• Three reasons agents get stuck on lead generation.
  • How much of your commission you should allocate to marketing.
  • How to maximize your marketing on $315 a month.

There are some problems in real estate that transcend boundaries — they’re not about the market you’re in, the demographic you’re serving, or the generation of the buyer or seller.

They’re almost always centered around selling your service. To be more specific: They’re about finding leads.

The most frequent lead generation problems

These are the problems I see most often with lead generation:

1. Agents want to try out a new lead service for only three months, and there’s not a ton that can be achieved in that amount of time — unless you’re paying for hot leads.

2. Agents have all the tools needed to run their business, but they don’t always treat their business like a business.

3. Many agents live commission paycheck to paycheck, which doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for marketing. However, you can’t avoid putting money into marketing because it’s scary. Your marketing (and branding) is your extension to let your area know that you exist — you’re a pro, and they should call you.

So I’m going to walk you through some steps to get you ready for your new marketing campaign.

What portion of your budget should you allocate to marketing?

Let’s say you close only one deal per month on homes that cost $100,000, and you currently have little to no marketing. Because you’re already established, I’m going to suggest that you allocate 15 percent of every commission check to your marketing budget.

Let’s get even more bleak and say that you’re currently on a 70/30 split with your sponsoring broker. (I hope you’re getting a lot for giving up such a high split, by the way.)

So, off of a $100,000 sale, you net $2,100 after paying out your split to your broker. Your marketing budget is $315 for the month.

There’s not a whole lot you can do with that money, but I’m trying to do this exercise so that you can get your marketing ready.

Where do you want to be known for your business?

Next, I would target one or two subdivisions in which you want to be well-known. For numbers’ sake, let’s say there are 250 homes in each subdivision, so you’ll be targeting a total of 500 homeowners.

Now, let’s get the word out to that subdivision that you are the agent to contact. Starting at 2 cents per page, you can print out 500 letters and leave them on the doors of the homeowners.

I often use a company called Copies in Color for this, and they’ll also ship them to you for about $15 total. So now that we’ve spent $15, we still have $300 left for the month for marketing.

Going digital to establish an online presence

I would allocate $150 toward Google AdWords so that you can have some online presence. When initially signing up with Google, a lot of times you can receive a free coupon for $100.

So, that means that the first month you can spend $250 on Google AdWords. I don’t really like to recommend Google AdWords unless someone can commit at least $500 a month to put toward it, but in this case, I think we need to start doing something.

You can always build up to that when your business is growing. This means now we have $150 left for the month’s advertising. When setting up your AdWords account, just use the AdWords Express for now, so it sets up everything for you. Then just make sure to target a radius as close as possible to your target subdivisions.

Get the attention of expired listing owners

Next, I would put something in the mail to all the expired listings in the two subdivisions you’re targeting.

Remember that there are a lot of agents who will be mailing these expired listings as well, so get creative with how you’re going to stand out in your marketing.

To get your business jump-started in those subdivisions, you could create a mailer that says, “Why pay a Realtor to list your home when we’ll do it for free? Contact us today to reserve your spot so you can list your home for free before this month’s spots are full in your subdivision!”

You’ve got everything you need in those two sentences. You’ve told them what you’ll do, you’ve hit their hot button, you’ve created a call to action, and you’ve created a sense of urgency with limited availability.

If and when they list their home with you for free, let them know that they must purchase their next home with you to be listed for free. This way you get a sale, plus you get the yard sign and free marketing in the subdivision you’re targeting.

So, now you’ll have monthly mailers there, Google AdWords specific ads going out to the ZIP code and a yard sign boosting your reputation as the agent to call in those two subdivisions.

Court a potential mortgage partner

I don’t think that would cost more than $50, so now we have $100 left for marketing. With the remaining $100, I would use that money for the first two months for expense-related costs associated with courting a potential mortgage partner.

This way you can potentially partner with a loan officer in your area and have them pay for the costs associated with advertising in a publication such as The Real Estate Book.

Just let them know that you have $100 a month to allocate toward it, and if they pay the remaining cost of it, you’ll send all your unqualified leads to them.

Stick to it for six months

This strategy is a pretty simple and all-encompassing one for marketing on $315 — pretty amazing, right?

Now that you have all the knowledge on what direction to go in with your marketing, try to implement this plan and stick to it for six months.

If you have implemented it, I’d love to hear in the comments section how it turns out. If you have any further questions, I can answer them via my email below.

Good luck, everyone, and let’s get to marketing.

Andrew Molz is an expert strategist when it comes to merging social media with real estate. Currently, Andrew is the managing partner at Dallas-based startups The Reputation Shop and 12 Rounds SEO; connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Andrew Molz.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription