Real Estate Agents to Take Lead in Local Online Spending

Even as the economy continues to recover, the real estate market is struggling. Home prices are still falling in many markets and few analysts expect to see the number of house being sold to jump drastically anytime soon. The increased competition has realtors turning to a variety of new marketing tactics to make a sale.

One of the biggest trends in real estate marketing has been the shift to the online arena. New data from Borrell Associates indicates that real estate agents will allocate up to $21.8 billion in advertising in 2011. This represents an 8% increase over 2010 spending levels. For the most part, real estate marketing is all about local. And as consumers spend more time online, realtors are spending more money on websites and videos to promote their offerings. According to Borrell, about  40.8% of a typical marketing budget for a property, or an industry total of $9 billion, will be spent online this year.

Earlier this year, eMarketer statistics indicated that the typical advertiser now allocates about 15% of the marketing budget to online media formats. Clearly, some industries spend more than others. eMarketer analysts pointed out that, nationally, retail and telecom marketers will spend the most online, 20.1% and 14.3% of their total budgets, respectively.    However, Borrell Associates analysts contend that realtors have moved into second place in online spending and are now ahead of automotive but behind retailers in online spending. But this spending level may not last. Gordon Borrell, company CEO, told Mike Chapman of AdWeek, ““I think they [realtors] are overspending, which means an adjustment or even a flattening may be coming soon.”

For now, realtors are using the many tools at their disposal as they convince consumers who are surfing the Web that it might be time to make a move.

Sources: 2011 Real Estate Advertising Outlook. BorrellAssociates​.com. 2011. Web. 30 May 2011;  Chapman, Mike. Real Estate Now Second-​Biggest Online Advertiser. Adweek​.com. 19 May 2011. Web. 30 May 2011; Retail Continues to Lead in Online Ad Spending. eMarketer​.com. 18 Apr. 2011. Web. 30 May 2011] 

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.