Real Estate Agents: Your Guide to Getting Started in PPC Marketing

Close,Up,Image,Of,Woman,Hands,Typing,On,Laptop,ComputerThe real estate market is booming… always. There may be dips in the market from time to time, but it is a business that never sleeps. There is endless competition, which is why agents must leverage every available tool to reach potential clients and generate leads. 

If you haven’t considered Pay-Per-Click (PPC) marketing yet, the time to get started is now. This digital advertising strategy is one more way to stay competitive in this industry! 

I encourage incorporating it because it allows you to target specific audiences and pay only when their ads are clicked. But how do you get started? 

This guide will get you well on your way!

We’ll start at the beginning and go over what PPC marketing is, how it works,  and why it’s beneficial for real estate agents in particular. There are some pros and cons of using PPC to consider, but with a few tips for success, you’ll feel more confident in your decision-making.

Plus we’ve included a few companies to assist with your PPC management, and what makes a PPC marketing campaign successful!

What is PPC Marketing?

Two,Businesswomen,Working,On,Computer,In,OfficePPC marketing is a paid digital advertising model in which you only pay a fee to advertise when your ad is clicked. 

“Essentially, you’re paying for targeted visits to your website (or landing page or app). When PPC is working correctly, the fee is trivial because the click is worth more than what you pay for it. For example, if you pay $3 for a click, but the click results in a $300 sale, then you’ve made a hefty profit.” (source)

Have you ever done a Google search and seen a link come up that is “sponsored”, or noted with “ad”? There you go… PPC marketing. Your ads will typically be run through search engine sites with an advertising component to their platform.

When people search a topic your ad will be displayed based on relevance and is designed to attract potential clients to your website.  But ads can also be found on websites and other media outlets.

As you may have guessed, PPC campaigns are typically managed through online advertising platforms such as Google Ads, Bing Ads, and social media advertising platforms like Facebook Ads and LinkedIn Ads. 

How It Works

Accounting,On,A,Tablet,Computer,,Close-upThis can feel a touch complicated because your ad placement is based on a bidding system. But we’ll break it down for you. 

In a PPC campaign, you will determine a budget that you want to spend per day, week, or month. This is a great asset in real estate because you’re not locked into a set amount. Your budget can fluctuate with your business. 

With your budget in mind, you bid on specific keywords or phrases relevant to your target audience. When a buyer or seller conducts a search using those keywords, the search engine displays ads that are relevant. 

Ad placement is determined by a combination of factors, including bid amount, ad relevance, and ad quality score. When a user clicks on the ad, the advertiser pays the bid amount, and the user is directed to the advertiser’s landing page or website. (source)

Sounds pretty good right? 

Why It’s Good for Real Estate Agents to Use

One of the biggest reasons I think PPC advertising is a good option for agents is that it is completely in your control. You know what you are getting from the outset. You are creating an ad, and when someone clicks on it, only then do you pay. 

It’s a simple straightforward addition to your marketing strategies that doesn’t cost you much time. Leads who take the next step to click and reach out to you are more likely to be leads that will convert. 

Here are a few factors that helped me determine that PPC is worth considering specifically in real estate:

Pros:

  • Reaches Your Target Audience: You can segment your audience based on a variety of filters like location, interest, and keyword searches that will likely promote better engagement and site traffic. 
    • “For example, for properties in Reading, Pennsylvania, customize the ad to target people who live in or frequent the radius of that location, per average income groups, and find the ideal customer profile.” (MediaBoom.com source)
  • More Immediate Results for Site Traffic: Organic search engine optimization (SEO) can take time to generate results with tremendous effort in time and content creation, but PPC campaigns can drive traffic to your real estate listings and websites immediately based on your bids and targeted reach.
  • Cost-Effective Advertising: We’ve mentioned this already, but it is a key factor. Upfront costs for advertising can be extensive but are mandatory. With PPC you can adjust your ad spend based on your monthly costs and ROI as you go along. 
  • Measurable Results: PPC platforms allow you to track the performance of your ads in real-time, and measure key metrics such as clicks, impressions, and conversions. Being able to analyze the success of your advertising through measurable data is a huge benefit so that you can adjust and optimize your advertising strategies as needed. 

Potential Drawbacks to Using PPC Marketing

As always, it’s a good practice to consider all aspects of a new marketing tool before incorporating it into your campaigns. 

While I do think PPC is an asset to real estate agents at any point in your career, just getting started or well established, there are aspects you should be aware of before jumping in head first!

Cons:

  • Competition: There is no escaping competition in real estate, you have to fully embrace it and do your best to stay one step ahead. This is true too when it comes to determining keywords for your ads. 
    • Too many agents using the same keywords in one area can drive up bidding costs for the same words, so try to stay creative!
  • Complexity: While it is a straightforward marketing strategy that is fairly straightforward, to use it most effectively you could end up spending a lot of time analyzing your data to best optimize your ads. 
    • There are companies that will manage your campaigns for you, which we have listed below. 
  • Click Fraud: There is a risk of click fraud that should be factored in when considering your ROI. While the profits for the cost are much higher still, planning for this in your budget and expectations should help mitigate upset as you build your strategies. 
    • “By looking at ClickCease clients in real estate we found that, on average, realtors see an average of 31.25% of fraudulent clicks on paid search and display ads.”  (clickcease.com source)
  • Learning Curve: Becoming proficient in PPC marketing techniques and platforms does take a concentrated effort to learn, and in our fast-paced industry we don’t always have that luxury. 
    • Setting small learning goals and using platforms to help you get started is a great way to add PPC without getting overwhelmed. 

Tips and Best Practices 

If you are just getting started in the world of advertising in real estate, I wrote this comprehensive guide for creating ads to give you an overview with step-by-step instructions to build upon as you learn more about PPC marketing. 

But for PPC specifically, let’s go over some tips and best practices to maximize the effectiveness of your PPC marketing campaigns:

  1. Conduct Keyword Research: Identify relevant keywords and search terms that potential clients may use when searching properties. Several companies can help you identify your words… so you can see keyword searches in action… 
    1. ppc marketing
  2. Target Your Specific Location: You want to be known and branded as the expert in your location. Narrow your audience to the specific geographic locations where your audience is located.
  3. Write Compelling Ad Copy: It’s one thing to write copy for an ad that’s nice and grammatically correct… It’s another to craft copy that provokes action towards the next step. You’ll want to include the unique features and benefits of your listing that close with a strong call to action. 
  4. Use Ad Extensions: Take advantage of ad extensions, which include any additional information and site links that will engage your audience, and promote them clicking. 
    1. “Google reports that ad extensions can boost ad click-through rates by an average of 10-15%.” (Source)
  5. Optimize Landing Pages: Ensure that your landing pages are prepared with engaging content that will convert by providing relevant, informative content, clear CTAs, and easy-to-navigate design. 
    1. If you are expanding your email list, make sure you have your forms up to date!
  6. Monitor and Adjust: Regularly monitor the performance of your PPC campaigns and make adjustments as needed to achieve your advertising goals.

5 Companies That Can Help Tips and Best Practices

There are several companies that you can hire to help you manage your accounts, but let’s get started with some of the top places… 

  1. You may have guessed it, but Google is by far ranked the leader in PPC marketing, and it’s a great place to learn the ropes. With robust tools and resources, you’ll be well on your way! Here’s an article I wrote not too long ago to learn more.
  2. Microsoft’s advertising platform is another great place to get started and allows agents to reach potential clients on the Bing search engine and other Microsoft-owned properties.
  3. Facebook is the world’s largest social media platform, and its advertising platform allows you to target specific audiences with a wide reach. Two companies that specialize in Facebook Ads are Broker Spot and Grizzly Leads if you want help managing your ads.  Facebook’s advertising platform enables agents to target specific audiences on the world’s largest social media platform.
  4. CinqPro is a great option and is ranked #1 by Google for helping you manage your ad accounts, but I suggest going this route if you’re a larger agency. 
  5. Thrive Agency is another company that seems to have a great handle on how to manage accounts specifically for real estate agents. 

Summary

PPC marketing is another tool that you can use to generate leads. It’s pretty straightforward and allows for huge profit margins that you can manage daily depending on your business. 

If you are new to PPC it can be a big undertaking, but one worth spending some time learning. Once you get the hang of it, you could stand to make a substantial profit and notoriety for your brand. 

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 2/27/2024