I wish I could tell you that I was sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops packed with people, enjoying a coffee while pondering the question of ‘How to Monetize a Real Estate Website?’.
But because of the current ‘special situation’ worldwide, this pondering had to happen in my own four walls, but I still didn’t have to waive the nice coffee.
Monetizing your real estate website has several benefits. Still, there are also some downsides to consider before you start doing that.
In this article, you will first learn what website monetization is, its benefits, cons, and types, and how different real estate businesses can monetize their websites.
What Is Website Monetization?
According to Wikipedia ‘Website monetization is the process of converting existing traffic being sent to a particular website into revenue.
The most popular ways of monetizing a website are by implementing pay per click (PPC) and cost per impression (CPI/CPM) advertising.
Various ad networks facilitate a webmaster in placing advertisements on pages of the website to benefit from the traffic the site is experiencing.’
I would add to this definition also other types of monetization, which are promoting affiliate products and services, premium content, and own digital products and consulting.
So, these are the 5 monetization types there are ordered from low workload to high workload in a descending manner:
- Using your website for Ad Space
- Promoting Affiliate Products and Services
- Offering Consulting Services
- Creating Premium Content behind a paywall or offering it through your email list after a payment leveraging your email List
- Creating your own digital product
What Are The Benefits of Monetizing Your Real Estate Website?
You could generate additional income for your real estate business when your core business activities are slow.
So by doing that, you can diversify your income sources and compensate for difficult market situations.
Another benefit is that you could test the demand for other real estate related products and services by monetizing your real estate website.
So when the worst case hits, you could start to focus on the already tested additional revenue sources and pivot your business model.
Are All The Above Suitable For a Real Estate Website?
Generally speaking, yes, but there are some types where you have to consider some potential downsides.
The two potential risks are that the monetization type is unsuitable for your target audience and that you overdo it.
So good knowledge of the needs of your target audience is essential.
When you use your website for ad space, for example, Google display ads are displayed, this can backfire if you overdo it by showing too many ads or not using ads that can be displayed discreetly.
This can be overcome by using ad networks that use text-based ads or native ads.
But remember that you won’t always qualify for the latter kind of ad.
Most ad networks require you to prove a certain minimum amount of monthly traffic or page views.
Another risk is that you might get some ads displayed from direct competitors of your real estate business.
So you will need some way to control which type of ads are allowed and displayed on your website.
Usually, you can control this via the respective ad network’s dashboard.
The same risks are valid if you promote affiliate products or services.
This can be done in much more discreet ways than ads.
Still, you would need to ensure that you don’t recommend products or services that might be directly competing with your real estate business.
Or you recommend products that don’t have good quality and don’t satisfy your target audience’s needs well enough.
For example, if you were a real estate agent for corporate housing properties with a nice website and good traffic, then you would promote the company
‘Corporate Housing By Owner‘, service product, which has an affiliate program. This would be counterproductive.
The same is true if a display ad from them appears on your website.
It’s a bit of common sense not to do something like that.
The other three monetization types have fewer risks involved.
Here you have more control, but on the downside, they are more labor-intensive and need more exact knowledge about the needs of your target audience/customers.
So, as a rule of thumb, the more labor-intensive a type of monetization is to implement, the less risk is involved in putting off your target audience.
On the other hand, more risk is involved in investing time and money in your own products and services and not seeing any income from it.
Some type of risk is always involved. Well, I guess life doesn’t come without risks.
5 Different Types of Real Estate Businesses and How They Can Monetize Their Websites
All the following types of real estate businesses and professionals usually have or should have a website:
- Real Estate Agents and Brokers
- Real Estate Developers
- Real Estate Marketing Agencies for Developers (very close to being a real estate brokerage)
- Property Management Companies
- Professional Real Estate Service Businesses such as Real Estate Attorneys, Real Estate Appraisers, Accountants, Real Estate Money Lenders, Interior Designers, Stagers, General Contractors, Construction Workers (almost the only exception where a website is necessary, but why not), and tradespeople
But where on their websites could they put ads or affiliate products on? Are all places on your website equally suitable for that?
For example, would it make sense for a real estate developer’s website to display ads on their page where properties are offered?
Imagine if you visited a developer’s property listing page. Then in between the description text, an ad would be displayed.
As you can already imagine, that would torpedo the aim of the very property listing page, which is to generate buyer leads.
The best way is to have a separate space or page for your different real estate website monetization methods.
Most of the time, a separate blog page or sales page would be the best option.
Below I will give you a short overview of the different monetization types and where you could place them on your website.
|Monetization Type||Where To Promote and/or To Place|
|Display Ads/Native Ads||Blog, Sidebar|
|Affiliate Products and Services||Blog, email List|
|Offering Consulting Services||Blog, email List|
|Premium Content behind a paywall||Membership Section, email List, Separate Sales page|
|Your own digital product||Blog, email List, Separate Sales page|
Inspiring Monetization Ideas for 3 Different Types of Real Estate Pros
1) Real Estate Agents and Brokers:
- Placing ads or affiliate products/services of professional real estate services such as real estate attorneys, appraisers, accountants, money lenders, stagers, etc., on the website’s blog or email list
- Offering a consulting service that helps sellers get a comparative market analysis or producing virtual tours
- Offering a consulting service, including transaction services, help in complex negotiations, or showing of properties on an hourly basis
- Premium Content behind a paywall which could include special deals on distressed properties for real estate investors
- A digital product, such as an eBook about how to invest in Buy and Hold Properties, specifically in the real estate agents or brokers’ local area
2) Property Management Companies
- Placing ads or affiliate products/services of real estate agents and brokers, professional real estate services such as real estate attorneys, appraisers, accountants, money lenders, stagers, etc., on the website’s blog or email list
- Offering an all-inclusive consulting service that helps landlords deal with ‘tenants from hell’ at a flat rate
- Premium Content behind a paywall which could include an app that facilitates landlords and their tenants to organize the day to day maintenance needs and makes it easy to get a handyman by the click of a button with flat fees for different types of repairs
- A digital product, such as an eBook about how to deal with ‘tenants from hell in the most effective way. This could be a pre-sale of the consulting service (think real estate marketing funnels).
3) Real Estate Money Lenders
- Placing ads or affiliate products/services of real estate agents and brokers, professional real estate services such as real estate attorneys, appraisers, accountants, money lenders, stagers, etc., on the website’s blog or email list.
- Offering a consulting service that helps buyers with low credit scores to get a standard mortgage from a bank and optionally helps how to use other creative financing options to meet the goal of financing.
- Premium Content behind a paywall which could include all types of legal documents from the local area necessary to get a bank loan and bank contacts where the money lender is already accepted to provide the financing for a down payment on a property.
- A digital product, such as an eBook with a title like: ‘How to Get A Bank Loan for Your Dream Home in [LOCAL AREA], Even if Your Credit Score is Low’
Monetizing your real estate website can be a good option to mitigate bad market periods and enable you to pivot your business model.
However, it should be done right and with enough knowledge about the needs of your target audience and where on your website you put the monetization to work.
Most of the time, having a blog is helpful, at least when you think of offering ad space or promoting affiliate products and services.
For other monetization types (e.g., consulting, premium content, digital product), you could get away with separate sales pages without doing content marketing on a blog.
Still, in this case, you potentially would need paid traffic.
This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.