realtor spend on marketing

How Much Should a Realtor Spend on Marketing – 3 Best Strategies

How much should a realtor spend on marketing? The answer to this question is not so simple. There are many different ways that you can spend money on your marketing, which will have varying levels of return depending on the type of marketing being done.


Type of Real Estate Marketing Expenses:


Before we get into how much a real estate agent should spend on marketing – let’s make sure to discuss the numerous marketing expenditures that a realtor may include in their marketing budget.

Print Marketing:


Depending on the type of print marketing you are doing, this can be a very cost-effective way to market your business. Postcards and flyers (in small quantities) are fairly inexpensive if you do it yourself or use an online service. It’s a great way to target your exact farming area, create exposure for yourself or your listing and give people something tangible to take away with them.


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Magazine or Newspaper Ads:


Magazine and newspaper ads are a great way to get your name out there, but they can be very expensive. In general, you should expect to spend at least $250-1000/month on an ad campaign when advertising in these mediums, depending how much of the page you advertise on.


Neighborhood Newsletter:


Some real estate agents find great success by marketing in a neighborhood newsletter. These newsletters typically have a very high readership and if done right, can be a great way to market your business. The downside is that it can often cost several hundred dollars or more for an effective ad campaign in the newsletter, which means you may be able to work with multiple neighborhoods on this type of marketing.


Facebook Ads:


Facebook ads are one of the best ways to get new leads for your real estate business. The great things about Facebook Ads is that you can really target your ideal audience.  Facebook allows you to set a radius of geographic area, as well as other criteria when setting up ads – making the ability to get hyper-local (super important for realtors) really easy.  We recommend lead ad campaigns for Facebook ads that offer a free item of value such as a free staging guide or market report.  If done right, we’ve seen results around $2-$5 per lead through Facebook ads.


Instagram Ads:


Instagram Ads are similar to Facebook ads where you can really target your audience with amazing criteria easily on the platform.  And since Instagram is known to be a photo heavy, aesthetically pleasing platform — your gorgeous real estate photo ads will shine!  You can even include hashtags in your Instagram ads, just remember to choose wisely and always ensure that you select only the best quality photos for your ads.


Google Adwords:


Google Adwords can be an extremely cost-effective way for realtors to get leads that convert well, but there is a bit of a learning curve and not all realtors want to take on that endeavor.  The most amazing thing about Google Adwords is the ability to create ads based on keywords!  This is awesome, as you can really target people with the INTENT to buy or sell now.  For example, you can target people who are searching the keyword “foreclosures for sale in Houston”.  It’s recommended that you have at LEAST  a $100 per month budget to test Google Adwords out.


Create a Real Estate Marketing Budget


Now that you have a better idea of the various real estate marketing expenses you may have, it’s important to figure out a budget to keep your marketing within.


Approach 1: 10% of Last Year’s GCI


If you’re a seasoned real estate agent, and still trying to figure out how much you as a realtor should spend on marketing – start by budgeting 10% of your previous year’s gross commission for the following year. This is a well-known rule of thumb in the industry.

Assuming that your Gross Commission Income was $50,000 last year, you would need to maintain a real estate marketing budget of at least $5,000 for the next year.


Approach 2: Percentage of my last month’s commissions


If you’re a newer real estate agent, consider budgeting 10% of your previous months’ commissions.

For example – if your commission was $3500 for the past month (or any other period), then 10% would be an appropriate marketing budget. This would equal $350 to allocation to spend on real estate marketing the following month.

This allows you to have a lot more control over your marketing budget since you may change the amount each month, and it prevents you from exceeding your budget.


Approach 3: Flat Amount Each Month


Let’s assume you’re a new real estate agent or have just begun your real estate career and don’t have any prior earnings to rely on. It might be tough to predict what your first year in business will look like if you don’t already know where you’re starting from.

For example, a new agent may only have $100 per month they can use towards marketing. They might decide to use it to target their Facebook ads because they feel like that is the most bang for their buck!

Or seasoned real estate agents may feel comfortable with a $1000 per month budget using this approach and allocate it to a variety of sources such as mailers, print marketing, and social media ads each month.

Regardless of the approach you take, it’s important to set a budget and keep yourself accountable for staying within that budget. If you’re doing your own marketing or working with an assistant in-house, have them report back on what they’ve spent every month so you know where your money is going!

The most common mistake we see real estate agents make is not having a budget at all. If you don’t have one, it’s unlikely that your marketing efforts will be successful enough to provide a return on investment for your business.


No Money to Spend – Consider These Free Marketing Strategy Ideas


If you have no money to spend on marketing, there are still ways for real estate agents to get leads without having a huge marketing budget.

Here’s some of our recommendations:


Join A Networking Group:


Networking groups are a great way to get leads without spending money. If there is one in your area, join it!

We recommend joining more than one networking group so that you’re getting the word out about yourself and generating new contacts every time you go. Even if they aren’t ready to buy or sell right now, they may be in the future!

Networking Groups are a great way for real estate agents to get leads without spending a lot of money.


Floor Duty:


If you are able to, taking floor duty is a great way for realtors to get leads that convert well.

I would recommend this approach if you’re brand new or just getting started because it allows you to learn the ropes of selling and keep costs low at the same time!

There’s no reason why any seasoned real estate agent wouldn’t also benefit from this approach. It’s just another way to get leads that convert well and bring in more business!

Take floor duty when you can so you can get new real estate leads while keeping costs low.


Host Other Agent’s Open Houses:



If you don’t have your own listings or open houses, consider hosting other agents’ open houses as a great free marketing strategy. This is a great way to build rapport with the community and connect with potential clients in an informal setting. You can also do this for properties that aren’t even on the market! Some of our most successful deals came from finding buyers through this method.


Social Media:


Even If you don’t have the budget for paid advertising, you should already be using free social media to help spread your word about your real estate business! Facebook and Instagram are great places to start. Interact with your customers, tag local businesses, and leave comments on prominent local accounts in your sector!


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Stay Active in the Community:


If you’re not already, consider attending neighborhood events and staying active within your community. It’s important to show that you care about your local market and be a resource for those around you! This will help build trust with potential buyers and sellers too. If any of these opportunities arise, be sure to put your real estate business card in the event’s goodie bags!


Build a Referral Network With Out of State Agents


Even if you have no budget to spend on advertising, there are still ways for real estate agents to generate leads. If you don’t have any customers in your market yet, try building a referral network with out-of-state agents! That way when they do get someone who’s interested in relocating within the next year or two, they’ll send them your way!


Leverage Your Sphere of Influence:


If you don’t have a large budget for your marketing, why not use what you do have already? Leveraging the network and relationships you’ve built over years (otherwise known as your sphere of influence)  of working in real estate can be very powerful to help generate leads. You never know where those contacts might lead or who they might know that can help you grow your business.


Final Thoughts


A large budget is not necessary to succeed. There are many ways you can generate leads and get your real estate business in front of new potential customers without breaking the bank! We hope this blog post on  HOW MUCH SHOULD A REALTOR SPEND ON MARKETING  helpful to give some direction on where to begin for those looking at their marketing strategy. If you need any help, we’re here for you!


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