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Agents to Spend More on Ads – but Not on Zillow or Realtor.com

Survey: 35% of agents boosted marketing during the pandemic; 17% cut back. And while 57% plan to keep current plans in place, 30% will pull back from third-party portals.

SAN FRANCISCO – A new survey by digital marketing company Curaytor indicates that most real estate agents plan to increase their ad spending – but not on third-party listing sites.

Curaytor fielded a 16-question survey from July 22 to Aug. 3 distributed to its email list and social media channels. The results include responses from 168 real estate agents, 65% of whom have been in the business for more than 10 years.

According to the survey, 35% of agents increased their marketing spend as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and 43% did not; about 17% of agents decreased their spend and 5% stopped it altogether.

When asked about their digital marketing plans for the second half of 2020, 48% of agents said they planned to increase their spend, while 31% anticipated no change from current spending levels; 12% plan to maintain their pre-pandemic spending levels, and 10% plan to spend less or not advertise at all.

Where will the uptick in ad money go? The main channels are social media and video. In terms of marketing tactics, more than half of agents plan to spend more on audience retargeting and local geotargeting.

However, one in three agents (30%) plan to decrease their spending on leads directly from third-party portals, such as Zillow and realtor.com.

About 57% don’t plan to change their spending on portals at all, while 13% said they planned to increase their spending.

Notably, 70% of agents planned to make changes to their digital advertising messaging in the second half of 2020, and about as many agents planned to increase the focus of their messaging strategy on branding/awareness. More than 60% of respondents also said they planned to increase their messaging strategy in regard to market knowledge.

Source: Inman (09/22/20) Brambila, Andrea V.

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