12-step Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan (+ Free Checklist)
This article is part of a larger series on Real Estate Lead Generation and Marketing.
To sell a client’s home for the best value, you need to know how to market a real estate listing effectively. This doesn’t happen without practice and a clear, defined process, including proper staging, professional photography, printing marketing materials, utilizing social media, and following up with leads. By having a thorough marketing plan in place, you will be able to service your real estate clients better and sell their homes more efficiently. We’ve compiled 12 steps for you to create an effective real estate listing marketing plan.
Downloadable Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan Checklist
To keep yourself organized, you should have a detailed checklist that outlines all the steps of your listing marketing plan. It should also include the cost you are paying for each service and the company or vendor assisting you. Download our real estate listing marketing plan checklist to get started with your plans today.
Follow this 12-step real estate marketing listing plan to achieve maximum results when servicing your clients:
1. Stage the Home & Take Professionally Staged Photos
When listing a property, the most valuable marketing assets are photographs of the home and its amenities. The human brain can process images significantly faster than words, and images help potential buyers build an emotional connection with the home. When setting your real estate listing marketing budget, cutting corners for photography is not an option.
You may choose to follow real estate photography tips and learn the craft yourself, but many real estate agents find hiring a photographer is a better investment. Make sure to interview multiple photographers—ask them how they capture a home’s essence, use lighting, and highlight the home’s amenities. It’s also wise to ask questions about how they may edit the photo and which photo editing software they use.
Staging the home and editing photos are essential in attracting high-paying offers—helping buyers envision themselves living in the home. Try virtual staging for a faster, more cost-efficient, and more convenient solution to staging a home. Virtual staging companies like BoxBrownie can add furniture to vacant spaces, replace existing furniture, or enhance photos to represent the home at its best. See how BoxBrownie can elevate your listings.
Pro tip: Prepare the homesellers for the process of photography and staging by communicating clearly and giving them a written checklist. Give them instructions with plenty of time, and visit the house the day before pictures are taken to make sure everything is ready and support your clients.
2. Create a Video Tour
Video used to be an optional step. However, studies show that in today’s market, buyers between the ages of 18 to 34 are 130% more likely to book a showing if the listing includes a video tour. It’s clear that video has become an essential piece of any real estate marketing strategy.
That said, you cannot expect positive results by uploading a hastily shot video from your smartphone to YouTube. The video should be engaging, with a clear journey through the home, background music, or thoughtful narration. This requires thoughtful planning about how you’ll tour the house and how long your video will be, preparing each room with staging, and editing the video together afterward. Make sure you read more details about how to create a virtual tour.
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, generate a 3D virtual tour of your property in minutes. Try Asteroom for your listings today.
3. 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 broadcasts your listing to other public access websites, like:
Depending on how your MLS is formatted, advertising a home’s specific features or amenities can be as simple as checking a box. However, to generate real estate leads for the property, take the time to highlight a property’s best-selling points in your description. The MLS also allows you to upload pictures when you create a listing. You want to upload as many images as is allowed. Keep in mind that not all pictures may transfer over when your listing gets picked up by outside websites.
While the MLS is absolutely necessary, your reach and impact are dependent 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. Learn how to use this service in our article on Zillow Premier Agent advertising.
4. Post Listing on Your Personal & Company Websites
In addition to the real estate listing platforms, you should also promote the listing on your own website and your brokerage’s website. Adding the listing on your company website drives more traffic and increases its exposure through search or other agents’ clients and leads.
Consider creating a single property website. This allows you to have full control over what images are featured and which information is highlighted. It can also help you provide buyers with a curated experience of the house, which can boost showings.
Take the time to thoroughly and accurately describe your listing online. When potential buyers can easily find important details about the home, you’re more likely to attract qualified buyers serious about making an offer. Make sure to also include details about the open house and prominently add your contact information as well as a contact form.
There are a number of real estate website designers on the market that can help you showcase all of your listing’s potential. Placester has an extensive number of templates and customization options. It even uniquely offers design services from its experts to build and preview a custom-made website in 48 hours. Plus, get unlimited updates as your work and branding grows throughout your real estate career.
5. 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. This request should be addressed at the beginning of your partnership, documented in your listing agreement, and even included in your listing presentation.
As long as your seller is comfortable posting a “for sale sign” at their property, it is a great way to advertise that a home is for sale to buyers and neighbors. Signs draw attention and guarantee that your neighbors know there is an available listing near them, which naturally spreads the word. It also is an effective marketing tool and opportunity for company branding for you as a listing agent.
Pro tip: Another way to elevate your real estate signage is to include a flyer box. This will allow you to add real estate flyers with additional information about the home.
6. Design & Produce Print Marketing Materials
Becoming successful in real estate means developing systems that consistently increase your efficiency and effectiveness. Every time you list a new home on the market, you should utilize direct mail to reach members of the seller’s neighborhood and your local mailing list. This strategy ensures that you don’t miss any potential local buyers through your digital marketing efforts.
There are various types of direct mail you can use to spread the word, including:
- Postcards: “Just listed” real estate postcards are commonly used, likely because of their ease and affordability to produce and distribute. When used within a complete listing marketing plan, postcards can be an extremely powerful way to spread the word about your listing.
- Flyers: Real estate flyers provide more space for you to share additional details about a listing or draw attention with colors or a unique design. They are often used when you are sending them by mail as well as handing them out in person.
- Brochures: Real estate brochures combine elements of postcards and flyers since they are delivered in a small format but can be opened to provide plenty of space for details. Brochures are typically used when you’re reaching a targeted audience and want to do more than simply alert them to a new listing.
Pro tip: Remember that all print and digital marketing materials are meant to advertise your listing, not yourself. While it’s important to include your contact information and headshot, your property listing should be the main focus.
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 a real estate direct mail provider like ProspectsPLUS!, which is designed for all types of real estate direct mail marketing. There are hundreds of print templates and multiple options for printing and mailing. They can even help you automate the mailing process with targeted mailing lists and scheduled campaigns.
7. Share Listing on Social Media Platforms
While social media does not have to be one of your primary marketing strategies, it should be incorporated as one of your tactics to attract and share your listings with qualified buyers. This gives your sellers and other interested buyers the chance to find the home and share it with their friends and families. Plus, don’t forget to share the listing in more targeted social media areas, like local Facebook groups.
Some MLS have the capability to post a listing directly onto social media platforms. However, this may not be the most effective strategy to share your listings. When you simply copy and paste the same information onto Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you will limit your reach. Instead, take the time to write a strategic description and customize the post for each different platform.
If you’d prefer to spend your time on other tasks, plenty of real estate marketing companies can outsource or automate social media and digital marketing tasks. One of the most versatile resources is Fiverr, where you can search through thousands of available marketing specialists. You can view each freelancer’s experience, reviews, and rates before hiring them to find exactly what you need.
8. Post Real Estate Ads
Advertising has been a powerful method of getting more clients and selling properties for decades. Today, there are more advertising options than ever before. They’re basically split into two categories: print advertising and digital advertising.
Print advertising includes direct mail, like real estate postcards, flyers, and brochures. It also includes physical signs or ads in magazines. On the other hand, digital advertising can include social media ads or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, which are typically used on search engines like Google. Although both methods of advertising can become pricey, you can massively increase your property views with ad campaigns that are highly targeted at local buyers in a relatively short period of time.
In addition, running real estate ads directly to a single property website is an effective way to get the maximum number of eyes on your listing. It also efficiently and automatically collects contact information for potential buyers or potential leads.
Creating this funnel can be extremely easy with a lead generation tool like Market Leader. Its marketing automation tools include a single property website, social media posts for Facebook and LinkedIn, ready-to-print flyers and postcards, and a full content library for both digital and print marketing collateral. Learn more about Market Leader today.
9. Host Open Houses
Even though open houses are some of the most common listing marketing strategies, they continue to prove their effectiveness. They provide an easy and pressure-free way for interested buyers to view the home and get direct answers from you. With an open house invitation, you can easily and quickly spread the word about your event.
Although a visitor may not ultimately decide to make an offer, you can network and generate future business by connecting with them at an open house. Use a sign-in sheet to capture the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of the visitors, and contact those who are not represented by an agent to thank them for stopping by. Don’t forget to give each visitor an open house flyer to help them remember key details.
As a bonus, consider bringing takeaway items, such as pens, notepads, and calendars, with your contact information. You can easily get these items created with your branding through VistaPrint, a printing service with the widest variety of customizable items.
Pro tip: Remember that open houses can present potential safety hazards. Familiarize yourself with your broker’s safety protocol for agents before holding one, and consider having another associate present with you during the event. Search for a real estate agent-approved safety class that provides further safety information, and read our article on 20 realtor safety tips to protect you and your clients.
10. Leverage Your Network to Attract Leads
As a real estate agent, think of yourself as a walking billboard. As you spend time in your community and build relationships, your network of contacts grows with you. Your network includes your sphere of influence (friends, family, and acquaintances), your email list, fellow agents, and fellow professionals. Simply telling people about your listing will get you started, but there are many ways to get even more value out of your network.
Start by intentionally and directly asking your network to share the listing. It may seem obvious to you, but if you don’t show people exactly what to do, they won’t do it. Do this on social media platforms, email, and even in-person events. Even those who aren’t potential homebuyers may be able to connect you with someone else who is.
Attend local association marketing meetings or business meetings to share your listings with other real estate agents who have active buyers. Every person has the potential to be a buyer for your listing, or they could become a seller or referral source.
11. Follow-up With Potential Buyers
Marketing a listing is an ongoing process. While you may be lucky enough to sell a home in a matter of days, your real estate listing marketing plan should prepare you to continue marketing for much longer.
Continually check on your listing description to make updates or improvements based on conversations with buyers, reach out to your network, and update flyers and print materials. Most importantly, implement a follow-up plan with leads who have expressed interest.
The best way to stay on top of leads is to use a strong customer relationship management system (CRM). There are many free real estate CRMs that can help new agents start organizing their contacts and leads. For more details, read the full comparison of the best real estate CRMs.
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12. Promote Your Results
Even after the process of listing, marketing, and closing the listing, your work isn’t done. Every successful listing is an opportunity to update your prelisting package and generate even more listing clients.
Start by posting about the sold home 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 list price. In addition, sending out just sold postcards featuring your recent listing is a great way to finish the process and inform everyone in your network that you successfully sold your listing.
Adding this final step to your plan can be extremely easy with a service like PostcardMania. Although PostcardMania offers printing services and templates, it also uniquely offers direct mail strategy, planning, Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), and mailing lists. You can work with a marketing consultant to develop an online or direct mail marketing strategy that best fits your budget, needs, and audience.
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, your network, or marketing skills. Keep track of your successes to build on the momentum. Today is the day for you to “get up and show up” as a successful listing agent.