Real estate ppc

PPC advertising lets real estate businesses buy ads right at the top of search engine results.

And you only ever pay when someone clicks. That's incredibly powerful.

Real estate is hugely competitive. There are over 1.2 million real estate businesses in the U.S. alone. In this environment, standing out is incredibly difficult.

But PPC creates a level-playing field, where you can immediately compete and go toe to toe with established businesses.

The ROI Potential

🤔 Let’s say each click on your ad that directs a person to your website costs you $5. 

  • You know that on average, you get one sale for every 100 people who visit your site. 
  • That means you need to spend around $500 on PPC ads to get a sale. 
  • But, your gross commission on that sale could be $10,000 or more. 

💰 That’s an ROI of around 20x.

This is just an example, and what you can achieve varies. But the fact is PPC ads can provide huge ROI. 

In our admittedly biased opinion, PPC is the perfect marketing channel to get high-quality leads instantly.

In this article, we will explain the benefits of real estate PPC advertising and how you can get it right fast.

What Is PPC for Real Estate?

Today, 98% of consumers use the internet to find information about local businesses, including realtors. Most of this research is done with search engines like Google.

You'll often see sponsored results at the top when you search for something on a search engine.

For example, type in “real estate agent in New York” and several local brokerages or agencies will be shown. 

That's PPC.

search results for real estate agents in NY

If a user clicks on this ad, the advertiser pays a one time fee. 

Having a presence on page one is critical. On average, page one gets up to 92% of all clicks from Google searches—page two gets just 6%.

There's an old joke - If you want to hide a body, your best bet is page 2 of Google.

The Benefits of PPC

👉  Promote individual properties

👉 Promote your real estate services 

👉 Target people from very specific geographical locations 

🎯 Target customers who have interacted with your website but didn’t take any action

🤖 Leverage the power of Google's AI to find the most likely customers

How Does PPC Advertising Work?

It's all about keywords (read more here).

You open your phone and type in "homes for sale in Denver" and Google knows what results, and what adverts, to show the user.

“Real estate agent near me” is a typical example of keywords someone might type. 

Others include:

🔎 Top real estate agents in Denver

🔎 Properties for sale in Denver

🔎 Home selling tips

🔎 Fastest way to sell a home

🔎 Cost of selling your home

Bid for keywords

Companies pay money into a PPC ad account which becomes their ad budget. They then say how much they are willing to pay for each click. This is called bidding, and nowadays there are primarily automated bidding strategies which Google recommends, using the power of their AI. 

When a user types in a keyword, the search engine starts an auction to decide which ads it will show.

It uses the following factors to calculate an ad rank score:

  • The advertiser’s bid.
  • How relevant the ad is to the keyword.
  • The quality of the ad.
  • The relevance and quality of the page the ad links to.

The ad with the highest score is shown first, followed by the other highest-scoring ads. Ads that don’t score high enough are not shown. 

What determines the price of a bid?

When you set up a PPC ad, you must choose which keywords your ad will be shown for. 

Keywords with commercial intent like "buy a home in Denver" clearly have high commercial intent, and are therefore more expensive.

Whereas a keyword like "what's Denver like to live in?" is going to be far cheaper, because it could just be a stranger on the internet curious about Denver! 

Of course, marketers & advertisers are spending more on commercial intent keywords, pushing the cost of those keywords up.

For example, “Real estate agent near me” has a cost-per-click (CPC) of $6.

This is expensive because it suggests that someone has decided to sell their home and they are ready to work with a realtor. It’s also a high-traffic term, with more than 20,000 global monthly searches.

overview of search results for real estate agent near me

“Home selling tips” on the other hand, has a CPC of just $2. 

This is because people searching for this might just be people looking for information in preparation to sell their homes next year. It also only gets 1,800 global searches per month.

keyword overview results on home selling tips

It’s therefore likely that related ads would cost slightly less. However, these ads may face less competition from other advertisers because there is lower buyer intent.

What types of PPC ads are there?

Buying sponsored links on search engines is the most common form of PPC advertising, but you can also run PPC ads on:

  • Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
  • Banners on websites.
  • YouTube.

In this article, we’re going to focus on search ads that are placed on Google. You can visit our blog to learn more about other types of PPC.

How to Get Started with Real Estate PPC Campaigns

We'll show you how to get set up with Google Ads. 

We're focusing on Google Ads because it’s responsible for 92% of all searches, and their advertising revenue in 2022 was a whopping $224.47 billion

People spend money on Google Ads because they work.

Google is also the platform that our agency specializes in.

➡️ Set measurable objectives

We always advise setting some clear goals before you even get started, E.G.

  • Do you want new customers to phone your office directly or fill out forms?
  • How many new customers can you handle in the coming months?
  • Do you have a price in mind that you'd love to pay to acquire a new customer? E.G. Is $500 good? How about $1,000?
  • What revenue goals do you have in mind? 
  • What competitors do you want to catch up with?

If you don't think carefully about these things, you're going to end up wasting money on Google ads without clearly defined objectives.

➡️ Create an awesome landing page

Most PPC campaigns link to a dedicated landing page on the company’s website.

🧠 Important note: This is the part most people get terribly wrong. You can spend all the money in the World on adverts, but if people land on your website and the experience sucks, you will never convert.

Landing pages are optimized to:

  • Meet the specific needs of the people who click through to them.
  • Quickly build trust with visitors.
  • Convert visitors as quickly as possible.
  • Enable visitors to contact the company.
  • Maximize brand exposure, so people remember the company even if they don't convert.

If Google thinks your landing page is weak, they won't show your ad as much as well.

So let's get that landing page nailed first!  

For example, let’s say we search for “real estate agent California”. Here’s what comes up:

search results for real estate agent in California

Let’s take a look at the first result, Homelight. It promises to help visitors find an agent.

Here’s why this page works:

✔️Clear CTA: Visitors can start looking for a real estate agent straight away.

✔️Easy to make contact: The page provides a single phone number.

✔️Nice design: The page looks smart and is easy to use. 

✔️Strong branding: The Homelight logo and brand colors are simple and easy to recognize.

✔️Social proof builds trust: By showing its customer reviews on Google, Homelight builds trust with visitors unfamiliar with the brand.

sample of homelight homepage
Here’s another example from Tuscana Properties.
Homepage sample from Tuscana

Here’s why it works:

✔️Clear CTA: Visitors are encouraged to fill in a form.

✔️Easy to make contact: Features a phone number and instant messenger.

✔️Nice design: The page makes good use of professional photography. 

✔️Strong branding: The company’s logo is easy to recognize.

✔️Personal touch that builds trust: The page introduces visitors to the realtor they’ll be working with.

The next section explains how you can set up Google Ads for your business. 

➡️ Create your Google Ads account

If this is your first real estate PPC campaign, you will need to set up your Google Ads account to get started.

The good news is it’s completely free and easy.

setting up google ads account

This process is quite simple and only requires a few steps to create your account and launch your first ads.

➡️ Set up your target audience

You can set up your PPC ad to only be displayed to specific potential clients. 

You can target demographics like:

  • Location.
  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Search terms they are likely to use.

For example, if your brokerage is in New Orleans, Louisiana, you could target people between the ages of 25 and 60 who live in New Orleans and have a household income that allows them to afford a new home.

Below we can see a few different ads that might display.

search results for property sale in houston

➡️ Select your keywords

Now it’s time to give some thought to the words or phrases your ideal client is likely to type in when they visit Google. 

To get this step right, you’ll need to do some keyword research with a tool like Google Keyword PlannerAhrefs, or SEMRush.

keyword difficulty on tampa real estate overview

You need to find keywords that:

✅ Show strong buyer intent.

✅ Are affordable: Cost-per-click (CPC) measures the estimated amount you’ll pay per click for this term.

Get lots of searches: This is usually called volume or traffic.

✅ Aren’t too competitive: As the name suggests, keyword difficulty indicates how difficult it is to rank for a keyword organically. Google Ads refers to this as keyword competitiveness.

Keywords with a lower keyword difficulty score tend to be less expensive. This can be seen in our example from earlier, “real estate agent near me”.

keyword difficulty for real estate near me 1

The keyword difficulty for “home selling tips” on the other hand, is about half that of “real estate agent near me”. The CPC is only $2.

Keyword diffuculty for home selling tips

💬 Narrow down your list of keywords

Once you’ve figured out the types of content your target audience is likely searching for, you can narrow this list down to specific keywords you want to focus on.

For example, you might specialize in short sell deals. Your keyword long list might be:

🔎Short sales

🔎Short sales Denver

🔎Buy a short sale home

🔎Short selling your home

🔎Short sale process

🔎Cons of a short sale

🔎Short sell your home Denver

However, you might know from experience that a certain area is likely to experience a high number of short sells. You might therefore choose to focus on:

🔎Short sales Denver

🔎Short sell your home Denver

💬 Use negative keywords to your advantage

Lastly, you must determine your negative keywords. These are the keywords that prevent your ad from showing up when people enter them into a Google search.

So if you specialize in luxury properties, you may wish to avoid people searching for terms like:

👎Cheap houses for sale

👎What credit score is needed to buy a house?

👎How to buy a house with no money

👎First-time homebuyer programs

This stops you from wasting your time on leads that are a poor fit and allows you to focus on customers to whom you can provide a great service.

See more examples here of negative keywords that you might want to consider.

➡️ Create your ad copy and design

PPC ads need to be high quality, relevant, and compelling. After all, this is what’s going to draw users in and get them to visit your website.

Here’s our top advice for ad copy that converts:

  • Remember your target audience: What does your audience want to achieve? What are their pain points? What type of language would they relate to?
  • Keep it short and sweet: Your headline, description, and call to action (CTA) should be short, punchy, and descriptive enough to attract leads.
  • Don’t forget your CTA: Your call to action is what is ultimately going to convince people to click through to your website. It needs to give them a clear next step.
  • Avoid industry jargon: It’s likely that your potential clients don’t know the intricacies of the real estate industry like you do. Keep the language simple.

Here’s an example from Daisy Property of well-written ad copy:

search results for real estate PPC

➡️ Place a bid

Next, you’ll need to place a bid in a PPC auction to get your ad to appear at the top of search engine results. You’ll want to set up your bidding based on your specific keywords.

This is also where you get to stipulate how much you are willing to spend on your ads.

➡️ Start tracking your PPC campaign

A massive benefit of running your PPC campaigns through Google Ads is that your efforts are highly trackable and measurable.

By using tools like Google Analytics, you can track the performance of your ads in great detail.

Some of the metrics you’ll be able to track include:

  • Impressions: The number of times your ad appears in searches.
  • Clicks: The number of times people click on your website.
  • Conversions: The number of people who click on your ad and go on to buy or sell a home with you.

This data can help you determine:

  • Whether your campaigns are working.
  • Where you need to make adjustments.
  • How your budget is being spent.

The example below shows how a PPC campaign has been performing over the past 30 days.

acquisition overview search results

What does the graph tell us about this campaign?

  • First, this ad’s performance has a cyclical pattern. This likely means that it gets fewer clicks on a weekend. 
  • Secondly, the pattern generally remained stable over the month.
  • The worst-performing statistic is conversion rate, which is down by 13%. This may mean that the landing page needs to be improved to encourage visitors to convert. 

➡️ Remarketing

Realtors can use a strategy called remarketing (also known as retargeting) when they run PPC campaigns.

Have you ever visited a website and then had an ad for that website appear somewhere else on the internet? That’s retargeting.

This feature allows you to target potential clients who have visited your website but haven’t contacted you yet. 

This is how it works:

  • Interaction: A potential client visits your website but doesn’t contact you.
  • Cookie placement: A small piece of code, called a cookie, is added to their web browser while they’re on your site. This cookie tracks their online activity.
  • Display ads: As the potential client browses online, Google Ads will identify them through the cookie. The platform will then display ads to them on other websites. These websites are part of the Google Display Network (GDN), which is a network of sites and apps where ads can be placed.
  • Engagement: Ideally, this retargeting will make the potential client return to your website and choose to buy or sell their home with you.

When other sites are part of the GDN, you can have your PPC ad appear on the next few websites they visit as banners (also called display ads) on these sites.

Here is an example from the Wired website where a display ad is being shown to a user who has previously visited this realtor’s website:

sample of correctly displayed ads

How Can Help Your Real Estate Business Succeed

At, we've worked with real estate agencies & even software companies across the US.

We've seen how companies light their ads budget on fire and setup low-performance campaigns.

Absolutely everything we do is profit and growth-driven.

If that sounds like something interesting to you and you're a great business with good people, drop us a message.

Stewart Dunlop