How Much Should a Real Estate Agent Spend on Marketing?
As a real estate agent, the amount you should spend on marketing will depend entirely on your income and the resources you have at your disposal. Most agents suggest you spend about 10% of your commission income on marketing. But if you’re just getting started, that might not amount to much. New agents may struggle to find $1,000 or more to spend.
Meanwhile, top agents who face heavy competition may wish to spend anywhere from 15% to 20% of their income in marketing. Some may even wish to spend 30% in a quarter or a year if they want to grow. While most businesses only need to spend about 5% to bring in new leads, the real estate industry is different.
Agents need to brand themselves and focus on their own personal marketing campaigns to succeed. Some brokerages provide their agents with advertising or a page on their website, but this isn’t usually enough.
People often say, “you have to spend money to make money,” but there’s no reason a new agent can’t boost their success with a small-scale marketing budget. Here’s how to start.
Find the Marketing Budget That Works for You
Before you spend a dime on pay-per-click ads or a flashy new website, find out exactly how much you’re working with. You probably already have a personal budget. Determining how much you should spend on marketing is simply a matter of allocating a portion of your income within that budget.
Some things to consider are:
- Your average commission on sales
- The average final sales price of the homes you sell
- The number of transactions you conduct in each quarter and year
If you had a particularly good year last year, it isn’t necessarily indicative of future trends (but cross your fingers).
Now, take out a percentage of your income to be allocated to marketing.
This can be a bit daunting. Inevitably, you’re going to have to watch the number in the income bracket of your spreadsheet diminish. It might be tempting to just keep your income, but keep in mind that marketing is an investment. You don’t want to find yourself months from now with few prospects because you didn’t dive into marketing.
Try to balance the marketing budget you wish you had with the amount you’re willing to spend. Find a happy medium, and you’ll have a solid number to work with. You may wish to determine your monthly, quarterly, or yearly marketing budget depending on how often you want to reassess your marketing strategy.
Create Your Marketing Strategy
Once you have a number, you can begin breaking out how you’ll spend your budget. Below, you’ll see a quarterly marketing budget for an agent or team that has $23,685 to spend each quarter. If you’re working with much less, don’t worry. This is just an example:
Don’t be afraid to get more granular than this with your budget. For example, the “Online” category could be broken out into all of your separate paid advertising campaigns. The “Web” category could be the cost of maintaining your website and paying for digital services.
Digital marketing like organic social media engagement, content marketing, and a website are relatively inexpensive if you look in the right places. There are also plenty of low-cost advertising options available online. Pay-per-click marketing campaigns can be targeted by region and behavioral demographic, so you get the most out of your investment.
Another option is to invest in an all-in-one real estate agent CRM that has many of these things included, like a website and a social media management platform. This will save you time and money you’d normally spend on hiring a third-party web developer or relying on a marketing contractor. This type of software can grant you access to multiple marketing tools that would normally be out of reach on a tight budget.
Real Estate Agent Marketing That Works
And don’t forget the old-fashioned, tried-and-true methods of marketing like networking and handing out business cards. Your business is all about building relationships with people, after all. You can use digital marketing to capture more leads, but hitting the pavement is still a cheap and effective way to get your name out there.
Ensure part of your marketing budget is set aside for events, printing expenses, and travel. If you’re just getting started with marketing, don’t be deterred if you don’t see immediate results. Sometimes, it can take time to adjust your strategy to suit your needs. Long-game tactics like blogging may not bear fruit immediately, but they can turn you into a powerhouse online if you keep at it.