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    Real estate is competitive. In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, there are nearly 1.4 million real estate agents across the U.S. 

    While a large chunk of those probably don’t do business in your area, if you’re in a big metro market, you can bet at least a few hundred do — and they’re taking business right from under you.

    Want to stand out and snag those listings? These advertising options can help:

    4 no-budget (free) advertising options

    If you don’t have a budget for advertising, you still have ways to promote your business.

    1. Social Media

    One of the best? That’d be social media. You can start business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for free, and posting regularly doesn’t cost anything either. Make sure to share all your listings on your social accounts, and actively follow people in your community, too (especially people with large followings). 

    2. Blogging

    In the event you already have a website (or your brokerage does), then you have another fee-free option for advertising: blogging. Write up weekly blogs about local real estate news, home buying trends, design and decor, and other topics your buyers and sellers might be interested in. Try to include a few keywords you want to rank for in Google, and share the posts on social media for extra attention.

    3. SEO

    On that same note, SEO can also be a free way to drum up more business. You’ll need to research some potential keywords for your business (geographic ones are usually best for agents), and then optimize your website pages for those terms. Use these beginner SEO tips for agents if you need more guidance.

    4. Networking

    Another great no-budget option? Join some local community organizations and start networking. Just make sure to have your business cards on hand any time you attend an event.

    3 small budget advertising options

    Have a little bit of extra cash to spend on promotion? Try one (or all) of these three options.

    1. Facebook and Instagram ads

    Put it toward Facebook and Instagram ads. They’re super affordable, and you can really dive down deep in your targeting. Choose to only show your ads to people in certain ZIP codes or to those who are actively looking for homes (or both). There are tons of other targeting options, too, including geographic, demographic, and interest-related ones, so think hard about your target audience and get as detailed as possible if you want the most qualified leads.

    2. Door hangers

    You could also invest your funds in some door hangers. Work with a designer on Fiverr to create a personalized design, and then find a local printer who can give you a good deal on a bulk job. Then, hit the pavement and start hanging the ads in any community you might be targeting.

    3. Sponsoring community events and organizations

    Sponsoring community events and organizations is another smart way to use your small marketing budget to reach potential clients in your area. The best part? Many groups will put their sponsors’ names on their websites, on bulletin boards in their buildings, or even on marketing materials and ads for their events, meaning even more exposure in the long run.

    2 moderate budget advertising options

    If your advertising budget is a bit healthier, you can also spend some funds on search ads, which can help you rank higher for specific keywords and phrases.

    1. Google ads

    Use Google’s advertising tool to create ads for terms like “YOUR CITY Real Estate Agent” or “Homes for Sale in XX,” and have the ads point to your website or social media to start bringing in leads.

    2. Postcards and mailers

    Mailers are also a good way to spend your cash. Create postcards that highlight a recent sale, and send them out to other homeowners in the neighborhood showing them just how much they can make by listing their home. You might even include a testimonial on there to show just what great service you provide.

    2 big budget advertising options

    If you’ve got a large budget, the world is your oyster.

    1. Billboard, newspaper, and banner ads

    Lease a few local billboards, and invest in banner ads on the websites of local mortgage lenders, banks, and businesses. You may even think about putting ads in your area newspaper or on real estate news and listing sites (anywhere a potential homebuyer might head when researching their purchase).

    2. Hire a marketing agency

    Finally, you might consider bringing in the big guns and hiring a marketing company or SEO pro to tackle your promotion efforts. Just be sure to shop around before you choose who you’ll use and don’t commit to any long-term contracts until they’ve shown you what they can do. Check reviews on Yelp, Google, and other sites, too. The words of past customers can tell you a lot about their business practices.

    Real estate marketing options for every budget

    Whether you have $5 or $500, there are plenty of ways to advertise your agency and bring in new clients. Need more help growing your business?

    Check out our real estate agent resources now.

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