- 1. Retarget your visitors
- 2. Optimisation score worries
- 3. Use automated strategies
- 4. Use audience lists
- 5. Don't quit too soon
- 6. A/B test before changes
- 7. Ads should be specific
- 8. Location, location, locations
- 9. Conversion tracking is a must
- 10. Don't change too much often
- 11. Use the right landing pages
Unless you have a high footfall branch or rank organically well on Google, paid ads are essential for growing your estate agency.
Marketing your estate agency’s services on Google, Facebook & Instagram can yield amazing results…
IF done right.
And that is a big IF.
Paid per click ‘experts’ will talk about a massive ROI and how they can grow your lead volumes… all very appealing.
With the amount of jargon involved, it’s easy to get confused when it comes to ad performance.
If you’ve got someone managing your paid ads on Google or on social media (or if you’re running them yourself), just check they’re doing some of the principles below.
They may not be doing all of them… But if they aren’t doing any of them, fire them (or at least tell them off).
Hold up… I’m a newbie, what’s a paid ad?
A paid ad, PPC ad, display ad, ad placement etc are where a company has paid to be shown in your search results or on your feed.
Their ad wouldn’t have been there organically and you would have clicked on a competitor or saw your annoying friends status update of how amazing their kids are instead.
So let’s get to it, things your estate agencies marketing should be doing when it comes to your paid ads.
1. Retargeting those landlords & sellers
Ever see a rival estate agency advertise on a big site and think “How the hell can they afford that?”
Well they’re not paying the site for the privilege… I’ll explain.
Landlords or sellers who have visited your site, but didn’t buy your services, are 50% more likely to convert to a customer as a returning visitor.
This is why it’s essential to get them back onto your site.
The clever people at Google & Facebook know this and have made it easy for you to target these customers.
You are basically telling the account to track people who have visited your account and push your adverts to them.
So let’s say a landlord looked at your wonderful site. Later in the day, week or month, when they’re looking to buy a new pair of shoes online, they’ll see your advert.
It gets even better.
If a visitor looks at your lettings page, you can target them with your adverts that talk about your lettings services.
Vice versa for sales.
As you’ve read this article, which I’ve created for estate agents, you’ll probably now start seeing images similar to the below on other webpages (sorry if that gets annoying but I really want you to sign up to Rentround leads).
See all these sites asking you to accept cookies & accept their t&c’s etc? This ties into retargeting.
Start by adding an audience on your Google or Facebook campaigns, it’s usually already created by default for previous site visitors.
The main workload for this task is to then create the artwork, which will be your advert to be placed on other sites.
You then basically tell Google & Facebook to go ahead and target these past visitors with my adverts on other sites they visit.
2. Your optimisation score shouldn’t be discussed to often
Every time I speak to a member of the Google team, they bang on about this again and again.
Each of your Google ad campaigns will have an optimisation score which increases the more you implement some of Google’s recommendations.
To me, a lot of them just seem to be a bunch of suggestions to get more money out of you.
Whereas the Google people say that campaigns that have higher optimisation scores are shown more favourably in search results.
To be on the safe side, at least press the dismiss button on points Google adds to your recommendations section.
This will drive up the optimisation score (which is why I don’t really believe it has an impact on your ads placement in results).
If the person running ads for your estate agency is trying to impress you in your catch ups about how they’ve upped your optimisation score, that’s a true sign that they’re bulls**ting you.
3. Use automated strategies
So when using paid ads, you can control the amount of work you have to do manually, or choose to let the robots at Google and Facebook do the tweaks for you.
If you’re a Google or Facebook ads manager, making an income from setting up Google ads for estate agents – look away now.
Google & Facebook ad managers make an income from
- setting up your account and,
- running the account thereafter
If you don’t know what you’re doing, for sure get help setting up the account for the first 3 or 5 months.
By then, you should be seeing results and enjoying the rewards of more leads being generated for your estate agency.
After that, the management of the account should be really really low touch.
Your ads manager will tell you how many hours they are ploughing in to make sure the leads and ROI from the accounts is being maintained.
It’s all Bulls**t.
After 3 or 5 months, the advertising campaigns should be switched to automated strategies.
This is when you tell the system to do all the tweaks for you based on your cost criteria.
So let’s say you’ve been getting seller leads for your agency at £15 a lead for the first 3-5 months.
You can then set up Google to go ahead with your ads and keywords, as long as they hit the target of conversions at £15 within a month.
Google will then do what no human Google Ad manager can do. They’ll adjust your spend based on times of the day, gender, age, location, day of the week, the user’s past behaviour…the list is endless.
After managing Google ad campaigns in the banking industry, healthcare and property, all my campaigns have started with a lot of manual work at the start, then it all switches over to automated campaigns which yield better results.
To be fair, you’ll need your ad manager to make small tweaks, but the hours spent managing your agency’s ads vs the setup of the accounts should be about 10-20%.
A polite (and annoying) sales pitch
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4. Tell Google to target people “similar to” your old leads.
If you have a database of old leads, whether it’s your own or you’ve purchased it from a data provider, it can be used to boost your targeting.
Landlords share similar interests and browsing habits as other landlords.
It’s the same for sellers.
You can upload a list of names, emails & telephone numbers into Google & Facebook.
Then you can tell the platforms to prioritise and target the list of people in your database with your ads.
But more importantly, you can tell Google and Facebook to also target ‘similar’ people to those in your database.
This increases the likelihood that your ads will be more prominent to the right people and increase lead quality for your estate agency.
5. Giving in too quickly on marketing channels
With most lead generation channels, it can take time to see results.
Unfortunately when it comes to Google & Facebook ads you need to be willing to sacrifice budget on the learning process.
Tweaks need to be made based on the results until you get the leads being generated at a suitable quality and price.
In addition, how you manage the leads will also need to be factored in.
Leads rarely convert on the first phone conversation. So do you have processes in place to automate email follow ups or reminders to phone the lead?
You should give advertising channels at least 2-3 months to see if they work for your agency.
Of course how much you’re spending is a big factor
Working with a lot of agents, some cancel their Rentround subscription with us after a month.
Although I’m biased being the founder of the company, I always find that way too soon.
We have 800+ agents on the platform and many of those agents are now paying on a cost per lead model, getting up to 2,000 leads from us a month.
So I know our leads work.
Of course there are anomalies. Some agents will never find success on Rentround or their own paid ads. They may unluckily get bad leads for a period of time, may have poor lead management strategies or just have different ways of working to other agents.
The key is to give lead generation campaigns time to settle and deliver results. Then after sufficient time, make a decision when you have enough evidence.
6. A/B testing different campaigns for your estate agency
A/B testing lets you assess planned changes in a better way.
You can spend a % of your budget on your already running campaigns, then another % on the same campaigns with your planned changes implemented.
The systems will then show you comparisons of the original vs changed campaigns.
By allowing you to compare the results of the changes to your campaigns, you’re more informed about which worked better. Giving you confidence to implement your planned changes across all your budget. On the other hand you may scrap the changes as they didn’t perform against your original campaigns.
Going gung-ho with changes without testing first is a great way to mess up your adverts.
7. Make sure your ads are for your target market: Sellers & Landlords
When using Google Ads for your estate agency, you’ll need to input what keywords you want to target.
“Estate agent” and “Letting agent” are obvious ones. They have a lot of traffic and will for sure be used by sellers & landlords.
However, buyers and tenants will also be using these terms
Your adverts should be heavily worded to your target market to avoid ‘bad’ spend.
So the heading in your ads “Best estate agent in Newcastle” is for sure going to get buyers clicking on your advert. Therefore you’ll be spending for clicks not relevant to your objective.
So try saying “The best agent for sellers”, or “We sell property quickly”
Use the word ‘sellers’ as much as possible in your advert, to the point it looks overdone.
It may spoil the aesthetic look of your advert, but it will go a long way to stop buyers clicking on your advert.
You can even display the site address as: www.estateagentname.com/sellers-only
This will spend your budget far more efficiently and bring in better returns.
8. Target sellers & landlords in the right areas
This is fundamental and is most likely being done for your campaigns already.
Ensure you’ve set the locations where your ads are being shown. I wouldn’t usually include this as a point as it’s so obvious.
However, as I’m a saddo and I spend hours and hours on marketing channels, I see a lot of estate agents advertisements, even though the agent is based 100+ miles away from me.
9. Conversion tracking should be the first thing that’s implemented
The amount of people clicking on your ads is irrelevant. Conversions are what counts: How many sellers & landlords are you working with because of your online marketing?
Conversion tracking shows the clicks which are converted. For estate agents, a conversion is how many filled out your lead form, signed up to your services online or called you.
Conversion tracking can be done at a low level or at more complex levels.
For instance, you can track;
- Where on your website are potential leads dropping off
- Which keywords, landing pages or ads attract more conversions
- What ROI you get from various conversions (i.e. a landlord taking up your management service will provide more revenue than if they just took up your one off tenant find service)
I mentioned before the importance of automated strategies. They won’t work for optimisation conversions if you don’t have conversion tracking set up!
Technically there are some coding changes to be done.
Google generates some code to be placed on your site.
Then some additional tags need to be set up.
It’s not complicated.
We set conversion tracking up for Rentround in under an hour.
10. Don’t change too much too often
If you have campaigns running it’s difficult to not change too much.
We all get excited with new ideas and want to change our targets, adverts, keywords etc.
But drastic changes, especially when you have your campaigns running with a lot of automation can cause too much disruption.
Change variables to your campaigns slowly in increments to monitor progress.
In addition give changes weeks to take affect. You need to sample progress to see the real impact of changes, excluding as many market driven impacts to your campaigns as possible.
11. Landing pages for your leads
Don’t have all your clicks going to the same pages on your website.
If someone has clicked on your site via searching “find a tenant quickly”, do you really want them going to your page about how quickly you sell property?
You want to hit them with a page that highlights your success at getting in tenants, where you advertise rental properties and testimonials from other landlords.
Show exactly what the user is looking for on your site.
Doing this is very simple.
Your ad sets or ad groups need to divided up i.e. some ads target people looking for fully managed services and others target those looking to sell a property.
In these ad groups you’ll have added the specific keywords and created the applicable ad content/headings that match the keywords.
Then you create different pages on your site that talk about the different segments your advertising.
Finally set up your ads to send clicks to the relevant pages you have created.
This for sure will improve your conversion rates across all your ads.
Hopefully you liked these insights.
I love to hear from estate agents and have a general chat about their marketing. Give me a shout at [email protected] to talk more.