Real Estate Marketing Plans: Most Effective Marketing of 2011

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

Good time to start planning for 2012 and this post from the Active Rain staff gives some good guideposts. 

I think as long as the real estate model exists in its current form, referrals will always be number one. However, the way referrals are given or generated can shift -i.e. peer-to-peer referrals on Facebook or through reviews on social media sites. 

To me it seems that what is the most effective marketing channel is the one you work.  If you only do one blog post a month, the results won't be the same as if you are doing one a week or day.  If you haven't even activated your free profile on Zillow, your results won't be nearly the same as someone who has and who has 10 reviews attached to their name.  I was surprised to see Facebook so high on this list, but if you are omnipresent on the site, that can certainly work too!

A marketing plan all comes down to how you choose to spend your two most valable resources, time and money.  Hopefully this post can lead you in the right direction!  Best in 2012!

Original content by ActiveRain Real Estate Network

Real Estate Marketing Plans


Do you have your real estate marketing plans for 2012 ready?


Real Estate Marketing Plans


With SO MANY alternatives for real estate marketing plans, are you confused on what to do in 2012?

So as you develop your 2012 real estate marketing plans, here is some great food for thought:

ActiveRain, the largest blogging platform and professional social network in real estate, conducted a survey of 1,910 real estate professionals asking the simple question of "what is the most effective real estate marketing or advertising that you do?" 

The results:

  1. Referrals (including word of mouth and sphere of influence) were overwhelming the most preferred marketing with 26% of responses.
  2. Blogging was #2 with 13% of responses.  (Keep in mind that the survey was conducted on ActiveRain, so these results may naturally be skewed to blogging).
  3. Direct Mail continues to be incredibly popular.  Direct Mail includes post cards, mailers, and newsletters.  Direct Mail also received 13% of responses.
  4. Internet Marketing as a general category received 12% of responses.  Our assumption is that Internet marketing is generally speaking pay per click marketing on Google, Yahoo or Bing or lead generation from a number of different sources.
  5. Networking Networking includes partner referrals and face-to-face meetings. Face-to-face networking received 8% of the responses.

 Most Effective Real Estate Marketing Plans

 (Share these stats - link to this article:

 As you can see based on 2011 real estate marketing plans, real estate professionals continue to favor more traditional offline, "tried & true" hand to hand real estate marketing techniques.  Though the general bucket of Internet marketing & blogging are equivalent to direct mail, the top marketing techniques tend to be more offline - referrals, direct mail, networking, working with past clients, open houses, door knocking and cold calling.   Hard to know if ActiveRain is the same as blogging and if Zillow or Google are the same as Internet marketing, but interesting to see that from a response perspective, that Open Houses are more popular than any one web site AND Door Knocking is more preferred than CraigsList and FaceBook.


 Offline Real Estate Marketing Plans

When real estate professionals were asked, "What is the most effective real estate marketing or advertising that you do?" only a small number of real estate web sites were mentioned in reasonable frequency: ActiveRain, CraigsList, FaceBook, Zillow and Google.  Of course, blogging and Internet marketing are large categories with a lot of different companies.  But there were very few mentions of Wordpress or other ways to market online.  Noticeably absent were Trulia and   Though we believe ActiveRain is a very powerful blogging platform, fans of ActiveRain are likely over-represented in the survey.  Kudos to Zillow to have name recognition equivalent to Google in the real estate industry.


Most Effective Real Estate Web Sites

For 2012, here are the key questions to ask:

  1. How important is developing your REFERRAL BASE?  How are you going to do it?
  2. Are Blogging and SEO part of your 2012?  If so, what to do - ActiveRain, Wordpress, Blogger, or other?
  3. Direct Mail continues to be an important part of the real estate professional's marketing mix.  It is amazing, but true.  Direct Mail allow neighborhood targeting unlike online marketing.  What kinds of direct mail campaigns will you be using?
  4. Internet Marketing needs to be part of your 2012 marketing mix, but there are a lot of options from pay-per-click advertising to lead generation to Zillow, Trulia and 

ActiveRain is great place to start the learning process to figure out the best Internet marketing strategies to achieve your personal and financial goals in 2012! 

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Comments (4)

James Lyon
LyonSF - San Francisco, CA

I guess I am most surprised at the success and popularity of direct mail, still works I guess.

Dec 13, 2011 03:09 AM
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Facebook is high on the list because it's not a real estate website. It's not "in your face." There are more "friends" there so it stands to reason the odds of generating more referrals there would be higher than most.

Dec 13, 2011 03:19 AM
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Well then! It sounds like I better incorporate more of Active Rain into our 2012 marketing plan! Thanks Sara.

Dec 13, 2011 04:12 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD


Merry Christmas!

Your friends in Maryland, Roy and Dolores Kelley

Longwood Gardens Christmas Tree IMG_2211

Photographs by Roy Kelley.  Canon PowerShot G11 camera.
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs


Dec 25, 2011 01:01 AM