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(Updated December 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)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.


Did You ​Know...

  • ...92% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source
  • ...76% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online
  • ...43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet


2014 NAR Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers, Item #186-45-14 — 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 Services at 1-800-874-6500, press option #1.

Online Mar​keting Basics

Facebook Finally Lets You Search Through What Your Friends Have Posted, (Business Insider, Dec. 8, 2014). 

The Five Tools Everyone in Real Estate Needs, (Zawya, Sept. 23, 2014).

Virtual Tours Are a Slam Dunk for Your Site, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 17, 2014).

The Top 7 Social Media Marketing Trends Dominating 2014, (Forbes, July 23, 2014).

LinkedIn's New Scoring Tool Puts Real Numbers On Engagement, (Forbes, May 11, 2014).

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).

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, 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, (Criminal Justice USA, Nov. 25, 2008).

Marketing Your Website

How to mind your manners on social media, (SmartBlog, Sept. 12, 2014).

4 Tricks to Blowing Up Your Online Presence, (REALTOR® Magazine, July 2014).

Go Beyond Facebook: Winning Strategies for Every Other Social Media Platform, (REALTOR® Magazine, June 2014).

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).

Effective Email

The way to a client’s heart: 4 fantastic email marketing ideas for Realtors, (Inman, July 1, 2014).

Revamp your email marketing strategy: 3 tactics to boost open and click-through rates, (Inman, May 15, 2014).

10 Gmail Tweaks You Need to Make Right Now, (REALTOR® Magazine, Sept. 2014).

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, n.d.).

Email Marketing, (Wikipedia, Nov. 2010).

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

Blogging for Business

Recipe for Making Unlimited Social Media & Blog Posts, (ActiveRain, Sept. 17, 2014). 

Over 300 Blogging and Video Ideas to last the rest of your career, (ActiveRain, Sept. 14, 2014).

How a Real Estate Blog Can Appeal to a Wider Clientele, (iHouseweb Blog, May 16, 2014).

Convert Social Media Contacts Into Business Relationships, (hashtags, Mar. 26, 2013).

Business Blogging Tips to Build Credibility and Visibility, (SteamFeed, 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, 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.).

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

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 & email 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 Services. 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 Services 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

Information Services Blog

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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.