Why Aren’t My Real Estate Ads Working?

Are you seeing the results you expected from your real estate advertising?

Real estate ads are the life blood of most industry professionals and companies. Even those with great personal networks and sizable pools of regular referrals need to be advertising to replenish lead sources and keep deal flow and revenues consistent. It can be really discouraging, and stressful when real estate marketing doesn’t appear to be working. After all, if that goes on too long, it isn’t just the path to losing your competitive edge, but bankruptcy. So what factors might be negatively impacting your advertising performance? How can real estate pros and businesses turn things around?


Targeting is all about getting your real estate ads in front of the right audience. The better real estate marketers do at getting their ads in front of the right prospects, the higher their conversion rates will be. For example; marketing new million dollar homes on Craigslist, which is often frequented by those looking to avoid Realtors and to find discount deals probably, isn’t a good choice of targeting. The same can be said of CPM marketing. These ads are shown to those that have searched for your company, or your keywords. The problem is that if they are serious, they may have already made a decision and bought something.


Consumers are on guard more than ever. If they don’t trust you, odds are that you aren’t even going to get a shot at their business. So how can real estate marketers develop more trust? Transparency is a great start, and so is staying away from obvious gimmicks. Be authentic, be straightforward, and strive to differentiate from all of the scammers out there.

Too Good to Be True

We’ve all been programmed to assume that “if it’s sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” right? Unfortunately, while real estate professionals and companies are constantly striving to deliver, sometimes it can sound too good. For as crazy as it sounds, it can pay to simply under-promise and over-deliver.

Easy to Act on

How easy is it for prospects to act on your ads? Making it too lengthy and complicated can absolutely be counterproductive. Not all prospects are ready to buy or sell immediately. They can benefit from being nurtured. But what about those that are? What about those that are in a rush? They need and apartment to rent, or a house to buy, or need to sell this week. Maybe they only have an hour to make a decision. They don’t need to jump through multiple hoops. They need to be able to get directly to the critical information, contact you in their preferred medium, and be able to make a deal fast. Are you providing that?


The importance of timing is one of the basic pillars of all marketing. You can have the best marketing ever, have the funnel right, and have your targeting down to laser precision, but if the timing is off, it can be a complete failure. There is so much data out there that it is easier than ever to get the timing right.


One of the biggest and most obvious challenges for real estate marketing is the noise. There is just so much noise. This isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, but the noise keeps growing, and edging its way into new mediums. Look at the phone: cold calling can still work. Direct mail may be doing a lot better now after it was thinned out. Social media and email have been some of the hardest hit areas. These mediums still work.


Some types of marketing just take time to kick in and snowball to their full potential. This is especially true for real estate blogging, print, and direct mail. Sometimes these mediums takes several months or touches to really deliver results. In fact, it is often said that it take ‘7 touches to create a sale’. Often it is a lot less, but marketers should be prepared, and budget to repeat marketing several times before cash comes back in, and the real ROI is realized.