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12 Free Marketing Tools CRE Firms Should Start Using Today

Want to create engaging marketing materials without breaking the bank?

Fortunately, there are tools that can help you craft well-written, beautifully designed content and distribute it to the right audience — without spending a dime.

Learn How Rethink Supports Effective Marketing

Below, we’ll cover 12 free tools that every marketer in commercial real estate (CRE) should know about.

Graphic Design

1. Pixlr

Need to edit some photos but don’t want to shell out the money for Photoshop? Pixlr has you covered.

This free photo editor allows you to:

  • Resize images
  • Draw
  • Retouch photos
  • Add filters
  • Add overlays, borders, shapes, or icons.
  • And much more.

Whether you need to add some compelling images to your proposal or create a jaw-dropping property teaser, this free photo editor has exactly what you need.

2. Wistia

Wistia is a video marketing platform that offers a free plan.

Worried you’ll lose out on functionality if you don’t spring for the paid option? Don’t be.

The free plan includes:

  • A brandable video player
  • Video analytics
  • Lead generation tools
  • Video search engine optimization (SEO)
  • 3 videos and 200 GB of bandwidth per month

In their own words, it “makes all your video marketing dreams come true.”

Web tools

3. Google Analytics

Having a website is crucial to running a successful CRE firm … but how do you know if it’s actually generating any interest?

Google Analytics is a free website analytics platform that allows you to measure key engagement metrics, including:

  • Website traffic
  • Unique visitors
  • Bounce rate
  • Session duration
  • Pageviews
  • Traffic sources
  • Audience demographics
  • Popular pages
  • And more

It’s a surprisingly robust platform considering Google is just giving it away, and you can keep the reporting as simple or complex as you’d like it to be.

4. Google Keyword Planner

The best way to get your website noticed is by optimizing it for search engines — and that starts with understanding which keywords you should target.

Google Keyword Planner will analyze your website and tell you which terms you have the best chance of ranking for.

(Side note: You do have to have an active Google Ads account to use this tool.)

You can also look up keyword phrases — like “Tenant Rep in Austin” — to see the average monthly search and competition level for that keyword.

Then, you can start creating search engine optimized content to rank well for keywords that drive traffic.

Public Relations

5. Google Alerts

Okay, this is the last one from Google — we swear.

Google Alerts send you notifications when someone publishes content on a topic you specify.

It’s great for monitoring articles that reference your firm or one of your competitors.

It can also help you keep up with the latest industry or market news.


HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out.

Journalists use this resource to broadcast requests when they need to find a source with expertise on a particular subject.

Why does this matter to you?

You can sign up as a source to get notifications when journalists are looking for someone with CRE expertise.

Then, you or someone else from your firm can provide quotes. If you get featured in an article, it’ll help cement your reputation as an expert in your field.


7. Hemingway App

If your marketing content is too complicated, no one will read it.

It’s not that your audience isn’t smart enough to understand complex concepts, it’s just that they’re pressed for time.

If you make them stop to think, they’ll most likely move on.

Hemingway App helps ensure your content is easy to understand so you can quickly get your message across.

We use it here all the time. In fact, this blog post was rated at a fifth-grade reading level. (You want to aim for a tenth-grade reading level or lower.)

8. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

Your audience isn’t going to read your marketing content without a good reason. That’s where your headline comes in.

It should catch the reader’s eye and make them think, “I have to read this.”

Of course, that’s easier said than done.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer can help by rating your headlines based on three crucial elements:

  1. Headline type
  2. Word balance
  3. Character length

Simply enter your headline, analyze it, and tweak it until you get a good rating. (You want to aim for a score at or above 70.)

Email Marketing

9. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an email marketing automation platform that offers a free plan.

The free plan includes:

  • 7 marketing channels
  • 1-click automations
  • Basic templates
  • And more

It’s great for when you need to send out marketing communications that are relevant to larger audiences.

10. Survey Monkey

Survey Monkey is a free survey tool that allows you to check the pulse of your audience.

You can use it to determine how satisfied your clients are, which members of your audience are most likely to need your services in the near future, and much more.

Social Media

11. Bit.ly

Sharing content on social media is a great way to engage your audience and demonstrate your market expertise.

But some social media platforms (we’re looking at you, Twitter) have character limits that make it difficult to include longer URLs.

Fortunately, Bit.ly allows you to shorten your URLs for free, so you can share your content without wasting precious characters.

12. Mediatoolkit

One of the most beautiful parts of social media is that it allows for two-way communication.

Mediatoolkit will show you “every article, hashtag or comment mentioning your business,” so you can find existing conversations about your firm and join in.