‘What is the best real estate advertising?’

This is a question I have been asked from time to time in the past when I ran a real estate advertising campaign for myself, a former customer or partner.

It’s because you want to have certainty and confidence that what you are doing brings you 100% results, and doesn’t loses you money.

And the best real estate advertising is a campaign you run that gets you high quality leads that convert easily into buyers or sellers (a high lead to closing ratio) at the least amount of cost per acquisition (CPA).

In contrast to other articles out there that often come from biased sources, because of course, they want to sell you their specific software, you can’t generally say that marketing channel XYZ is the best. That’s quite a stretch.

So first things first…

What Is The Meaning of ‘Best’

For each one of us ‘best’ can mean something different.

And in order to find the best real estate advertising, you might want to ask yourself first ‘why’. This question helps to find something that you can measure.

So, why do you want to find the best real estate advertising?

  • To generate more seller or buyer leads?
  • To lower your cost per lead?
  • To lower your cost per acquisition?
  • To grow your real estate business with increasing sales each year?

From the above questions, which ones do you think gets closer to what ‘best’ could mean in the context of real estate advertising?

I would say not the first two, but the last two questions referring to lower costs per acquisition and growth.

Growth meaning having more customer acquisitions each time.

Now let’s get to the second part ‘Real Estate Advertising’.

What is Real Estate Advertising?

Advertising is defined as:

‘…a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.[1]:465

Sponsors of advertising are typically businesses wishing to promote their products or services. Advertising is differentiated from public relations in that an advertiser pays for and has control over the message.

It differs from personal selling in that the message is non-personal, i.e., not directed to a particular individual.[1]:661,672

Advertising is communicated through various mass media,[2] including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor advertising or direct mail; and new media such as search results, blogs, social media, websites or text messages.

The actual presentation of the message in a medium is referred to as an advertisement, or ‘ad’ or advert for short. ‘ (source)

When we apply the above definitions to real estate advertising it just means the same, with the only difference being that it is focused on the real estate industry.

So now the initial question of ‘What is the best real estate advertising’ can be put differently and in a more concrete way, which you will see in the next section.

How to Lower Your Costs Per Real Estate Lead and Increase Your Number of Leads At The Same Time

Now, let’s first answer the question of how you can lower your costs per acquisition.

In this article I already mentioned how the question about costs per leads is not as good as asking for the cost per acquisition.

To recap, the cost per acquisition (CPA) is the overall cost you have per sale (e.g. from generating a lead to the closing of a deal).

What influences the cost per acquisition taking into consideration the whole sales cycle?

A List Of 5 Factors Especially Related To Real Estate


1) Your knowledge about your ideal customer’s needs, greeds, pains and demographic information:

This can be done by actively researching and testing your assumptions about their needs, greeds and pains via different advertising campaigns.

You can also get this knowledge by observing and/or interviewing your potential customers in the right places (which is connected to point 2), or doing the same with your current customers.


2) Your knowledge about where you can find this ideal customer most likely:

If you did 1) already, you will almost automatically know where you ideal customer most likely can be found. So the two points are related.

By your research work you might find them on different websites, forums, Facebook Groups, Twitter, and more.


3) Making the right decision about the marketing channel to reach your ideal customer most likely:

Once you know where your ideal customer can be found you can make an educated decision where to put your focus on later with your real estate advertising.


4) How good you are at copywriting and putting the above knowledge into words to persuade the potential customer to take action (e.g. contacting you, making an appointment, etc.)

By knowing enough about your ideal customer you will know better which angle you can use in your advertising to get the most attention and consequently persuade them to take action.

It’s not for nothing that one of the most important preparation tasks in copywriting is to know about your ideal customer’s needs, wants, desires, motivation, pains, hurts, problems and emotions.

This helps you to find also the benefits of your real estate offer.

5) Your sales skills persuade your ideal customer to take further action and close a sale (e.g. a great follow up system and/or sales funnel, giving good phone, being good in showings and negotiations, etc.)

This one has the most leverage on your advertising success of almost all the points above.

If you got 1-4 right, but you have trouble speaking on the phone and negotiating, it can easily increase your cost per acquisition.

There is one great YouTube Channel I can recommend you look at to improve these skills.

It’s the one from Claude Diamond.

Once you have found a winning campaign you can scale by increasing your ad spend and thus increase your number of acquisitions.

High Converting Real Estate Advertising Examples

In this last section I will give you three great real estate advertising examples.

If you read closely there is one caveat though.

I will only be able to give you advertising examples in terms of good conversion rates, but not the costs per acquisition.

To get the information about the costs per acquisition I would have to ask the regarding companies to disclose internal sales information, which is usually unlikely to be given to someone outside.

During my research I found some real estate advertising examples on this website and then some on the swipe file website Swiped.co.

According to some of the examples from the Close website, they ‘convert like crazy’.

Unfortunately no information about the conversion rate of each ad was published. The same is true for the example from swiped.co.

So we can only believe that and assume that they really had a good conversion rate.


 3 Real Estate Advertising Examples from The Close Website and Swiped.co

There are two real estate advertising examples from the Close article and one from the swiped.co website that especially stood out to me. 

1) Compass Powering Your Home Search

This advertising campaign (you can find the picture here) seems to be doing many things right. Already by the look of it you can see that it was done by a professional marketing agency, and it says: “Powering your home search”.

Some nice creative work was put in there, because they put the signs directly on electric car charging ports.

By doing that they play with symbols, words and analogies and connect them directly to the benefit that ‘Compass’ is offering, which is ‘powering your real estate search’. 

You can assume they also know enough about their ideal target customer by placing it at charging stations. I would assume they know that their ideal customer is eco conscious, hip and mobile. 

This would only be known if the agency had done a large enough research about the target group, and/or using internal company information. 


2) Realtor.com Subway Ad

This one is also some nice agency work (please find the picture here).  

First realtor.com certainly paid top dollars to have this ad on a high traffic location in a subway station of New York.  

It says: “6 Minutes Until The Next Home Listing Update.”  

What I especially like is that the ad copy is blending into the context of subway travel, where you as a passenger wait for the next subway.  

Then they connect this waiting time with the time they only need to update new home listings. 

By doing that they are messaging their benefit of having a large selection of up to date real estate listings on their platform. 

What I can’t say from the placement of this offline ad is, whether they targeted their ideal customer at the right place. 

Since it’s a New York Subway station this could likely be the case.  

So, maybe they found out that a large number of their home buyers from New York actually use the subway? 


3) ‘5 Years Ago You Could Have Bought This Apartment For $88,000’

This last example I found on swiped.co (by the way a great source of inspiration for copywriting) and it is an advertorial. 

You can clearly recognize in the copy that the copywriter knew about the potential target customer’s emotions. 

In this case it’s the emotion ‘fear of missing out’, which is used to show the benefit of a great return on investment. 

So we can assume it’s addressed to real estate buy and hold investors.

Final Thoughts

There is no best real estate advertising if you don’t know what ‘best’ actually means for you.

This ‘best’ is most likely the reply to the question of ‘What kind of real estate advertising can help you lower your costs per acquisition and increase your number of acquisitions at the same time?’

Take into consideration the 5 factors that influence the cost of acquisition I covered above.