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9 Low-Cost Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Supercharge Your Lead Generation

real estate marketing ideas for realtors on a budget

There’s a good reason millions of people worldwide are pursuing a career in the real estate industry. Real estate will always be in high demand, as most people will look for a home at least once in their lifetime. The industry’s earning potential is not too shabby either — the U.S. housing market alone is worth over $36 trillion. However, as lucrative and stable as a career in real estate may be, the competition is fierce.

There are more than three million active real estate agents across the U.S. currently. And even when you narrow down that number to your local area, you’re still left with many competitors. Although that may not threaten established and experienced realtors, being a beginner in such a competitive market can be quite daunting.

Promoting and making their business stand out is challenging even for seasoned real estate agents. It also takes a lot of investment, experience, and marketing know-how. However, even newcomers to the industry can overcome this hurdle. How? The key to success lies in developing an effective real estate marketing strategy.

Whether you are a complete beginner or have at least some marketing knowledge, there are dozens of innovative real estate marketing ideas floating around the web to inspire you. However, not all of them are suitable for beginners or realtors with smaller budgets. That is why we compiled a list of nine real estate marketing ideas you can use to craft your marketing strategy with minimal investment. 

9 Real Estate Marketing Ideas for Realtors on All Budgets

Just because you operate in your local area doesn’t mean you should rely on traditional forms of promotion. Quite the contrary — regardless of your local market’s size, investing in digital real estate marketing is the best way to approach marketing on a budget

Although traditional forms of advertising can be effective, we will focus on ideas for promoting your business online. The primary reason is that these methods are cheaper to start with and have much higher growth potential.

With that out of the way, here are nine real estate marketing ideas realtors on all budgets can implement themselves:

1. Establish a Presence on Google to Boost Your Visibility

Before you even begin thinking of ways to promote your real estate agency online, you should first establish a presence on Google. Most buyers’ journeys start with a Google search, and it’s no different for homebuyers.

Here’s how you can establish a presence on Google in a few simple steps:

  1. Buy a Web Domain and Hosting
  2. Build a Website
  3. Add Your Site to Google My Business

Having a website also allows potential prospects to learn more about you, your listings, and your experience.

How to Buy a Domain and Hosting for Your Website

In simple terms, your website’s domain name will be the text users will have to type into a search engine to find your website. The best and easiest way to buy one is to visit a domain selling website like GoDaddy.

There, you can search for your desired domain name and check whether it’s available for sale.

godaddy website screenshot

If your chosen domain name is up for sale, you’ll be able to purchase it from the results screen immediately.

godaddy domain name lookup example

Domain prices can range anywhere from one to thousands of dollars. So try a few different ideas until you find one that fits your budget.

The best part about GoDaddy is that it also sells website hosting services, so you can kill two birds with one stone here. Because you’re building a website from scratch, the Economy hosting package will be enough to satisfy your needs. 

godaddy pricing screenshot

How to Create a Website for Your Real Estate Agency

After you buy your domain and hosting, you’ll have to set up and launch your website. And don’t worry; even if you know nothing about web development, you can still create a beautiful website for your business with minimal investment. You can use many beginner-friendly website builders to do that, but we recommend Wix or WordPress.

Building a Real Estate Website With Wix

Wix is a simple, drag-and-drop website builder anyone can use to create a website quickly. The best part about Wix is that it offers various templates for real estate websites. Selecting one and modifying it to your needs is the easiest way to set up your site quickly.

wix website screenshot

If you’re looking for a guide to walk you through all the steps in more detail, check out this video:

Building a Real Estate Website With WordPress

WordPress is another user-friendly website builder with thousands of templates to choose from. Similar to Wix, you can buy a predesigned website template and tweak it to your liking or build a site from scratch. 

Although Wix is better for complete beginners, WordPress offers more possibilities, features, and integrations due to its rich library of third-party plugins. So even though setting up a beginner website on Wix is easier, taking the extra time to build a WordPress site will pay off in the long run when you need to expand.

Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide to take you through the process of making your real estate website on WordPress:

How to Add Your Website to Google My Business

After you finish setting up your website, you should also add it to Google My Business. That will help boost your agency’s visibility in your local area.

For instance, around 1,000 people search for a real estate agent in California each month. Most of these users are ready to buy, making them precious prospects.

monthly search volume for real estate agent california keyword on google

Creating a Google My Business listing will allow your website to appear in Google’s local citations, which will significantly boost your site’s traffic and help attract qualified leads. Here’s how your business can appear in Google search results with this feature:

example of google my business listings in the serps

Setting up a Google My Business is simple, and there are two ways to do it. You can:

  1. Create a new Google My Business listing with an existing Google account.
  2. Claim an already existing business listing by verifying its ownership.

If there’s already a listing of your business on Google, all you’ll have to do is claim it. If not, you’ll have to take a few minutes to create a new one.

How to Create a New Google My Business Listing

The first step you should take is to sign in to Google My Business through this link. Then, click the “Add your business to Google” button if you can’t find your business in the search bar.

google my business get started page screenshot

After that, you’ll have to fill in some business information before finalizing the process. Here’s what you’ll have to include:

  • Business category
  • Business location (on Google Maps)
  • Service area
  • Contact information

After finishing your business’ listing, all that’s left is to verify it. You can do that from your Google My Business account and can choose between three verification methods:

  • Postcard by mail
  • Phone
  • Email

Once you complete your verification, you’ll have full editing access to your business listing.

How to Claim an Existing Google My Business Listing

If there’s already a Google My Business listing for your business, you’ll just have to claim it to get editing rights. There are three ways to claim an existing Google My Business listing:

1. You can search for an existing business after signing in to Google My Business and verifying your ownership.

2. Locate your business on Google Maps, select it, and press “Manage this listing.”

how to manage google my business listing screenshot

3. Type your business’ name in Google and select “Own this business?” from the rich snippet on the right.

claiming a google my business listing from the serps screenshot

After you claim your business, you’ll be able to edit all the information displayed, so don’t worry if any of the info is incorrect.

Now that your website is up and running and you’ve set up your Google My Business listing, you’ve got the basics of your Google presence covered. The next logical step would be to expand your online reach. The best way to do that is through social media.

2. Build an Audience on the Right Social Media Platforms

Everyone knows that social media platforms are valuable tools for attracting prospects and interacting with customers. However, few talk about the importance of picking the right platform for your business.

As a realtor on a budget, you’ll have to do most things yourself, so managing multiple social media profiles can prove quite time-consuming. That is why it’s important to focus only on the platforms your target audience frequents and those with the highest potential.

Although building a presence on social media takes a while and requires consistency and persistence, amassing a substantial following on the right platforms can be an incredible addition to your real estate marketing efforts. And the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see results.

The platforms we suggest you focus on when starting are Pinterest, Instagram, and Reddit.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a highly visual social media with over 450 million active users, making it one of the best choices for realtors. Since the platform focuses on posting images and short video clips, it’s perfect for real estate agents to showcase and promote their properties.

pinterest website screenshot

Some of the most common types of content realtors post here are:

  • Listing boards
  • Property features
  • Neighborhood highlights
  • Real estate memes and funny moments
  • Tips, tricks, and advice for homebuyers

All of these can be effective ways of marketing your new real estate business, so choose the ones that best fit your strengths. If you have many beautiful properties, you could show them off in some property features. If you have a funny bone, though, you could try appealing to home seekers through jokes and memes. Whatever content you decide to make, there will be an audience for it. 

Another interesting idea would be to use short-form videos — they can be an excellent way to hook people into engaging with your content for longer. Here’s an example of a realtor who combines this method with educational content for newcomers to the industry to promote his brand:

real estate marketing dude pinterest board screenshot

Either way, we suggest you begin posting 1–2 times a week when starting. You can increase that frequency later when you start getting more interactions on your profile. 

Instagram

Instagram is one of the largest social media networks worldwide that focus on visual content. Since it’s similar to Pinterest in that regard, it’s a powerful marketing tool for realtors. 

There are a few significant advantages to Instagram over Pinterest, though:

  • Large user base (1+ billion users)
  • Better search functions (e.g., hashtags)
  • Separate image and video sections (Instagram Reels)
  • Live streaming feature (IGTV)

These open up many new marketing opportunities in the form of vlog-style videos and even occasional live streams you can launch from your phone.

Instagram is also useful for appealing to the new generation of homebuyers as most of its users fall into the 25–45 age bracket. 

The content you can post on Instagram doesn’t need to be much different from what you post on Pinterest. That means you can recycle some of your Pinterest ideas and adapt them to this platform. Here’s an example of some beautiful property photographs from an active realtor on Instagram: 

property photographs on pinterest screenshot

If you decide to take our advice and make an account for your real estate business, here are a few quick tips:

  • Post 4–5 times a week (Instagram has better business potential than Pinterest, so posting more frequently can help you grow your presence faster)
  • Mix your content up (e.g., make 3-4 image posts and 1-2 Instagram Reels weekly; you can also include occasional live streams once you accrue significant following)
  • Put a link to your website in your profile bio (that way, you can funnel any leads to your property listings)
  • Use hashtags in your posts to improve discoverability (e.g., #realestate, #realestateagent, #homebuyers)

Reddit

Reddit is an online, community-moderated forum with over 400 million active users and 2.8 million niche communities. Unlike the two previous platforms, Reddit doesn’t take much planning, as it’s not a platform you can openly promote on. Still, it can be an indispensable lead generation tool in the right hands.

The key to succeeding on Reddit is joining the right communities (i.e., subreddits). The best places to start are subreddits for homebuyers or people looking for real estate advice like /r/RealEstateAdvice or /r/FirstTimeHomeBuyer.

r/ firsttimehomebuyer subreddit screenshot

Thousands of people looking for real estate advice or help with finding their ideal home frequent these spaces, making them a potential gold mine for skilled realtors.

The trick with Reddit communities is that they don’t allow any direct promotion, so getting leads from here can be tricky but not impossible.

The best way to approach Reddit is to be helpful — answer home seekers’ questions and give them professional advice. More often than not, your expertise will pique many home seekers’ interest, attracting them to inquire about you and your business. You can take it to the DMs from there.

Although the above two subreddits are likely your best choices when looking for leads, here are a few other real estate subreddits you could explore:

Now that you have the basics of your online presence covered, it’s time to focus on creating content to attract potential buyers. The best way to do that is to educate homebuyers on the local market.

3. Create Content Around Your Local Real Estate Market to Demonstrate Expertise

When homebuyers are looking for a house in a new neighborhood, one of the first things they’re going to do is research the local market. That is your opportunity to shine!

Creating content on the local real estate market is the best way to have potential prospects notice you early while still in the consideration stage of the marketing funnel. When looking to move house, most people will search for information like:

things most people search for when looking to buy a house

That is why creating content that answers these customer pain points is the best way for home seekers to find you. It also allows you to build trust before they even submit that contact form.

How you decide to answer these pressing customers’ questions is up to you, though. Here are a few creative ideas you can steal:

  • Start a blog on your site and write posts highlighting nearby places of interest and amenities (e.g., monuments, parks, cinemas, stores).
  • Write in-depth guides that help homebuyers every step of the way in their quest for their perfect home.
  • Make social posts showcasing the homes you’re selling, their neighborhoods, and other noteworthy details.

And if you wish to get a bit creative and have some basic coding knowledge, you could make a free, online real estate price calculator for your local area.

an example of an online real estate price calculator

You can include this tool in a separate section on your website or next to your contact form to help home seekers better gauge their potential expenses.

At the end of the day, don’t be afraid to get creative.

4. Film Property Walkthrough Videos to Attract Buyers

Once your content comes into effect, it will attract prospects to your home listings. From there, you will need to convince them to buy.

One of the best ways to improve your listings and boost conversions is to create property walkthrough videos. Real estate listings that include a video receive up to 300% more inquiries than those without. Also, these videos are the perfect opportunity to showcase your homes’ strengths in great detail. 

The best part about house walkthrough videos is that you don’t need much to start making them. Just because some realtors use 4K cameras, drone photography, and professional editing doesn’t mean you can’t do it on a budget.

Look at this example of a low-budget real estate walkthrough video:

This video has everything a home walkthrough video needs:

  • It showcases the neighborhood and the neighboring houses.
  • The viewers get to see the entire apartment.
  • The presentation is direct and casual.
  • The agent talks about the price.

Homebuyers care more about seeing the entire property top-to-bottom and getting information than your videos’ editing style and quality. So don’t hesitate to get in front of a camera to make your listings pop!

The only essential item you need is a camera, and there are many budget choices out there. Here are a few you could consider:

Panasonic Lumix fz80 camera
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 (from $299)
canon eos rebel t6 camera
Canon EOS Rebel T6 (from $449)
sony zv-1 camera
Sony ZV1 (from $650)

If you’re unsure how to handle the actual filming, here are some beginner tips to guide you through the process:

5. Build Social Proof With Customer Testimonials

Buying a new home is a massive and stressful undertaking, which is why most home seekers will be diligent when choosing their real estate agent. That is why establishing trust early is imperative to getting new clients. And that’s where social proof comes in handy!

The best way to generate trust and build social proof as a realtor is to have stellar reviews. Considering that 95% of potential buyers look up reviews before making a purchase should indicate how powerful they can be.

an image with the statistic: 95% of potential home buyers look up reviews before making a purchase

We understand that new realtors may have few or no reviews. After all, everyone has to start somewhere. However, you should always keep reviews in mind and include them in the sales process. What do we mean by that? Be direct and ask your customers to leave a review after they’ve settled into their new home. Most people would be glad to help as long as they are pleased with your work.

But where and how do you collect these reviews? You have many options, but here are some we would suggest:

1. Collect Google Reviews

People can leave Google reviews on your business listing by clicking on it from the SERPs and scrolling down to the “Reviews” section.

google reviews screenshot

Your average review scores even appear directly in the SERPs, which can immediately signal that you’re a reliable and trustworthy agent.

google business listing star review screenshot

2. Include Your Best Testimonials on Your Website

Besides Google reviews, it’s generally good practice to include a few of the best testimonials on your website. The best spot for them would be on your landing page, but you could also put them in multiple places.

example of a highly prominent testimonial on a real estate website

An even better option would be to include a video testimonial. These reviews are more trustworthy, as they require the customer to deliver them in person.

Although collecting these is much harder, getting even one can give you an edge over your competition.

And don’t beat yourself over their quality — all that matters is that these reviews are genuine. They can be as simple as having your client sit in front of a camera and say a few positive words. Here’s an example of how one such testimonial could look:

Last but not least, you should open business accounts on various real estate review sites and slowly collect your reviews there. Popular business listing sites like Yelp or real estate review sites like Realtor.com are good places to start.

yelp website screenshot

6. Create an Email List to Stay in Touch With Prospects

Another easy idea for marketing your real estate business would be making an email list. That would mean collecting contacts from your existing and potential customers so that you could email them later with updates and new offers.

Since many of your clients likely make the first contact through the contact form on your website or directly over email, all you have to do is collect and compile their addresses. That doesn’t only include your existing and past customers, but even those who considered hiring you but never went through with it.

There are many ways to use an email list that you could benefit from, and here are just a few ideas:

  • Sending regular newsletters with local real estate news and updates to existing and potential clients can help you stay on top of their minds the next time they need a realtor.
  • You can send updates on your new listings to inform home seekers that you have something new that may interest them.
  • Organizing an online poll or questionnaire can help you gather information on your clients’ needs or offer invaluable feedback.

If you wish to give this a shot, you don’t have to do everything manually. There are many email marketing tools that can help you manage, organize, and contact these prospects without costing you an arm and a leg. We suggest Mailchimp because it offers excellent features with great conditions for small realtors on a budget.

How to Set Up and Use Mailchimp for Beginner Realtors

The reason we recommend Mailchimp is because its “Free” plan is perfect for beginner realtors. It includes all the features you may need for a business of your size and has very generous limits. 

mailchimp pricing screenshot

The “Free” plan allows you to store up to 2,000 emails and send up to 10,000 newsletters, which is more than enough for a small real estate agency. If you reach your plan’s contacts cap, you’ve likely reached a point in your business’ development to need to hire someone to help you.

Once you set up your account, you can start by going to the “Audience Dashboard” section.

mailchimp navigation bar screenshot

From that section, you can create your first audience and import your email list. The easiest way to do that is by uploading a CSV file with your complete list.

how to import contacts into mailchimp screenshot

After you populate your audience with emails, go to the “Campaigns” section from the navigation bar on the left.

how to look at your campaigns in mailchimp screenshot

From there, you can create your first email campaign. Just follow the instructions on the screen and design your email once you get to the final step.

Mailchimp is a drag-and-drop email builder, so you won’t need any graphic design skills to build and format your email.

Mailchimp even offers various email templates to make your job easier.

mailchimp template selection screenshot

Or, if you need more inspiration, you can also use and edit some of their pre-designed themes.

mailchimp predesigned themes screenshot

These quality-of-life features make Mailchimp one of the most straightforward marketing tools to use for beginners. And once you get the hang of the tool after a few campaigns, you’ll be able to make new ones in no time!

If you eventually decide to delve deeper and invest more into real estate email marketing, Mailchimp also has various advanced tools on higher pricing plans like:

  • Custom audience segmentation
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Email automation sequences
  • Advanced analytics and performance monitoring
  • Custom sign-up forms and questionnaires
  • And more…

However, what we covered here is enough to get you on your feet.

If you need a more in-depth guide on setting up Mailchimp, check out this video:

To wrap this section up, here’s some additional advice to help you optimize your campaigns:

  • Send no more than one newsletter a week, as overdoing it may feel spammy.
  • During the first month or two, send your campaigns on different days (e.g., Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and check which ones performed best. Use that information and pick that day as your newsletter day to maximize performance.
  • Replicate the same test at different times of the day and adjust your sending habits accordingly. After all, there is no single best time to send your emails as it always depends on your audience.
  • Include images and rich visuals in your emails, especially if you’re sending listing updates.
  • Don’t forget to include links to your website and social profiles in the email footer.
  • Ensure to include an “Unsubscribe” button somewhere in the email so that you don’t get flagged for spam.

As long as you stick to these basics, you should start seeing results in no time.

7. Start a YouTube Channel to Market Your Real Estate Business

YouTube is another invaluable marketing channel for realtors, and for a good reason. This platform has more than two billion monthly users, and over 74% of U.S. adults frequent it. That means realtors have an excellent opportunity to reach homebuyers there.

an image with a statistic: 74% of U.S. adults watch YouTube regularly

Although YouTube is an excellent addition to your video marketing strategy, it will take some time before you start seeing any results. That is because building and growing a YouTube channel requires dedication and persistence. Yes, the same applies to social media, but YouTube has a higher barrier of entry due to videos being harder to make than social posts and images.

That is why we recommend you consider YouTube if you find yourself with extra time or resources to spare. If you have that, here’s how you can start marketing your real estate business on YouTube:

1. Create Your YouTube Channel

Creating a YouTube channel is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll have to sign in to your Google account in the top-right corner of the screen.

youtube home page where to sign in screenshot

Once you do that, an icon with your email profile picture will appear in the same spot. When you click it, you can choose to create a YouTube channel from the drop-down menu below.

how to create a YouTube channel screenshot

From there, you’ll have to name your channel, and you’re done! You can then access it from the same drop-down menu and edit its settings at will.

2. Get the Necessary Equipment

Although you don’t need any high-end gear to start recording videos on YouTube, investing a bit of money in some essential equipment would help. While you could get away with nothing but a budget camera for shooting property walkthrough videos, you should probably consider getting a few more items if you’re going to invest time in growing a YouTube channel.

The extra gear you should get will depend on whether you plan to make most of your videos in an indoor video studio or while out and about.

Here’s what we recommend you get for an indoor YouTube studio:

These items should be enough to get your home YouTube studio’s production started.

If you want to record videos outdoors, though, you’ll need a portable setup:

  • Any of the cameras we recommended in the property walkthrough chapter should suffice (e.g., Panasonic Lumix FZ80)
  • Portable microphone, preferably one that you can attach to your camera (e.g., TAKSTAR SGC-598)
  • A microphone windshield to protect your mic from the wind (You’ll have to choose one that fits the microphone you pick)

This gear should serve you well even in windy and unfavorable weather.

3. Start Making Videos

Of course, the last and most essential step is to start uploading content. The rule of thumb for growth on YouTube is to post as often as you can. However, not even posting daily can guarantee you’ll grow your channel enough to see positive ROI any time soon. That is why you shouldn’t put all your time into this platform. Instead, try to post as often as you can without compromising your other activities. Even a few videos a month should be a great start.

As for the kind of content you should make, you have plenty of options. Here are some real estate video marketing ideas you can try:

  • Neighborhood video tours (you can use these to introduce potential prospects to your properties’ surroundings)
  • Realtor profile videos (you can introduce yourself on camera and talk about your experience and passions to appeal to potential homebuyers)
  • Educational videos (sharing tips, tricks, and educating home seekers on the real estate market can help you build trust and generate new leads)
  • Property contract walkthrough videos (few people are versed in the legal background behind real estate, so most will appreciate this type of resource) 
  • Funny skit videos (showing you have a sense of humor can deeply resonate with potential buyers)
  • Real estate market overview (sharing predictions and demonstrating expertise on the real estate market can help build credibility with new prospects)

These ideas should be enough to get you started. But if you’re interested in more creative video ideas for your channel, check out this video:

8. Join Real Estate Facebook Communities

Although we wouldn’t recommend using Facebook to promote yourself organically (or even paid if you’re tight on funding), it is an excellent place for joining (or creating) communities. Whether you’re looking for a place to generate leads, collect valuable industry tips, or just network, there’s a Facebook group for you.

Joining most of these groups requires next to no effort on your end, and you can find many nuggets of information that can help you grow. If you’re looking for leads, though, you’ll need to take a more passive approach, similar to Reddit. Assist home seekers with helpful information, and some may even reach out to you for your services.

You can find and join these Facebook communities by searching for them from the “Groups” tab on the left-side menu of your Facebook account.

how to search for facebook groups screenshot

From there, just set the filter to “Groups” and search for your desired keywords. Also, don’t forget to look for groups exclusive to your local area, as they have the most potential to generate sales-qualified leads.

Here are a few communities you could join to get started:

For Lead Generation:

For Information and Networking:

9. Get Your Listings on Zillow and Trulia

Another easy way to boost your real estate agency’s digital presence is by syndicating all your house listings on platforms like Zillow and Trulia. These websites get more than 70 million and 12 million monthly visitors, respectively. That means they can offer a significant boost to your visibility, as millions of homebuyers use them to look for their dream homes.

Trulia and Zillow allow users to search for property listings from more than a dozen countries and let users zero in on their desired homes with various filter options.

trulia website screenshot of filters

After you create an account on these platforms, you can choose to list your properties for sale or rent. Once you select your choices and enter the necessary property details, follow the instructions on the screen and finish adding your listing.

Doing this with all of your new listings shouldn’t take longer than a few minutes but can pay off immensely in the long run.

Another useful feature that Zillow has is a “Find an Agent” option that lets users search their database for local realtors. That gives realtors an extra opportunity to get noticed.

zillow website "find an agent" feature screenshot

Make sure you complete your agent profile when making an account on Zillow so that people looking for agents in your area can find you. The platform also lets users post reviews and rate your profile, so don’t forget to remind any leads you get from the platform to do so.

Zillow also offers paid advertising features, so if you ever decide to invest extra money into real estate advertising, you should consider promoting yourself there.

Closing Thoughts

To wrap up this guide, we have to emphasize one more thing — you don’t have to use all of these ideas right away. In fact, it’s best to take your time and ease yourself into them. Start with building and maintaining your website, slowly expand to social media, and then continue on the rest. 

Remember — the goal here is to get yourself the most exposure possible for the limited time you have to dedicate to marketing. If you’re just starting, you’re likely going to be doing everything yourself, so trying to handle all of these immediately will make your life a living hell. 

We suggest you start with the first few and then focus on mastering them until you can do them on autopilot. After that, you can consider trying out a few more.

We sincerely hope you found this article useful and that it helps you sell more property without spending a small fortune. 

Good luck!

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