A recent study commissioned by Real Estate Webmasters says that last year, 53 per cent of real estate professionals spent less than $5,000 on their annual marketing efforts, including both online and offline avenues. However, one in eight real estate agents spent more than $20,000, with the top three per cent spending more than $80,000 on their marketing.

The study of 300 active agents, team leaders and brokers found that websites and digital marketing are the top marketing tools used by real estate professionals today. Seventy per cent of those surveyed had a website, while 38 per cent actively advertise in social media. The next most popular advertising channel was local newspaper advertising at 26 per cent and search engine marketing at 23 per cent. Other advertising channels used by more than 10 per cent of real estate professionals include local sponsorships, magazines, online display ads and door-to-door flyers.

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“The opportunity in the digital space is massive and smart real estate agents have caught on,” says Morgan Carey, CEO of Real Estate Webmasters. “The most ambitious agents are focusing on their website and online marketing because that’s where today’s clients are coming from.”

Asked about their plans for the next year, at least one in four professionals said they intend to invest more in their web platform spending (website, CRM, hosting), while only one in 10 were likely to spend less.

How real estate professionals spent their marketing dollars in 2017, according to the Real Estate Webmasters survey.
How real estate professionals spent their marketing dollars in 2017, according to the Real Estate Webmasters survey.

The spending intention for search engine optimization (SEO) and other forms of online advertising was similar to that of web platforms, with nearly all respondents planning to spend the same or more in the coming year.

In nearly all categories, real estate professionals with a higher GCI were more likely to maintain or increase their marketing investments in the coming year. The one notable exception was pay per click advertising, in which all income-earners had similar spending plans for 2018.

“Our real estate clients are investing in three core areas: SEO, pay per click and paid social media. SEO and PPC are tried and true, and they’ve long been the backbone of almost every successful strategy we’ve seen,” says Carey. “But agents across all income levels have also figured out that platforms like Facebook provide huge opportunity to generate new leads as well, so the industry is naturally gravitating towards social advertising in 2018.”

The survey was conducted by independent market research firm Concerto Marketing and included data from active real estate professionals in urban and suburban regions, with their location evenly split between the United States and Canada, the company says. The research was conducted in October 2017.

The full research report can be downloaded from the Real Estate Webmasters website.


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