Make Big Money With PPC, Maybe

Mortgage and Lending with Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc.

PPC for RealtorsIn late January, a certain post got a lot of circulation in the real estate community on Google+. It was by a Realtor, for Realtors, about pay-per-click (PPC). I don't know how many people read it, but certainly hundreds, if not thousands of people liked it and shared it, doing only God-knows how much damage.

The article was basically offering tips to Realtors on how to use pay-per-click, but it was just full of bad information.

When I read the article, I thought to myself- this is a nice effort and this guy took time to share this information...but it isn't right. In fact, I would never, ever do it this way for a client.

Should I say something? 

I never said anything on Google+, where I first saw the post, but nine months later, I finally got around to it. Incidentally, the reason it's taken so long, is because I'm really busy doing this work for clients, instead of having time to blog about it. That's a little ironic, but true.

Tip #1 encouraged his readers to spend time working on their website before they pay to send people there.  Sounds like good enough advice, right?


The thing is, if you really want to get a return on your investment, you are not going to send them to your normal website at all. Your normal website has distractions. Your normal website allows them to click away from that which you want them to focus on. They came looking for homes in Jupiter Florida, and next thing you know, they are reading a blog post you wrote about the best restaurant in Jupiter. (Which, incidentally is Little Moir's.)

Then they click on the restaurant and make reservations and forget they were looking at MLS listings. Ah heck, they'll get back to it tomorrow, right? Need to get dressed for dinner now!

That's called surfing the web and you just pissed away four bucks.

In fact, the page that the Realtor uses as an example of a great landing page actually has 7 links that lead visitors right off his site. Pinterest, Twitter...Real Estate Webmasters. You are going to pay for people to land on a page that has other interesting links on it?

If you are paying $4 per click, or whatever your market demands, you can't encourage surfing.

You should always, always have a special landing page for your PPC ads, if you choose to do PPC ads for your real estate business.

Always. Always.

How To Make Money with AdWords PPC (for Realtors!)

If you want to make money with PPC (and you really can)- this is how you do it.

1. First, get a custom "forwarding" telephone number from Evoice- or any other forwarding company. Just Google "forwarding numbers". For $13 per month, I have 6 forwarding telephone numbers for my area code.

I forward all calls to my normal number, and then I can log in to my Evoice dashboard and see who called me when and from where.

For example, if you advertise in your church flyer, you have a specific telephone number for that ad. You have another one for the park bench with your face on it. And another one on your car. Then you know exactly where your leads come from and where you should put more money. (It's the park benches; I promise.)

Same thing with PPC. We are going to bring them to a website that has only one telephone number, that can only be found through PPC. We are never going to "SEO" this site, and we are actually going to block search engines from finding it. That way, any time someone lands on it and fills out a form, you know they came from PPC and not from a random search.


2. Buy a brand new domain name and call it anything- whatever is available. might not be your favorite choice, but it's a fresh start and it's only $10. That way, you can be sure nobody lands there by accident. We are going to put our landing page there, literally block Google from indexing the site, and put your special phone number (see #1) on the page.

If anyone ever calls you on that number, you know they came from pay-per-click. No human would otherwise find it. This way, you can calculate your return on your investment (ROI), instead of just throwing money at PPC and being happy as long as you get clients. You need specific returns. What if you find out that, truly, PPC was giving you a 12% return but the bus-stop ads were getting you 1200%?

Maybe you don't care, because you're making tons of money, but you'd be making a lot more if you bought more bus-stop ads and less PPC...hypothetically speaking, of course.

How can anyone operate a business without knowing where their marketing dollars go? It's honestly ridiculous to do it any other way.


3. Go to and set up a landing page. They have beautiful, pre-made templates, specifically designed to convert visitors into clients. Literally, all they do is landing pages. I can't imagine going anywhere else. You can even buy templates from outside designers, if their selection doesn't impress you. Check out these landing page templates, made specifically for real estate.


4. You landing page should be tailored specifically to the ad they clicked on.

My friend, and fellow ActiveRainer, Lauren Perreault works in the South Bay area. That mean, Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, Gardena, etc.

Obviously, you are going to have a PPC ad that is geared towards Palos Verdes if they search for Palos Verdes homes for sale.

But you also need to have a specific landing page for that specific ad.

Take them to a page that says, "We only do Palos Verdes! We are your Palos Verdes experts..."

That page should have a form on it, and a unique Palos Verdes telephone number.

It should be very nice. (Unbounce will take care of that for you.) It will probably look better than the website you have now, and that's good. Visitors will have two choices- either pick up the phone and call your tracking number, or fill out the form. Nothing else.

There will be nothing to distract them from what they came there for- either a specific listing you are advertising or more information about homes for sale in Palos Verdes. You should definitely not have links to your awesome Pinterest page.

They are interested or they are not. But either way, you are going to track your exact return-on-investment right down to the penny.



* All images on this post were purchased from Shutterstock and only used this one time. Don't make a costly mistake- buy your images!


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Comments (46)

Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Michael. This is well written and easy to understand. Thank you.

Sep 18, 2015 11:18 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Learned a lot from this post, Michael, about a topic that can be very complicated and not easily understood. Thanks.

Sep 18, 2015 11:30 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Pretty soon, we can walk up to one another and tap each other to communicate?

Sep 19, 2015 12:23 AM
AZ Mortgage Broker: Michael George
Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
AZ Mortgage Rates

Frank Rubi, MBA - so good to "see" you here my friend. You once did something for me that I'll never forget. Do you remember?

To whomever featured this post, maybe it was you Frank, thank you very much.

If anyone was confused by the article, I don't blame you. I woke up today with a fresh brain and looked at it again. I reversed step #2 and #3 in the original article. In other words: you would get a fresh domain, used just for PPC, first, and then you'd sign up for unbounce. I also should have let everyone know that is $50 per month, but you get a one month free trial.

You'll notice that gets you 5000 hits per month. If you were paying $1 per click, that means your PPC budget would be $5,000 per month to fully utilize the service. Of course, you are not going to do that. So I have two suggestions:

1. A few Realtors could get together and share an account.

2. Read my next article, and I'll show you how to set up a landing page on your own website, for free, on your own hosting account. I think it's best to use unbounce, due to many other features it offers, but I'm going to show another way the next time, since there seems to be a lot of interest in this article.

I don't work for unbounce, by the way.


Sep 19, 2015 02:40 AM
Frank Rubi

Michael, I remember. Have a great weekend.

Sep 19, 2015 06:05 AM
AZ Mortgage Broker: Michael George
Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
AZ Mortgage Rates

That was nice of you, thanks for the feature Anna Banana Kruchten !

Also, kind words from Kathy Streib - thanks for making me smile. Just little nice words can really make someone's day. Thanks. :-)

I'm glad that everyone understood. Even if you would never consider PPC, I hope that everyone at least considers using different telephone numbers on different methods of advertising. It's so cheap to have forwarding numbers and put one on ActiveRain, and another on your Homes & Land ad, etc., etc.

PPC or not, tracking the sources of your phone calls could have been an article in and of itself. Thanks again folks.

Sep 19, 2015 02:51 AM
AZ Mortgage Broker: Michael George
Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
AZ Mortgage Rates

Vera Gonzalez - from my home town of Sterling Heights, wins best comment. Oh you didn't know there was a comment contest? You'll be glad to know I aspire to be the best bomb diggitey I can, each and every day Vera.

Sep 19, 2015 02:54 AM
Vera Gonzalez

SEO Expert: Michael George  LMAO!! I know you do, it shows.  Throwing ny hands up for the hometown!

Sep 19, 2015 03:12 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I've got a bunch of extra domains that I am not using, so this is right up my alley, Michael. You are such a nice guy to share so much with us, and step-by-step instructions, how much easier does it get? I've never really thought much about PPC, but I might now with this approach because it makes sense and you present it so clearly. Thank YOU!

Sep 19, 2015 04:09 AM
Brian L. Sirota, Esq.
Bristar Realty (Realtor/Attorney) - Orange, CA
For Solutions: (714) 501-7660

Remarkably clear and sensical explanation of PPC.  Thank you Michael.

Sep 19, 2015 08:29 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Michael - Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I have it bookmarked for future reference.

Sep 19, 2015 09:31 AM
Lynn Pineda
eXp Realty - Boca Raton, FL
Real Estate Promises delivered in SE Florida

Michael, what a wealth of information!  Thanks so much for sharing your expertise with us. You're a very kind and generous soul! :)


Sep 19, 2015 11:44 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Wow!  Never knew PPC could be $4 a click!  So, I could try to maybe find our local bill and start clicking!

Sep 19, 2015 12:17 PM
John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

Albeit we haven't used PPC for several years this is about the most detailed breakdown of how to best use it I've ever seen.

Sep 19, 2015 11:15 PM
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

Thanks for the tips. I don't envision using a pay per click anything. Know lots that do. Guess it depends on the price.

Sep 20, 2015 02:51 AM
Jon Kolsky
Kolsky Realty & Management - Long Beach, CA
Licensed California Real Estate Broker

SEO Expert: Michael George ~ thank you! This post is so timely for me. I want to to do "SEO" better and I want to know what's working as well as I want to know what's not working. Your post will help me accomplish that and so much more...THANK YOU

Sep 21, 2015 02:25 AM
Christine Gerbehy
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Making waves, one home at a time...

 If you blog and do videos, you don't NEED to do PPC.  A local office pays THOUSANDS per month, and they still don't get the lion's share of that area..  a waste of money, jmho...

Sep 21, 2015 06:50 AM
AZ Mortgage Broker: Michael George
Arizona Wholesale Mortgage Inc. - Phoenix, AZ
AZ Mortgage Rates

Your welcome Jon Kolsky

Christine Gerbehy - true enough, but it could be said the other way too. I guess it depends on how you choose to spend your time. But with all due respect to your opinion, the whole point of the article is that you can calculate your exact ROI on PPC, and that way, opinion isn't a factor. IMHO, it's always better to rely on math then it is conjecture and opinion. If you can really show me a company that spends THOUSANDS per month and isn't calculating their exact ROI, then I'll show you a business that shouldn't be doing PPC at all. Maybe they'll get lucky and stumble upon this article. :-)

Sep 21, 2015 07:31 AM
Christine Gerbehy
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox and Roach Northfield - Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Making waves, one home at a time...

I hear ya!  And yes, this broker spends an INSANE amount of money for their office to "own" that town, so we're talking I prob couldn't AFFORD to compete.  PPC done right is a goldmine, I know that.  But in this business, well, you get my drift ;0)

Sep 21, 2015 07:55 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

SEO Expert: Michael George - very good tips on how to maximize the return on PPC investment.

You are right - sending people to the website instead of sending them the value of their home means not only lost a potential client but also wasted the money in getting this prospect to the site.

Sep 21, 2015 04:00 PM
Gilbert Real Estate Experts: Colby & Michele Myers
Flat Fee Etc. Real Estate - Gilbert, AZ

Thanks SEO Expert: Michael George this is some really good information about ppc.  And thanks again for our website you built for us.  You da Man!

Oct 26, 2015 08:25 AM
Linda Guess
Keller Williams Tri-Lakes Branson, MO - Branson, MO
Branson area real estate sales.

Your information is great.  It is such a great method of keeping track of my advertising dollars.

Nov 14, 2015 07:34 AM