To sell a client’s home for the best value, you need to know how to market a real estate listing effectively. A clear, defined process is essential, which includes proper staging, professional photography, printing marketing materials, utilizing social media, and following up with leads. With a thorough listing marketing plan, you will serve your clients better and sell their homes more efficiently.
To keep yourself organized, we created a detailed list that outlines the steps in your listing marketing plan. Don’t forget to include the cost for each service and which companies and vendors you hire. Download our free real estate listing marketing checklist to get started.
After downloading, read along with our 12-step real estate marketing listing plan to achieve maximum results for your sellers:
1. Stage the Home & Hire a Professional Photographer
When setting your real estate listing marketing budget, cutting corners on interior decor and posting do-it-yourself (DIY) photos is not an option. Your seller can hire a professional home stager, or you can use virtual home staging software to overlay the existing interior and decorate vacant rooms. Some agents offer to reimburse a portion of the cost at the closing, but if there’s not enough to cover it from the seller’s net proceeds, you can advise them on how to stage their home.
Once the home is staged to sell, hire a professional photographer to ensure it looks phenomenal in your photos and virtual tours. Buyers intuitively gravitate toward listings that present well online. While some agents opt to take photos themselves, if the photos are not up to par, they ultimately can hurt the home’s sale. Always include professional photography in your real estate listing marketing plan, and add it to your budget.
Virtual staging companies like BoxBrownie can add furniture to vacant spaces, replace existing furniture, or enhance photos to represent the home at its best. There’s no subscription, a 24-hour turnaround time, and unlimited changes to ensure your virtual staging is perfect. You can have your existing images enhanced for as low as $1.60, have the seller’s furnishings edited out for under $10, and have the home virtually staged for about $24.
While we strongly recommend hiring a professional photographer, if you’re inclined to do it yourself, check out these articles:
- 11 Real Estate Photography Tips, Equipment & Mistakes to Avoid
- 6 Best Real Estate Photo Editing Software
2. Design & Produce Print Marketing Materials
When you list a new home for sale, use direct mail to reach neighbors and people on your mailing list. Though it might seem old school, it’s still an effective strategy on how to market a listing and provides the broadest reach for local buyers who haven’t seen your online advertising. So, after you get photos of the property, it’s best to prepare your marketing materials right away, as they take time to design, print, and ship.
You can use various direct mail to spread the word, including the following:
- Postcards: “Just listed” real estate postcards are typical because of their ease and affordability to produce and distribute. When used with other marketing for real estate listings, postcards can be a powerful way to spread the word about a new home on the market.
- Flyers: Real estate flyers allow you to provide additional details about a listing and draw attention with colors or unique designs. They are used in direct mailing campaigns and are suitable for handing out at events or in person.
- Brochures: Real estate brochures combine elements of postcards and flyers within a small format that offers ample space for more details. Brochures are used for a targeted audience, and you want to provide more than just alerting people to a new listing.
Many brokerages provide real estate marketing tips and resources, including postcards, flyers, and brochures. However, you may find that the selections are limited. Consider using ProspectsPLUS!, a real estate direct mail marketing software. There are hundreds of templates and multiple options for printing and mailing. The company can also help you automate your mailings with targeted neighborhood lists and scheduled campaigns.
3. Create a Video Tour
Studies show buyers between 18 and 34 are 130% more likely to book a showing if the listing includes a video tour. Therefore, it’s essential to your real estate marketing. The video should be high-quality, engaging, and provide an intuitive journey through the home, with background music or narration. This requires thoughtful planning on how someone would naturally tour the home and deciding how long to make the video. Depending on the size and number of rooms, a video tour should take 45 to 60 minutes.
While you can film a video tour of a listing yourself, it is generally worth the expense to use a professional service like Asteroom, giving you the option to purchase a kit or hire a professional. With the right tools or expertise, you can generate a 3D virtual tour of your property in minutes.
To ensure your virtual tours look professional, read more about how to create a virtual tour in our article, How to Create a Virtual Tour for Real Estate in 8 Steps (+ Examples).
4. List the Property on the MLS & Listing Websites
The most crucial tool to market a real estate listing is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), where real estate agents have access to all listings available on the market. The MLS then syndicates your listing to other public access websites, like:
- Apartments.com (if applicable)
Depending on what your MLS offers, advertising a home’s features and amenities can be as simple as checking a box. However, to generate real estate leads for the property, take the time to highlight the property’s best-selling points in your written description. The MLS also allows you to add pictures, so you want to upload as many images as is allowed. Remember that not all pictures may transfer to syndicated websites due to image limits, so upload the best ones first to your MLS.
While the MLS is crucial, your reach and impact depend on the real estate marketing tools you use to promote the property. For example, Zillow’s Premier Agent program gives you a free agent profile that you can use to increase your professional brand and boost your listing’s visibility on Zillow, Trulia, and StreetEasy.
To learn more about using this service, use the information in our article about Zillow Premier Agent advertising.
5. Post Listings on Your Personal & Company Websites
Promote your listings on your agent and brokerage’s websites to increase exposure, and consider creating custom URLs (uniform resource locators) for each listing. This gives you complete control over featured images, videos, and highlighted information and gives buyers a unique experience—boosting showings. Thoroughly and accurately describe your listing online so essential details about the home are easily found. Also, include details about open houses and prominently display your contact information and a contact form.
Many real estate website builders on the market can help you showcase your listing’s potential. Placester has a vast number of templates and customization options. It even uniquely offers a marketplace to hire Placester real estate marketing experts for tasks like branding, uploading blog posts, or installing a chatbot. Plus, you can try Placester free for 30 days.
6. Install a Real Estate Sign
Real estate signs are a tried-and-true method of drawing local attention to a listing. However, you should only move forward with this step if you have permission from the seller. If your seller is comfortable with an open house or for sale sign on their property, it is an excellent way to market a home for sale. Signs draw attention and alert neighbors about a nearby available home, naturally spreading the word. It also is an effective marketing tool and an opportunity to promote you as the listing agent.
Real estate signs are an integral part of your real estate marketing plan. Read our 5 Essential Real Estate Marketing Materials to Succeed article and discover why.
7. Share Listings on Social Media Platforms
Since it’s one of the most effective real estate listing marketing ideas, social media should be part of your marketing mix for lead generation and to promote your listings. This allows prospects to find and share your posts with friends and families. Plus, you can share the listing through local Facebook groups for increased exposure.
Don’t copy and paste the same information on all your social media sites, or you will limit your reach. Instead, take the time to write a strategic description and customize the post for each different platform. Use these articles specific to popular social media sites to create posts that generate leads:
- Facebook: 13 Best Real Estate Facebook Posts (+ Examples & Ideas)
- LinkedIn: How to Generate LinkedIn Leads in 8 Steps
- Instagram: 16 Tips to Use Instagram for Lead Generation
- TikTok: 12 Ways to Generate Leads on TikTok for Real Estate Agents
- YouTube: 11 Top YouTube Real Estate Tips for Agents + Examples
There are plenty of real estate marketing companies where you can automate social media and digital marketing tasks. One of the most versatile resources is Fiverr, which provides thousands of available marketing specialists for your real estate marketing needs. You can view each freelancer’s experience, reviews, and rates before hiring them to find what you need.
8. Place Real Estate Ads
Advertising has historically been a powerful method for attracting clients and selling properties. Today, there are more advertising options than ever, divided into print and digital advertising. As mentioned, print advertising includes direct mail, like real estate postcards, flyers, and brochures. It also includes physical signs and print ads.
In contrast, digital advertising includes social media pay-per-click (PPC) ads used on search engines like Google. Both methods can be pricey, but you can increase property views with highly targeted ad campaigns.
Targeting real estate ads to a single listing website can direct traffic directly to the home while efficiently and automatically collecting information about potential leads.
Creating a direct lead funnel is easy with Market Leader. Its marketing automation tools offer single-property websites, Facebook and LinkedIn posting, ready-to-print flyers and postcards, and a comprehensive digital and print marketing content library. Learn more about Market Leader today.
9. Host Open Houses
Although open houses are traditional marketing for real estate listings, they continue to prove effective and provide an easy and pressure-free way for interested buyers to view the home and ask questions. With a welcoming open house invitation, you can easily spread the word about your event.
Although a visitor may not make an offer, you can drum up business by connecting with them at an open house. Use a sign-in sheet to capture guests’ names, phone numbers, and email addresses. Use the information you gather to contact visitors who do not have agent representation. Don’t forget to give each visitor an open house flyer to help them remember key details.
Pro tip: Consider providing branded swag with your contact information printed on them, such as pens, notepads, and calendars. You might even offer gifts like umbrellas, auto mugs, and branded attire for luxury listings. Create these branded items through VistaPrint, a service with the broadest array of customizable products.
10. Leverage Your Network to Attract Leads
As you build relationships in your community, think of yourself as a walking billboard. Your network of contacts grows with you, including your sphere of influence (friends, family, and acquaintances), email list, fellow agents, and other professionals. Telling people about your listing will get you started, but there are many ways to get greater value from your network.
Start by asking your network to share the listing. It may seem obvious, but if you don’t show people exactly what to do, they won’t do it. Ask on social media, emails, and in-person events, such as associations, networking, and business meetings. Those who aren’t potential buyers may refer you to someone looking for a new home.
11. Follow Up With Potential Buyers
Effective real estate listing marketing is ongoing. While you may be lucky enough to sell a home in a few days, your real estate listing marketing plan should prepare you for strategically growing your brand.
Regularly update and improve your listing information and images based on property changes, the season, and buyer needs feedback. Always follow up at least five times over a few months with fresh flyers, postcards, print materials, or send a personal email or note. Most importantly, implement a follow-up timeline with hot leads interested in buying or selling.
The best way to stay on top of leads is to use a robust customer relationship management system (CRM). Many free real estate CRMs can help new agents organize their contacts and leads.
Agents or small teams looking for an affordable but comprehensive communications solution
Real estate teams wanting an all-in-one CRM with collaboration capabilities
Individuals or small sales teams who need to start with a free tool
$21.90 per user, per month
$69 per user, per month
(additional features with paid plans)
For more details and providers, read our full comparison of the best real estate CRMs.
12. Promote Your Successes
Your work isn’t complete after listing, marketing, and closing the sale. Every successful agent’s listing is an opportunity to update your prelisting package with new sales and testimonials to attract future sellers.
Start by posting about sold properties on your social media platforms and include the victories you got for the seller, like a quick sale with low days on the market or selling above the list price. In addition, sending out just-sold postcards featuring your recent listing is a great way to inform everyone that you successfully sold your client’s home.
Sending “Just Sold” postcards is easy with PostcardMania. It offers printing services, templates, a direct mail strategy with Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), and provided mailing lists. You can work with a marketing consultant to develop an online and direct mail marketing strategy that best fits your budget, needs, and audience.
For additional information and support on building your listing inventory, read our article, 8 Ways on How to Get Real Estate Listings for Every Budget.
There is no better time than the present to sharpen your skills and learn how to sell a listing for the best value. Demonstrate the skills that set you apart, whether that involves negotiation, networking, or marketing skills. Keep track of your successes to build on the momentum. Use our listing marketing checklist to stay on task. Today is the day for you to “get up and show up” as a successful listing agent.