Real Estate PPC Advertising Tips and Strategies
May 26, 2023
Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, News, Real Estate Business Planning, Real Estate CRM, Real Estate Marketing, Real Estate Teams
You’ve built out your website, tweaked your SEO with hyperlocal content and set up your real estate CRM. Now all you need are some quality leads. Every successful real estate team needs a well-rounded approach to attracting leads. And there is no shortage of strategies for attracting people ready to buy or sell a home – from capturing them organically through your site to relying on other Realtor networks to leaning into old-fashioned word-of-mouth with your sphere of influence. But every lead gen strategy should include building out a real estate PPC advertising campaign.
Knowing where to begin with PPC ads can be overwhelming. So let’s cut through some of that confusion and explore some common questions and best practices for building a real estate PPC ad campaign that produces results.
What is real estate PPC?
Real estate PPC (pay-per-click) is a type of digital advertising strategy in which individuals and organizations create ads but only pay when someone clicks on them. Although these ads are typically displayed alongside search engine results (e.g., Google), they can also appear on social media sites and any other websites where you find advertising.
Because you are only paying for those people who actually click through to your website or landing page, as opposed to the number of times your ad appears, PPC ads can be one of the most cost-effective strategies for generating leads, though they often take longer to close than higher-intent organically generated leads. When paired with keywords, PPC ads can also help real estate businesses target specific leads, such as only those in a certain region or people actively searching for properties.
Additionally, leveraging the performance metrics of PPC ads can help real estate businesses can gain valuable insights into consumer behavior. Users should be looking at click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per click. These insights enable the refinement of marketing strategies and improvement of overall lead-gen performance
Here are some examples of effective real estate ads.
Why is real estate PPC important for real estate teams and their agents?
In short, PPC is important because it gives real estate teams a cost-effective, targeted and measurable way to find the most promising leads. Here are some ways it helps you do that:
- It gives you more visibility. The ability to target specific demographics, geographies and other segments gives real estate teams a potent tool for getting their message in front of the right people. It also helps them stand out from large real estate companies like Zillow and Realtor.com.
- It allows you to tailor your message. Through real-time data and analytics, PPC advertising makes it easy to tweak and adjust your messaging in order to maximize its effectiveness. You could even create separate ads that appeal to different audiences and markets, optimizing each one to make the biggest impact.
- It gives you more control over your budget. As we’ve mentioned, by only paying when your ad is clicked, you can ensure your marketing budget is put to good use. But you can also get even more granular control by bidding on how much you’re willing to pay per click for different keywords. If one set of search terms brings in higher quality leads than another, you have the flexibility to set your budget accordingly.
How much do real estate PPC campaigns cost?
According to Sierra’s data, real estate PPC campaign costs can range anywhere from $6-10 per lead (CPL) for buyer leads in the U.S. However, this can vary widely depending on a number of factors, such as the market, the keywords chosen and its competition and the platform you’re using. CPLs tend to be higher for seller leads, sometimes $20 or more.
But don’t let any of this put you off from PPC advertising. While costs are important, what you should instead focus on is your return on investment (ROI) or cost per close. Consider the average price of homes your leads are looking at, then measure that against the amount you’re willing to invest in generating and nurturing each lead. What would be an ideal PPC investment in this context?
At the end of the day, your real estate businesses and agents should set a PPC advertising budget that allows you to maximize your ROI while meeting your marketing goals. It’s important to also monitor your campaigns regularly and adjust your budget and strategy as needed to ensure you are getting the most out of your ad spend.
Real Estate PPC Strategies
Creating effective real estate PPC ads involves more than just selecting the right keywords and writing some copy. Instead, you’ll need to create a larger strategic plan in order to bring in – and keep – large numbers of targeted, highly engaged prospects. Here are some tips for doing this.
Understand your target audience
By taking the time to create detailed profiles of your target audience, you can increase the chances of your ads appearing in front of the leads most likely to convert. In other words, with a little upfront research, you can make your ads much more effective.
To start out, you could create personas of the people you think would be most interested in your properties. You could base these off your CRM data such as your previous clients, qualified leads as well as the types of buyers most common in your area and/or types of homes, or even the types of people searching online for properties.
As you research, make sure each persona contains a number of different characteristics, such as:
- Family size
- Personal buying/selling history
- Tech savviness
- Education level
Don’t forget to divide up your personas according to whether they’re buying or selling. These two types of leads will look very different. For example, seller leads could skew much older, while more buyers may be coming from different markets. Because of this, they’ll likely require different approaches and calls-to-action (CTAs).
By doing this research, you will better understand the various characteristics of your audience. This will inform the number of ads you create, as well as help you target them much more accurately.
Maximize your reach with Google Ads
With a PPC advertising share of close to 90 percent, Google Ads (formerly known as Adwords) is the absolute best way to ensure your real estate PPC ads reach the right people. Here’s how it works.
Step 1: Create account and enter in your target audience
Once you’ve created your Google Ads (previously called Google Adwords) account, you can begin by inputting the data points you’ve already put together for your target audience. This will then inform the keywords that you’ll choose.
Step 2: Choose and bid on your keywords
Think of keywords as the signals that tell your ads to appear. Whenever someone types in a word or phrase containing one of them, your ad will be more likely to display. The more specific the keyword or phrase is, the smaller and more targeted your audience will be. For example, “houses for sale in Orlando” will probably draw a larger audience, while “4-bedroom houses for sale under $300,000 in Orlando” will draw a smaller but more targeted set of leads.
The next step will be to bid on your chosen keywords. This just involves setting the maximum amount you are willing to pay for each lead. In general, a higher bid will usually lead to more exposure, although you won’t always pay the maximum amount. Google will also consider your quality score, which will include factors like the user’s search and the likelihood of someone clicking on your ad. This is why it’s important to research your target audience so you can carefully choose quality keywords. That way, you can land the most leads without blowing your budget.
Step 3: Write your ad copy and track your performance
Now that you’ve done your research and chosen your keywords, it’s time to actually create the ads. Keep in mind what your audience wants in order to make your ad exciting – but try not to go on too long. Keep it short, relevant, and informative. Use a headline that grabs their attention and make sure the description highlights some kind of unique selling point. People will want to know why they should click on your ad.
Once you’ve published your ads, you’ll want to monitor their performance. It can be a good idea to run multiple versions of an ad (called A/B testing) in order to see what works best. This could involve using different headlines or CTAs, or highlighting different selling points—experiment and try new strategies until you’re getting the results you want.
Implement proper lead follow-up
You’ve captured a lead and brought them onto your website. Maybe they’ve even spent some time looking through your properties. The work of lead generation is over – but now it’s time to nurture those leads and turn them into deals.
This is a huge part of building real estate revenue, yet it often gets overlooked. One reason may be because it is not uncommon for it to take over a year to effectively nurture a PPC-sourced lead. Follow up, especially when the lead isn’t quite ready to buy or sell, can be time-consuming. Plus, it can be difficult when your team is also actively working with transaction-ready leads and clients.
To help out, one strategy you can employ is real estate marketing automation. Using tools like action plans or conversational AI, the right CRM can follow-up and qualify leads for you, even across multiple touchpoints, such as phone, text and email. This can be a huge time-saver, especially since it can take, on average, a dozen or more touch points per real estate agent before a lead is engaged.
However, none of this should be a replacement for actual human interaction. Proper lead follow-up needs to involve the real estate agent having a conversation with the lead. Automation can keep the cadence going and maintain interest, but it should only be thought of as a way to start out the relationship – not replace it altogether. The goal should always be human connection.
If you’re looking to optimize your lead management process, Sierra Interactive’s real estate lead management software provides a powerful solution to efficiently organize, track, and nurture your leads, helping you convert more prospects into satisfied clients.
Improve your landing pages to capture more leads
Having an attractive, informative, and easy-to-use website or landing page is another important part of increasing your conversion rate. After all, what’s the point of putting in the work of generating quality real estate leads through PPC ads if they don’t actually stick around? You need to not only attract them, but impress them too. Here are some tips for doing just that:
- Make your headline clear and compelling. The first thing your leads should see is a sentence or two that conveys your unique value and the market you serve. It should grab their attention – and confirm they’re in the right place.
- Go local. Make sure you prominently display relevant neighborhoods/communities and local market data to position yourself as an authority in your market. Real estate IDX websites made for real estate make it easy to do this.
- Photos say a thousand words. Since this is a real estate website, your visitors will expect visually appealing photos of your listings displayed seamlessly on your site. Make sure you deliver with high-quality images and videos that showcase all the features and amenities of your properties.
- Use social proof. Whether through client testimonials, reviews, or awards, you should show off your past successes and the impact you’ve made in order to convince leads of your credibility.
- Make it mobile. Everyone is on their phones these days, so your website should be too. Make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile devices so that visitors can easily navigate it on the go.
- Use forms strategically. Add in a lead capture form to gather contact information from visitors. By keeping the form short and only asking for essential information, such as name and email address, you’ll make it more likely for visitors to fill it out.
Sierra Interactive can help with your real estate PPC campaigns
As a professional operating in the fiercely competitive real estate industry, we acknowledge that you have a lot on your plate. Through our proven Google and Facebook Ad management framework, we can help you start building out a real estate PPC ad campaign strategy that generates more transaction-ready leads with less work. Our services include:
- Campaign creation: You set your budget, and we’ll do the rest, from building out keyword phrases to monitoring and optimizing your campaign performance.
- Comprehensive performance reports: Get full visibility into how your ads are capturing and converting leads on a daily basis through dynamic reporting.
- Multiple campaign types: Choose between direct lead generation, dynamic retargeting, sphere remarketing or a combination of them depending on what works best for your business.
- Constant relevance: Ensure your dynamic ads are updated directly from the MLS in order to keep them as current as possible.
- SEO-optimized websites: Get fully responsive, beautifully designed websites, designed for both sellers and buyers, that provide visitors with an experience that keeps them around.
Want to see what you’re capable of? Schedule a demo to get started today.
Matt Niehaus is the Senior Digital Marketer at Sierra Interactive.
Real Estate Business Planning
Real Estate Business Planning