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4 Reasons Why Real Estate PPC Leads Aren't Converting

December 26, 2023
10 mins

With the implementation of a pay-per-click (PPC) digital marketing strategy in real estate, many wonder why real estate PPC leads arent converting. 

Cost per lead (CPC) is a rather sensitive metric and so more often than not failing to catch up with the set benchmarks comes as no surprise. The worst part of the story is when the clients’ PPC dollars are not bringing sales. 

Our paid ads practice shows that whatever your PPC channel is or the shifts in ad campaign performance, these are not the issues you should blame. Rather, the major cause of all pain is in inability to get insights into what happens after a user turns into a lead.

On this discouraging background, our PPC experts decided to outline the major flaws behind the failure of PPC strategies to convert leads for real estate businesses. So, the major question high on the 2024 PPC agenda is why real estate PPC leads aren't converting.

1. Filling the Void between Marketing and Sales Teams

Part of the in-house mismanagement we’ve observed is that marketing and sales teams do not communicate properly. A lack of interconnection explains why everyone is pointing fingers at one another when it’s way too late.

To a large extent, the success of a sales cycle depends on the quality of a customer journey. The level of overall preparation determines whether an interested user will turn into a qualified lead, and eventually into your end real estate client.  

Therefore, there is a set of crucial questions every team should ask: 

🏠 What is the actual duration of the sales cycle vs. the ideal sales cycle we anticipate?

🏠 Where does exactly the responsibility for lead transition pass from marketing to sales?

🏠 What are the best-fit approaches to cope with unqualified leads in real estate?

🏠 What is the timeframe for the sales team to reach out to an initial lead?

🏠 What are the major pains shared by the initial leads with the sales team?

Top Advice: Frank conversations like these open a broader strategic perspective into the whole real estate business landscape beyond the PPC realms. This is to stress the importance of an open-minded dialogue between marketing and sales teams at all stages of the sales funnel and throughout the whole process of your customer journey. 

2. Aligning Timelines between Ideal vs. Actual Sales Cycles  

The top thing you should prioritize here is measuring the average sales cycle timeline in real estate, or getting to know how long it will take you to close a new client. 

Our performance marketing practice in real estate shows that the sales cycle length is shorter whenever you’re selling properties to physical clients B2C rather than companies B2B. While properties need individual approach and customization, the sales cycle in real estate is longer compared to other industries. 

Sneak peek: Not less important is a source of your lead that predetermines the length of the sales cycle length. Inbound leads you get from a website or referral marketing will convert far quicker than the customers you get from email marketing or cold-calling lead lists. This is because the latter customer category does not share a high purchase intent at the point of engagement. 

Measuring Sales Cycle in Real Estate

So far, our median estimates have shown that the average length from lead to opportunity is about 90 days. This is the period you need to transform a marketing-qualified lead (MQL) to a sales-qualified lead (SQL) in real estate. 

Pro Tip: While MQLs express interest in your real estate services and customized solutions, SQLs are your potential clients ready to pay. Herewith, in each individual case much depends on the intent of your real estate prospects always anticipating a deeply customized attitude on your end.

With that, you’ll need another 20 days, which is the average length from the opportunity to a closed deal with your real estate SQLs. Overall, you’ll need some 110 days for the lead to close your marketing effort. 

Most importantly, you should measure the sales cycle for each of your real estate clients. Rather than setting high hopes out of nowhere, you should initiate an open-minded conversation between your marketing and sales teams to discuss the achievable benchmarks. 

Our expert says while exploring average sales cycle length as a sound sales metric, be sure to consider an average handle time (AHT). The latter is pivotal because it accounts for the total amount of time your sales representatives spend on a lead during the sales cycle, anything from calls, emails, and meetings time to the time needed for research, appointments, and resolving issues. Orest Fershtynskyi, PPC Expert at Promodo.

After you’ve defined an average amount of leads you generate a month, communicate the assumed sales cycle timeline in greater detail with your sales team to mitigate any discrepancies. Allow them a wider time lag to avoid any disillusions of why the leads you’ve brought in have not yet converted into paying customers.

Being aware of the average sales length enhances the predictability of your sales forecasting. With this sales metric, a specific number of leads can offer insights into potential sales figures in the coming days, weeks, or months. Setting a KPI to decrease the average sales cycle length will expedite revenue growth.

For instance, if your PPC strategy generates 50 leads a month, the true assessment of lead quality becomes evident only 60-90 days later. 

Simply increasing the budget by 50% overnight may boost lead volume, but it doesn't necessarily hasten the sales cycle timeline. This aligns directly with our initial point: a shift in responsibility from marketing to sales is pivotal.

In this scenario, the pivotal role of your marketing team is to attract qualified leads, while the sales team is tasked with converting them into customers within an average timeframe of 90 days. Establishing realistic expectations with the sales team and maintaining consistent communication of results is crucial. 

Managing Sales Cycle in Real Estate 

An in-depth communication with the sales team will reveal that instead of 30 days, you’ll need some 60-90 days as the actual average sales cycle.

The best way to narrow the gap between actual and ideal sales cycle timelines is to ground your decision-making on measurable industry data. This is of paramount importance while the challenge of not knowing your client’s average sales cycle will adversely affect your PPC effort beyond the root flaws:

🏠 Are the keywords misaligned?

🏠 Have you qualified your target audience properly?

🏠 Does your ad copy align with the offer?

So, do not get discouraged every time you fail to convert your next real estate lead into a client within 30 days. That’s not necessarily a PPC problem; that’s mostly because your target user is just 30-50% through their buying journey.

Break down the typical duration of sales cycles based on:

🏠 Lead source

🏠 Prospect size 

🏠 Specific real estate offer. 

The robust analysis will better understand anticipated timelines and uncover potential areas for shortening the sales cycle.

3. Setting the Right Budget For Ad Campaigns in Real Estate 

When was the last time you’ve bothered to audit your unqualified leads?

By definition an unqualified lead is a prospect whose potential real estate or property management need or problem is unclear or cannot be adequately resolved through your solution. These prospects usually lack control over their budget and lack the authority to make purchasing decisions.

Current PPC stats show that some 83% of leads are unqualified because of budget constraints. With that 12% of leads fail to qualify while they have not received any follow-up action from your sales team. Yet, another 5% would deem your real estate agency as not an ideal fit for their individual preferences.

In addition to construing the portrait of your ideal real estate customer, follow the trends and shifts in buyer behavior. That’s why quarterly audits of your target audience are so important. 

While your closest market rivals may primarily focus on real estate and local property services, they often fail to spend part of a marketing budget on user engagement. Initially, the whole purpose of paid campaigns is to drive customer interest in your real estate and property management services. With that, you should segment user intent by major categories:

🏠 Private home buyers 

🏠 Apartment buyers/lessors/lessees

🏠 Local property investors 

🏠 Young couples

🏠 Families with children

🏠 Seniors

🏠 Sole dwellers  

🏠 Owners of residential estate 

🏠 Companies interested in commercial real estate

🏠 Real estate developers.

The good news is that owing to the right strategic approach, you may turn unqualified leads into your most valuable customers over time. So, there’s much of patience and experimentation needed in real estate paid marketing. 

Once you feel your target customer segments are discouraged by budgetary constraints, it’s high time you’ve re-shaped your pricing model.

Ready to elevate your real estate presence online?
Contact us today for powerful digital marketing solutions!

4. Balancing High-Volume Keywords in Real Estate Campaigns 

Whenever you feel you fail to hit your lead volume targets and leads aren’t converting, dive deeper into your PPC campaigns. There are the keywords with the higher potential to drive most of your leads. 

PPC campaigns built on generic, high-traffic keywords are less effective, even though they may still match with search queries. At this point in your marketing journey, consider the following issues:

🏠 Whether the keywords you apply are too broad?

🏠 Have you spent enough time and effort to explore user intent in your niche?

🏠 Do you well know your target audience?

🏠 Have you made the list of negative keywords?

Our real estate marketing experience proves that oftentimes even minor shifts to your target audience would essentially improve search campaigns

Say, you bid your campaign on a broad term like “rent residential apartments” with no mention of any demographic targeting or geo parameters. This keyword type does not embrace user intent. In most cases, your prospects will be searching for similar offers by googling specific terms like location, conveniences, or public infrastructure. 

This is to say that the more specific your query is, the more consumer impressions and clicks you will get. Google shows your ads to a vast array of users searching for something like your keyword term. Continuous loosening of match types on your end will let Google match your keywords with the perceived user intent:

🏠 Fill your real estate ads with customized keywords that best match user intent across your niche services. 

🏠 Do A/B tests to experiment with various custom elements. 

🏠 Narrow and structure keyword queries to achieve a lower cost per click (CPC) and increase conversion rate (CVR) eventually. 

With that, you will soon differentiate between the effect generated by high-frequency keywords and low-frequency keywords. 

Simple as that, once a user enters a precise or narrow query, they are in your narrower sales funnel. 

Our expert says: even though broad and phrase keyword types perform worse than exact keyword types, the exact type of keyword is not always the best seller. While broad keywords may be suitable for various business types, you still have to test them continuously. Orest Fershtynskyi, PPC Expert at Promodo.

In this vein, we suggest applying available online keyword services like Ahrefs to dive deeper into keyword analysis. 

To enhance account efficiency, be sure to: 

🏠  Reassess the keywords you target with your real estate campaign. 

🏠  Revisit the original keywords versus search terms. 

🏠  Ask yourself if the industry has undergone recent changes affecting keyword relevance. 

Are there alternative ways users search for your real estate product or service that you're not currently bidding on? Adapting the keyword strategy to focus on lower-volume, high-intent searches often results in more high-quality leads.

Our expert says: it is crucial to balance the quality and quantity of your real estate leads. If refining keywords improves quality but falls short on quantity, it's time to explore additional methods to expand your PPC strategy. 

Featured PPC Real Estate Case Study 

The Place Group tasked us with the challenge of introducing a new brand to the Dubai commercial real estate market. 

The client aimed to leverage digital tools while adhering to a specified marketing budget. Our primary objective was to generate meaningful traffic and leads. 

PPC marketing

Within sixteen months, we successfully launched the competitive brand in the UAE commercial property rental market. By January 2022, all vacant offices at The One Tower were occupied, which surpassed the anticipated demand for the Client's commercial properties. If you still have a question “Why real estate PPC leads arent converting”, check our case study to get more industry insights and well-working hints. 

Although contextual advertising remains the primary source for customer acquisition, we also generate targeted traffic through this channel, converting it into leads through other channels. So far, contextual advertising has proven as the crucial ‘first touch’ in our customer acquisition strategy.

Whenever your PPC effort fails to deliver quality real estate leads, step back and evaluate all possible options, including collaboration with other teams. Asking challenging questions often leads to better insights and uncovers untapped opportunities.

Grow your real estate business with digital marketing excellence!
Partner with Promodo experts today.

Written by
Taras Bereza

Content Marketing Manager at Promodo

Taras has 16 years of hands-on copywriting experience overseas with 3000+ unique copies.

Accredited with Certificate of Proficiency in English (C2 level) by Cambridge University. Studied at Writing Launch Academy (United States) and owns an Academic Writing Certificate from Oregon University. Author of 12 dictionaries with Apriori Publishers.

Written by
Orest Fershtynskyi

PPC Expert at Promodo

Orest has been in contextual advertising for over three years, working with niches such as pet products, a store selling beer and bar equipment, household, garden and garden products, jewelry, designer furniture, a mobile bank, and retailers.

Orest has worked with the following geolocations: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Sweden, France, Italy, Norway, the UK, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Finland, Portugal, and Uzbekistan.

December 26, 2023
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