel campaigns. Contact us today to see how we can help.

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