‘Remarketing’ helps real estate agents target consumers when they’re more likely to buy

Strategy uses interests, keywords to serve up ads that can dramatically improve return on marketing investment

What if you went into Nordstrom to look at sweaters and the big retailer paid someone to follow you around the rest of the day showing you more sweaters and other tops to look at? You’d see a stylish hoodie while working out at the gym; collared, button-down blouses as you attend an office meeting; or a light cardigan sweater while you’re having lunch with friends.

Why would Nordstrom do that? Because it knows you’re more likely to buy tops than the next person since you’ve already been to its store shopping for sweaters. It can show you a specific type of top that you’ve been considering — and other items related to fashionable tops — to increase the likelihood of you being interested in checking out those products.

In essence, that’s what “remarketing” advertising is all about, just in the online world rather than the physical one. Retailers like Nordstrom have been using remarketing advertising for years to more effectively reach their target audience and get them to act, but until recently the remarketing has not been a part of real estate marketing and advertising programs.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, one of the first real estate brokerages to deploy this technology in its marketing, has found that it can be a powerful tool for brokerages and agents alike, building brand awareness, generating more leads, helping to reach more likely buyers and sellers, and ultimately driving more sales.

How does remarketing work? Let’s say someone visits your website looking for a three-bedroom, two-bath, 2,000-square-foot home with a pool in a certain neighborhood. He looks at several listings and photos, but ultimately leaves the site without taking any action.

As the house hunter moves to other websites, whether a local newspaper site or maybe a sports page, remarketing allows you to continue to show your ads to him, such as photos of the listing he was just looking at or other homes in that neighborhood that meet his criteria. The idea is to get him back to your site to have another look at the property or similar ones he might be interested in.

Remarketing is a great way to stay engaged with your target audience, presenting them with very specific, highly relevant ads across the Internet no matter where they go. It’s a very effective way to make sure your brand and your listings stay top of mind at a time when they are more likely to buy.

Such interest-based advertising enables you to reconnect with people who otherwise might not find their way back to your website by showing them a tailored message that could pique their interest once again and get them to come back to your site.

By using this more strategic, targeted approach, you can dramatically improve your return on advertising investment and greatly increase the chances that viewers will return to your website and your listing — and take action the next time.

Unlike general advertising, remarketing lets you match the right message to the right people at the right time. You’re not just putting a blanket ad out there, taking a shot in the dark that someone might be interested. You know the person you’re advertising to is already interested in the topic.

Remarketing can be a powerful weapon in your advertising arsenal. But as with any marketing, it’s important to make sure you have the right message with the right visuals for the right audience. Don’t be afraid to try different approaches in your advertising, and then make adjustments in future ads to improve your results. If you stick with it, I know you’ll be glad you did.

If you’re interested in getting more information on remarketing, a good place to start is Google’s AdWords page on remarketing. The page provides practical advice on how to launch a campaign on the Google Display Network, and how to use remarketing for mobile devices, measuring results and much more.

Kacie Ricker is the regional vice president for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Western Region. She can be reached at kacie.ricker@cbnorcal.com.