Google advertising programs webpage

Google Ads for Real Estate – The Ultimate Guide (2021)

Today we are going to talk about how to set up Google ads for real estate.  I will go through step-by-step the process I use to generate nearly 100 leads per month for my real estate business.

Google ads have been one of my main sources of closings ever since I began running them in 2016. I’ve generated nearly 10,000 leads over that time and earned over $1,000,000 in commissions from Google leads.

The platform has gotten easier to use over time. Today, once you learn how to set up your first campaign Google ads for real estate are fairly easy to manage over time and improve your conversions.

How to Setup Google AdWords for Real Estate Agents – Step By Step

Set Up a New Campaign

Use your existing Google account or sign up for a new account.  Be sure to utilize Google Adwords and not Adwords Express.

Search Network

I turn off the search and display network for my ads.  I only want my ads to show up in the main feed when users search the exact terms I want them to.


Be sure to optimize your campaign for lead generation.  This tells google that the goal of the ad is to convert traffic into leads.  This will help google serve your ads to those most likely to fill out a form on your website.

Website Visits

Add your website in so google can track if the goal of leads is reached.  If you have a specific goal success page, use that instead of your root domain.

Campaigns by Zip Code

I like to do my campaigns by zip code.  If you live in a small market and don’t have many searches for a particular zip code you can use the entire city or county name.  Whichever is most relevant.

Setting Your budget

Use what is most comfortable for you.  I typically see Google leads cost agents between $10-70 per lead.  Usually the smaller the market the less expensive the leads cost.  This will be sort of a trial and error thing.  It also depends how well your landing page converts.  If the site isn’t compelling enough, the cost per lead will be higher.

The Google Ads smartphone app


I run the following extensions.  Google will only use one extension at a time.  Google automatically determines which extension to run most often after experimenting which ones improve the conversion of the ad.

Sitelink Extensions

The best extension to use in my opinion.  This is a must-use.  Breakdown the zip code or market you’re using into smaller sub-markets.  I typically receive more traffic and results from these sitelink extensions than the actual ad itself.

Callout Extensions

Similar to a sitelink extension in that it shows up below your actual advertisement, however, they are not clickable.  These just give the user more information about your services or what the ad promotes.  These help increase the results of your main advertisement.

Call Extensions

This ads the ability for users to one-click call to you.  This is most likely the least effective extension, however, when used it can be a quick and easy way to get high quality leads calling you.

Setup Ad Group

Ad groups are groups of ads that you want categorized together.  I typically setup an ad group for each zip code.  Within that ad group you can create one or more ads, with different headlines and descriptions so you can split test which is most effective.


My keywords typically take the form of “homes for sale +78247” (no quotes).  The plus sign ensures that the zip code is used exactly as written.  However, homes for sale can be reworded if Google feels that the users keyword is related.

Creating the Ad

To create the most effective ad you will need to determine what your headline and description will be to get users to click your ad and where you’ll want to send them once they’ve clicked.

Final URL

This should send users to an IDX website of yours that has a built-in lead capture form on it.  This lead capture form should pop-up automatically after a fixed amount of time or properties the user has looked at.  There are many services that offer this type of website – kvCORE, Firepoint, BoomTown, Commissions INC. – to name a few.

Don’t just send clients to your root domain.  Make sure they land on the page that gives them the most relevant results based on what they are searching for.


Be sure to use the keyword that you are targeting in your headline and tell them what they will get when they click on your ad.

Display Path

Customize the display path so that it incorporates your keywords.


Give additional information about what the user will receive when they click on that link.

Google ads webpage on a smartphone


Click-Through Ratio (CTR)

Google Adwords will tell you exactly what your CTR is.  Anything above 10% is doing great.   5% is average.  If below 5% you may want to reconsider your headline and description.

Traffic to Lead Ratio

Determine how much traffic it takes to generate one lead.  In my example, I had 270 clicks and 12 leads generated.  This equals 4.4% which is a decent conversion ratio from traffic to lead.  If you are getting less than that you may want to consider your landing page and lead capture form.  If you are getting better than that, then kudos to you!

Lead to Client Ratio

Be sure you track your conversion ratio from lead all the way to closed deal.  This is the most important key metric.  If you don’t track this long-term you can not measure your return on investment.  It takes around 6 months before you’ll know any meaningful data on this.

Best Practices for Internet Leads

  • Be sure to call every lead within 5 minutes of registration.  If the lead comes in before or after work hours, be sure to call them first thing when you start working the next day.
  • Be sure to touch every lead 5 times in the first day.  A touch includes text messages, emails, and phone calls.

Google Ads for Real Estate Conclusion

The biggest thing to note about generating online leads is that is takes alot of time and experimentation.  I always recommend just to start and get better over time.  Don’t wait until you think you know everything.  Also, be sure to give enough time to each ad and funnel to truly determine the effectiveness.  Too many agents shut ads off or give up before having enough data to see if it was the ad that wasn’t working or just too small of a sample size.

The ultimate goal is to get this completely dialed in so that you can start to build a scalable and consistent business.  Don’t get discouraged if it takes a year or more before you see meaningful results. This is a long-term strategy.  Don’t be fooled into thinking internet leads is a short-term solution.  You can certainly have results right away but over time is where you’ll be most effective.

Kyle Handy

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