Google adwords for real estate

Are you looking to optimize a Google adwords PPC campaign for your real estate business? Here are some tips that can help you reach your advertising goals.

  • Real estate is a local business, which means you're better off targeting customers who live in your area only.
  • Not all users are your potential customers. For example, it is rare for homeowners to look at rental ads unless they plan to move to an apartment soon. Likewise, renters are often tied to a one-year or six-month lease, and this means they will not look at rental ads during this time. So, you'll need to use specific filters in your Google ads campaign to ensure that it reaches the right people only.
  • Use negative keywords to eliminate duplicate city names and other search criteria where you don't want your ad to show up.
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Some Statistics

Google has 37.2 % of the digital advertising market, whereas Facebook holds 19.6 %.

The average mobile PPC ads CTR (click-through rate) drops 45 % between positions one and two.

30.89 % : percentage of smartphone Google results that return at least 1 ad on the first page.

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Google Ads for Real Estate

Should you use Google AdWords for Real Estate?

So, you’re a real estate agent and you’ve heard about this thing called Google AdWords. You would like to know more about it but you don’t know where to start? The good news is that you’re at the right place.

Google AdWords is something people are talking more and more about across industries, and it’s growing day by day. You’ve probably heard pretty sweet stories about how your friend has found 10 new clients in a week using it. But you’ve also probably heard the other side of the story, and how this other friend lost hundreds of dollars trying to get new clients to just find himself with an expensive bill.

You’re not too sure if as a real estate agent, Google AdWords is for you? Well, it should be. And here’s why.

The complex problem of the real estate agent

As a Real Estate agent, you’re confronted with a dual problem when it comes down to closing deals:

  • On one hand, you’re supposed to find potential sellers who are willing to let you list their property for sale.
  • On the other hand, you’re supposed to find potential buyers who are willing to buy your listed properties at a matching price.

It’s not an easy equation and you always have to perform some sort of interpersonal gymnastics to get people to agree with each other! If the seller doesn’t want to sell his property lower than a certain price, and if the buyer doesn’t want to buy this very same property higher than the lowest price of the seller, a headache is coming to town.

But now, let’s face it: there’s not an infinite supply of buyers and sellers, and you have to deal with what you’ve got in your hands. Most of the time, those people come from referrals, or they just pop by your office. In other words, you have no control over who can be a potential client.

And it can become very time consuming. In the end, you have to make dozens of calls and interviews for people who won’t even become your clients in the end.

So, how do you solve that? With intent.

Intent is the key to understand people’s motives

And that’s where Google AdWords comes in: the greatest difference there’s between Google AdWords and ANY other kind of referral or advertising system is that you’re in total control of “intent”.

“Intent” is the fundamental difference between Google AdWords and other advertising platforms, such as Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, LinkedIn Ads, etc.

We could say that: “intent is the way individuals express what they want, either by their words or their actions”.

That’s what people type on Google, and what they’re looking for on the internet in general. And since the web is essentially textual, it’s the fastest, easiest way to understand somebody’s real motives.

In the case of real estate, it means that when someone types “2-room apartment with balcony”, that’s what they’re actually looking for. Not a 3-room apartment with no balcony.

What does it mean? Well, that’s the great news. It means that you can exactly filter prospective clients based on what they’re looking for, as well as to serve them exactly what they need. In this case, if you had a “2 rooms apartment with balcony” in your real estate listing, you could show it to this client, with a big “contact us” button so that this client can contact you easily.

In other words, making sure that the person is getting what she’s looking for will make everyone happier – them, Google, and you.

Getting stated and creating our first real estate ad

To get started with Google AdWords, have a look at our other article on how to use Google AdWords for your website. We explain how to create a Google AdWords account and how to create your first AdWords campaign, step by step.

Now, supposing that you’re past that point, you’ll have to dig deeper into people’s intent, and what they’re looking for in your area. And as a real estate agent, you need to become familiar with what potential clients are typing in Google, and the state of mind they have.

This can be achieved using a tool called Google Keyword Planner. Essentially, Google themselves give you key data with respect to what people are typing in Google, with interesting variations and keywords opportunities.

You can also use third-party tools such as SEMrush, which will not only give you keywords data, but also what your competition is doing.

To make it simpler, let’s just focus on Google Keyword Planner.

Getting search volumes with Google Keyword Planner

To access Google Keyword Planner, click on “Tools & Settings” on the right-hand corner of the AdWords menu bar.

Then click on “Keyword Planner”

Now, click “discover new keywords”

You’ll then be asked to type in one or multiple keywords, along with a website if you have one. For now, just type in one keyword that interests you, such as “2-room apartment”.

You’ll land on a report page with some data:

By having a closer look to it, you’ll see that there are some settings to set for you to get the right keywords:

  • Location: in your case, it can be a city or even a city block.
  • Language: if you’re in the US, English.
  • Search Network: keep it to Google for now.

You can also see multiple columns with important data:

Keyword (by relevance):

this column gives you related keywords ideas that’ll help you get an idea of what people type in Google

Average monthly searches:

that gives you the number of times per month people type in search queries that match with the keywords. (Keep in mind that the same person can type the same thing multiple times, so monthly searches =/= monthly individuals).

Top of page bid (low range):

that’s the lowest amount you would have to spend to have your ads displayed on the top of the page when someone types in the keyword.

Top of page bid (high range):

same as previously, but for the highest amount you would have to spend.

Now, let’s take an example. Imagine that you are looking for individuals who want to sell their house in Chicago. If you typed “sell my house” and set the location to Chicago, that’s the kind of data you would get:

As you can see, there’s an estimated 200 to 2000 people looking to either sell their house or sell their house fast in Chicago on a monthly basis. By looking at the potential keyword variations, you can get a couple thousand searches per month from potential clients.

Structuring your AdWords campaigns

If you carry your research properly, you should start to get a sense of what people are looking for in your area. And you should definitely make a list of important keywords.

For example, if we were to take the previous example mentioned, it would be something like: “sell my house”, “sell my apartment”, “sell house fast”, etc.

But see, you maybe don’t want to advertise the same way to people who want to sell their apartment than to people who want to sell their house. And of course, you don’t want to advertise the same ads to people who want to BUY a house than to the ones who want to SELL it.

That’s why you need to create dedicated campaigns based on your industry standards. Here, you certainly want to treat different people based on what they’re looking for in a more specific way.

For example, it could look like this:

You would always have two campaigns, one for buyers and one for sellers. And you could then duplicate it based on the kind of property – for example, apartments, houses, etc.

You may wonder how to target exactly people within the Chicago area, and that’s possible to do that by setting up your campaigns with various other important factors such as the demographics (age, gender, etc.), along with the device they use and tons of other things.

Keep in mind that you can go pretty deep in terms of location settings, such as setting up a specific city block.

Once your campaigns are created, you’ll have to be a bit more specific on what you advertise, and not just show “houses” to people who want to buy houses.

  • You want to show that 4-room house with a garden that this person is exactly looking for.

And that’s where the notion of “ad groups” comes in. It’s an extremely important concept that’ll help you become more specific and more relevant when you use Google AdWords.

Using ad groups to structure your AdWords campaigns

Ad groups are basically a way to structure your campaigns into sub-groups, where each sub-group will have its own list of keywords and ad copies. It’s extremely useful because it means that you’ll be able to customize your ads depending on people’s intent, which in turn will make your ads a lot more relevant and impactful.

Here for example, we have divided the ad groups into 3 groups – all of them are people who want to buy apartments, but this will allow us to target them based on the number of rooms they’re looking for.

And if you go deeper into the keywords list for each specific ad group, you’ll see that you can both add:

  • positive keywords: shows your ads when someone types them.
  • negative keywords: hide your ads when someone types them.

Once your keywords are set up properly, you’ll want to create your first ads. As said above, when someone is going to type something in Google that triggers your keywords, it’s exactly these ads that will be displayed to them.

To create your ads, first click on “Ads & extensions”:

At this point, you’ll be suggested to create either “text ads” or “responsive search ads”.

You can now create your first text ad:

As you can see, you can set up:

  • The final URL: which is usually a dedicated landing page that matches with what the person has typed in)
  • The headlines: the blue text that you see in every ad)
  • The display path: that’s the URL that users will see below your ad’s headlines)
  • The descriptions: that’s the text below the URL that will be displayed.

On the other hand, you saw that you could create responsive search ads. The main difference between this kind of ads and regular text ads is that you’ll give Google a dozen potential headline variations and 4 descriptions. Google will then test all the combinations and select the ones that work the best.

Creating a responsive search ad would look like this:

Now that you’ve created your first few ads, there’s still a crucial element to any Google AdWords campaign that you must add. Without this, your campaigns will be much less effective, and that element is called the “ad extensions”.

Setting up ad extensions (address, phone calls, offers…)

Ad extensions are a very handy way to display important information about your business, such as your phone number or your location.

Typically, ad extensions look like this (pardon my French!):

They do not only provide more information about your business, but they also let you use more space on Google’s ad section. And since your ads will be bigger and more information, they’ll be more likely to be seen by potential clients.

You can set them up by clicking on “extensions” in the “ads & extensions” section.

For example, if you wanted to set up a phone call extension, it would look like this:

You could then set up the country along the phone number, and whether you want Google to track phone calls.

Once your ad extensions are set properly, you can update them according to various events such as special offers based on the calendar, or a specific property that’s on sale for a limited time.

Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed this article on Google AdWords for real estate, and it helped you understand better why you should be using AdWords, and how it can help your business as a real estate agent.

We saw together that Google lets you discover people’s intent, and that it’s extremely helpful to serve those people relevant ads. We also saw that you could set your campaigns with respect to specific locations (and even city blocks!).

You’ve learned the basic structure of any AdWords campaigns:

  • Campaigns that are structured around a key objective.
  • Ad groups that are structured around key features, such as the number of rooms, etc.
  • Keywords that should reflect intent within the ad group.
  • Ad extensions to display additional information such as a phone number or an address.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not AdWords is worth the trouble, but as you can see, there’s no shortage of potential buyers or sellers typing queries on Google in your specific area, so the field is open!

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