Life would be easy without any challenges, but it would also be boring, don’t you think?

Many who are into real estate marketing and regularly manage different campaigns face different challenges.

You might know them already, but different studies have found the major challenges of marketers.

In this article, I will present six marketing challenges based on studies and statistics and two based on my observations.

I then put them into the real estate marketing context for you.


6 (Real Estate) Marketing Challenges Marketers Face Today Based on Surveys

1) Tracking the Return on Investment of Marketing Campaigns

According to a survey, only 53.85% of marketers report measuring their costs per acquisition (CPA) or, in other words, customer acquisition costs (source).

Not knowing about this metric means marketers won’t know how effective a certain marketing campaign is. Therefore, they won’t be able to make improvements or know what campaign to eliminate.

The other side of the coin is that you won’t know which marketing campaigns to scale and which ones to increase your marketing budget.

By not knowing your CPA, you won’t be able to calculate the return on investment. 

But tracking the ROI is easier said than done. 

Firstly, some marketing methods are more difficult to track than others. Secondly, if your business is already mid-sized or larger, you will need to have really good communication between your sales reps or sales department and your marketing department. 

Generally speaking, your link between sales and marketing needs to be quite good.

For instance, let’s say one of your marketing methods is content marketing using videos on YouTube and Google Ads

A potential customer watches your video on YouTube and clicks on a link leading to your website.

He looks at some of the new buildings you have for sale as a developer and decides to use a contact form to schedule a showing.

But this same page with the contact form could have come via Google Ads, and a potential customer could have also come from your Google Ads campaign. 

Once you receive the lead with the contact information, you don’t know exactly where he or she came from.

Now it depends on your sales team or your own sales and follow-up efforts to find out where the lead came from and note that in your customer relationship management software (CRM).

To prevent this kind of improvisation, you might want to start marketing campaigns with the end in mind. 

Meaning that you know right from the get-go where the lead came from.

Use a dedicated landing page for your Google ads campaign (this is a good approach, as discussed in this article) and then another for your YouTube videos.

This can get a bit more difficult. How so?

If the potential lead or customer is browsing different pages on your site than the dedicated real estate landing page and contacts you via phone or another contact form.

In this case, the one receiving the phone call should always find out where the respective individual has heard about you. 

The same is true for the contact form. 

You should also ask the individual where she or he has heard about you.

To get an answer, you can add some checkboxes that display the current marketing channels, such as in my example, “YouTube” and “Google Ads.”

Using Google Analytics, you can trace where the different leads came from.

After knowing that, this information should always be included in your customer relationship management software.

So once you have a sale, you already know where the respective customer initially came from.


2) Generating Traffic and Leads

According to a study from 2019, more than 35% of marketers find it challenging to generate traffic and/or leads (source).

This challenge is also confirmed by a study from 2020 (source).

This challenge is understandably happening because more marketing channels and options are available.

It always comes down to how well you know your potential target customers or target audience

The better you know them, including their needs, greed, and pains, the better you know which marketing channels and methods to use and how to communicate (including your copywriting).

It also depends on the real estate market niche (covered in this article) you are catering to.

For example, suppose your niche includes Baby Boomers (as covered in my past article).

In that case, you’ll likely be luckier by focusing on Google Ads and text-based content marketing to improve search engine rankings.

If you want to equally reach Baby Boomers and Millennials, YouTube content and paid Youtube video marketing might be your best bet.


3) Your Website

The trend of this challenge is declining, but managing a website still seems challenging for some marketers.

In the same study from 2020, 63% of marketers stated that they were looking to upgrade a website (source).

One of the major challenges within the context of website management was to increase performance

This is not surprising since it is one of the most critical elements in your marketing to attract visitors, convert them to leads, and, hopefully, to paying customers.

The challenge is often the site speed, writing and optimizing content/copy, and creating converting landing pages.

In creating a real estate website, you might also be interested in my article, “How Much to Spend on a Real Estate Website without Losing Your Camisa.”


4) Managing Your Marketing Budget

I know from the media buying world that it can be quite challenging to manage the cash flow when you want to scale up winning marketing campaigns. 

You need to know what return the campaign generates to know which minimum of this revenue needs to be reinvested to further scale the marketing campaign.

This can be even more challenging if you do inbound marketing when your content production is outsourced, and results usually take much longer to show than paid traffic campaigns, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads. 

In this context, I invite you to read my article “254 Content Marketing Ideas & Samples [How-To-Included]” here.

Nevertheless, according to the same survey from above, 64% of marketers report that their marketing budget has increased (source).

The key here is to track your return on investment for each campaign and, thus, know your cost per acquisition and your marketing costs to one sale (cost per sale).


5) Expanding to Potential International Customers

One part of horizontal expansion is also targeting similar potential customers that you already have but are located in other geographical areas.

This is the case if you want to reach potential international customers.

In fact, according to the survey above, 59% of marketers market internationally.

While it’s again a challenge to adapt your marketing messages and channels to potential international customers, it’s not the main one.

If you are interested in which countries prefer which type of content, you might want to look at this study (source).

But it’s more challenging to make your website suitable and accessible in other languages and deal with different exchange rates related to marketing channels and property prizes.


6) Hiring the Right People

While these statistics are not directly related to marketing tasks, we can assume that it is also true for them.

Depending on your real estate business size, this challenge might not yet be relevant to you. 

But at some point, once you can scale and thus grow your real estate business a bit further, you will want to delegate at least some of your marketing tasks.

Especially when it comes to inbound marketing, where a lot of content must be produced, hiring or outsourcing might become necessary.

Finding and evaluating the right people with the right skills can take a fair amount of time. 

In 2020, many employers sought marketers with hard technical and soft creative skills (source).

So, to find suitable candidates to hire or outsource, you should ideally have developed and created a winning marketing campaign.


To better define the tasks and results you are expecting.

You don’t want to be in a position where you still have to experiment with different marketing channels and then rely on someone you hire or outsource.

I am not saying that this can’t work.

Still, I think this would involve a higher risk than knowing what is working before hiring someone or outsourcing.

If you have a tiny business, you should have already managed to do this alone or with your existing team.

By the way, I have covered parts of this in my article “How to Automate Your Real Estate Business and Win Back Time.”


Two (Real Estate) Marketing Challenges Based on My Own Observations

While I can’t back up this section with surveys and statistics, I can add further real estate marketing challenges based on my observations, experiences, and deductions from the above.


Staying Focused and First Mastering Only a Few Marketing Channels & Testing

Due to the large amount of information, you can get about different marketing methods, you might fall into the trap of the grass is always greener on the other side.

The consequences?

You jump from one marketing channel to the next, ending up with an extensive list you won’t be able to manage all at once, let alone master each.

One of the most inspiring books about sales and marketing written by Perry Marshall is called “80/20 Sales and Marketing” (source).

In this book, he mentions that it is better to master firstly one marketing channel before moving on or extending to the next one.

This is easier said than done; I know this from myself. 

If results don’t show fast enough, impatience can kick in. You want to move on and add another marketing channel rather than going deeper and figuring out by testing what is wrong with the one you started to use.

This is also connected to several iterations of testing. 

Doing tests within the same marketing channel is very important in this context. 

The more you test (including A/B testing), the more you increase your chances of creating a winning campaign.

Unfortunately, you will have to accept that testing means failing repeatedly until you win. This in itself can be a considerable challenge.


Adapting to Market and Technology Changes

Markets change, not only in the real estate industry, and they can switch from buyers’ markets to sellers’ markets and vice versa.

And depending on the type of changes occurring, you might need to adapt your marketing strategy.


Because with a market change very often come changes in demand. 

Potential customers you could target before via a particular marketing channel and a specific marketing message might not have the same need as before.

This might result in a lower conversion rate or response rate.

With the market change, other real estate market niches and other types of potential customers could be on the rise or developing. 

These customers might not be reached by the same established marketing channels you used before anymore.

You might also need to offer other products (e.g., property types) and services.

This situation is also quite similar to new technical developments. 

Each marketing channel saturates at some point in time. 

Ten years ago, you could still easily generate real estate leads by just starting a Facebook Page and publishing posts, regularly reaching potential customers organically. 

This organic reach is practically gone (including other social media platforms, as discussed in this article).

So, without spending some money, you won’t be able to reach many people on Facebook anymore.

The past pandemic was another example of market changes and user behavior changes in technology. 

Before the event, virtual tours on your property listing pages (in the case of realtors) were a nice add-on and already positively affected website conversion rates.

In pandemic times, buyers try to avoid doing physical property tours altogether and now may have become used to them.

Real estate professionals who include virtual tours in their online sales funnel can now increase their website conversion rates even more by increasing their use.

You can read more about “Are Virtual Tours Worth It” in this article.

Market and technology changes influence each other and go hand in hand with changes in marketing channels and methods.

This can be challenging to adapt to, so you can maintain or improve past marketing results.

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team. It has been approved for publication in accordance with our editorial policy.

Tobias Schnellbacher