Is AdWords for Real Estate a waste of time?

YES…if you’re doing it wrong! But then isn’t any marketing done wrong a waste of time?

When it comes to AdWords for Real Estate, many REALTORS go at adwords all wrong and then start spreading the word that “it doesn’t work” or  “it’s a waste of time and money”. But if you ask them, they had to learn it all on their own…they started off with so many generic keywords, not targeting for your own area, and no understanding of how pay per click works.

Here are 2 example of how companies have tried AdWords and failed:

  1. Company A: They setup their account because they got call from someone claiming to be with google and giving them a $100 free to try it. We all get these calls.  This unknown person then sets up the account with broad matching keywords like ‘Real Estate’, ‘Homes for Sale’ and ‘Luxury Real Estate’. The results are nationwide and while you’re getting plenty of Impressions from other states, possibly even out of the country. After 6 months you’ve spent 2-3 thousand dollars and according to your analytics (if you’re even reviewing them) say that you’ve gotten thousands of Impressions but only 2 clicks…in all that time…only 2 clicks!  And since of course you’re asking every lead how they found you surely those 2 click led to at least 2-3 thousand in commissions…well, preferably more!
  2. Company B: Based on how one of their other businesses ran they started with the same kind of broad match keywords but added a city name to the end (here’s a tip…make sure there aren’t other towns around the country with the same name!!). They poured 5-7 thousand dollars a day into it. And in those same 6 months there was 15 thousand dollars down the drain and with very little traffic showing on the analytics it is determined that this endeavor would have been deemed a waste of time and money…however this company decided to change it’s goals from getting traffic to their website with leads pouring in to get more closing, was to appear to the public as the #1 in the area, “If everyone sees us everywhere, we’ll have the reputation we want”.  Sadly it took this company 4+ years to see that while they may have built this reputation…it didn’t last quite the way they wanted it.

So, you want just a handful of tips?

  1. Research! Learn how things work, familiarize yourself with the terms involved, what’s the difference between Impressions and Clicks. If you need help then just ask! This is a big commitment of time and you may prefer to have someone with you who has done this before.
  2. Set Goals! Don’t go into this blindly, set realistic goals, set time limits and commit to this marketing expense as you would any others!
  3. Know Your Budget! If you have so much money that you literally don’t know what to do with it all that’s great, but if you live on planet earth, then you probably have a marketing budget to fit this into.
  4. ROI!  Know not only what you’ve been spending but also what your results are and determine your Return On Investment.
  5. Always Ask! Even if you think you know where someone found you…ASK! Even some of those old friends or leads that you’ve been cultivating for months, may have googled and found you today because of something totally different than what you expected.
  6. Plan for the future…now this one is quite different than the 5 above, once you’ve got their contact info how are you going to keep them interested in what can be a long home buying or home selling process? Drip Email campaigns? Postcards? Spending hours a week personally emailing your clients?  There are tons of options but you need to be prepared.  There is no worse feeling than paying money for leads then dropping the ball and having them slip through the cracks.

Whether you’re a one man (or woman) shop or you’re the broker in charge of many agents, getting leads shouldn’t be your first concern!  Sounds ridiculous right? Wrong!  You should never take on any kind of marketing without a plan on how to make sure they don’t get lost because you didn’t have a plan!

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