New findings from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show a fresh picture of who’s buying and selling homes, with more first-time buyers entering the market and families looking for homes that fit multiple generations. Zillow’s 2023 Consumer Housing Trends Report finds that first-time buyers now make up 50% of all home buyers, up from 45% last year and a meaningful jump from 37% in 2021.
People’s choices in homes and locations are evolving, and they’re relying more on digital tools to find their perfect place. For real estate professionals, the changing landscape is a call to action. Brokerages and individual agents alike need to understand the market and adapt their strategies to showcase creativity, become memorable and lead with empathy.
Demonstrating you have a keen understanding of the whole client journey — from staging and listing to settling into a brand-new home — will give you a competitive advantage. Today, it’s about meeting the new demands of a varied and tech-savvy market — all while adding a personal touch.
29 unique real estate marketing ideas to start building your personal brand
Shine on social media
Create buzzworthy polls
People love sharing their opinions on social media. And thankfully, engaging with your audience has never been easier. Create interactive polls on platforms like Instagram stories and posts to boost engagement and better understand your client’s preferences. Polls can be about anything, from which tie you should wear that day to opinions about which ocean view is better between two properties. Those little thumbs-up and thumbs-down emojis can offer major insights to help you better serve your customers, and (bonus) it makes your followers feel like momentary experts.
Share helpful infographics
Visual content is king. Design and share infographics that provide valuable real estate tips or market statistics, making complex information easily digestible and shareable.
Use this tool: Coffee & Contracts
Coffee & Contracts is like a membership-based social media toolkit for real estate agents. For $54 a month, you get loads of trendy, ready-made templates for all the big platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. It’s super organized, with a content database sorted by topic. The catch? The designs aren’t exclusive to you and there’s no automation for posting. But, it offers a handy content calendar and is quite a deal compared to hiring a social media manager. It’s founded by real estate agent Haley Ingram, who gets the struggles of agents with social media. Join their waiting list for access to a treasure trove of digital marketing tools and some sweet discounts.
Send targeted Facebook Messenger ads
Real estate agents looking to boost their marketing might find a surprising tool in Facebook Messenger ads. With the average customer inundated by emails, Messenger ads offer a more direct line of communication.
SEE ALSO: 30 real estate social media post ideas
Master SEO marketing
Create a professional website
A professional website is a must for any real estate agent. It should be mobile-optimized with a responsive design to ensure accessibility on all devices. Incorporating branded messaging and images also enhances your online identity, while IDX integration is crucial for real-time property listings.
To truly stand out, include hyperlocal blog content that resonates with your target market. Don’t forget lead capture landing pages to turn visitors into potential leads, and area pages to showcase your expertise in specific regions. These elements combine to make your website not just a digital brochure, but a dynamic tool for engaging and attracting clients.
Use this tool: iNCOM
iNCOM is an affordable real estate website builder, great for agents on a budget. For just $50 a month, it offers IDX integration, CRM features, and social media integration. Its ReCall Marketing keeps you in front of past website visitors with personalized ads. While it’s got a solid lead capture system with custom landing pages, the design options are a bit limited. But, you can create unlimited pages and manage leads with a basic CRM. Ideal for realtors looking for functionality without a big price tag.
List on top real estate platforms
Listing on Zillow can put your properties in front of some 200 million monthly visitors. But don’t limit yourself: Platforms like Trulia, Redfin and Realtor.com are also great, offering additional exposure and opportunities to attract potential buyers.
Use this tool: Zillow
Zillow is not just a platform for property listings; it’s also a fantastic lead generation tool. Advertising on Zillow can put your brand in front of millions of potential buyers and sellers.
Spruce up your Google Business profile
Your Google Business Profile isn’t just a digital footprint; it’s a crucial marketing asset. Encourage satisfied clients to leave positive reviews and make sure it features your latest headshot and marketing copy. Google Business testimonials are gold, as potential clients often check them out before even making a call.
Become a regional celebrity
Give a first-time homebuyer class
Establish yourself as an expert by offering classes for first-time buyers. This not only positions you as a knowledgeable agent but also helps in building trust with potential clients.
Use this tool: Parkbench
Parkbench focuses on community-building. It provides a platform for agents to host neighborhood events and become a trusted resource in their local area.
Partner with local businesses
Collaborate with local businesses for cross-promotion. This could be as simple as hosting joint events or featuring each other’s services on social media.
Increase your visibility by sponsoring local events. It’s a great way to get your name out there and show your commitment to the community.
Use this tool: CINC
CINC is a real estate platform that helps agents engage clients and manage sales smoothly. It comes with features for tracking your pipeline, managing your team and nurturing leads. Its OpenHouses app is great for grabbing contact info at open houses and other live events, making follow-ups a breeze afterward.
Attract (and buy) qualified real estate leads
Leverage predictive analytics
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the real estate industry. For professionals in this field, AI and machine learning are becoming indispensable tools for pinpointing local leads with precision. The old approach of casting a wide net is becoming obsolete. Now, real estate agents can leverage AI tools that analyze a potential customer’s previous search history and online behavior. This technology allows for a more tailored approach, enabling agents to anticipate and meet customer needs more effectively than ever before.
Use this tool: SmartZip
SmartZip utilizes predictive analytics to identify potential sellers in your area. This data-driven approach allows you to target the right homeowners and turn them into leads.
Create listing alerts for buyers
The most effective real estate marketing ideas today are all about smart, automated lead nurturing. Listing alerts and drip campaigns are game changers and can help you give prospective buyers exactly what they want. They send out updates on new listings that line up with what buyers are looking for — all on autopilot. This means better communication and keeping leads warm with information they actually care about. For agents, it’s a major win and a big move towards smarter, more tailored ways of connecting with clients.
Use this tool: Market Leader
Market Leader is like your all-in-one tool for real estate leads. Its Network Boost guarantees at least 40 exclusive leads monthly, tailored to your chosen cities. Plus, it’s got automated perks like listing alerts and drip campaigns to keep leads warm. The best part? A team of digital pros can handle all the ad campaigns, so you can focus on what you do best. Saves a ton of time and hassle, right?
SEE ALSO: 8 best places to buy real estate leads in 2023
Curate a signature style
Start a home design newsletter
Share your knowledge and insights on home design trends through a monthly newsletter. This keeps you in regular contact with your clients and prospects.
Use this tool: Canva
Canva is a go-to for real estate agents who want to create stunning marketing materials like postcards. It’s super user-friendly and packed with real estate-specific templates. The drag-and-drop interface, plus a huge library of graphics and fonts, make designing your own mailers a breeze. Canva is perfect for everything from new listings to brand promotion. You can start for free and explore premium features for more advanced options. It’s great for collaboration, works on any device, and has lots of images to choose from.
Open a booth at the local market
Physical presence matters. Set up a booth at local markets or fairs to meet potential clients and distribute marketing materials like business cards or brochures, along with original artwork, home decor, DIY supplies and vintage finds.
Offer ancillary services
Start a home staging service
Ever wondered how to find more home sellers? Try offering a home staging service to help them get their home listing-ready. It not only connects you with potential sellers, but it adds value to their properties. By showcasing your commitment to selling their homes at their best, you’ll more than likely also be the one to list their homes, too. Your personal touch will also make you memorable and ensure you’re the first person your client calls when they are ready to sell again in the future.
Create a ‘Marie Kondo-style’ decluttering newsletter
Start a dedicated mailing list to help people simplify their spaces with decluttering tips. A weekly newsletter can guide them through the process, making their homes more appealing for showings. And who will they think of when they’re ready to list their house? You, of course.
Use this tool: FloDesk
Looking for a way to make your brand pop? FloDesk provides a comprehensive suite of user-friendly email marketing and digital sales tools. They’re perfect for creating emails that truly stand out. And the best part? You can try it for free, no credit card needed. Plus, with FloDesk’s analytics, you get actionable insights to boost your growth.
Help people find good movers and storage options
You know who needs storage space? Someone getting ready to move. Write a blog reviewing all the local storage facilities and moving companies, or film social media content reviewing each company. You might be able to take a portion of any clients you refer to local companies, but more importantly, your audience will thank you for the customized recommendations.
Publish city guides
Publishing city guides on your blog is a smart move for real estate pros looking to attract more clients. Here’s why: City guides position you as a local expert, someone who knows the area inside and out. They’re not just about listing properties; they’re about showcasing the community’s lifestyle, amenities and hidden gems. This kind of insider knowledge builds trust with potential clients. Plus, these guides boost your website’s SEO, making you more visible online. When people search for info about the area, they find you. It’s a win-win: helpful for buyers and sellers, and great for your business growth.
Use this tool: Squarespace
Squarespace is a solid choice for real estate agents needing a sleek, professional website or blog quickly. It’s affordable and known for its minimalist designs. While it lacks native IDX integration, you can add MLS listings with some coding know-how. Its strengths include high-quality image and video support and SEO features. Plus, it has a handy appointment booking system, perfect for scheduling meetings with clients. Setting up a basic site that links to your social media and tracks visitor stats is pretty straightforward. And if you need help, there’s chat and email support (but no phone support).
Create compelling videos
Create engaging Reels
For real estate pros, Instagram Reels are a fun way to showcase your personality and add a human touch to your brand. Take your followers on exclusive property tours, share market insights and give a behind-the-scenes look at your day-to-day life in the office or out and about. Reels offer a dynamic, visual platform to connect with a broader audience. They’re not just about showing homes; they’re about storytelling, building your brand, and creating a relatable, human connection with potential clients. Plus, with Instagram’s massive user base, your content gets more eyeballs, increasing the chance of landing new clients. It’s modern, effective and adds a touch of sparkle to your marketing strategy.
Share client testimonials
Video testimonials from satisfied clients can significantly boost your credibility. Share these stories on your website and social media channels.
Start a YouTube channel
Use YouTube to share property tours, real estate advice and market updates. It’s a great platform to engage with a wider audience.
Give virtual tours
With the rise of remote buying, virtual tours have become essential. Offer high-quality virtual tours of your listings to reach out-of-town buyers.
Use this tool: Luxury Presence
Few platforms integrate high-quality video tours on your real estate website better than Luxury Presence. It’s a top pick for agents targeting the high-end market. It’s known for stunning designs used by over 8,000 agents, offering customizable tools and full-service agency options. The sleek, luxury vibe might not suit every brand, and prices can go up to $6,000 a month. But, you get great features like website analytics, market analysis tools, and custom IDX integrations. Customers love the customizability and classy design, though the service speed could be better. Perfect for agents who want their brand to scream luxury and sophistication.
Use drone photography
OK, hear us out. Drone photography is not just a trend; it’s about offering a new perspective. Aerial shots give potential clients a comprehensive view of a property, its surroundings and the neighborhood. This isn’t just about wow factor; it’s about providing a complete visual experience — crucial in today’s market where online impressions count. Drones capture angles and views that ground-level photography simply can’t, making listings stand out. It’s a powerful way to attract more clients, offering them a unique look at their potential new home and setting you apart as an agent who leverages cutting-edge technology.
Tried-and-true real estate marketing methods
Create business cards
Never underestimate the power of a well-designed business card. It’s a classic, yet effective, tool for networking.
Use this tool: Lab Coat Agents
LabCoat Agents (LCA) is a big deal in the real estate world, starting from a Facebook group and now boasting over 162,000 members. It’s perfect for busy agents, with helpful design and marketing tools tailored for real estate. Prices start at $59/month for individuals and go up for teams, with affordable plans for larger groups. It’s packed with stylish templates for social media, events and more. LCA’s standout feature? An in-app direct mail tool. If you’re into real estate marketing, it’s a go-to for everything from business cards to eye-catching online ads.
Send real estate postcards
Sending postcards is a classic, yet effective real estate agent marketing idea. It’s more than just old-school charm; postcards are tangible reminders of your services in a digital-heavy world. They’re perfect for announcing new listings or just sold properties, sharing market updates or just staying in touch through the seasons. Postcards can be targeted to specific neighborhoods or demographics.
Use this tool: ProspectsPLUS!
ProspectsPLUS! is a go-to for real estate agents aiming to boost their marketing with eye-catching postcards. It’s not just postcards, though – think business cards, magazines, door hangers, and more. The platform offers a mix of customizable templates and the option to upload your own designs. Plus, you can tailor your mailing list to target the right demographics. Starting at $0.91 per postcard, it’s known for quality mailers and fast service. Just a heads-up, double-checking customer addresses before shipping can be a bit tricky.
Announce Open Houses
Get the word out about open houses, where you’re most likely to meet a completely cold buyer for the first time. Open houses give you a direct opportunity to connect directly with potential buyers and create a buzz, drawing attention not only to the property but also to you as an agent. They provide a platform for you to demonstrate your expertise, engage with visitors and build relationships. Moreover, you can capture new email addresses and market these events through various channels, amplifying your reach and presence in the community.
Ask for referrals
Asking for referrals is a key strategy for real estate professionals looking to expand their client base. It’s about leveraging the power of personal networks. When you deliver great service, clients are usually happy to recommend you to friends and family. This word-of-mouth advertising is gold in real estate, where trust and reputation are everything. Plus, it’s a cost-effective way to market yourself, where you simply get recognized for a job well done.
Give a seasonal gift
Sending seasonal gifts is a smart, thoughtful strategy for real estate professionals looking to build lasting client relationships. Become known for always giving clients in your rolodex a gift around a particular time of year, be it your birthday month (or theirs!), your brokerage’s business anniversary or a cultural holiday. These gifts show your clients they’re valued beyond the transaction, fostering loyalty and potentially leading to referrals. In a business built on trust and personal connections, a well-chosen gift can be a meaningful touchpoint, setting you apart in the competitive real estate market.
AI real estate tools
Send AI-powered handwritten notes
Did you know a robot can write handwritten notes for you? Combine technology with a personal touch and use AI tools to send handwritten notes to your clients.
Use this tool: Addressable
Addressable’s robots use your own handwriting style to create personalized notes that look genuinely hand-written. This cool tech promises a response rate much higher than typical postcards. It’s perfect for real estate agents looking to connect with a large audience personally. The service is customizable, so you can tailor your messages and target the right folks. Starting out, you can try sending a batch of 1,000 notes. It’s an innovative way to blend personal touch with high-tech efficiency.
Run AI ad campaigns
AI technology targets your ads to the right people at the right time. It analyzes data, like browsing behavior and preferences, to make sure your ads hit home with potential clients. This means better leads and higher conversion rates. It’s not just about reaching more people; it’s about reaching the right people. In today’s fast-paced market, AI-driven ads give real estate agents a competitive edge, maximizing marketing efficiency and bringing in clients who are genuinely interested.
Use this tool: Lofty
Lofty (formerly Chime) is a comprehensive real estate platform that provides various essential tools such as CRM, IDX, team management, lead generation and more in a user-friendly, integrated package. It offers a multichannel online advertising service that finds and attracts potential leads, leveraging search intent targeting and social information to engage with potential buyers and sellers. Using AI, it automatically fine-tunes the agent’s advertising strategy based on data, helping to eliminate some of the guesswork around high-frequency bidding, keywords and content planning.
These real estate marketing ideas for 2024 are just the beginning. The key is to blend creativity with technology, ensuring that your marketing efforts are as unique as the properties you sell and, of course, you! Stay ahead of the curve, and watch your real estate business thrive in the upcoming year.