Your listing marketing plan is the most important thing to a seller. It’s an essential guide that lays out where, how, why, and when you will promote your client’s home for sale. I’m sharing my 43-point Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan that I’ve developed over 27 years as a top-producing agent, broker-owner, and coach. With this plan, you can confidently list any property—including luxury ones—and convince any seller that you’re the agent to get their house sold.
How to Use My 43-Point Ultimate Listing Marketing Plan
You don’t need to do all 43 points of the Ultimate Listing Marketing Plan to sell a home, but having all the techniques, tips, and tools may help when you have an important listing presentation or a property that may be challenging to sell.
I recommend that you commit to doing the main 13 activities for all your listings. Then select five to 10 additional techniques for your hard-to-sell listings. For luxury and ultra-luxury homes, you’ll want to create a unique listing marketing plan to attract the right buyers. You can download a PDF checklist of my plan here or copy it to your clipboard, below:
|1. Identify the Home’s Unique Selling Features||✅||Know Your Listing|
|2. Research the Property||✅||Know Your Listing|
|3. Research the Neighborhood||✅||Know Your Listing|
|4. Set a Price||✅||Know Your Listing|
|5. Touch-ups & Repairs||✅||Prepare Your Listing for Sale|
|6. Professional Staging||✅||Prepare Your Listing for Sale|
|7. Virtual Staging||Optional||Prepare Your Listing for Sale|
|8. Professional Photography||✅||Create Visual Assets|
|9. 3D Tours||Optional||Create Visual Assets|
|10. Video & Virtual Tours||Optional||Create Visual Assets|
|11. Aerial Photography & Video||Optional||Create Visual Assets|
|12. Hire Freelancer to Write the Property Description||Optional||Create a Listing|
|13. Add Listing to MLS||✅||Create a Listing|
|14. Add as Much Detail as Possible||✅||Create a Listing|
|15. Syndicate Your Listings||✅||Create a Listing|
|16. Create a Listing Book||Optional||Create a Listing|
|17. Set Dates for Open Houses||✅||Open House|
|18. Create ads for Facebook & Instagram||Optional||Online Advertising|
|19. Create a Google Ad||Optional||Online Advertising|
|20. Remarketing Ad Campaign||Optional||Online Advertising|
|21. Create a Single Property Website||Optional||Online Advertising|
|22. TV||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|23. Radio||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|24. Home Magazine||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|25. Listing Fliers||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|26. Newspaper Display Ads||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|27. Yard Signs||✅||Additional Advertising|
|28. QR Codes||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|29. Call-2-Text||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|30. Branded Directional Arrows||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|31. Postcard Mailers & Door Hangers||Optional||Additional Advertising|
|32. Door Knock the Neighborhood||Optional||Marketing|
|33. Promote Your Listing in Your Office||✅||Marketing|
|34. Engage Local Agents||Optional||Marketing|
|35. Share With Your Local Association of Realtors||Optional||Marketing|
|36. Send in Email Newsletter||Optional||Marketing|
|37. Promote on Social Media||Optional||Marketing|
|38. Market Nationally||✅||Luxury Listing|
|39. Market Internationally||✅||Luxury Listing|
|40. Produce Custom Video||✅||Luxury Listing|
|41. Create Brochure||✅||Luxury Listing|
|42. Hold a Broker’s Open House||✅||Luxury Listing|
|43. Update Owner Weekly||✅||Luxury Listing|
7 Ways Top Agents Prepare for Listing Appointments (+ Checklist & Scripts)
Get to Know Your Listing
1. Identify the Home’s Unique Selling Features
Some agents just photograph the house, place it in the MLS, and call it a day. But taking the time to do some research can result in BIG returns for your seller client. Begin your listing marketing plan by investigating the unique selling features of the property. This can include things like the lifestyle, location, and history of the neighborhood.
I have a cousin who chose to live in a half-a-million-dollar, 500-square-foot condo to be around other surfers like herself. She could have chosen a larger home and driven to the beach, but she would have missed out on the surfer lifestyle.
Proximity to transportation routes, highways, mass transit, airports, parks, shopping, jobs, schools, and other recreational activities are important factors when selecting a home.
I recently listed a property that had been in the same family for over 50 years. I put together a photo book showing the history of the property and wrote an article for the local newspaper about the property’s impact on the community.
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2. Research the Property
Many factors can affect the value of a home like zoning use, future city planning, easements, and water and mineral rights. Your listing marketing plan should detail this information.
3. Research the Neighborhood
If you aren’t already familiar with the neighborhood, do your research. What are the public and private schools, where is the shopping, and what are the crime rates, walkability, and commute times.
4. Set a Price
Agents often don’t think of pricing as a marketing strategy, but it is the most important one of all. Here are some examples of listing pricing strategies that you can use to market your listing.
Price Above Market
If your goal is to sell a home quickly, be aware that this is risky. However, it could create a long-term listing (one or more years). The strategy is to let the market catch up or to allow time for the seller’s motivation to change. But remember to take that all-important anticipated appraisal into consideration. Unless you have an all-cash buyer, the home will have to appraise for the sales price or the buyer might struggle to obtain financing.
Price Slightly Above Market
The standard pricing model is to price the home slightly above the last sale by comparing the subject property to recent comparable sales (or comps) and adjusting it for market appreciation.
Price Below Market
Once you have determined the fair market value, price the property 1% to 2% below that benchmark to ensure your home stands out against the competition—with the hope that the lower price drives up demand and brings in multiple offers.
How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide
Prepare Your Listing for Sale
5. Touch-ups & Repairs
Give your seller a list of trusted contractors to help them get their home in tip-top condition, or give them a couple of free hours with your favorite handyman. If you’re going full-service, coordinate the contractors and follow up to ensure everything was completed to your satisfaction.
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6. Professional Staging
Provide a free staging consultation or full staging services. Even the most meticulous sellers’ homes need to be decluttered, organized, and sometimes updated.
17 Clever Home Staging Tips From Top Agents (+ DIY Shopping Guide)
7. Virtual Staging
Virtual staging can help buyers envision an empty home with furniture. Plus, you won’t have to move furniture and the cost is far less than hiring a staging company.
Our pick for the best overall virtual staging company is Apply Design. With easy-to-use, drag-and-drop technology and realistic results, Apply Design helps you virtual stage any home for as little as $7 an image.
The Best Virtual Staging Software & Tips for 2022 (DIY & Pro)
Create Visual Assets
8. Professional Photography
There is nothing more important to your listing marketing plan than your photos. Property photos are the first thing buyers see so make sure they are excellent. Editing is just as important as the photo itself, so unless you have high-quality editing software and know how to use it, don’t take your own photos. If you insist on DIY, follow our tips in Real Estate Photography: 24 Tips for Stunning DIY Photos.
Remember, the more, the better. For custom and unique homes, take photos of even the smallest details: the upgraded door handles, the flower garden, even photos of the neighborhood and its top attractions. If your MLS doesn’t allow you to feature 100 photos, then host them on an individual property website.
9. 3D Tours
3D floor plans allow buyers to virtually walk through a property room-by-room and rotate the floor plan to see its overall dimensions.
Better yet, check out Asteroom for fantastic, interactive tour equipment for a fraction of the cost. You can get your gear for less than $100, and their monthly subscription to tour hosting starts at $20.
10. Video & Virtual Tours
Video tours are not just for luxury listings. You can include a simple walk-through video like this one in your listing marketing plans too. Just give your iPhone to a friend and walk through the property, pointing out the listing’s features. Don’t forget to share it on all your social media platforms.
Real Estate Virtual Tours in 2022: New Affordable Tech & Top Picks
11. Aerial Photography & Video
The low cost of high-resolution cameras and drones means you can create images of the homes like never before. Instead of saying the park is just one block away, show them with a flyover. Or instead of talking about the beautiful golf course, take them on a tour of it with a drone.
Aerial photography starts as low as $199 for 10 still images and can go as high as $1,000 for fully customized video footage set to music.
21 Real Estate Videos Top Agents Use To Generate & Nurture Leads
Create a Listing
12. Hire A Freelancer to Write the Property Description
Most real estate agents are not good writers. Fortunately, companies like Upwork and Fiverr provide copywriters for as little as $40 an hour. You can wow your sellers and attract more buyers with property descriptions that are polished, professional, and might even evoke some emotion.
If you really want to write your own listing descriptions, check out our in-depth guide, How to Write Creative Real Estate Listing Descriptions + Examples.
7 Real Estate Copywriting Rules Professional Writers Swear by
13. Add Listing to MLS
As you create your real estate listing marketing plan, remember that you may need to enter the listing in multiple MLS systems. This is especially true If the listing property is on the border of two MLS areas, or if the property is outside of a larger city and you want to attract that city’s agents.
Investment properties that can be considered both residential and commercial can also be challenging to market. Use your local residential MLS and a national commercial MLS system like Loopnet to ensure your property is being seen by both residential and commercial agents and buyer clients.
Also, remember that there is usually some strategy around the timing of releasing your MLS listing. This is usually pretty specific to your market, but would you want to list on a Friday morning to line up showings all weekend? Are Mondays and Tuesdays pretty quiet and a good chance to make a splash?
14. Add as Much Detail as Possible
It drives me crazy when agents don’t fill out a listing’s data completely, skipping important details like measurements, lot size, and inclusions. Before you enter your new listing into the MLS, have a trusted agent review it before it goes live.
15. Syndicate Your Listings
Most MLS systems automatically syndicate your listings to over 1,000 websites, including Realtor.com, Zillow, and even your competitors’ websites, which ensures that as many homebuyers as possible see your listing. If your MLS doesn’t offer syndication, you can do it yourself through ListHub.
16. Create a Listing Book
Put all of this wonderful information together in a listing book to share with potential homebuyers. Don’t forget to include your beautiful photos, disclosures, and copies of receipts of any recent upgrades.
Open House Events
17. Set Dates for Open Houses
Open houses have long been a staple in the real estate agent’s listing marketing plan so plan to include at least one of the following types of open houses.
27 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads
Traditional Open House
The traditional open house includes some light advertising on real estate websites and placing 10 to 20 directional signs. Some balloons, snacks, and bottled water, and you’re good to go! While it is a very passive way to market your listing, it shows the seller your commitment.
17 Open House Food Ideas That Can Help Sell Your Listing (Yes, Really)
Virtual Open House
Virtual open houses are promoted similarly to a regular open house, but instead of opening the door and letting the buyers in at the scheduled time, you go live on Facebook, Instagram, or Zoom and give the viewers a personal tour of the property.
The 9 Best Open House Follow-up Email Templates of 2022 (+ Writing Tips)
Open House by Appointment
Instead of having a free-for-all in the home for three hours, each interested party is directed to schedule a private tour of the property. Each appointment is 15 to 20 minutes within a three- to four-hour period.
13 Open House Flyer Templates That Get Leads (Free & Paid Examples)
📌 Pro Tip
Open houses are also excellent business development opportunities. An app like Curb Hero can help you capture contact information from visitors and turn them into buyer leads.
18. Create ads for Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram collect a TON of data on their users and leverage it to help you to target your ads. Ads are generally pretty reasonably priced (often a pay-per-click scenario), so you’ll see a good return on investment (ROI). If digital advertising is something you’d rather outsource, consider an agency like GenerateAgentLeads.com that specializes in Facebook advertising for real estate agents.
How to Create Real Estate Facebook Ads That Actually Generate Leads
19. Create a Google Ad
Google also collects data on its users and can keep your website and landing pages at the top of a potential buyer’s Google search. Lead generation websites like Propertybase and Real Geeks allow you to capture the contact information of these potential buyers for your listings.
Bring a list of buyers who are currently searching for homes to the listing appointment. Nothing impresses a seller like a list of hot leads!
23 Clever Real Estate Ads for 2022: Real Examples (+ Why They Work)
20. Remarketing Ad Campaign
You know when you visit your favorite website to shop for shoes and after you leave the site (to get back to work!), you see that same pair of shoes showing up in ads for days or weeks? This is remarketing at work.
Remarketing uses a pixel (a snippet of code) from Facebook (now Meta) or Google on your web pages. It works by placing and triggering cookies to capture the IP addresses of your website visitors, then tracks them as they interact with your business online.
Remarketing is said to beat all other ad placement strategies with a 1,046% efficiency rate. You can use Google to set up a remarketing ad campaign and set your budget.
21. Create a Single Property Website
A single property website is more than just a listing marketing tool. It’s an online collection of all your marketing collateral, including the property’s unique history and features, virtual tour, 3D floor plan, additional photos, neighborhood snapshot, and your professional marketing copy.
The individual property website becomes a permanent record of your listing and sale of the property. Even better, if you add a Facebook and Google pixel, you can capture your site visitors’ IP addresses for future remarketing ad campaigns (see #20).
The Best Single Property Websites for 2022 (Apps & Design Tips)
Traditional Media Marketing
TV advertising might seem out of the question for a listing marketing plan budget, but did you know you can run a 22-minute infomercial for as low as a few hundred dollars on your local stations and cable networks?
Get together with a few other listing agents to offer a once-a-month listing show where you present your current inventory. Don’t forget to publish the video on your website and post it on your social media channels.
How is radio a part of a listing marketing strategy in 2022, you ask? In many rural markets, the radio is the best form of marketing. Many have radio shows that allow you to call in and promote your listings for just a few hundred dollars. Radio marketing works especially well for unique listings like waterfront homes, farms, and equestrian properties. Again, don’t forget to share it on your social media channels and website.
24. Home Magazine
You may not believe it, but home sale magazines are still a viable place to advertise your listings. While overall readership is down, rural areas with limited MLS coverage retain strong readership. Companies like Homes & Land also offer an online version and a buyer home search that can help you capture buyer leads.
25. Listing Fliers
Listing fliers allow you to combine all your beautiful photos, compelling property descriptions, and website links. My favorite tip for listing flyers is to include multiple financing options to give prospective buyers an idea of downpayment and payment options.
Look into a template provider like Lab Coat Agents Marketing Center to make sure your printed materials look impressive and on-brand.
27 Real Estate Flyer Templates You Can Use to Boost Your GCI
26. Newspaper Display Ads
Sellers love to see their homes in print, and nothing does this better than a simple newspaper display ad. Plus, you know you’re hitting the right audience. According to the National Newspaper Association, 84% of newspaper readers are homeowners with higher-than-average incomes. Plus, readers of your local newspaper are almost guaranteed to be local residents.
To save some Benjamins, join forces with other listing agents to purchase ongoing display ads to feature your prized listings. If the cost of a display ad is prohibitive, look into smaller or specialty newspapers that cater to a specific demographic, region, or neighborhood, as they often have lower pricing.
27. Yard Signs
Your real estate sign is an important reflection of your company. Why spend time meticulously preparing a property for sale and then put up a dented sign with a rusted frame? Bright, clean, branded signs will not only attract prospective buyers driving by, but will also be a reflection of your professionalism.
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28. QR Codes
QR codes have made a serious comeback. Put one on your real estate signs and marketing materials that send buyers directly to your website. Even better, if you are using lead capture systems like Propertybase, QR codes seamlessly snag the buyer’s contact information and add them to your CRM.
Call-2-Text systems provide a free recorded message about the home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And when that potential buyer calls, the service captures their number so you can promptly follow up with them.
How to Master the Follow-up Phone Call in 2022 (+ Scripts)
30. Branded Directional Arrows
Even with the power of the internet today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) states that over 7% of homebuyers found their home by a yard sign. I have found that including direction arrows in your listing marketing plan is crucial. Not only will they guide buyers from busy intersections to your quiet neighborhood home, but it will also reinforce your image and brand to other homeowners in the area.
31. Postcard & Door Hangers
Let the neighbors and contacts in your sphere of influence (SOI) know about your listing with a postcard mailer. You never know whose family member or friend wants to move into the neighborhood.
Offer to mail 100 postcards as part of your listing marketing plan or hang 50 door knockers. Just-listed postcards can be mailed for as little as 50 to 70 cents with companies like Mailbox Power or ProspectsPLUS!
Top 5 Real Estate Postcards Providers + Postcards That Actually Work
32. Door Knock the Neighborhood
Now that you have your listing flyers, door hangers, and just-listed postcards, distribute them in person to the neighbors by going door-to-door. You’ll demonstrate that you are working hard to sell their neighbor’s home, and give them another reminder to tell their family and friends about your listing for sale.
Door Knocking for Real Estate in 2022: Will It Still Work? (+ Tips & Scripts)
Sphere of Influence Marketing
33. Promote Your Listing in Your Office
Most successful real estate offices promote their listing to other agents in their office—for two reasons. One, it gives your office a chance to sell the property and increase your brokerage’s market share. Two, it ensures the agent on the other end of the transaction is professional and ethical (assuming, of course, that all agents in your office are professional and ethical).
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34. Engage Local Agents
This is a great way to build up that real estate marketing plan with minimal effort. Pull a list of agents who sold a home in the neighborhood in the past six months, including both the listing and buyer’s agents. Write a personal, polite email inviting them to see your listing.
35. Share With Your Local Association of Realtors
Many local Realtor associations have weekly marketing meetings where agents promote their new and upcoming listings. Make no mistake, deals get done in these meetings! I once sold a million-dollar apartment building from a three-minute presentation!
36. Send an Email Newsletter
Target active buyers and investors in your database who are looking for homes in your price range and area. Maybe this listing is a perfect upgrade for one of your past clients. Or blast it out to the list of potential buyers that you’ve aggregated from your advertising efforts.
9 Easy & Actionable Real Estate Email Marketing Tips for 2022
You don’t have to include every social media outlet in your listing marketing plan. Choose two per property—more only if there is a natural fit—and focus your energy on making those promotions really shine.
37. Promote on Social Media
Post your listings in local Facebook groups that feature homes for sale and agent groups. Facebook (or Meta) offers a suite of options, including Facebook Messenger, which could be used to promote an open house or the listing itself. And don’t forget to add it to Facebook Marketplace—which is an outstanding option for affordable properties and condos.
Lastly, post to your Story. Don’t overthink it—just make a short video of you walking through the listing, point out all the unique features, and explain why this is the right home for a buyer.
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Pinterest is the place for visually pleasing and creative images, so it’s perfect for promoting your 100 professional listing photos! The secret is to link them back to your lead capture page so motivated buyers can quickly get in touch with you.
13 Powerful Pinterest Real Estate Marketing Ideas From the Pros
Similar to Pinterest, Instagram is all about images. Sharing beautiful photos of your listings will attract homebuyers and show sellers that you take real estate marketing seriously.
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You might think it’s just for kids, but TikTok is growing by leaps and bounds and agents are successfully using it to market listings. Post a short video (set to popular music) of a unique listing feature—a swimming pool, gourmet kitchen, or a sunset from the deck—and it can be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of people.
Thanks to upstarts like TikTok, Snapchat doesn’t have the power it used to. However, one of the best features of Snapchat is the ability to create a listing post and add it to your city’s story, instantly putting it in front of thousands (possibly millions) of people!
While it might not be as flashy as other social media platforms, LinkedIn has one huge advantage: people use it to learn new things. So share your knowledge by posting about your property’s history, the potential usability, or the income potential.
10 Ways Smart Real Estate Agents Are Using LinkedIn to Get Better Leads
Luxury Listing Marketing Plan
Marketing a luxury home is different from marketing your run-of-the-mill suburban home. Ultra-luxury homes (homes over $20 million) can be even more challenging. You can’t just put a $20 million home in the MLS and hope it sells. In fact, many owners of ultra-luxury homes don’t want them advertised in the MLS, or even with a for sale sign in the yard.
So, if you want to sell luxury real estate, you will need to step up your listing marketing plan. While we have specific tips below, there is one tool to help you establish yourself as a luxury agent and market that multi-million-dollar property: Luxury Presence.
An all-in-one platform, it’s used by at least 20 of the top 100 WSJ agents. They offer agent websites, lead generation, and even video production—all with a razor-sharp focus on the luxury real estate market.
38. Market Nationally
It’s no secret that many New Yorkers buy vacation homes in Miami, so don’t just advertise your oceanfront Miami mansion locally—place your ads in magazines, newspapers, and online, targeting customers in “The Big Apple.”
Next, call the top luxury real estate agents in areas where there are other high-net-worth individuals and ultra-luxury homes—like Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York—and ask them if they have clients who may be interested in your exclusive waterfront listing.
How to Become a Luxury Real Estate Agent—10 Easy Ways to Break Into the Luxury Market
39. Market Internationally
Over the past decade, some countries have experienced skyrocketing wealth, and many foreign buyers want a piece of the American dream. Global foreign investment is up from 2019 by 77% and sales to overseas buyers make up 2.8% of the entire market. Make sure your properties are getting seen in wealthier hubs around the world.
In 2021, the bulk of foreign investors in the U.S. market came from these five countries: Canada, China, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. LUXVT will translate and syndicate your luxe-listing to over 100 websites internationally as well as the Wall Street Journal, Robb Report, and Mansion Global.
How to Get Listings: 21 Luxury Listing Agents Spill Their Secrets
40. Produce Custom Video
Luxury buyers and sellers expect excellence, and your videos are no exception. Stand out from the crowd by hiring a production company like InTroubleZone Productions, where they specialize in cinematic-style luxury home videos.
41. Create a Brochure
You can’t market your luxury home with flyers printed on 20# paper stock on your home printer! Spend a few more dollars and get full-color, 100# card stock, and “book-style” folding brochures.
24 Real Estate Brochure Templates That Will Make You Money
42. Hold a Broker’s Open House
Broker open houses (often called a broker caravan) may not be an effective way to market the average home, but a well-executed broker open will attract top producers and luxury agents. Search similarly priced homes sold in the past year. Personally invite both the listing and buyers agents. Have great food and drinks and maybe even provide them with a small gift for attending.
43. Update Owner Weekly
Lastly, to complete the Ultimate Listing Marketing Plan, you need to give weekly updates to your sellers on your marketing efforts from the previous week, feedback from the recent showings, and the steps you are taking the next week to get their home sold.
Thursday afternoons are a great time for these weekly updates. That way, if you need to make a price adjustment, you can do it in time for the buyer’s agents to schedule a showing for the weekend.
Over to You
What strategies do you use in your own real estate listing marketing plan? Let us know in the comments.