The Future of Real Estate Marketing: What REALTORS® Need in 2017

There may not be an industry more dynamic than real estate, and we've seen dramatic changes in real estate marketing. Here's how to prep for 2017. Cheers.

Real estate marketing is growing by leaps and bounds each year. In some ways, the things that make a REALTOR® successful are the same as they’ve always been. In other ways, there are some amazing new real estate marketing technologies at your disposal.

The National Association of REALTORS® looked at how real estate agents acquire new business. They found that 61% received business from referrals and repeat business, 12% from digital marketing, and 11% from in-person contacts.

If you’re looking to maximize the success of your real estate marketing in 2017, you’ll need to focus on all three areas.

Referrals and Repeat Business

There are many ways to get referrals and repeat business as a REALTOR®. Primarily you have to ask and ask often.

Give a Context

Many times REALTORS® make the mistake of being too general when they ask for a referral. Asking “Do you know anyone who needs a real estate agent?” is likely to get you a blank stare.


Because there’s no context! You’re asking your client if they know anyone in the world who might be a good client. With that big of a group to choose from, their mind overloads and goes blank.

Instead, make it easy.

Ask something like, “Do you know anyone at work who’s talked about moving lately?”

Now they have a context and a much smaller group or people to think about. You’re much, much more likely to get a yes.

Use Online Reviews

Online reviews are incredibly powerful because they function as an evergreen referral. It’s especially helpful because 88% of consumers look at online reviews before making a purchase!

People are conditioned to look for and trust online reviews. Take advantage of this as a REALTOR®. Claim your Yelp, Facebook, and Google+ pages. In addition, ask people to leave reviews on portals such as Zillow, Trulia, and

The key to getting great online reviews is to ask for them early and often. People will agree to leave a review, but they may forget in their busy lives. It’s great to follow up with a postcard or phone call as a friendly reminder.

Remember that even without a closed transaction you can get a favorable online review. Don’t be afraid to ask clients who weren’t able to finish with you due to unforeseen circumstances.

Digital Real Estate Marketing

Digital marketing has been growing in leaps and bounds over the last few years. From email marketing to social media, there are several new real estate marketing techniques that will help you bring in new clients in 2017.

Video ToursAs REALTOR® safety becomes an increasingly visible issue fewer real estate agents are interested in holding traditional open houses. Fortunately, video tours have presented a very workable solution to this problem.

You don’t need thousands of dollars to do a video tour. You can do one simply on Facebook Live or Periscope, or you can invest a little more and create a traditional video for YouTube.

Video tours have a lot of benefits. You are safe because no one is in the home with you. You have control over pointing out the home’s best features. You can present the tour live and then share the replay through multiple channels.

And of course, you save hours of your time over a traditional open house.

Use InstagramMany REALTORS® view social media primarily as a way to reach buyers, but that’s not seeing the whole picture. Social media can be a great way to reach brokers who represent buyers as well.

You can go on Instagram and monitor hashtags, such as #NewYorkRealEstate, and you’ll find thousands of professionals sharing information on new properties. This is a great way to discover new listings for your own buyers and to advertise listings for your clients.

When you connect with customers or brokers who saw a listing on Instagram, you can then contact them through more traditional channels to arrange the final deal.Have a Website with Plenty of PhotosYour website is your digital home, and keeping it up to date will never go out of style. While some real estate agents may be tempted to let their website become nothing more than a digital business card, that’s a mistake.

90% of homebuyers search for properties online, so having a website with plenty of eye-catching photos is vital. Don’t buy the myth that it’s not important anymore!

In-Person Real Estate Marketing

Another type of marketing that will never go out of style is simply being present. There are a lot of ways to put yourself in your community to build your brand. Here are some ideas:

  • Walk in Target Neighborhoods. Have a dog? Take it with you! It will make a great conversation starter. Even if you don’t have one, go for a walk in neighborhoods you’d like to buy and sell in. Residents will see you and it will increase their trust.
  • Volunteer. REALTORS® aren’t known for having a lot of free time, but consider this part of your real estate marketing budget. Find ways to give back to the community. 
  • Sponsor Community Events. If there’s a local 5K or fundraising event, see about sponsoring it. Your name and real estate company will be displayed among other sponsors, and it’s a great way to raise awareness about you and your brand.
  • Hold Special Events. See if you can partner with your brokerage to hold special holiday events. A safe Halloween event, a holiday party, or even a summer appreciation barbecue can go a long way to building your reputation and brand.

Of course, simply keeping your professional presence about you as you go about your life is another way to use in-person real estate marketing. You never know who you might meet that needs help buying or selling a home!

Real estate marketing is still about connecting with people, helping them sell their homes, and showing them great properties to buy. Technology and digital marketing have changed many of the tools you use, but the essence of connection is there. Get people to know you, like you, and trust you, and you’ll be on the road to success as a REALTOR®.

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