• Get as local as possible; educate consumers; find and express your brand; understand where search starts.

CHICAGO — Small independent brokerages can struggle daily to compete with their larger franchise counterparts, which will often have more robust websites, more money to spend and a larger reach on the internet, where most real estate searches begin.

John Thornton, partner lead of real estate at Google, spoke about paid advertising with Google, why it’s important and how to stand out at Inman Connect on the Road Chicago last week.

Whether you belong to a large company with plenty of reach or are an independent real estate agent building your own website, here are four ways to utilize Google advertising to your benefit.

1. Get as local as possible when you’re deciding on your keywords. Get down to the neighborhood level — and even more specific if it makes sense for your market. Paid ads will be cheaper, and you’ll get more relevant clicks.

2. Google is still where it starts. Google advertising is the start of the path. Other advertising platforms help you connect with leads, but most people still begin their search on Google.

3. Find your true brand. Home in on what your brand is and connect your digital presence to your brand. Be genuine because people will be able to tell if you aren’t. Because leads start on Google, this is the place to capture qualified, relevant leads — so make sure the brand those leads are seeing is something you’ve crafted with care.

4. Consider how you can educate consumers. People will often decide to make a purchasing decision, big or small, from a particular source if they learn something of value from the source.

Give users valuable information that helps them make a decision or that makes them feel comfortable and confident, and that will give them a reason to hire you. By shaping your Google ads, you’ll be shaping your clients’ perception.

Email Kimberly Manning

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