After nearly a decade of phenomenal growth, the real estate industry’s spending on online advertising may be set to plateau as agents and brokers move to employ more diverse marketing strategies, a new report by research and consulting firm Borrell Associates predicts.

According to Borrell researchers, spending on online advertising by real estate brokers and agents, mortgage originators, rental property managers, and real estate developers has more than quadrupled from $2 billion in 2004 to $8.89 billion last year.

But those days of heady growth appear to be coming to an end. Borrell is forecasting that online real estate advertising will grow by only 2.9 percent this year, to $9.15 billion, compared with a 27.3 percent increase last year.

During the next six years, Borrell is projecting a compound annual growth rate of just 1 percent a year in online real estate advertising. By 2016, Borrell researchers believe online advertisers will capture just 32 percent of the real estate industry’s ad spending, down from 44 percent in 2010.

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