Real Estate Marketing Tools Metrics and ROI: Benchmarks for 2021

When you are launching a marketing campaign, it’s important to know, at least in general terms, what to expect as a result. What is a good result? Which campaign is not performing as it should? In this article, we’ll focus on the marketing tools and metrics for real estate in 2021.

The data mentioned in this article is based on the Wild Dots’ experience with paid promotion channels for the projects we have worked with.

Marketing Tools to Focus On

As we mentioned above, in this article we’ll talk about the paid channels. Namely:

  1. Google Search Ads: text ads you can see on top of the search results when you’re looking for something in Google.
  2. Google Display Ads: banner ads you can see in various places all over the Internet. A lot of the news websites have a column with picture ads, for example. Also, these ads can be seen in Gmail, on YouTube, and a lot of other frequently used tools.
  3. Facebook ads: Being the world’s most popular social networking platform, Facebook offers a wide variety of parameters to choose from when you’re setting up your marketing campaigns. As a result, the ads are very targeted, and since real estate is very materialistic (as opposed to service ads, for example), photos here draw people’s attention, especially if they already are considering purchasing a property.
  4. Instagram is Facebook’s sidekick that is focused on pictures and, just like in the case of Facebook ads, quality photos here play a major role in guiding the potential customers and telling them a story of how wonderful their new place of living might be.
  5. or other real estate portals are the most topic-related places for your property ads. These website visitors are considered warm leads because they are already consciously looking for real-estate-related information.

All of these ads lead to the property’s website where people can learn more about the real estate project, its location, and neighborhood, advantages, logistics, floor plans, etc.

Paid Channels’ Effectiveness Benchmarks for 2021

Since the main purposes of the channels above differ from each other, it’s important and logical to remember that they will all bring different results. You can’t expect the same results from, for example, Instagram and At the same time, they both serve the end goal: getting leads to your website.

Marketing Tools Rated by the Number of Leads they Bring

The main goal of a marketing campaign is to bring as many leads as possible to the business. Here is the data on this, rated from least number of leads to the largest number, based on our vast experience with these paid channels for real estate in Switzerland:

  1. Google Display Ads: despite being everywhere, these ads mainly serve the purpose of brand awareness. After people continually see your ads (even with their side vision), they are more likely to pay attention to your ads on other channels, which helps to increase their effectiveness.
  2. Real Estate Portals (such as although usually, real estate portals don’t bring hundreds of leads, the leads that do come from there are really warm, which means the likeness of their conversion from a lead to a customer is quite high.
  3. Instagram: similar to Google Display Ads, a lot of times, Instagram works more for brand awareness. However, with the new features of ads in the Stories, where people can click on a link to visit the website, there are more leads that are interested in how the location looks like and the floor plans. Also, the age of Instagram users (33% of the users are 25-34 and 15% – 35-44 years old, according to Statista’s report for October 2020) is right around the average age when people start to look for a place to permanently live.
  4. Google Search Ads: leads from search are warm as well because in order to find your website in Google, they needed to enter the keywords related to your property. As a result, people that come to your website from search ads are people who are specifically looking for real estate properties (similar to
  5. Facebook: the social network combines photos and textual information, which helps to provide necessary initial information to the potential customer. The average age of Facebook users is even closer than Instagram’s to the average age when people start looking for real estate. As a result, in our Wild Dots marketing campaigns, Facebook is the leading source of potential buyers.

Marketing Tools Rated by Budget Spent

Based on the effectiveness of the channels and the warmness of the leads brought by the channel, the budget is allocated in such proportions:

  1. Google Search Ads – 45% – the leads are warm and millions of people look for something on Google daily. Ergo, you get good results from this channel – both in terms of quality and quantity.
  2. Facebook – 35% – as we mentioned, there are a lot of leads that come from this channel. In fact, for one of the projects we have worked with, Facebook brought 79% of the leads to the business. The probability of their conversion is lower than the real estate portal leads or Google Search but given the number of leads, Facebook pays off the efforts.
  3. Real estate portals – 15% – fewer leads, but at the same time, hotter leads than from any other channel, due to the purpose of the portal.
  4. Google Display Ads and Instagram – around 2-4% each. Their purpose is mostly to bring more brand awareness, therefore there are few leads from these channels. At the same time, they help the customer in his or her decision-making process.

Marketing Tools Rated by Return on Investment (ROI)

Finally, we get to the metric that every businessman and businesswoman is interested in – Return on Investment. Using “Leaving a contact email” as the conversion point, here is the ranking of the paid marketing channels by the cost of one email address:

  1. Real estate portals: hot leads cost a lot (CHF 150+). At the same time, given their probability of conversion into a buyer, this pays off.
  2. Google Search Ads: in order to stay on top of the competition, the warm leads from Search are also not cheap (compared to some other industries) – around CHF 100. However, again, as with the real estate portals, the marketing efforts invested into this channel are well covered by the results it brings.
  3. Google Display Ads: the leads here cost a lot (around CHF 70), but mostly because not a lot of people actually follow the link to submit their email address.
  4. Facebook: these leads’ cost is actually quite low (CHF 10), despite the large budget invested into this channel. The reason for this is inverse from the Google Display: lots of leads cover the finances invested.
  5. Instagram: the lowest cost per lead (around CHF 7) due to the small budget allocated to this channel and a decent number of leads (around half of the Google Search.)


Marketing Tools for Real Estate Ranking 2021


Marketing channels are created unequal on purpose and that’s a good thing because it allows the marketing team to adjust the budgets and ad content to match the platforms’ general feel and attend to various audience groups.

Here are three takeaways from this article:

  1. Real estate portals, as well as Google Search Ads leads, are the most expensive, but the leads they bring are worth it.
  2. Google Display Ads and Instagram will not bring you a lot of buyers, but they will help to build brand awareness in your potential customers, which will later affect the other channels in a positive way.
  3. Facebook is a great resource for real estate developers because the platform has an extensive way to choose a specific target audience. It also offers a variety of ad formats, combining visual and textual information, which you can test with your potential customers.