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Field Guide to Effective Online Marketing

(Updated April 2014)

An online presence is a vital component of a real estate professional's marketing strategy. Because today's consumers want accurate information quickly and conveniently, real estate professionals must harness the features and capabilities of online marketing to meet these ever-increasing needs. In this field guide you will find an overview of online marketing basics, tips on marketing your website, and information on how to use email and blogging. You will also find NAR's trademark and policy issues, as well as a variety of useful websites that can take your internet marketing to new heights. (C. Dodge, Information Specialist)


Did You Know...

  • ...92% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source
  • ...75% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online
  • ...43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet
  • ...50% of FSBOs used the Internet to help sell their home


2013 NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, Item #186-45-13. This valuable tool provides answers in a user-friendly format, designed to allow easy comparisons with previous studies, using a mix of charts, graphs and tables. Order online or by calling NAR's Information Central at 1-800-874-6500, press option #1.

Online Marketing Basics

The Year Ahead: 5 Social Media Trends Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know, (Entrepreneur, Apr. 9, 2014).

Facebook Algorithm Changes: Is Your Facebook Page Traffic Slumping?, (RISMedia, 2014).

The 4 Building Blocks of a Strong Digital Presence, (Entrepreneur, Jan. 9, 2014).

There’s No Better Marketing Than You Being You, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2013).

Property marketing toolkit, (REALTOR® Magazine Online).

Match Your Marketing to Your Skill Set, (Speaking of Real Estate, June 23, 2011).

Video: A Game-Changer for Online Marketing in Real Estate, (RISMedia, Mar. 28, 2011).

One landing page does not fit all, (RISMedia, May 4, 2010).

Legal & Policy Issues

Getty Images: Not Quite Free to Use, (The Legal Geneologist, Mar. 7, 2014).

Be Careful What You Pin, (REALTOR® Magazine, Oct. 2013).

Field Guide to Do-Not-Call and Do-Not-Fax Laws, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Web Site Legal Issues, (BitLaw.com, n.d.).

CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Create a social media usage policy, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Use of the REALTOR® marks on the Internet—rules, (National Association of REALTORS®).

NAR Model Internet Advertising Rule, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Top 50 Internet & Digital Law Blogs, (criminaljusticeUSA.com, Nov. 25, 2008).

Marketing Your Website

21 Simple Ways to Get More Followers for Your Google Plus Business Page, (Entrepreneur, Apr. 17, 2014).

5 Online Faux Pas That Will Doom Your Networking Potential, (Entrepreneur, Jan. 3, 2014).

Don’t Let Expired Social Media Advice Spoil Your Marketing, (REALTOR® Magazine, n.d.).

The Top 7 Online Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, (Forbes, Sept. 17, 2013).

7 Deadly Sins of Real Estate Social Media, (Speaking of Real Estate, June 3, 2011).

Choosing the Right Social Media Partner—The Five-Point Relationship Test, (RISMedia, Mar. 24, 2011).

14 Powerful Tips for Marketing on Facebook, (SocialMaximizer.com, Aug. 10, 2010).

Using YouTube for Real Estate Website Traffic, (About.com, n.d.).

Effective Email

True or False? Test Your Email Marketing Knowledge, (Huffington Post, Apr. 8, 2014).

3 Reasons to Send Prospects Video Email, (RISMedia, n.d.). 

Creating an Email Newsletter, (Sideroad.com, n.d.).

Email Marketing, (Wikipedia, Nov. 2010).

Tips for Running an Effective Email Marketing Campaign, (ArticlesBase.com, Jan. 31, 2009).

Best Practices for Email Marketing, (iContact.com, 2009).

How-to: 13 Tips for Effective Email Marketing, (MarketingVOX.com, Mar. 26, 2008).

Blogging for Business

Business Blogging Tips to Build Credibility and Visibility, (SteamFeed.com, Feb. 19, 2014).

10 Razor-Sharp Blogging For Business Tips in 2014, (Social Media Impact, Dec. 16, 2013).

19 Reasons Why Your Business Should Be Writing a Blog, (SproutContent.com, n.d.).

21 Benefits of Business Blogging and 22 Tips, (Social Media Today, Oct. 6, 2013).

What is a business blog?, (The Sideroad, n.d.).

Blogging Tips for Beginners, (Buzzle, n.d.).

Social media and the future of real estate, (RISMedia, Mar. 2010).

Businesses should pay attention to blogging, (Atlanta Business Chronicle, Feb. 7, 2008).

How to turn your blog into a prospect producing machine, (Realty Times, Feb. 24, 2009).

Useful Websites

e-PRO Certification for Internet Professionalism, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2007)—The e-PRO Certification Course is an NAR-sponsored educational program designed to help real estate professionals thrive in the competitive world of online real estate.

Marketing, (About.com, 2009)—Compilation of articles, tutorials, and ideas on all aspects of website & e-mail marketing.

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site (Adobe eReader)

200 Marketing Ideas for your Website (Adobe eReader)

301 Ways to Use Social Media to Boost Your Marketing (Adobe eReader)

Advertising 2.0: Social Media Marketing in a Web 2.0 World (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Blogging: 100 Success Secrets (Adobe eReader)

Blog Marketing (Adobe eReader) 

Blog Marketing: The Revolutionary New Way to Increase Sales, Build Your Brand, and Get Exceptional Results (Adobe eReader)

Building a Website for Dummies (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Creating E-Mail Newsletters (Adobe eReader)

Digital Photography for Dummies (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

E-Marketing (Adobe eReader)

How to do Everything with your Digital Camera (Adobe eReader)

Mastering Online Marketing: 12 World Class Strategies That Cut Through the Hype and Make Real Money on the Internet (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Put Your Business Online (Adobe eReader)

Social Media Marketing (Adobe eReader)

Social Media Success! (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Social Media Marketing Book (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Central. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Social media for REALTORS®: 101 Dos and Don'ts, National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago, IL: National Association of REALTORS®, 2011).

Swanepoel Social Media Report 2010: A Field Guide for Real Estate Professionals, Swanepoel, Stefan; Aclaro, Mel; Swanepoel, Stefan, (Laguna Niguel, CA: RealSure Publishing, 2009).

Realty Blogging: Build Your Brand and Outsmart Your Competition, by Richard Nacht & Paul Chaney, (Chicago, IL: McGraw Hill, 2007).

Hands On Guide to Video Blogging and Podcasting, by Lionel Felix & Damien Stolarz, (Chicago, IL: Focal Press, 2006).

101 Ways to Promote Your Real Estate Website, by Susan Sweeney, (Chicago, IL: Maximum Press, 2006).

Blogging for Business: Everything You Need to Know and Why You Should Care, by Shel Holtz & Ted Demopoulos, (Chicago, IL: Kaplan Publishing, 2006).

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Digital Cameras & Photography

Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Farming and Prospecting

Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Marketing with Blogs

Field Guide to Social Networking for REALTORS®

Field Guide to Twitter

Field Guide to Using Digital Video as a Marketing Tool

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.