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Research: Real Estate Digital Advertising to Shift from Display to Audio and Video


What: Real estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point at almost 75% of real estate ad budgets, according to a new report by Borrell Associates. The researcher now expects a 2% decline (US $200 million) of digital ad spend in 2015. Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019 (to US $4.9 billion and  US$778.5 m respectively). Display, email and paid search will all decline.
Why it matters:  Real estate classifieds and advertising were an important engine of the early Internet economy taking away dollars from off-line vehicles. Mostly from newspapers. Now they seem to have reached a saturation point, Borrell Associates suggests. Digital display dollars will shift to online video and audio ads.

2298394906_6c4426d611_zReal estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point, according agents and broker community. The real estate advertising business reached US $31.8 billion in ad spend last year, but now digital ad spend among agents and brokers is expected to decline by 2%  or US$200 million in 2015. This is the first decrease in 20 years, says research firm Borrell Associates.

2015 digital ad spend share

Out of a total Real Estate Vertical Ad spend of US$ 31.8 billion (offline and online), Borrell Associates expects:

  • Agents and brokers to spend US $13.9 billion of which 75% will be in digital
  • Mortgage lenders  on premier estate properties will spend an estimated US $12.3 billion in 2015 ( 44% in digital)
  • Rental unit managers will spend US$3.3 billion ( 52% in digital)
  • Developers will spend US $2.3 billion (69% in digital.)

The digital saturation point for agents and brokers is 75% of real estate ad budgets for homes for sale fort lauderdale as they were early buyers in the online ad economy.

Agents and brokers overall ad spend rose 2.2% in 2014. (Rental unit managers saw the biggest overall ad spend increase in 2014 – 13.8% – followed by developers at 9.5% and mortgage lenders at 6%.)

Digital drop

  • Online display. Investments in online run-of-site (ROS) display from the agent and broker community have decreased 15.9% since 2014, with estimated 2015 spend at US$511.9 million. A 92.2% decrease to US$47.2 million is expected between 2014-2019.
  • Agents and brokers have increased targeted display spend 2.1% to US $4.9 billion between 2014-2015. However, a 22.9% decrease to US$3.7 billion is expected between 2014-2019.


  • Streaming video investments among agents and brokers was US$862.7 million. By 2019, it is expected to grow to US $4.9 billion.
  • Streaming audio spend has decreased by 40.2% to US $19.4 million from 2014 to 2015. By 2019 a 2,300.2% increase is expected, with streaming audio spend totaling US$778.5 million.

Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019. Display, email and paid search will all decline.


Mobile investments are increasing as well, driven by millennials’ tendencies to rent and use mobile devices and online realty hubs like Zillow or to seek out listings.


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