How to Write a Real Estate Marketing Plan [+Free Template]

Cody Cromwell
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Free Real Estate Marketing Plan Template

If you have an underperforming property and you’re trying to figure out how to turn it around, you’ll want to begin with your marketing plan. By creating a marketing plan, effectively communicating real estate offerings, and getting your property in front of the right people, you can build your marketing into an unstoppable force that drives sales. However, before you can actually create such a plan, you must first come up with a basic framework for it ” as well as a structure, an organization, and a realistic timeline that you can stick to …

Luckily, we’ve done the work for you and can’t wait to show you the template that we use to create all of our real estate marketing plans: a simple Word doc that contains the basic items you need to have your plan completed as well as checked for effectiveness. That’s right … by creating a marketing plan template, we can do the work for you from start to finish.

The only thing you need to do is fill in the blanks to write your plan!

Identify Your Overall Objectives & Goals

A lot of people get confused about how to create a real estate sales plan. It’s certainly not as simple as it seems like at first. …

You’ll need a good amount of planning, research, writing and effort to turn this plan into something functional and beneficial for your business.

The first step is to identify your overall objectives and goals.

This is the basic framework of a real estate sales plan. It defines the scope of the content, the new business potential and your overall goal. A real estate sales plan isn’t just a formality; it’s an essential part of building a successful business in an industry with a lot of competition.

If you have clear objectives, it makes it easier for you to outline the rest of the content.

General Marketing Goals

Here are the general goals of a marketing plan:

To outline marketing campaigns and plans.

To show a path to the sale or rental of a property.

To document the marketing plan, including budget, timeline, and projections.

To help create a success plan for the property.

To show the way to achieve the goals of a marketing plan.

Create a Target Buyer Client Persona

Spray painting a picture of the perfect customer and then putting it on a wall in your office is a waste of time. First, you do not need to paint a picture of a target buyer, you need to paint a picture of a client you would like to serve. Second, no one’s picture can be completely accurate because there is no such thing as a perfect human being, so be realistic. You do not need to create a detailed description of every last aspect of a client’s personality. What you should be focusing on is what they think and feel, what they need and what they want, what their fears are and what their dreams are.

Take the time to create a list of all the traits a target buyer finds important. You will need to create a list of different customer types such as:

Clients who use an agent but dont buy a house

Clients who currently rent.

Clients Who Buy a House without a Mortgage

If you are on a budget you will only need to create one buyer type, but for the purpose of this list I would like to make example of three buyer types (that is why there are three boxes for desired action).

For each of these buyer types create a list of traits that your target buyer must have, these will vary depending on the type of client.

Create a Target Seller Client Persona

Real Estate marketing strategy is more than just creating a list of marketing ideas and lists. It must be customized according to the needs and wants of your target audience. Click To Tweet

Before you can begin to create your own marketing plan, you need to create a target client.

Your target seller client will be someone who is already in the real estate market to sell their home, turnkey, or for any other reason.

These people are already short on time and money by the time they decide to use a marketing strategy. Therefore, they should be able to relate to your actual property and not have to force themselves to do business with a company they compete or have an artistic or cultural direction.

You want to create a target seller client persona that will help you gauge the type of reactions you will see from them. Set a budget.

Create an objective.

Define a marketing strategy.

Step 1: Set a Budget

How much are you willing to spend for your marketing plan? Creating an effective marketing campaign can be an expensive affair. It is important to decide how much money and time you are willing to spend for them before you can begin to plan and create your actual marketing plan.

Specifying a budget helps you stay realistic and cut back if need be in case you need more time to work on your marketing plan.

Know Your Geographic Farm Area Data

As an aspiring real estate agent, you will encounter many opportunities to sell homes to farmers who have come up from the farm. Because farming is a driving force in so many rural areas, farmers are typically educated.Thus, the people looking for the kind of property you want to sell have money. They have much more money, in relative terms, than the city dweller you already sell to.

For that reason alone, they should be valuable clients in your market area.

When you write your marketing plan, you will want to know the educational level of the people in your area and the type of properties their lifestyle will be asking for.

You will need to write your marketing plan as though you already have a client from the farmer demographic in mind. The information below should inform that plan.

Understand Your Farm Area Demographics

Demographics are key to any type of real estate marketing. Understanding who lives in your area, what age groups they are, what income groups they earn, and how you can find property to appeal to them will ensure you produce your best work and get the best return.

Identify Your Audience

Carefully break your farm property into sectors depending on the age group that you will be targeting. You can also develop an age pyramid and use the insights in your marketing plan.

Identify Property Sectors

Identify the property sector that you will concentrate on targeting so that you can build a strong list of properties in that area. Split these sectors into age ranges:

  • General
  • Young (0-29)
  • Younger middle aged (30-52)
  • Younger older (53+)
  • Older middle aged (53-69)
  • Older
  • Identify property types

Identify property types in your targeted property sector. Examples of property types include:

  • General
  • Stories
  • Street
  • Townhouse
  • Detached buildings
  • Multi-dwelling units
  • Identify property features

Identify the range of property features you can offer for each property type:

  • General
  • Kitchens
  • Living rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Exteriors
  • Backyards
  • Floor plans

Analyze Market Competition

Before you can start formulating your plan, you need to analyze the current competition and where you fit in. If you’re a small start-up business, you want to put your plan together first and then make a decision about whether or not to get involved with the competition. If you’re in a market that is saturated with large real estate companies, you may want to consider a separate niche sector. If you’re one of the few players already in that market, you don’t want to spend energy and resources establishing a brand.

To get an idea of your market and competition, analyze how major players in the industry are approaching their clients. Compare their product offerings to your capabilities and see how you can fit into the equation.

Are you establishing a brand, or are you filling an unmet need?

Are you marketing to turn-key sellers or do you provide other services?

Is your advertising message through social media or other digital media?

Analyzing the current competition and where you fit in will give you the insight you need to craft a marketing strategy that can grow your business.

Know Your Competition

Knowing what your competition is doing and understanding what their marketing strategies are can help you both in your market and on an individual level as you decide how you want to market your properties. Not only that, but knowing what your competition is doing will show you what worked for them and how to make your properties stand out. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review your competitor listings and watch their advertisements to determine what details they include and how they market their homes.

Know What Your Competitor Is Doing Right

Right off the bat you should be thinking about how you are going to set your business apart from your competitors.

Gaining an understanding of what your competition is doing right will help you figure out how to keep them at bay. You’ll be able to achieve this by coming up with strategies to increase your market share, expertly using the social media channels you have at your disposal to spread the word, and developing your own proprietary niche information that most other agents aren’t using yet in their marketing endeavors.

Use Collected Data to Your Advantage

Keep in mind that collecting data is the first step to running a successful and profitable marketing campaign. Collecting and analyzing data on your customers’ buying habits will help you pinpoint exactly what is working and what is not. Taking the time to fine-tune the information and data you already have will make all the difference. Again, data is your biggest marketing tool.

Research the Competition

Use this information to your advantage by researching what other leading agents are doing to capture the attention and loyalty of home-buying customers. If there’s one thing you can be sure about, it’s that a certain agent will come out on top in a future real estate market because they have shown results.

Know What Your Competitor is Doing Wrong

It’s so much easier to create a brilliant marketing plan when you know the problems your competitors have, and you understand what the general population wants from the real estate market. The first step in creating an effective advertising plan is to provide yourself with a competitive analysis.

To start, take a look at the online marketing programs that your competitors are using to gain listings. A quick glance at their websites can give you a good idea of what their products are, what the general design looks like, and how advanced the feature set is. This will help you identify what your competition is doing wrong and why their methods aren’t working.

Identifying your competitors’ mistakes can help you improve the way you market your business. You can use their marketing failures to improve your website, your marketing materials, and your overall message. This also helps you highlight your strengths and build customer confidence in you.

You will be able to identify some of your competitors’ weaknesses by looking at their brochures, websites, and how they describe themselves. Incorporating these things into your advertising plan can allow you gain an edge over the competition. If you provide better information for your clients, you’ll win more business.

Once you’ve got a general idea of your competitors, take a look at what the general population wants from their real estate agent.

Identify Your Unique Value Proposition

Projected Marketing Budget & Vendor Comparison

To successfully market a property, you must first understand the market you’re planning to target. By doing so, you’ll know how much money you’ll need to spend, how to arrange it and what social media and other marketing resources are available.

In the initial step of the marketing plan, let’s first determine the budget you’ll need and the potential increase in value the property can realize. This is where you’ll scale back your marketing plan and work toward your budget. If the property can realize an unexpected increase in value, the home can be sold faster and for more than you planned for. However, if the property is a flop, you’ll have to manage your marketing expectations and budget accordingly.

Staffing

Brokerage owner, Ira Gerstenfeld, offers some great advice regarding staffing the office during the sell. Look to engage the same core team for the entire period you are closed. Second, identify the time of the year when the sun is down for the most time. Ira offers this advice: … A traditional year might have 4 seasons (Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring). Typically only two of them are real: spring and fall. Summer is a nightmare. Summer staff doesn’t know whether it’s winter outside. They don’t understand how to dress, especially if you’re outside for five hours at a time. This is the time when doors are locked and security guards are stationed at the entrance. Apps aren’t operational, workers’ thoughts aren’t on the job, and there is no reason for a customer to be in the office. They get a half-price upgrade for all the work they have to do, if they come, which doesn’t happen very often.

Include Your Marketing Calendar

First, you’ll want to lay out all your marketing milestones and create a marketing calendar with a monthly view. This helps keep you focused on staying on track.

The best marketing schedules are made to fit your business and focus on big-picture activities and goal-driven professional development. Write a list of all you intend to do with the help of your agent, which includes important ongoing marketing activities like:

Pitch properties to buyers.

Sell houses for a sold price and keep listings under contract for a few days.

Promote the listing on the Multiple Listing Service.

Send out marketing materials through the mail to calendar-bound real estate agents.

Visually remind agents of upcoming listings, social media and events.

Visit prospects at offices or showings.

Visit prospects in their own homes.

Remember, your real estate marketing plan is a living document and should be updated a few times a month to stay on top of new marketing trends and technologies. Edit it with the help of a coach who can bring fresh perspective and make sure key goals are always on the calendar.

Postcard Campaigns

A postcard campaign is your first step toward creating a more influential market for your real estate brokerage. American consumers seem to be much more focused on having a higher quality of life than the average consumer. Finding out what state you want to live in, and the lifestyle you want to lead, is a major factor.

Think about your target market. Are you targeting people ages 35 to 44, or those age 50 and above? Are you focusing on working professionals, or families? It all depends on what you and your business are offering.

Once you know these things, it’s time to start thinking about how you can reach your target market. A postcard campaign is a great way to get your name out there without you having to spend tons of money to print and mail out hundreds of letters.

Before starting, it is important to conduct research and determine exactly what your target market needs and wants out of your real estate business. Some things you can find this information out through surveys, and some you might have to put in the hard work of going out and finding people. Make sure that you are not missing out on what they need and want because you keep yourself at arm’s length.

Preparing Your Lead Generation Website

Get ready for showings. It is always better to be fully prepared for the start of real estate marketing. You will need to create an accessible and user-friendly website. People should be able to easily find real estate marketing information.

Another tip for valuable real estate marketing is to have social networking or other forms of website. Such sites are necessary because of how easy the internet has made real estate marketing. The internet has made it so much easier for people to find what they are looking for. Just think about it. Have you bought a property if you hadn…t found it easily online?

Although real estate marketing will be a big part of the process, it will also be a lot of fun. You may not have time to make it a big part of your social life, but it gets difficult when you realize how much work you will have to do.

Deliver smiles. When you are in the process of preparing your real estate marketing plan for your marketing campaign, you should keep the smiles that you give to your property customers in mind. A smile can make a difficult day a better day.

Last but not least, this is an experience that most of us will never forget. It’s going to be a great experience. Real estate is a highly sought after and appreciated investment.

Set Aside Time for Cold Calling

The mythical cold calling process never exists. Creating a cold calling process is only a series of painfully obvious logical steps. It never ceases to amaze me how many writers or salespeople attempt to create a cold calling process and create a plan without first looking at the reasons behind cold calling. The very first step in creating a cold calling process is to set aside time for cold calling.

If you’re reading this, you are most likely not a businessman or woman. I, however, feel confident in telling you to set aside time for cold calling. If you choose to pass up on this advice, you will surely notice a drop in results. Remember, every cold call is sent to those who are not interested. Do you really want to reach out to someone with no interest?

If you don’t take the time to call your dream list to follow up with them, you will not ever make a sale. Remember, nobody is going to sell their home to you unless they have decided that you are worth their business.

Let’s get to the next step for creating a cold calling process.

Bonus Tip: Revisit Your Plan

It’s important to revisit your real estate marketing plan/marketing calendar every month. When planning and executing your campaigns, you need to be flexible in your approach and respond quickly to new market conditions. Don’t get caught up in planning out months and months in advance when a market changes.

The bottom line is to be consistent with your marketing, but also respond to changes that occur throughout the month and year to adapt to the ever changing real estate market. [Hint: Conduct your market research throughout the year to get an understanding of the current market condition. This will ensure your marketing efforts are more targeted to local buyers and sellers.]

Your marketing plan is a living document. Don’t be afraid that it has to stay static. Revisit your marketing plan every month to look at the information you gathered during the previous month’s marketing efforts and see what you can do to improve upon them.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, real estate marketing strategy is very important. If your website’s not ranking, if your information isn’t delivering all that it can, if you’re not capturing leads or referrals, if you’re not getting your email messages read or forwarded or opened, then you’re not going to get the results you want. So real estate marketing strategy is pretty much as important as all that other stuff.

And yet it’s arguably the least understood activity in the real estate marketing process and also one of the easiest to make a mess of. In fact, most real estate agents just don’t have the time, they don’t have a good idea of how to begin or they just get overwhelmed with all the different possible things you can do to market your real estate listings. And so their website’s are mediocre, they don’t have their listing books full of prospects and they start the process of marketing their listings and their office with more trepidation than excitement.