Marketing Techniques That Work

Real Estate Agent with Your Family Realty llc

In today's world of information technology the way people access information has changed drastically.  The people who access that information have also become busier and their lives more complex.  If you want to sell a home or a piece of real estate you must market it in a way that connects with potential buyers and makes that process as simple as possible for them.

First a statement that's very pertinent:

  • 80% of buyers in 2006 used the internet at some point during their home search process.

Let's get more particular though.  Where did people FIRST see the home they eventually bought?

  • 36% found their home by their Realtors recommendation
  • 24% found their home on the internet
  • 15% found their home through a yard sign
  • 8% found their home by a friend, neighbor or family members recommendation
  • 8% found their home from a home builder
  • 5% found their home by a print or newspaper ad
  • 3% found their home through direct contact with the seller
  • 1% found their home by the local real estate magazine

These statistics should give Realtors and home sellers food for thought.

For Realtors, where do you spend your advertising dollars?  According to the above statistics, 80% of your funds should be spent on developing a quality website, 15% on quality signs, and only 5% on newspaper ads or realty magazines.  In addition, large quantities of your time should be spent on developing a large network of relationships in your community.

For home sellers, you need to find a Realtor who can market your property widely online (not just their own or the company website, but other sites like, Google, Yahoo, Trulia, Point2MLS, etc...).  In addition, you want them to have a quality curbside presentation, and a good network in the community.  Don't worry about what advertising they may or may not do in print, but allow them to free up the advertising dollar for online exposure.

For both, take time to make sure you are utilizing the latest trends in information technology to get the home to the market in a way that people with busy and complicated lives will take notice.  It' a paradigm shift for some, but these are the marketing techniques that work.

Comments (18)

Vicente A. Martinez
Prudential Douglas Elliman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson - Woodhaven, NY
Realtor, Brooklyn - Long Island - Queens Homes
According to the stats you provided 1 out of every 2 people found their home on-line. Keep doing what you do.
Oct 01, 2007 06:47 AM
Roy Bosworth
USATBC - Reseda, CA

Great information Ron.

Many are still reluctant to get Internet savvy.  News ads would work better if they were positioned correctly.  One tip would be to try and get either a front or back page listing in the real estate section.  Viewing a tiny ad in the middle of hundreds of others are really a waste of time and money.

The tie -Ins like " I'll sell your home in 60 days" is getting old and people are not buying into it anymore because buyers learn very quickly to the gimics out there.  Buyer's don't want a guarantee that someone will buy their home for less than market value.

Getting online is the best marketing tool that you can invest in.  Dollar for dollar, it has more results than many of the advertisements you could send out to potential clients.   Kudos  gave you a 5

Oct 01, 2007 06:48 AM
Todd Musolff
Keller Williams Realty of Brevard - West Melbourne, FL


The information you provided is invaluable.  So many agents are still reluctant to embrace and use technology, while consumers are demanding it.

 Keep up the great work.


Oct 01, 2007 08:10 AM
William Boughton
Old Republic Title and escrow of Hawaii - Kihei, HI
I agree.  Excellent post.  As a title marketing rep I spend a lot of my time working with agents on their marketing plans.  I agree with Roy that a lot of agents are reluctant to embrace online marketing.  It is outside the scope of the "way its always been done".  More and more though, the agents I see making good money are those that have embraced the internet, and are obsessed with making it work for them. 
Oct 01, 2007 02:08 PM
Barb Corsa
SendOutCards - Green, OH
Helping you keep in touch

Hi Ron,

I totally agree with you about the need for quality website designs - but they do have to be user friendly. I found our home and one for my mother-in-law by going online. Every one of my friends and family members are internet savvy. The 20 yr olds and up out there have been learning about computers since preschool, and will be the homebuyers in the near future. The internet will be the first place they go.

I researched frequently for both of our families when we weree looking for new homes, and wouldn't do it any other way! It allowed me to preview both the houses and the areas, and I found agent sites with links to neighborhood information and other helpful sites on schools and such very appealing.

As to the news ads, you don't have to put a whole lot in them if you have a website address to point people to.

Mar 15, 2008 05:09 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Good post. I agree online marketing is very important as most peole look up the internet to search for homes.
Mar 15, 2008 11:15 PM
Mike Tetreau
William Raveis Real Estate - Fairfield, CT - Fairfield, CT
ABR, CRS, GRI, Sales Vice President
What have you found as the best Internet options for Advertising?   Any suggestions on google & what keywords or Adwords to use?  Any website sites that stand out?   Thanks for starting this discussion, Mike
Mar 16, 2008 02:38 AM
Debra Drummond
RE/MAX Gallery - Plymouth, MI
MichiganMoves Real Estate in SE Michigan
Agreed. My 3 closings this month are from my website. Seems like you have to have good content, a blog and lots of listings.
Mar 16, 2008 04:17 AM
Lindsey Hasford
Edina Realty - Elk River, MN
Bringing you home...
We just saw similar numbers come out in our area. The internet is it, isn't it...
Mar 16, 2008 04:21 AM
Robert Johnson
Your Family Realty llc - Eau Claire, WI
The key for me is to have the best search capabilities w/totally free access as possible.  People will usually type in (city) homes or (city) home search and the website that let's them find what they are looking for the easiest wins.  Do this and you'll soon climb to the front of google and yahoo.
Mar 16, 2008 04:27 AM
Barb Corsa
SendOutCards - Green, OH
Helping you keep in touch

I agree that the content of your site is the key! I don't really think it's about a blog or the listings on your site that are the important elements though. If your site is all about "pick me, I'm great", you are being self serving and are not giving people what they need for themselves at this time in their lives - which is information. If they don't get it from you, the other agent's sites are just a mouse click away!

I find that if you give out to get back, nothing usually comes back to you. If you give out to give, the universe usually aligns better for you (no, I'm not going to sing Age of Aquarius!! LOL!).

Give answers to MOST of the questions they have, then make yourself available by email to answer OTHER questions, so you become a great resource to them, they might bookmark your site to return to, and even direct people they know to it. They'll want to use you.

As to the options for advertising, I know that having a good score on is very good. They have a tool that you can use to compare your site to the ones on the top. I know the more people you have linked into your site from their sites, the higher your score. You can invite others to link to you, and if you have good content, they will usually be happy to.

I have been on sites where you can click View > Source, and read the source code of the site - which includes the keywords they are using. Caution: DO NOT attempt to change or copy/paste anything on their screen - just look, write it down, and go back to regular view.

There are also keyword finder tools on the internet that allow you to see what keywords were the most popular for each month for a subject. Do a search and see what you come up with. I created my husband's website so long ago using tutorials on the web, but I can't remember the site name for getting the popular keywords. If I find it in my files, I'll post it.


Mar 16, 2008 04:58 AM
Robert Johnson
Your Family Realty llc - Eau Claire, WI


Great post.  You should have written the original.  Absolutely about giving to give.  When you do that there are principles that kick in, like "give and it will be given to you".  However, I find that people know (maybe not conciously) that your just trying to sucker them in like a fish to bait or you genuinely have their best interest at heart.

This attitude is even evident in the content of your website.  Real Estate is still all about relationship, sphere of influence, and customer service.  Do this with a little tech savvy mixed in and your web issues will take care of themselves.

Mar 16, 2008 05:06 AM
Bart Whitmore
Keller Williams- Louisville - Louisville, KY
Real Estate Agent
Thank you for posting this I need to look further into dressing up my websites.
Mar 16, 2008 05:20 AM
Karen Ann Martin Realtor Safe Harbor Realty
Safe Harbor Realty - Westport, MA
Realtor Fall River & Westport MA Real Estate Agent

thanks for the post

I do agree the internet is the # 1 way consumers find a home,so it is important to have a great web presence to attract buyers. 

  Most of my marketing dollar is spent to stay in touch with my SOI because year after year that is where most of my clients- buyers & sellers come from. It is important to moniter & test your own market. I am in an ethnic community that does not utilize the internet. So the magazines & paper are still working.

Mar 16, 2008 05:27 AM
Robert Johnson
Your Family Realty llc - Eau Claire, WI
Thanks Karen for the comment about the importance of market in the spending of advertising $$$$.  We must always focus on our market.  However, I'm finding that the children of my current market are becoming first time homebuyers.  They are the itune, myspace, facebook generation, and they live and breath and buy online.
Mar 16, 2008 06:26 AM
Bob Force (REALTOR®)
Weichert Realtors - Aspen Hill - Mount Airy, MD
The FORCE in Maryland Real Estate
My last three clients came from my internet presense.  Add Craigslist and Backpage to your list of sites.
I spend NO money on print ads.
Mar 16, 2008 12:27 PM
Brittany Stewart
Luxe Realty Group - Plano, TX
Making Dallas Home
Thanks for sharing!  I try to advertise via internet also but its great to have statistics to back that up.
Mar 16, 2008 05:00 PM
Pittsburgh, PA
insightful thanks
Mar 16, 2008 06:42 PM