The most successful real estate agents share a lot of the same qualities. They take the time to get to know their clients and the types of properties they have in mind. They have a deep understanding of the region they cover and the benefits of each neighborhood. They know the local market inside and out, especially those times when it’s most advantageous to buy or sell.
And one more thing: They understand the importance of acing the real estate listing presentation. They convince sellers that they will be able to find the perfect buyer more quickly with an online marketing plan that puts their home in front of more potential buyers and highlights its most engaging assets.
Below, we’ll outline the steps you’ll need to create a marketing plan for your real estate project. We’ll also share some unique marketing tactics that will make your real estate agency stand out and tips for the best technology for the real estate industry. You’ll soon be able to create a real estate marketing plan template that you can use for every property you represent.
What is a real estate marketing plan?
A real estate marketing plan is a detailed strategy that outlines how a property will be promoted and sold, including the specific actions, tactics, and resources to attract potential buyers or renters and achieve successful real estate transactions.
An effective real estate marketing plan defines a strategy, has clear goals, and understands the market. It’s a plan of action for all of your marketing efforts in terms of finding the right buyer. Having a strong record will help you stand out and continue to win more listings.
In today’s market, your clients are looking for more than someone to list their home. They are looking for a trusted advisor who can walk them through all aspects of home sales. That’s why it’s important that you present yourself as someone knowledgeable about all parts of the sales process and prioritize the real estate customer experience.
A successful marketing plan upholds a consistent brand voice and connects your messaging with what’s important to prospective buyers. Because a National Association of Realtors poll found that almost half of all buyers begin their search online, your real estate marketing strategy will include a website with great visuals and cutting-edge technology like 3D walkthroughs. Upscale homes and vacation properties often benefit from direct mail and other more traditional marketing efforts, as well.
An overall marketing plan for real estate focuses on strategies for increasing your sales. It’s all about establishing you and your team as experts in the community, winning more listings, and getting the word out about properties in your portfolio. It helps you understand what parts of your plan are most effective and gives you insights into ways to reach interested buyers.
The right real estate marketing plan combines tried-and-true methods of reaching customers with those that use the latest technology to help you reach your marketing goals. For example, 3D tours like those offered by Matterport have become one of the best real estate marketing tools available today. These 3D virtual tours — known as digital twins — are used for every type of home in the residential real estate market. That’s because listings with high-quality imagery sell up to 31% faster and at a higher price.
How to create a real estate marketing plan in 8 steps
Without an effective real estate marketing plan, your company’s growth could slow down or even stall out altogether. That’s because when it comes to your marketing strategy, you’re only making an educated guess. It’s easy to invest in the wrong marketing tools. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan to keep things on track and help identify what is working or not.
Having a marketing plan ensures that you have a roadmap to implement against, measure progress, and ultimately achieve your business goals. You will finally have the metrics you need to amp up your marketing campaign.
In today’s real estate market, you can’t put too much emphasis on how you promote a property. Experts say that a multi-pronged approach is usually the best approach.
1. Understand the market
To understand the market, you need to take into account these three major points: product, place, and price.
Product refers to the types of properties in the region you cover. This most likely covers more than one category of home. For example, if you’re located in the heart of a major metropolitan area, you might sell mostly condos and townhouses. In suburban and rural area, you’ll be dealing with houses.
Place Place is where the properties are located. This most often refers to a specific geographical area, but some brokerages that specialize in properties like vacation homes often cast a wider net. This can completely change the marketing plan you have in mind.
Price Price is mostly self-explanatory. But keep in mind that price also implies that your clientele is looking for a certain type of property. They also expect a certain level of service. The higher the price point, the more sophisticated your real estate marketing materials have to be.
2. Analyze the market competition
Every real estate marketing plan should consider the competition on the area. Take a close look at the number of closes in a year, the average list price, and the market share that they have. You can gather most of this information from publicly available sources like the MLS.
Once you have an idea about their sales, here are some questions to ask to help understand their marketing strategy:
How to they represent their brand? Are their real estate agents instantly recognizable?
Which marketing channels are they using to spread awareness — social media profiles, print, email marketing?
Do they use real estate marketplaces like Zillow in an innovative way?
What digital marketing assets are they using for their property listings — do they include 3D photography, floor plans and virtual walkthroughs?
Understanding the strong points of your competition is important because you’ll also be able to differentiate from them. All of this helps you plan what your real estate marketing plan should include.
3. Define your unique value proposition
Your unique valuable proposition is what sets you apart from the competition.
Are most of your brokers from the immediate area? You can promote the fact that you’re a hometown team. Do you have more experience selling vacation homes than anyone else in the region? Knowing this might tell you that you need to spend more of your advertising dollars in nearby cities where buyers are in the market for a place to spend their weekends.
Take the time to complete what is known as a SWOT analysis of your real estate marketing strategy. Look at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities, along with any threats that are looming on the horizon.
One of your company’s major strengths might be that you have expertise in helping second-home buyers secure financing. However, a weakness might be that only 10% of your current sales are to second-home buyers. The opportunity, therefore, is increasing this percentage by sponsoring webinars on mortgages for second homes.
4. Evaluate your current real estate marketing strategy
Take a long look at your current real estate marketing strategy. You probably already have a mix of marketing channels ranging from direct mail to social media. This is a good thing, because the most effective real estate businesses use every way they can to reach potential clients.
Make a list of all the marketing channels you are using, then tally how much time your team is spending on each and how much money they cost. If you use a direct mail campaign to put you and your company in front of interested buyers, make a note of how much time it costs to write, edit, and design each flyer. Then calculate how much you are spending in terms of staff time, printing costs, etc.
Do this for each marketing channel and you’ll get a good idea about what marketing channel is bringing in the highest return on investment.
5. Calculate the cost of lead generation
You might be surprised how much some campaigns are costing your company. Knowing the bottom line will help you determine how to distribute your resources for the coming year.
Let’s say that you’re spending $50,000 on advertising in prominent newspapers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. That’s not necessarily a bad decision, especially if you focus on luxury real estate. But how much money are these campaigns bringing in?
You can calculate that figure by factoring in the number of real estate leads these ads generate, your average close rate, and your average selling price. If your return isn’t higher than the cost of the ads, it’s a good idea to reconsider whether they are worth the added investment.
6. Set KPIs and monitor the performance of your real estate marketing campaigns
Once you understand how each of your marketing campaigns is working, you can set KPIs for each of them. Make sure that it’s easily quantifiable and can be measured on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis so that you can monitor the performance. When you have this information, you can then make data-driven decisions on what channels to invest more in versus what to scale back on.
Keeping track of these KPIs will help you make decisions about each of your campaigns. Say that social media has been an important traffic driver for several years, but is suddenly bringing in fewer new customers. Depending on the data you have, you might decide to shift your marketing plan to another website, invest a different amount in paid media, or readjust your real estate strategy altogether.
Marketing KPIs can help you understand your marketing plan for individual properties as well. For example, take a close look at the data for a property that hasn’t sold as quickly as you expected. You might find that you can attract more interest by changing your marketing approach.
7. Create a marketing calendar
How often should you add new posts to your blog? When should email campaigns be sent out? What cadence is best for social media posts? Your marketing needs change all the time. With so many elements to keep track of in your marketing plan, it is important to implement processes to keep track of everything. That's where a marketing calendar comes in.
A marketing calendar supports the planning and scheduling of your promotional activities ahead of time. This ensures that your messaging is consistent, timely, and targeted to your ideal buyer. It helps you stay organized, accountable, and focused on achieving your business goals.
8. Review your campaign and iterate as you go
Your real estate marketing plan shouldn’t be set in stone. Your entire team should have recurring performance meetings on a monthly (or at least quarterly) basis to review the success of each marketing channel and iterate your approach. Making changes in the middle of the year can help you get back on track and drive more sales.
Marketing tactics that will make your real estate agency stand out
Once you’ve put together your marketing plan, it’s time to make sure that you are able to get the word out about your company. Here are some real estate marketing ideas that will help you get traction in your area.
Show off testimonials
According to a poll of 500 real estate agencies conducted by Onboard Engine, about three-quarters of new business comes from referrals. That means that your current customers are your best advertising. Take advantage of this word of mouth by getting testimonials from your best customers. Which homeowners were thrilled by how quickly they got a bid on their property? And which home buyers thanked you over and over for finding them the perfect place?
Make sure to find a few clients who would be willing to sit down for a video interview. Sending them a small gift afterward will increase their loyalty to your company even more.
Remember that one testimonial can be used in multiple ways. Transcribe the high points of a video interview and use the quotes on your real estate website and in your social media campaigns. Rotate the quotes you use so that potential customers always see the latest ones.
Help buyers visualize the property online
Research reveals that listings with high-quality images sell 68% faster. While professional-looking photos and videos continue to be an important marketing asset, it is key for you to choose the right real estate marketing tools to create a polished listing that will stand out from the competition. But today’s potential buyers are expecting more.
When it comes to visuals, top real estate agents prefer platforms that can take care of all their photography, video, and 3D tours. Matterport is an important tool for real estate professionals, offering a range of high-definition photography, informative intro videos, detailed marketing floor plans, and, of course, breathtaking 3D walkthroughs.
Matterport cameras and digital twin features create unique experiences for potential renters and buyers. Matterport provides many other tools for your customers, including built-in measurement tools to help them know the exact dimensions of each room. They’ll know right away whether their furniture will fit.
Build a mobile-friendly website
Your website might look great on a computer screen, but how about on a mobile device? According to the National Association of Home Buyers, 76% of home buyers search for properties on their tablet or phone.
Check out the websites for successful companies like Zillow. Everything you see has been optimized to look equally as good on mobile formats. If your site is difficult to search on a mobile device, potential customers will look elsewhere.
Make sure to optimize your search engine for today’s market. If your site isn’t showing up on Google or other search engines, customers won’t be able to find you. It’s worth investing in an expert who knows how to carry out a social media marketing strategy for real estate.
Have a social media presence
One of the best ways to get noticed is by building a social media presence for your real estate brand. Writing blog posts and other content about your area of expertise is a great way to get your name out there. Sponsoring regular webinars is another way to make sure potential customers get to know you.
Examples of successful real estate marketing strategies
Looking for more ideas on how to create a real estate marketing plan? You can take advantage of an 85% reduction in transaction time by using the tools available through Matterport. It has created interactive tools for both the residential and commercial real estate markets.