Real Estate

3 key questions to ask before you invest in marketing for your real estate business

It’s no secret. Marketing is one of the key factors scaling an agent’s business. In fact, marketing can be so valuable that it has created a whole sub-industry built on supporting real estate agents with their marketing. This includes technology platforms and consulting businesses led by industry experts, and real estate media have made the topic a central theme within their publications, events, and other publishing platforms. We have seen time, and time again that agents who invest in marketing see the impact on their business. Yet, real estate professionals have limited resources and dozens of marketing channels to choose from when it comes to marketing themselves and their listings.

Across the industry, agents face the same significant barrier at the starting point… “where do I invest my time, money, and resources?” It is not uncommon to get stuck on basic questions…

  • Which social media channels should I prioritize?
  • Do emails, digital ads, or postcards provide the best ROI?
  • Does print advertising still have influence among homebuyers?

These questions have merit. And it is better to ask these questions and explore their answers before investing in marketing channels that don’t reach or influence homebuyers and sellers. Since most agents can’t afford to invest in every marketing channel, and shouldn’t, choosing the wrong one can hamper an agent’s business.

The key is for every agent to understand the impact of marketing in their specific market and among their specific current and prospective client base. Before investing in any marketing programs, there are three fundamental questions that every agent should research to best reach and influence their specific prospects:

In my market, what marketing channels are most impactful for reaching homeowners and buyers?
Every market is made up of distinct consumer groups that are influenced by different types of media and marketing. Agents need to identify what drives the most influence in their local market.

Where do potential homebuyers in my market search for listings?
It’s not surprising that many homebuyers research properties online before contacting an agent or visiting a neighborhood in-person. But there isn’t a single online website that they all use to find listings. Zillow,, Facebook, Instagram, and many other websites are used for viewing homes, but there isn’t a single platform that works best in every market. Agents must identify which websites are used most by homebuyers in their market.

And perhaps the most important question is….

What marketing channels have the greatest influence on consumers in your market when they are actually determining which real estate professional will represent them in buying or selling their home?
This is the key data point for agents. It is our industry’s equivalent of identifying “point of purchase” behavior.

It is not enough to connect marketing channels with the purchase of a home. The data that matters is what actually influences consumers in their market to choose an agent to represent them in buying or selling a home.

While finding the answers to these questions can prove to be challenging, they are essential in limiting the risk of investing in marketing channels that will never reach an agent’s specific target audience. It can be the difference between growing an agent’s business or wasting resources on marketing that never influences their prospects.

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