Transforming the homeownership process

Reali is a California real estate technology company helping individuals and families buy and sell homes with ease. From the purchase process to loan assistance, Reali empowers buyers and sellers with greater access and choice in homeownership.

With Reali’s “Buy Before You Sell” product, Reali purchases a new home on a buyer’s behalf while simultaneously selling the first home, simplifying the process and ensuring homeowners don’t miss out on their dream home. Reali’s Cash Offer services facilitate a more expedient home buying process with shorter closing times and increased odds of offer acceptance.

This level of convenience and organization in one digital platform was inconceivable until Reali launched in 2015. Consumer use of digital platforms like Reali skyrocketed in recent years. Ever since the startup has swiftly grown throughout California with plans for expansion on the horizon.

Man and a woman smiling and holding their children.


increase in sales qualified leads (SQL)


increase in SQL conversion rate


increase in marketing qualified leads (MQL)

The journey home: increasing market share and brand lift

The real estate market is in near-constant evolution, influenced by home buying trends, regulatory and technology changes, and market conditions. The pandemic accelerated circumstances of low inventory and high housing demand, fueling ferocious competition among buyers, sellers, and brokerages. During the pandemic, consumers went online for more of their goods and services and those new behaviors became the norm. Much of the homebuying process also went digital, transforming the real estate industry to what we experience today.

Robust demand for Reali products and services dictated the need for fast and sustainable growth. Recent privacy and regulatory changes to iOS14, Meta, and Google made audience targeting more difficult. Yet strong audience connections were necessary to attract and interest consumers in products and services in this ever-changing digital landscape.

Reali sought to expand its audience with a more full-funnel approach that would increase marketing qualified leads (MQL) and boost sales qualified leads (SQL) and conversions. Diversification of channel and media mix, as well as advertisement messaging and creative, would be important to maximizing Reali’s ability to attract, inform, and inspire consumers to become Reali customers.

With limited in-house abilities to rapidly ramp up to market, Reali needed to partner with an agency with innovative digital advertising expertise and resources that could help the company scale quickly.

To achieve this vision, we developed strategies to help Reali grow volume without sacrificing creative quality or budgetary costs.

Removing contingencies: realizing growth for Reali

A shift to a full-funnel marketing approach from a dominant reliance on bottom-funnel tactics would open up opportunities for Reali to test new creative and channels, as well as expand brand awareness and drive conversions. Paid search advertising would be essential to the long-term sustainable growth Reali sought by targeting consumers throughout the funnel which would increase discovery, improve lead quality, and enable better audience targeting.

We first worked with Reali to identify the right personas for each of their products based on research and data, which opened the door for precise audience segmentation and targeting. To narrow the focus on high-intent searchers, we implemented offline conversion tracking (OCT), which uses mid-funnel offline activity and sales data from Google ad campaigns to perfect search terms and ads. Daily testing and analysis brought about additional optimizations among combined keyword match types, multi-keyword ad groups (MAAG), and thematic responsive search ads (RSAs).

However, the opportunities didn’t stop there. Through Google Display Network (GDN) bid strategy experimentation and creative and landing page testing, we optimized Reali’s campaigns toward audience expansion with new targeting methods, strategic creative, and landing pages. The insights gained from these GDN improvements helped us identify suitable audiences to scale.

Learnings from keyword testing and optimization also influenced iterations of Reali’s ad creative. Campaign ads were continuously updated to include product and brand-specific messaging and terms. Applying all of these best practices had a direct impact on the quality of leads and efficiency of Reali’s search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.

Group of people cheering in front of a house with confetti.
Two people smiling and taking a self photo while holding a key.

DEPT®’s keyword analysis and optimizations gave us the ability to scale. We didn’t know what we could achieve until we saw the results of implementing [their] insights.


Go big and go home: campaign connects homebuyers with dream homes

The combination of best practices, data, and insights provided Reali with more opportunities to serve customers with timely, relevant, and inspiring creative at the ideal time in each customer’s journey to dramatically improve campaign results.

Iterative testing, account health restructures, creative improvements, and search growth expansions drove year-over-year increases across MQL, SQL, and SQL conversion rates (CVR). Reali evolved the way certain channels were used in campaigns, transitioning from lead generation to consideration and in doing so, created greater efficiencies at scale. Our refocus of Reali’s campaigns allowed for stronger data density and enhanced the ability to scale, which boosted sales and decreased Reali’s costs per lead. This comprehensive approach provided a playbook for Reali’s success.

Reali is now investing throughout the funnel to focus on building brand awareness, increasing attraction and engagement, and driving acquisition. The company grew sevenfold in 2020, more than doubling its user base, and has ambitions to expand even further.

As the market and our needs change, DEPT® has been responsive and supportive by providing strategic recommendations and adaptations that increased efficiencies in our process and strengthened our relationship.




VP of Growth

Lou Amodeo

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