tnc wired digital marketing

The Ultimate Guide To Display Ads For Real Estate Agents

Like most people, you want to spread the word about your business on the internet.

Common advice tells you that the best ways to do this are through Google search and social media ads.

And honestly, we don’t blame them...

It makes sense.

That's where you can find your prospects and get the results you’re looking for.

However, from our experience, we believe you should never limit yourself to just a few channels.

We always tell our clients to become omnipresent.

You see… omnipresence simply means being in a lot of places at the same time.

It’s much better to be seen in multiple (targeted) places instead of a select few.

Let me give you an example in a nutshell...

The traffic you get from each media platform is based on the user's behavior.

Search works great for people who are actively looking for a solution.

And social media allows you to communicate on a personal level at scale.

But what happens if an ideal prospect doesn't fit into either of the two categories?

Do you just let them slip away?

That's why we recommend using display ads.

They allow you to advertise your services in other areas clients you’re clients are hanging out.

As long as they use the internet, you can capture their attention.

Now, the biggest hurdle we see is that people can't make display ads profitable.

According to the Google Display Network, they reach 94% of online users.

So this makes use wonder… why is so hard for people to get an ROI?

With so many people being exposed to their ads, you’d expect these results to be much better.

But the reason people aren’t profitable on the display network is they don’t understand the fundamentals…

Generating leads from there is a whole different game.

And that’s what we’re going to be teaching you in this blog post.

So let’s dig in…

What are Display Ads

In simple terms, they are the advertisement boxes on websites.

They’re also known as banner ads and the most common formats are images with texts on them.

They are usually well designed in order to stand out, and when a user clicks on them, they are taken to a dedicated landing page.

And while most people use them for brand awareness and impressions, in this guide we will focus on how they can be applied according to direct response marketing principles.

Why Display Ads?

Sophisticated businessman writing competitive advantage during a meeting

First off, we're big believers in doing things differently.

While everyone wants to focus on the latest and most used marketing channels, we like to get creative.

That's because when you go where the competition is low you have a major advantage.

Since most people aren’t using Google display ads, It's much easier to stand out, and the cost per click is cheaper.

From our experience, here are the top reasons why you need to use display ads:

The reach is huge: as we've said before, the network reaches 94% of internet users. This pretty much means that as long as someone has access to the internet, you can get in front of them.

You can easily target your perfect customer: with an audience this big, you can easily attract the right people. Take contextual targeting for example, you can choose to show your message to people based on the keywords and phrases they use. And through demographic targeting, you can show your message based on their age, sex, interests, geographic location, languages and much more. It’s extremely targeted.

You can be seen on high profile websites: As long as a website is open to receiving revenue from Google AdSense, you have the ability to place your ads there. Websites such as Forbes and the Independent allow Google ads on their site. So just imagine the social proof you would have if you could get your ads shown on these websites. People would think you're investing a ton of money into your campaigns, yet you're only paying a fraction of the price to be associated with these huge brands.

The Psychology Of Users Seeing The Ad

Branding on Red Button Enter on Black Computer Keyboard.

One of the most common complaints about display ads is conversions.

Agents say it doesn’t convert as well when compared to other types of media.

So they ditch it...

Now, the reason this happens is that most realtors are sending the wrong message, to the wrong people, at the wrong time.

Let me explain…

When someone sees your ad on the Display Network they're not looking to buy something. They're simply browsing a website of their interest.

Since most realtors fail to realize this behavior, they often sell too early.

The people who see your ad on the Display Network are in the awareness stage.

Therefore you can't be direct with them, yet.

You can't ask for an upfront commitment such as scheduling an appointment,

You need to take an educational approach first.

That’s because the person who saw your ad doesn't like, know, or trust you, yet.

So if you want to succeed with display ads, you need to focus on building and nurturing relationships first.

That's why we recommend you target the right group of people with a small offer.


Write down the characteristics of the people you were looking to reach:

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Interests
  • Websites they use

Then write down:

  • What are their pains?
  • What are their problems?
  • What can I create to help them solve these things?


Developing Your Strategy

Marketing Strategies. Magnifying Glass on Old Paper with Red Vertical Line.

Now that you understand how your prospects behave, you need to start craft the right strategy to capture their attention.

There are multiple ways to do this in the Display Network.

There are videos, text, and images.

And from our experience, it's best if you start with the image ads first.

They usually bring the best results and are one of the easiest to create.

Now, before you move on to the creatives, you need to have a few principles down:

Less is more: you don't have much space to work with when it comes to display ads. Your message needs to be short, concise, and straight to the point. We recommend a headline that clearly addresses a great desire or deep pain that your potential prospect has. The same goes for the artwork. although you want to create something that would visually stand out, you don't want to put too much graphics that your message becomes hard to understand.

Don’t interrupt: Some real estate agents take this too far and create ads that are way too flashy. If you choose to include animations or rich media, you could very well be interrupting someone's experience when they are using a website. So instead of having an ad that works, you're going to have an ad that annoys people and could lead you to have a negative image.

Have a call to action: unless you're looking to run a campaign for brand awareness, you need to have a clear call to action. When people see your ad, you need to capture their attention and get them to move further into your sales process. And since we advocate giving them free educational material, the most common call to action can be “learn more” or “download now.”

Creating your Ad

Businesswoman pointing at laptop with coworkers at desk in creative office

This is the part where most people get overwhelmed.

It usually stems from a lack of knowledge then leads to overthinking.

You see… most real estate agents think that to create a good ad, they need to be tech-savvy or skilled in graphic design.

However, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Today, there are multiple tools such as that lets you easily do it yourself.

And there are also web sites like Fiverr and Upwork where you can hire people at an affordable rate to create it for you.

From our experience, we recommend hiring an expert.

That's because it will:

  • Look better
  • Get done faster
  • And you’ll have a professional to show you what works best

The second thing you need to take into consideration is the size of your banner ad.

While there are dozens to choose from, we recommend you stick to the 80/20 principle:

Choose the sizes that are top-performing.

You can learn more about the best ad sizes here.

And finally, you need to have a landing page to capture your potential customer's contact information.

For this, we recommend using MailChimp’s landing page builder.

It's easy to use, drag-and-drop and gets the job done.

Once you have all of these things in place, just follow these simple instructions to create your Google display ad.


  • Write down a headline that addresses either a deep pain or motivation
  • Write down your call to action
  • Outsource your banner ad creation on Fiverr or Upwork


Measuring Your Success

At service for life, we like to keep things simple.

Your ads are successful if they bring you a positive ROI.

That’s why for every $1 we spend, we always work to make $2 back

Therefore you need to know how much a client is worth to you.


  • Calculate how much you stand to make on an average deal
  • Calculate how much you can spend on ads in order to make it worthwhile.

Once you have these things down, you need to keep track of the:

  1. Number of clicks to your landing page
  2. Number of clicks to email subscribers (20%)
  3. Number of email subscribers to clients (1%)

This is 80/20 display ad optimization.

If you can keep within these metrics and stay profitable, then you’re on the right path.

You should always shoot to improve those percentages.

Just try to never go below them.


Final Thoughts

By using display ads, you can reach your customers on all media platforms.

While most people are quick to discard them, they simply don’t understand how to make it profitable.

Someone who sees a display ad is on their computer looking at things that interest them.

Therefore you can't sell on your first contact.

Your goal is to create an ad that makes them sign up for a lead magnet, get their contact information, and provide valuable information over time to build and nurture the relationship.

When building your ad make sure that it's clear, concise, and provides a great experience.

You don't need to be a tech whiz do this. Simply outsource it for pennies on the dollar to people who are experts in designing them.

By sticking to these fundamentals, you’ll have a profitable traffic channel that most of your competitors are ignoring. It's only a matter of time before you dominate the local real estate space.

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