How do you help the Real Estate Industry with Digital Advertising?

How do you help the Real Estate Industry with Digital Advertising?

If you’ve been looking to buy a home recently, or bought one, you’ve probably overpaid, just like I did earlier this year.  If you’ve sold a house this year, you probably made a great return on your initial investment.  The real estate market is on FIRE right now across the country, making it the perfect industry to talk to about digital advertising.

When we break down the impact of real estate in our economy, there’s no arguing the positive impact it has.  In fact, in 2020, the real estate industry accounted for $3.83trillion or 18.3% of the GSP (gross state product).

With such an impact to our economy, real estate agents and the entire industry are making some good money.  And, when they make good money, they spend good money.

According to the BIA, early estimates for the real estate vertical indicate the real estate industry as a whole will spend $3.79 Billion on local advertising this year in 2021.   This estimate includes both Realtors as well as real estate Development.

With so much money being spent on local advertising, how will that money be divided?  Online will get the largest share of the ad pie with about 40%, which is followed closely by Mobile at just over 20%.   That’s 60% of budgets ($2.27 Billion) being spent on true digital advertising – not including digital magazines, email marketing, online directories, etc!


Let’s break this down into 2 categories:  Real Estate Developers vs. Realtors.  Both of these categories are using a similar selection of products to promote themselves.  The only big difference is the budgets that are being used.


According to BIA Advantage,

  • Real estate developers are estimated to spend $884.6Million, with digital accounting for 69.2% share of wallet.
  • Realtors are estimated to spend 1.8Billion, with digital accounting for 73.2% share.

Are you getting your share?


Real estate Developers:

When we take a deeper look into the breakout of the products they are using, we see that Display, Video, and Paid Search Ads make up 73.8% of their budgets.

When we look at Realtors, we’re looking at comparable percentages:



The biggest difference between the two segments is the overall starting budget.  But, as you can see, there are plenty of opportunities here.

Let’s examine some of these products and how these developers are using them.

The largest share of budget goes to Display Ads.

With Display Ads, we are showing ads across all devices, appearing on websites or apps, using different targeting strategies.  These are your typical banner ads that you see when you go online.

In regard to targeting strategies, there are 4 strategies that you can use:

Behavioral Targeting – Showing your display ads to specific consumers based on their previous online behavior and what they’ve shown an interest in, across all devices.

When it comes to behaviors, there are lots of real estate related categories to choose from.  Here are just a few so you can see how targeted this product can get:

Mortgage – $200,000-$249,000

Mortgage – $250,000-$349,000

Mortgage – $350,000-$449,999

Mortgage – $450,000-$749,000

Mortgage – $60,000-$119,999

Mortgage – $750,000-$999,999

Mortgage – Over $1,000,000

Customers > Century 21

Customers > Coldwell Banker Realty

Customers > Keller Williams Realty

Customers > Prudential real estate

Customers > RE/MAX

Customers > Sotheby’s real estate

In-market for home:

Listing Price > $1,000,000+

Listing Price > $100,000-$199,999

Listing Price > $200,000-$299,999

Listing Price > $300,000-$399,999

Listing Price > $400,000-$499,999

Listing Price > $500,000-$599,999

Listing Price > $600,000-$699,999

Listing Price > $700,000-$799,999

Listing Price > $800,000-$899,999

Listing Price > $900,000-$999,999


Keyword Targeting – Showing your display ads on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Showing your display ads to people using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad, across all devices.

Retargeting – Following people after they leave your website and showing them your display ad, on other websites and apps they go to, across all devices.

When we look at their usage of mobile, we look at our Mobile Conquesting™ product. Here’s one of the reasons that they are using Mobile:

With numbers like that, and targeting categories to choose from, it’s no wonder developers are targeting mobile devices:

real estate

real estate loans

real estate tax searchers

real estate video services

real estate law

real estate schools

real estate buyers and brokers

real estate investments

real estate research services

real estate consultants

real estate syndicators

real estate support services

real estate appraisers

real estate management

real estate inspection

real estate exchangers

real estate – time sharing

real estate developers

real estate settlement service

real estate – rental service

real estate information reports

real estate buyers’ representatives

real estate maintenance protection plans

house buyers

relocation service

apartment finding & rental service


housing consultants

rental agencies

house plans

home contractors

home builders

House Buyers – People who have been to Open Houses

Open house visitors

Open house visitors of homes over 1 million

Open house visitors of homes $500k – $1 million

Open house visitors of homes $200k – $500k

Open house visitors of homes less than $200K


In addition to targeting mobile devices by behaviors, industry professionals can also geo-fence other new home developments,  newer communities, and even some hot zip codes as to where new home buyers may be visiting to view homes.  Utilizing the Geo-Retargeting element that’s available, not only can we target people when they are looking at the model homes, but we can also continue to target them after they leave those developments.

Another tool, used more by Realtors than the developer side, is the Address Targeting capability.  Address Targeting is drawing hundreds or even thousands of tiny geo-fences around an address (business or residential) to serve ads to consumers on their mobile phones and tablets.  Address Retargeting is continuing to serve ads to those same people when they leave their houses and use their mobile devices.  Advertisers can target a list of current customers, past customers, or any type of first party database list they have collected.  These ads can be mobile display or video ads.

With Address targeting, realtors can pull a list from the MLS database in any manner that they want.  They could pull a list of homes that all have XYZ% equity, or where the Loan to Value Ratio is a certain %.  Then, with this database, we can brand the realtor with everyone that lives in those homes.

Lastly, the real estate industry uses search (Google Ad Words).

Typically, we see these types of ads reserved more for the emergency services or something a user my need last minute.  Examples would include Urgent Care Centers, Plumbing, or HVAC companies.

As you can see in the example above, there aren’t any actual realtors (at least in Las Vegas) that show up in that search.  And that’s because only 24% of agents use them for prospecting.   For those agents that have yet to explore this option, make sure you have a full understanding of the types of ads, and ad extensions available to you here.


The good news is that there is a lot of money in this industry being spent on Digital.  The question is, are you getting your share?

Here are a few tips provided by the BIA:

Selling to Home Builders:

  • The average home builder spends between 0.7% and 1.5% of total revenue on advertising/marketing.
  • Ask: Approximately 50% of builders focus on generating leads through inbound practices. What source generates most of your leads?
  • 29% of builders say it takes less than 12 prospects on average to generate one sale. Another 15% say it takes less than 20.
  • Sell recruitment ads to help builders win the competition for skilled construction workers.
  • Expand their use of video to show model homes, explain the home building process, builder capabilities, and testimonials.
  • Feature their city and suburb names prominently in keywords.


Selling to Realtors:

  • Help your agents win with the competition for inventory.
  • The top criteria for sellers when selecting an agent:
    • Reputation (31%)
    • Honest and Trustworthy (26%)
    • Is a friend or family member (15%)
    • Agent’s knowledge of the neighborhood (12%)
  • Emphasize social media content and ads.
    • 20% of all real estate agents get 1-5% of their business from social media, and 10% get 6-10%
  • Consider Google Ads. Only 24% of agents use them for prospecting.


The real estate market is HOT right now.  Homes are selling above value so consumers want to make sure they have someone they can trust on their side.  Whether it’s a new Developer in a brand new community or a realtor, they want to make sure they are getting the best representation they can get.

If you’re one of our partners, be sure to check out the Real Estate Capabilities Presentation Deck that we have already created for you.  It comes pre-loaded with sample creative, and some specific statistics on the real estate market and digital.  It’s in your shared drive.

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