14 real estate marketing ideas & strategies to close more sales

Gather ideas and inspiration to improve your real estate marketing efforts.
Find out how real estate companies use Canva

Did you know that in the early 1900s, the department store Sears used to mail out a catalog that sold kits to build your own home? The homes built from those kits are still in good shape, and many of them have made their rounds on the housing market more recently. However, the marketing tactics used to sell these homes this time around were probably a bit different.

Today, there are countless ways to be effective at real estate marketing. Some of these ways harken back to the good ole print and paper days. Others take advantage of cutting-edge technology and social media trends. But no matter which method you use, the real estate industry is as much about selling yourself and your expertise as it is about selling properties.

In order to ensure that you are the first agent a seller or buyer dials, it’s essential to market yourself in the best light possible. Since real estate marketing strategies continually evolve—particularly from a digital standpoint—we’ve put together a list of 14 real estate marketing ideas and strategies to help you stand out and close more sales.

Table of contents

Why real estate marketing is important

There is plenty of competition when it comes to real estate, so you need to ensure both buyers and sellers are able to not only find you but also trust you as their agent. While customers used to rely on newspapers or open houses, these days, there are limitless ways to connect with them—namely, digital ways.

This is a trend that has been steadily growing, according to Realty Austin’s Vice President of Marketing, Kara Jones:

A survey by the National Association of Realtors also indicates that digital marketing platforms, social media, and personal websites are among some of the many tech resources real estate professionals are using more and more. This shows that embracing technology and the internet for real estate marketing is an essential step in business growth.

Now, let’s dive into real estate marketing ideas and strategies to boost your sales!

1. Build your brand basics

Before you begin to actively promote your real estate business, it’s worth ensuring that you have your marketing toolkit ready. Setting up the basics means that customers can easily identify your brand just by visuals and brand marketing alone.

Your brand is your business, so it’s essential to get it right as you build your marketing plan. It’s how your customers will recognize you and how you’ll start to build trust at a quick glance. If you work for yourself and not an agency, the first step is a logo, which will also inform your brand palette and brand kit.

Tip: Watch this video to find out how you can create your brand kit in Canva:

If you work for an agency, it’s important that everything you do ties in with the brand authority it has built. For example, with over 800 offices in Australia, real estate agency Ray White uses Canva’s brand kit and team features to build brand consistency and efficiency across all their projects.

Brand consistency relies on having access to your logos, colors, and fonts to easily apply across any design. Whether you create a print or digital design, the consistent branding will make it easily recognizable by anyone who comes across it.

A template with an image of a home, its address, and the selling price with big, bold letters that say: “Just Sold!”

Dive into Canva’s library of real estate social media templates.

2. Build an assets library

In real estate, beautiful visuals are everything. Fortunately, even with a limited budget or product, you can still build up a suite of branded assets to use whenever you need. In addition to images of the properties you represent, it helps to have lifestyle shots, team photos, and branded videos. You should also include your logo and any other design elements you might use consistently to represent your brand.

If you don’t have your own custom images yet, search through stock libraries with high-quality images, graphics, and even videos and select images to add to your organized library.

Tip: You can also insert existing PDF files and edit them in Canva

In Canva’s brand kit feature, you can create folders to organize your assets by category or marketing campaign. Then, when you’re creating content in Canva, you can easily navigate to that folder and select relevant images, videos, or other design elements.

Organization is especially crucial for real estate agencies with large teams. Through Canva’s folder management system, PRG Real Estate’s teams were able to increase the efficiency and accuracy of their marketing and design workflows.

A screenshot of Canva’s “Brand Kit,” which includes labeled folders by department name like “Marketing,” etc.

Learn more about Canva’s content management capabilities.

3. Set up your online profiles

Now that you’ve created your brand basics and have a curated suite of branded assets, you’ll need to set up a few key online profiles. If you haven’t already, create profiles on common real estate search platforms like Google and Zillow.

The first and most important profile to set up is a Google Business Profile. This lets customers easily find and connect with you through Google Search and Google Maps. Your profile includes hours of operation, contact info, customer reviews, and images that best represent your business.

With a Google Business Profile, you can also:

  • Promote your business with photos and posts
  • Track business analytics to understand your customers
  • Respond to customer reviews

If you’re a US-based real estate agent, Zillow is a must, as it is the largest real estate website in the US. It’s easy to create your real estate agent profile on Zillow. Make sure to include a smiling photo, as it will make a huge difference in attracting new clients.

You’ll also want to create professional profiles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok. (More on social media later.)

4. Utilize local apps and realtor registries

Your website is a great way for people to connect with you. But that’s if they know you exist to begin with! To be discoverable, create a contact profile on local apps. Local apps are the most commonly used websites or apps for listings in your area. If you’re a real estate agent in the US, examples include Realtor.com, Better Real Estate, and RealEstateAgent.com.

Most platforms have a ‘Find an agent’ option, so if you want to be one of the names that appear, you’ll need to set up your profile on that platform. As each platform is different, simply follow the platform instructions to set yourself up.

5. Design and print marketing materials and swag

Depending on how much time or budget you have, there are various print marketing ideas to attract customers.

Working in real estate often entails meeting with new people in person. This means new business opportunities must be taken advantage of right then and there.

But you can’t expect your new prospective client to take down your contact info—or worse—hope they just magically remember your name.

Instead, the traditional print methods of real estate marketing are an easy way to quickly hand prospects your information with no extra effort on their part. Making a real estate business card is essential.

Not only does it tell people how to contact you, but it also has longevity, keeping you top of mind when customers are ready to engage your services. When creating your business card, it’s important to keep it minimal and see how you can easily incorporate your logo, chosen color palettes, and fonts.

An example of a real estate agent business card with the agent’s name, photo, and contact information.

Design and print your new business card on Canva.

Flyers and brochures are also still widely used within the real estate industry. When you want to provide your customers with more information, flyers or brochures are easy to hand out while you’re hosting an open house.

These can be placed in your property listings, in local stores, in a letterbox drop, or even in local newspapers.

An open house flyer with the home address, photos of the house interior, and information about the property.

Use Canva’s flyer and brochure templates to create marketing materials for your open house or other needs.

Another way to use print to build your brand presence and generate buzz around your real estate business is to design, print, and give away company swag. Think custom branded T-shirts, mugs, calendars, stickers, or anything else people will enjoy receiving as a small gift or perk for connecting with you.

6. Build an attractive website and blog

Engaging real estate websites are key for winning clients. With great design and forethought, they can attract real estate leads that turn into customers. Most brokerages have a company website and supply their real estate agents with personal websites or landing pages within the broader company site.

However, just because your broker supplies you with a web page doesn’t mean it will be an effective marketing tool.

In fact, personal websites provided by a broker are the top tool that agents are least satisfied with.

If you’re unsatisfied with your professional online presence, you won’t make the right impression on your clients, and you certainly won’t capture leads.

Instead, design your own website in minutes that fits your personality, mission, and brand. This should also be a space for you to attract your target market through content marketing. There are many template-based website builders out there to choose from, including Canva Websites, a free one-page website builder.

Here are a few key tips when building your site:

  • Set up an email sign-up form or pop-up with a lead magnet (such as a first-time homebuyer Ebook).
  • Include a section that displays client testimonials either in a written or video format.
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. While viewing homes or researching neighborhoods, most people are on their phones.
  • Include a blog to host search engine optimized (SEO) posts that draw more organic traffic to your site. (For example, you could interview people within the local neighborhood about their experience living there and buying a home for the first time.)

Develop responsive websites that look great on browsers and mobile.

7. Prioritize social media

Social media is a great way to speak directly to your target audience. It is especially relevant for the real estate industry, as it produces the highest number of quality leads when compared to other marketing tools.

This is likely due to the fact that social media has become such a popular place where people spend their time. But it’s also a space where real estate agents can become influencers in their industry.

Not only are social media platforms an effective way to grow awareness of the service you offer, but they’re also a powerful vehicle to educate existing and potential clients and show them that you are a local authority figure and industry expert.

With Canva, you can easily create designs for every social media platform. Plus, you only have to create the design once! Use Canva’s Magic Resize Tool to reformat your designs to fit the exact dimensions of whichever platform you plan on posting to.

A screenshot of Canva’s platform, the resize tool window is open on a design, it shows that you can enter custom dimensions in pixels or you can select from common social media format types like Facebook posts, Facebook cover, and Instagram post. Then you can select the “copy & resize” button.

Use Canva’s Magic Resize Tool to convert your designs into any dimensions you need.

Other real estate social media tips:

  • Engage your audience by asking questions and requesting that they leave comments.
  • Ask for feedback on a listing’s staging, new landscaping, or renovation.
  • Participate in the latest social media trends and make them relevant to your work. (For example, discovering hidden rooms on TikTok is a popular trend and could be a fun way for you to share hidden rooms in your listings.)
  • Experiment with paid social media marketing.
  • Use localized hashtags and start your own to get your community involved.
  • Maintain a timely content calendar with relevant industry news, local news, and other trending topics.
  • Use Canva’s insights feature to gain valuable insights on how your designs perform on social media.

With Canva’s social media planner, you can create designs and publish them directly from within Canva.

8. Send out an email newsletter

Newsletters are not a new marketing tactic, but they’re still an effective and popular one among marketers and businesses. As you build your client list, ask them for permission to be added to your email subscriber list. Let them know that you’d love for them to receive your newsletter, and specify how often you send it out.

A newsletter will help you stay top of mind with your clients. Include a mix of information such as listings, neighborhood news, or expert knowledge about buying or selling homes.

Tip: Even if you have lots of information to share, keep the number of words in the email to a minimum, with clickable links if they want to know more. And keep the amount of emails brief, too—start with a quarterly newsletter and see how people respond.

9. Hire a drone photographer and videographer

These days, real estate drone photography and videography are popular and effective additions to your real estate marketing strategy. A drone can provide a literal bird’s-eye view of the property and its surrounding landscape. This gives potential buyers a better context of the layout, dimensions, and other features of the property.

If your listings are often multi-story buildings, drones can give you an advantage by accessing views that would otherwise be difficult to capture. Drone photography can also be used for virtual tours to embed on your website or to send directly to interested buyers.

Note: Keep in mind that depending on where you are in the world, there are certain rules and regulations governing drone photography. This includes guidelines for obtaining the proper certification to use a drone for commercial purposes. Additionally, make sure that the drone photographer you hire is a licensed drone pilot and that they are following your local laws.

10. Leverage customer reviews

Authentic customer reviews and referrals are great for business, but even if your customers would highly recommend you, they might not automatically leave a review. So, it’s important to actively ask for reviews when possible.

As mentioned earlier, with a business profile, your customer reviews appear on a Google search next to your listing as well as in Google Maps. You can request reviews from customers through a short URL that’s specific to your business.

Ways to ask for customer reviews:

  • Send a personalized email or text (if that’s what they prefer)
  • Follow up with a phone call to check in
  • Ask them for an in-person meeting to thank them for their business
  • Add a link to your review page in your email signature, on your website, and on social media
  • For print materials, add a QR code that links to your review page

11. Invest in real estate video marketing

As the average daily time of video consumption increases year after year, investing in video is a must for real estate marketing. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, nearly half of buyers deemed video very useful in their search.

The good news is that video is affordable, especially with easy-to-create video templates. Capture and edit videos in a way that matches your personal brand. Are you very polished and formal? Or do you have more of an informal, raw aesthetic?

Whether you create highly professional-looking videos or capture self-made iPhone moments from behind the scenes, make sure you stay authentic. The more personal your videos (especially on social media), the better. Share them on your social accounts and embed them on your website, your YouTube channel, and in your emails.

With Canva’s video templates, you can choose from various styles and easily resize them to fit the distribution method.

Real estate video marketing ideas:

  • Property listing walkthroughs
  • Explainer videos on how to buy or sell
  • Community videos about your local area
  • Virtual home showings
  • Before-and-afters that capture staging, renovation, or redecorating
  • A series (e.g., “Home of the week,” a comedic reality TV spoof, a day in the life)
  • Customer success stories (e.g., capture as they walk into their new home for the first time)
  • Introduce your team members (including yourself!)

Tip: Don’t forget to get creative with the editing tools that are built in to social media platforms (i.e., Instagram Stories and Reels, Facebook live, TikTok, YouTube and YouTube shorts).

12. Provide real estate education and resources

As a real estate professional, you bring a wealth of valuable knowledge to your clients. Use this knowledge in your content marketing efforts. Not only will it make for interesting and valuable content for your audience, but it will also build customer trust and increase your credibility.

Here are some real estate education content ideas:

  • Develop a real estate terminology and seasonal tips handbook that your audience can download in the form of a PDF or presentation.
  • Host a webinar or in-person seminar to teach new home buyers about the criteria for finding a home, picking an agent, or signing a contract.
  • Start a podcast to answer common buyer/seller questions and concerns or to interview unique home buyers and real estate investors.
  • Design infographics or other types of shareable content.
  • Create downloadable home-buying checklists with information first-time home buyers might not think of (e.g., checking for health hazards like mold or supernatural beings…apparently, mold is scarier than a haunted house!)
  • Collaborate with home safety and security experts to educate homeowners about how to secure their homes.

Create a presentation explaining the ins and outs of real estate to your audience.

13. Celebrate home art, architecture, and design

In addition to your knowledge about selling homes, you also likely have some insight into renovating, decorating, and staging homes. Or if you’re not personally experienced with those areas, you have probably worked closely with someone who is. Many of your interested homebuyers will also be interested in learning about interior design, architecture, and all things related to making a house a home.

Here are ideas to satisfy the needs of those with more of a creative bug:

  • Share articles, photos, or videos about architecture and unique properties.
  • Provide tips about hiring for renovation and construction.
  • Collaborate with an interior designer to share tips on staging and redecorating your home.
  • Film videos or write blogs about DIY home improvement.
  • Collaborate with a landscaping and gardening company to share current trends.
  • Partner with local vendors that sell home goods, appliances, or other household favorites and host a product giveaway competition.

14. Highlight fun facts about your area

Of all the real estate marketing tips out there, this one is probably the most underutilized. When you’re so focused on selling listings, you might forget to pay attention to what’s going on in your local community. Not only is that yet another thing your customers would like to hear about, but it’s also helpful for closing sales!

Spotlight fun and interesting facts about your community, like:

  • Neighborhood amenities and public spaces (e.g., parks, gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.)
  • Local and small businesses (e.g., shops with community-driven values)
  • Free activities in the area (e.g., farmers’ markets, concerts in the park, outdoor movie screenings)
  • Historical pictures and stories (e.g., the origin of a town name or famous sign)
  • Local good news (e.g., small acts of kindness, team wins, museum openings, etc.)

To really get to know your community, go out and talk with people who have been around for a while. Find out their story and what they know about the regions you work in. Build partnerships with local business owners or consider sponsoring local teams.

By getting involved in your local community, the content you share will be more interesting and engaging for your audience.

Track and analyze your real estate marketing efforts

As you develop a real estate marketing strategy, set specific and measurable goals that you can track. Once you have determined your key metrics, use an analytics software to track performance.

In Canva, you can gather data on how your team uses each design. This can indicate which types of marketing materials are more popular for agents based on their territory or level of experience.

Moreover, if you schedule and publish with Canva, you can see valuable social media insights such as audience likes, comments, reactions, and saves.

Gain valuable insightson your marketing designs.

The final stage of an effective real estate marketing plan is the analysis. Which content was more popular? Have you learned more about your demographic? Did anything surprise you? What will you do again? What will you never repeat?

The answers to all these questions and more will help you figure out which ideas work for you and which don’t. With each new marketing campaign, you’ll improve your real estate marketing strategy. Soon enough, marketing for real estate will become as second nature as selling listings!

Take advantage of Canva’s time-saving templates and brand features. Get started with Canva for real estate agents today!

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