In the competitive real estate industry, effectively managing a marketing budget is crucial for maximizing ROI. We gathered insights from real estate industry leaders and marketing experts to share their best practices. From focusing on sellers and adjusting to market shifts to investing in digital and local for tangible results, explore these twelve expert strategies for optimizing your marketing spend. Here’s how to allocate and manage a real estate marketing budget:

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  • Focus on Sellers and Adjust to Market Shifts
  • Strategize and Monitor for Optimized Channel Spend
  • Set Clear Objectives and Adapt to Market Trends
  • Invest in Value-Driven Marketing for High Returns
  • Track Performance for Data-Driven Budget Allocation
  • Diversify Channels and Reallocate Based on Insights
  • Apply 70-30 Rule for Measurable and Organic Growth
  • Engage Community and Utilize Performance-Based Ads
  • Precision Targeting and Conversion-Focused Strategies
  • Analyze Data to Allocate Budget and Maximize ROI
  • Balance Traditional and Digital for Optimal ROI
  • Invest in Digital and Local for Tangible Results

Focus on Sellers and Adjust to Market Shifts

I allocate my marketing budget in the real estate industry by placing 80% of the focus on sellers and 20% on buyers. What I’ve found is that the time investment per dollar earned is typically the lowest when selling a property compared to working with buyers. 

When it comes to working with buyers, I need to focus on getting them pre-approved, focus on the big picture of what they want and narrow it down to the smaller picture, and ultimately shop for a house, which requires seeing dozens and dozens of properties. 

It’s for this reason that my focus has been primarily on sellers, and so I believe marketing dollars should be going there accordingly. The reason why I don’t put 100% of my marketing spend on sellers is that there are times when the market shifts, and the amount of work to work with a buyer becomes closer to the amount of work of working with a seller.

Sebastian Jania, CEO, Ontario Property Buyers

Strategize and Monitor for Optimized Channel Spend

Managing the marketing budget for optimized spend in the real estate industry demands a strategic approach. Firstly, we study the demographics, preferences, and behaviors of our target group through extensive research. Secondly, we allocate our budget across multiple channels, including social media ads, display ads, paid campaigns, etc., and traditional media like print ads, signage, etc., to maximize our reach to our audience.

We then regularly monitor and analyze the performance of every channel based on metrics like cost per lead, conversion rates, returns on ad spend, etc. Accordingly, we adjust how and where we allocate our budget, utilizing more resources for the channels that yield a higher ROI. 

Further, we create high-quality content across platforms to keep our audience engaged. To ensure optimum efficiency, we use data analytics and other relevant digital tools. This data-driven and customer-centric marketing strategy helps us achieve ROI for our real estate company.

Sultan Saleh, SEO, K Raheja

Set Clear Objectives and Adapt to Market Trends

We believe in a proactive approach to marketing budget management. We set clear objectives and KPIs for each marketing initiative, regularly reviewing progress and making necessary adjustments. 

By closely monitoring our budget allocations and performance metrics, we can quickly adapt to changing market conditions and consumer behavior. This agile approach ensures that our marketing efforts remain relevant, effective, and aligned with our overall business goals, maximizing ROI and driving sustainable growth.

Bennett Heyn, CEO, Sell House Columbus Ohio

Invest in Value-Driven Marketing for High Returns

A significant yet reasonable amount of my money goes into marketing, and while most people might consider what I do to be a little bit over the edge, it works absolutely well for me as my closing ratio is a solid 90%. As someone who wants to bring massive value to my clients, I don’t mind spending some of my commission to bring that into realization. I give you value for your money; I get even more value back—it’s a win-win situation. Hence, I consider whatever significant amount I end up putting into marketing a part of building my brand and getting value for my money.

However, there is what I would call “a thin line” between getting the work done and just wasting income. This helps keep me in check and on a budget. Instead of being all over the place trying out different marketing techniques and wasting unnecessary income in the process, I allocate the available funds towards what I consider to be the important marketing steps that would help build my brand’s awareness, show prospective clients what I can offer them, and even increase my closing rate. My budget is allocated towards an updated/optimized website, social media ads, online home tours/video walkthroughs, awesome listings, lead magnets, drone photography, and email marketing campaigns.

My best practice for optimizing market spend and achieving ROI is putting myself in the shoes of my prospective clients and target audience. What social platform do they spend their time on? What sort of content would I love to see if I were in their shoes? What would convince me to try someone out? What kind of customer service would make it more likely to do business with somebody? Etc.

Moving forward, I use these answers to collect information on how to run my business marketing, making it easy to satisfy my clients’ wants, resonate with them from a personalized and relatable page, which in return helps me maximize the impact of every single dollar spent and achieve ROI.

Rinal Patel, Founder, Webuyphillyhomes

Track Performance for Data-Driven Budget Allocation

At EZ Sell Homebuyers, we believe in data-driven marketing. We carefully track and analyze the performance of each marketing channel, allocating more budget to the strategies that generate the highest-quality leads and conversions. Continuously optimizing our spend based on ROI metrics ensures we maximize every marketing dollar.

Mike Wall, CEO, EZ Sell Homebuyers

Diversify Channels and Reallocate Based on Insights

Effectively managing our marketing budget at Land Boss involves a balanced approach. We distribute 35% to online advertising, 30% to SEO and content creation, and 35% to networking events and partnerships. 

By tracking key performance indicators, we’ve optimized our spending to achieve a 25% increase in brand awareness. My recommendation? Invest in diverse marketing channels, analyze performance metrics rigorously, and reallocate resources based on data-driven insights to maximize ROI and foster sustainable growth.

Bart Waldon, Co-Founder, Land Boss

Apply 70-30 Rule for Measurable and Organic Growth

We have a 70-30 rule, whereby we allocate 30% of our marketing budget to efforts for which we can accurately track the ROI, such as PPC and social media ads. The remaining 70% is focused on “organic” marketing, including organic social media marketing, SEO, and website design and branding, etc. 

The 30% is our low-risk, low-reward portion of our budget: we know what we’re going to get back from what we spend. Nothing crazy is going to happen on this side of our marketing budget, but it keeps leads ticking in at a sustainable threshold. 

Everything else is difficult to track in terms of ROI, and it’s more aligned with our long-term scaling and growth plans. We only really commit to ideas we believe in, because it’s hard to track the results, but we also get creative and experimental with this budget, because we know we have the lower-risk marketing ticking over in the background. As a growing mortgage broker, this is right for us, but I think the right budget allocation for you just depends on your business size and growth strategy.

Luther Yeates, Head of Mortgages, UK Expat Mortgage

Engage Community and Utilize Performance-Based Ads

In the ever-changing world of the real estate industry, where the dynamics of marketing are as varied and complex as the properties we aim to promote, a strategic approach to budget allocation and optimization is paramount. Here’s one strategy that can be successfully applied in real estate marketing, based on our experiences and best practices at our organization:

Community Engagement Initiatives: Allocating funds to sponsor local events or participate in community service projects can significantly enhance a real estate brand’s presence and reputation within a community. This strategy goes beyond direct property marketing, building long-term brand equity and loyalty by demonstrating a commitment to the community’s well-being, akin to the corporate social responsibility initiatives we encourage among our e-commerce clients.

Our Best Practices for Optimizing Marketing Spend for ROI:

1. Performance-Based Advertising Models: Exploring advertising models that align costs with performance, such as pay-per-click (PPC) or commission-based partnerships with influencers and content creators, can optimize marketing spend. This approach ensures that marketing budgets are spent on tactics that directly generate leads or sales, providing a clear and measurable ROI.

2. Adopting an Omnichannel Approach: Rather than putting all eggs in one basket, diversifying the marketing spend across multiple channels — online and offline — ensures broader reach and multiple touchpoints with potential clients. This approach considers the customer’s journey, providing consistent and personalized experiences across all platforms, from social media to physical mailers, enhancing brand recall and conversion opportunities.

Marc Bishop, Director, Wytlabs

Precision Targeting and Conversion-Focused Strategies

Allocating a marketing budget in real estate? It’s all about precision targeting. First, understand your audience. Pinpoint where potential buyers or sellers hang out, both online and offline.

Best practices? Diversify. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Mix traditional with digital—leverage high-ROI tools like SEO, content marketing, and social media. But don’t neglect impactful direct mailers or well-placed ads in local media. Optimizing spend? Track everything. Implement analytics rigorously. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Adjust in real time based on performance data.

For ROI—it’s simple: focus on conversion rates over vanity metrics. Attract quality leads, not just traffic. This means creating valuable, engaging content tailored to your audience’s needs and interests. Negotiate and build relationships. From ad placements to software services, negotiate for value. Long-term relationships can lead to better rates and favorable terms.

Think community-first. In real estate, local events or sponsorships can generate goodwill and complement broader marketing efforts. The goal is not just to spend efficiently, but to build a brand that resonates—this inevitably leads to a higher return on investment.

Casey Jones, Founder and Head of Marketing, CJ&CO

Analyze Data to Allocate Budget and Maximize ROI

In managing my marketing budget, I prioritize a data-driven approach to ensure each dollar is effectively allocated.

My first step involves analyzing past campaigns to identify which channels yielded the highest ROI, focusing on those that drove qualified leads and sales, such as targeted online advertising and high-quality real estate listing sites. I allocate a significant portion of my budget towards digital marketing, including SEO and social media, to reach potential buyers where they spend most of their time.

Additionally, I invest in professional photography and virtual tours, understanding that compelling visuals are crucial in real estate marketing.

To optimize spend, I set clear KPIs for each campaign, continuously monitor performance, and adjust strategies in real-time based on data insights. This agile approach allows me to minimize wasted spend and reallocate resources to high-performing tactics, maximizing ROI and ensuring that our properties stand out in a competitive market.

Tony Mariotti, CEO, RubyHome

Balance Traditional and Digital for Optimal ROI

Efficiently managing our marketing budget at Myrtle Beach Home Buyers involves a balanced approach between traditional and digital channels. We allocate a significant portion to local SEO and content marketing, leveraging our expertise to create valuable resources for potential clients. 

By tracking key performance indicators and adjusting strategies accordingly, we ensure optimal ROI. My best practice is to continuously test and refine marketing campaigns to identify what resonates most with our target audience.

Adam Seguin, Owner, Myrtle Beach Home Buyers

Invest in Digital and Local for Tangible Results

In the real estate industry, I prioritize a balanced approach to marketing allocation. I ensure a significant portion goes into digital platforms, like targeted social media ads and search engine optimization, to reach potential buyers efficiently. 

Additionally, investing in high-quality, professional photography and virtual tours enhances property visibility. Local advertising through community events and publications also remains crucial. Tracking analytics meticulously helps in adjusting strategies for maximum ROI, ensuring every marketing dollar is well-spent to yield tangible results.

Dino DiNenna, Real Estate Broker, Hilton Head Realty Sales