How do Google Ads for Estate Agents Work?

If you want to generate leads for your estate agency then PPC, and Google Ads, in particular, should be high on your list. But how do Google Ads for estate agents work and will they deliver results? Google Ads have been around since the dawn of digital marketing. In this post, I'll give you the lowdown to Google Ads for estate agents and how you can generate property leads using this pay per click channel.

Introduction to Google Ads for Lead Generation

Google Ads consultant in London

Previously known as Adwords, Google's 'new" branding for Google Ads.

The Different Types of Ads on Google

Google Ads is the umbrella name for a pay per click marketing platform. Inside Google Ads, there are several marketing channels that can be used individually or in a combination. These include.

  • Google search ads, also known as SEM (search engine marketing).
  • Google display network. A network of over 2 million websites and apps where you can display banner ads.
  • Youtube Ads
  • Other channels such Google shopping ads and Google hotel ads.

When most people talk about PPC or Google Ads, they mean Google's search ads. While some of Googe's other channels can be used by estate agents, I'll focus only on search advertising in this article.

How Do Search Ads Work?

At their core, Google's search ads are straightforward.

  1. You set a number of keywords you want to target. E.g Estate agents near me.
  2. You write some relevant ads that will show on the search results.
  3. Add a destination URL. This is the link to your website. When people click the ads they will be directed to this link.

The core principle is relevance. Someone makes a search, and you answer their need with a relevant offer. So if someone was searching for a house valuation, your ad would show up with details about the house valuations you offer.

Google AdsBidding Explained

I'll keep this short and won't go into the exact technicalities of how bids are calculated. Unless you're a PPC marketer, you don't need to know all the details. Enough to say, that all advertisers enter a bidding system. Your ads will be evaluated based on your bids and their relevance. The winning ads display on top.

Challenges to Overcome with Google Ads

The principle of Google Ads is sheer genius. After all, we all use Google when we look for pretty much anything. So appearing in front of your future customers when they search for the exact service you offer is the dream. However, there are a few challenges to consider.

  1. You're not the only one bidding. This means your ads might not show up or not show up high enough.
  2. Each click costs. Even when your clicks are generating leads, the costs need to be lower enough for you to make a decent profit.
  3. Your ads might be triggered by the wrong search terms. This is because Google looks at your keywords and chooses to show ads to searches that it thinks are relevant. But it is often wrong.
  4. Your website doesn't do a good job at converting. You're getting traffic to the website from the PPC ads you've created, but for whatever reason, they are not filling the forms or calling you.
  5. Your Ads are showing in the wrong geographic locations.
  6. You haven't set up tracking correctly, and you can't measure leads from the ads (in marketing talk, these are called conversions).
  7. You've focused and limited your targeting too much. In theory, being laser-focused with your ads is good. In practice, this will limit Google's ability for automation and your own ability to judge and make improvements.
  8. You've chosen the wrong settings. Google's default settings and recommendations are a one size fits all. They will often lead to overspending and weak results.

Winning with Google Ads

When to expect results from Google Ads PPC campaigns

When done correctly, optimised Google Ad campaigns can bring relevant property leads at a low cost.

Don't let the challenges put you off. While many fail to get good results, with the correct setup Google Ads can be a revenue-generating machine. To make full use of Google Ads for lead generation, you need to know the system really well. You can probably learn the system if you spend many hours on courses and forums. You'll probably save a lot of advertising money and time if you work with a Google Ads professional to either guide you, or set your campaigns up.

What Can Estate Agents Achieve with Google Ads?

Google Ads can help estate agents generate high-quality traffic and leads. If done correctly, the cost per lead will be cheap enough to leave a healthy profit margin.

Scaling Estate Agencies with Google Ads

Google Ads are a great growth generator for estate agents. One of the advantages of Google Ads is their instant control. You can scale campaign budgets up and down with instant effect. If your agency has low inventory in a certain area, you can simply lower the budget. If the market has demand, you can increase the budget for relevant campaigns. Don't need any rental leads this month? Pause the campaign completely. The scalability of Google Ads also makes it the weapon of choice when marketing new estate agent branches or new property developments.

Reducing Reliance on Property Portals

While property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla will always have their place, it's dangerous to rely on them to generate all your property leads. Using Google Ads you can generate buyer and tenant enquiries reliably.  After you've run PPC ads for a few months, your costs per lead should be relatively consistent.

There are also advantages to having users on your website and not on Zoopla, a portal full of competitors. They'll be comparing between your properties, instead of between all the market. You can also encourage them to sign up for property updates and offer a live chat.  Some claim, that the quality of direct enquiries through your own website, is better than those generated on a property portal.

Remarketing with Google Ads

Another huge bonus of having prospects on your own website is remarketing. Remarketing ads, target people who've visited your website in the past. You can create audiences for remarketing based on two main criteria.

  • Pages they've visited. Eg. People who've visited your properties for sale pages.
  • The period since their last visit. E.g All visitors in the last 7 days or all visitors in the last year!

As an estate agent, you can use Google ads for remarketing in two several ways.

  • Use display banners to entice people who've visited your site to take action.
  • Show ads on search engines, but to a remarketing audience. These ads tend to have a cheaper cost per lead as the audience is already warm and familiar with your brand.
  • Youtube remarketing. Show video ads to people who've visited your website or specific pages on the site.

Tracking Leads and Enquiries from Google Ads

Targeted locations vs. matched locations in Google Ads

With conversions tracked correctly, the data you get from Google Ads campaigns can help you make informed choices.

Google Ads' advanced conversion tracking and its integration with analytics allow you to get some very clear insights of how well your campaigns are performing. Here are some of the things you can track.

  • Form submissions. This can include viewing request forms, branch contact forms, valuation and marketing appraisal forms and newsletter signup forms.
  • Phone calls. Google Ads has an option to replace your number with a trackable number. This allows you to not only count if someone clicked on your phone link but if they also copied and called it and how long the call was.
  • Email link clicks.
  • Downloads of gated content (guides and brochures that require an email submission before they can be downloaded).
  • Views of specific pages.
  • Time on site or average pages per session.

Landlord Leads and Valuation Requests with Google Ads

Tenant and buyer enquiries are often plentiful with property listing websites. Without a stream on new landlords and seller leads, estate agents don't have what to marketing. By targeting relevant keywords and even audiences, Google Ads can help generate valuable landlord leads. to generate seller leads, most estate agents can target property valuation related keywords.

Advanced Google Ads Targeting for Estate Agents

Advanced demographics targeting in Google Ads

Google Ads' audience insights and targeting.


Google Ads targeting goes beyond the keyword. At the time of writing, you can combine and layer several targeting methods to make your ads more profitable and reduce the costs of your property leads.

  • Demographic targeting.
  • Device targeting.
  • Location targeting.
  • In-market audiences. These are audiences who are actively searching for certain things. Eg. New cars.
  • Affinity audiences. Audiences that have a general affinity with a subject. Eg. Music lovers.
  • Custom audiences and customer lists.

All the above can be targeted or excluded from your Google Ads campaigns. They can also be layered on existing campaigns with bid adjustments. This can give you some really sophisticated targeting combinations.

Eg. For landlord leads you can layer a +25% bid adjustment for people who are also interested in new cars and are luxury travellers.

Summary: How Estate Agents Use Google Ads for Marketing

High-quality property leads are the lifeblood of successful estate agents. With sophisticated targeting options, control and scalability, Google Ads offer one of the best marketing channels for landlord leads, valuations and property enquiries. Estate agents that leverage PPC for their marketing can build supply and demand generating machines. Google Ad campaigns can be switched on or off, scaled up or down or tweaked to target new audiences and locations.

About Me

I'm a property marketer and PPC consultant specialising in lead generation for real estate. I run EffectiveMarketing.UK, a property marketing agency. We work with estate agents and property developers on PPC, SEO, digital strategy and website projects. If you’re an estate agent looking for ways to grow your brand, get in touch and I’ll be glad to help.

Odi Caspi
PPC Marketer

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