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. That’s why I’m sharing my 10-point Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan, one that I’ve developed over 28 years as a top-producing agent, broker-owner, and coach. With this plan, you can confidently list any property—including luxury ones—and convince every seller that you’re the agent to get their property sold.
How to Use My 10-point Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan
You don’t need to do all of the activities in my Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan to sell a home, but having all the techniques, tips, and tools in one handy checklist will help when you have an important listing presentation or a property that may be challenging to sell. I’ll let you know which tasks are optional so you can customize your plan by adding strategies that will work best for your client, budget, property, and market.
1. Get to Know Your Listing
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 elements 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 wanted the surfer lifestyle—which would be a key marketing angle for that property. Think of your target buyer: What’s important to them and where do they spend their free time?
Proximity to transportation routes, highways, mass transit, airports, parks, shopping, jobs, schools, and other recreational activities are important factors when selecting a home. Make sure you’re highlighting the best aspects of a property’s location.
This is all about placing the property in a larger context. I recently listed a property that had been in the same family for more than 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. This attracted buyers who valued that historic charm and wanted to write the next chapter of that home’s story.
Research the Neighborhood
Many factors can affect the value of a home, such as zoning use, future city planning, easements, and water and mineral rights. Your real estate listing marketing plan should detail this information. 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? Be sure you’re following all of the fair housing rules when describing the neighborhood and painting a picture of its finest points.
Set a Price
Agents often don’t think of pricing as a marketing strategy, when in reality, it is the most important one of all. As you work through your comparative market analysis, consider how your price will drive interest up or down. Here are some examples of pricing strategies that you can use to market your listing.
Price Slightly Above Market
You can think of this as the standard pricing model. 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 Well Above Market
If your goal is to sell a home quickly, this is not the strategy for you. However, there are benefits to creating a long-term listing (one or more years). This strategy may let the market catch up to homeowners’ expectations or to allow time for the seller’s motivation to change. But remember to take that all-important 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 Below Market
Pricing your property slightly below market could drive up demand and bring in multiple competing offers. 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.
How to Do a Comparative Market Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide
2. Prepare Your Listing for Sale
Touch-ups & Repairs
You can help counsel your sellers on any repairs or updates that will bring in top dollar. If they’re not willing to do the changes, adjust your price. If they are, offer a list of trusted contractors to help them get their home in tip-top condition, or pay for 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.
The 29 Best Curb Appeal Ideas for Every Budget (Yes, Even Yours!)
Even the most meticulous sellers’ homes need to be decluttered, organized, and sometimes updated. Help guide your sellers through this process so that the home is ready to show. If you have a gift for design, provide a free staging consultation (or even offer full staging services as a side hustle).
The Ultimate Guide to Home Staging (+ DIY Shopping Guide)
If you’re listing a vacant home, virtual staging can help buyers envision themselves living there. If the home has outdated (or just plain hideous) furniture, you won’t have to move it 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 DIY & Pro Virtual Staging Software (+ Tips)
3. Create Visual Assets
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, hire a pro. If you insist on DIY, follow our tips for taking the best listing photography possible.
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 all of your photos, then host them on an individual property website or post the extras as a special teaser on social media.
You can allow buyers to virtually walk through a property room by room and rotate the floor plan to see its overall dimensions using 3D image technology. This is especially helpful in cases where the property might appeal to out-of-towners. Check out Asteroom for fantastic, interactive tour equipment that runs a little over $100.
Video & Virtual Tours
Video tours aren’t just for luxury listings anymore. 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. While this example is luxury, it’s a great one to emulate for any marketing campaign.
Real Estate Virtual Tours: New Affordable Tech & Top Picks
Aerial Photography & Video
The cost of high-resolution cameras and drones has come down a great deal in the last few years. This means you can create listing images like never before. Instead of saying the park is just one block away, show that 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
4. Create a Listing
Write the Property Description
This can be challenging for agents who aren’t experienced 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.
7 Real Estate Copywriting Rules Professional Writers Swear by
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 post your new listing to the MLS, have a trusted agent review it before it goes live.
How to Write Creative Real Estate Listing Descriptions (+ Examples)
Amp Up Your MLS Strategy
Posting your listing on the MLS is obvious. But I do have a couple of bonus tips here:
- You may want to post your listing in multiple MLSs, especially if your property is on the border of two MLS areas, or if the property is outside of a larger city and you want to attract metro area agents.
- Investment properties that can be considered both residential and commercial can also be challenging to market. Using a national commercial MLS system like LoopNet in addition to your local residential MLS will get your property in front of both residential and commercial agents and buyer clients.
- Don’t forget to consider the timing of your MLS listing. This is usually pretty specific to your market, but important questions to ask nonetheless: Would you want to list on a Friday morning to line up showings all weekend? Are Mondays and Tuesdays pretty quiet, offering you a good chance to make a splash?
Syndicate Your Listings
Most MLS systems automatically syndicate your listings to hundreds or thousands of websites, including Realtor.com, Zillow, and even your competitors’ websites. This ensures that as many homebuyers as possible see your listing. You should be able to adjust this in your listing settings. If your MLS doesn’t offer syndication, you can do it yourself through ListHub.
Create a Listing Book
You can also put all of this wonderful information together in a listing book to share with potential homebuyers. Don’t forget to include beautiful photos, disclosures, and copies of receipts of any recent upgrades. Leave them in a central location for homebuyers to take home from showings, and at open houses. I would especially recommend doing this for unique properties or luxury homes.
Don’t want to hire a freelance writer? PorchLyte’s new AI app Lumi can write captivating listing descriptions in just 30 seconds. Even better, unlike other AI writing tools, Lumi was designed by and for Realtors. So instead of writing long complicated prompts, you can generate listing descriptions, blogs, social media posts, newsletters, emails, scripts, and more with just a few clicks.
5. Open House Events
Set Open House Date
Open houses have long been a staple in the real estate agent’s listing marketing plan. As long as this tactic aligns with your sellers’ expectations, arrange to include at least one of the following types of open houses.
33 Open House Ideas That Will Actually Get You Leads in 2023
Traditional Open House
The traditional open house involves getting the word out and placing five to 10 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.
21 Open House Food Ideas That Can Help Sell Your Listing (Yes, Really)
Virtual Open House
The pandemic might be waning, but there are still reasons to conduct a virtual open house. You can promote them in a way that’s similar to a regular open house, but instead of letting the buyers in at the scheduled time, you go live on Facebook, Instagram, or Zoom and give viewers a personal tour of the property. You can also use snippets of a virtual open house in your social media marketing to expand your reach.
The 9 Best Open House Follow-up Email Templates (+ Writing Tips)
Open House by Appointment
This option offers a more exclusive feel. Instead of having a free-for-all for three hours, direct each interested party to schedule a private tour of the property. Each appointment is 15 to 20 minutes within a three- to four-hour period.
16 Open House Flyer Templates That Get Leads (Free & Paid Examples)
Of course, open houses are also excellent business development opportunities. A free app like Curb Hero can help you capture contact information from visitors and turn them into leads. This is a great alternative to paper sign-in sheets where handwriting can be illegible or information may be incomplete. Pop all of those new contacts into your customer relationship manager (CRM) and you’ve got some hot new leads!
6. Digital Marketing
Create Ads for Facebook & Instagram
Facebook and Instagram collect a ton of data on their users and leverage it to help you to target potential buyers. Ads are generally pretty reasonably priced (often a pay-per-click scenario), so you can control your spend and see a good return on investment.
How to Create Real Estate Facebook Ads That Actually Generate Leads
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. If you already have a Google ad system in place, you can show how it will put that property in front of the most likely buyers and stand out from the competition.
28 Clever Real Estate Ads: Real Examples (+ Why They Work)
Launch a 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, of course), 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 or Google to trigger cookies and capture the IP addresses of your website visitors. It then tracks them as they interact with your business and others online.
According to digital marketing agency Spiralytics, remarketing beats 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.
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 can also function as a permanent record of your listing and sale of the property. Even better, if you add a Facebook or Google pixel, you can capture your site visitors’ IP addresses for future remarketing ad campaigns.
If you want to infuse your marketing with a luxury feel, maximize your listing’s full potential with a single-property website from Sierra Interactive. With a lead-generating IDX real estate website, you’ll be able to capture and convert leads while looking like a rock star marketer.
The Best Single Property Websites (Apps & Design Tips)
7. Traditional Media Marketing
TV advertising might seem out of the question for your real estate 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. When you’re done, you can 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 2023, you ask? In many rural markets, the radio is the best form of marketing. Many have radio shows that allow you to call in to 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.
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 portal that can help you capture buyer leads.
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 down payment and mortgage options. Check out our reviews of providers LabCoat Agents Marketing Center, Coffee & Contracts, and Agent Crate to source some impressive and on-brand templates.
17 Real Estate Flyer Templates You Can Use to Boost Your GCI
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. In addition, 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.
8. Neighborhood Marketing
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.
Real Estate Yard Signs: 12 Design Trends & Insights
Thanks to the pandemic, QR codes have made a serious comeback. Put one that sends buyers directly to your website on your real estate signs and marketing materials. Even better, if you are using lead capture systems, QR codes can seamlessly snag the buyer’s contact information and add them to your CRM.
How to Master the Follow-up Phone Call (+ Scripts)
Branded Directional Arrows
Even with the power of the internet today, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found in 2022 that 39% of all buyers said they used yard signs as a source of information in their home search. 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.
Postcard & Door Hangers
Let the neighbors and nearby contacts in your sphere of influence 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 or hang 50 door knockers as part of your real estate listing marketing plan.
If you really want to make an impression, send out personalized, handwritten mailers to nearby homeowners. If your hand cramps up just thinking about this task, consider outsourcing it and having them written by artificial intelligence robots with ballpoint pens. You’ll immediately stand out from any other agents in your territory.
Top 23 Real Estate Postcard Templates That Actually Generate Leads (+ Design Guide)
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: Does It Still Work? (+ Tips & Scripts)
9. Sphere of Influence Marketing
Promote Your Listing in Your Office
Most successful real estate professionals promote their listing to other agents in their office—for two reasons. One, it gives your colleagues 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).
Engage Local Agents
This is a great way to get more eyes on your listing with minimal effort. Pull a list of real estate pros 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.
Share With Your Local Realtor Association
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 thanks to a three-minute association presentation.
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. Email newsletters are a fantastic way to communicate with your sphere of influence (SOI) and keep you top of mind.
35 Proven Real Estate Newsletter Ideas (+ Template Tips)
Promote on Social Media
While we’ve already discussed how paid digital ads on social media can benefit your listing, there are more ways you can utilize platforms to market a property. Jump on your social media and get creative with how you promote your listing—we have all of the templates and examples to help you.
You don’t have to include every social media outlet in your real estate 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.
Post your listings in local Facebook groups that feature homes for sale and agent groups. 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 (not a full virtual-open-house-length one) of you walking through the listing, pointing out all the unique features, and explaining why this is the right home for a buyer.
How to Set Up a Real Estate Agent Facebook Page to Get More Leads
Pinterest is the place for visually pleasing and creative images, so it’s perfect for promoting your professional listing photos! The secret is to set the destination link as your lead capture page when you create your pin 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.
You might think it’s just for dancing, 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.
Real Estate TikTok: 3 Top Agents on How to Get Millions of Likes (+ Leads)
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.
11 Ways Smart Real Estate Agents Are Using LinkedIn to Get Better Leads
10. Update Owner Weekly
Lastly, to complete the Ultimate Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan, you need to give weekly updates to your sellers on your marketing efforts from the previous week, feedback from recent showings, and the steps you are taking in 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 local buyer’s agents to schedule a showing for the weekend.
Bonus: Marketing a Luxury Listing
Marketing high-end real estate is different from marketing your run-of-the-mill listing. 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 you to list them in the MLS, or even place a for sale sign in the yard.
Prepare Your Brand
While we have specific tips for elevating your real estate listing marketing plan below, agents who are still looking to break into the luxury market may need to step back and ensure they’re projecting the right image to land these listings in the first place. One tool that can help you establish yourself as a luxury agent and market that multi-million-dollar property is Agent Image. An all-in-one platform, they offer agent websites, lead generation, and even video production—all with a razor-sharp focus on the luxury real estate market. Click the button below for 20% off.
For a limited time Agent Image is offering 50% off on their most popular website and digital marketing packages for Cyber Monday. Promotion ends November 30th 2023.
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 that specializes in cinematic-style luxury home videos. Consider whether drone videography makes sense for the property as well.
Create a Brochure
You can’t market your luxury home with flyers printed on 20-pound paper stock on your home printer. Spend a few more dollars and get full-color, 100-pound card stock, and book-style folding brochures. If the home is high-end, your marketing collateral should be too.
27 Real Estate Brochure Templates That Will Make You More Money
It’s no secret that many New Yorkers buy vacation homes in Miami. So don’t just advertise your oceanfront Miami mansion locally—place ads in magazines, newspapers, and online, targeting customers up north.
Next, call the top luxury real estate agents in areas where there are other high-net-worth individuals and ultra-luxury homes—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
Over the past decade, some countries have experienced skyrocketing wealth, and many foreign buyers want a piece of the American dream. From April 2021 to March 2022, foreign investment represented $59 billion in domestic home sales. The bulk of foreign investors in the U.S. market came from Canada, China, India, Mexico, and Brazil. Florida agents, you’re in luck—24% of all foreign transactions take place in your backyard, followed by California, Texas, Arizona, New York, and, surprisingly, North Carolina. Make sure your properties are getting seen in wealthier hubs around the world to tap into this lucrative market.
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. Here’s how to do it: Search similarly priced homes sold in the past year. Personally invite both the listing and buyer’s agents. Serve great food and drinks and maybe even provide them with a small gift for attending.
Bringing It All Together
What strategies do you use in your own real estate listing marketing plan? Let us know in the comment section.