Today we discuss my 20-Step real estate listing marketing plan. These are the steps I take on just about every single one of my listings to maximize exposure and sell homes fast!
I do these steps for three main reasons:
- To sell my listings faster and for more money than other agents.
- To generate buyer and seller leads who come across my marketing efforts and don't have a relationship with an agent.
- To prove to my sellers that I'm doing everything possible to market their listing and if it hasn't sold negotiate a price reduction.
For those that would rather watch my video explaining these 20 steps, here it is:
My 20-Step Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan
1. MLS Description
It all starts with a great MLS Description. Most of the time I'm copy/pasting this description into other platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. so it's best to focus here and make it as best as possible. Refrain from listing too many of the apparent features and try to point out things most people wouldn't know like if it has an excellent greatschools.com rating or low tax rate compared to closeby neighborhoods. Mention things that were recently replaced and remodeled. There are only so many characters you can use here, so take the less is more approach. Try to rattle off as many non-obvious things without all the fluff.
2. Professional HDR Listing Photos
It's nearly 2020, and I still see some pretty awful listing photos. Unless you're a professional photographer with the right equipment (DSLR, wide-angle lens, tripod) and the know-how to stitch bracketed photos together to create HDR images, hire a professional. Virtuance is a low-cost option, around $129/shoot, and located in many markets. They take high-quality HDR photos. These photos not only help you sell your listings MUCH faster, but they also make you look like a PRO that other clients will want to use.
3. Facebook Business Page (Photos Post)
Be sure that you start here. Create a high-quality post that displays the images from your listing. Put a call-to-action (CTA) link in the post to have interested parties click to get more info. Use a link shortener like bit.ly to send people that click to a lead generation magnet for you. This link could include an IDX website of yours that has the listing, a blog post that you create on your website specifically for that listing, or at the very least, have it go to Zillow or Realtor.com if you are a Premier Agent and set up to receive leads that come across your listings.
4. Share to Groups and Personal Page
Once you make your Facebook business page post, share it with your personal Facebook page and any groups you are apart of that would be accepting of your posts. Also, ask friends and fellow agents to share your post early and often. The faster you get engagement on your post, the more Facebook will organically show your post to others.
5. Reach Ad
Utilize Facebook's Ad Manager or boost the facebook post you just created. I use the "Reach" objective so that my listing can be in front of the most amount of people for the least cost. I typically spend around $5 per day for each of my listings. My target audience is a 15-mile radius around the property that are usually in the age range that can most likely afford the home. Lastly, I make sure only to check the box on placement for the Facebook feed.
Be sure to maximize hashtag usage on Instagram. You can use up to 30 hashtags for each post. I usually target hashtags like #sanantoniorealestate, #sanantoniorealtor, #homesforsaleinsanantonio, etc. I like to use flick.tech to find relevant hashtags that are filtered for my reach on Instgram.
7. Send to Email List
I use Aweber for all my email list needs. With Aweber, I can setup separate lists for agents, clients, and leads. Within the different lists, I can even setup tags to further sort the lists. For example, when an agent signs up for my mailing list, they can choose to receive real estate sales training, eXp Realty info, or agent attraction training. Depending on the choices they get tagged so I can send relevant info to the right group of people. This comes in handy when you want to mail listings out to your lists.
Begin building a list of agents that you can market to. This list includes agents you've cross-sold a deal with, agents within your brokerage, agents you meet at training and networking events. I do not recommend you purchase or get any realtor list of emails. This strategy will be sure to get your account flagged as spam and cause future emails to be less effective.
Make sure to always send listings out to past and current clients. They are the ones that know your hard work. You should remind them of your success in the business by showing them you take and sell many listings. Your clients most likely will not have someone to purchase that home, but as they see you are hustling to find buyers for your listings, they will surely recommend you to friends and family as the time comes.
If you've been generating leads for any amount of time, you know that this list can get large fast. Even if they may not be looking for your new listing, send it to them and ask for their help if they know someone that may.
8. Blog Post (Photos)
Create a blog post for your new listing. If you do it right, you'll receive some organic SEO out of it since one of Google's ranking factors is the longevity of the post. Since you can technically create the blog post before the home is 100% listed on the MLS, Zillow, etc... you can stand to be ranked at the top for when someone searches that exact address. I typically add in the photos, video, description, and a call-to-action to fill out a form for more information.
Once I sell the listing, I add "SOLD" to the post title so I can have it be part of my "SOLD" listings page which shows your track record and builds confidence for future clients of yours.
9. open house Event
I call this an event because there are so many things you can do to promote an open house that will allow you more eyeballs on your listing. For one, whenever you advertise that you are going to be hosting an open house on Zillow and Realtor.com your listing gets an immediate boost in traffic. I recommend manually adding the open house to these two portal sites in addition to your MLS because the open house info doesn't always syndicate over. Also, you can create a Facebook "Event" post that lets people in the area know they can go see the home during the open house hours.
10. Knock Doors & Bring Flyers
Be sure that you leverage your open house to not only the traffic that comes through the doors but to all the neighbors around the area. It's intimidating to do cold door knocking, but when you have a reason to be knocking like inviting neighbors to the open house, it breaks the ice a little easier. Make it a goal to knock 200 doors. You should be able to invite 40-50 neighbors. Bring a flyer and only give it out if they answer the door. Just before you leave, be sure to slide in a quick "By the way, when do you guys plan to move?".
11. Professional Video
Professionally edited video can instantly increase your listings marketability and your exposure as an agent. It can range from around $250 on the low end to around $500 as an average for a 2-3 minute listing video. The best part of having video is that it gives you so many more angles to market your listing. Create Facebook Video View ads, upload to IGTV, add to your blog. Here's a recent video of a listing of mine.
Creating a catalog of current and former listings on your youtube channel goes a long way when it comes to branding yourself. This play is not so much for marketing the listing as YouTube videos don't get a ton of traffic right away, but over time, these videos will get searched and watched leading to all sorts of interest in using you as an agent.
13. Blog Post (Video)
When you already have all the media, why not log it into your website with a simple blog post. Similar to YouTube above, creating a blog post utilizing the video, photos, and description you've already created is a great way to ensure your marketing efforts stay evergreen and last into the future. The home may have sold but people will still organically come across your posts and potentially reach out to you in their time of need.
14. Facebook Business Page (Video Post)
Same as with photos, it's important to share your professionally done video to your Facebook business page. Your Facebook business page post is how you'll run your Video View ad, discussed below.
15. Video View Ad
Video view ads are some of the highest engaging ads out there. Not only will you get your listing in front of thousands of targeted people like the reach ads talked about above, but you'll also get higher engagement. This engagement means more likes, comments, and shares, which will increase the likelihood of the right buyer seeing it and possibly your next client coming across your brand.
IGTV stands for Instagram TV and is a great source of marketing for your listings. This platform is all about the NOW. I would say that it's more equivalent to Facebook in its lifespan. It's great for getting eyes on your listing right away. However, over time, it does build a catalog of past listings that can help further your brand.
17. Google PPC
Typically what I do on Google is run an ad for my listings zip code. For example, I'll target the keyword "Homes for Sale 78258" if my listing is in the 78258 zip code. Use a headline like "Just Listed Home for Sale in 78258" and have the link send people to your IDX site with information on that new listing of yours. Most IDX feeds, like kvCORE, which is what I use, will show similar properties that match the zip code, so you're offering of homes for sale in that zip code is delivered. These will also be the most ready-to-buy leads since they are actively searching for these keywords rather than just scrolling across their Facebook news feed.
Swap Photos to high-res
Be sure that you've created your account on Zillow and claimed your listing. Once you've done this, Zillow will allow you to edit certain items that it would normally get from the MLS. Items including photos. Typically, your MLS will only allow 25 photos. Zillow will allow you to upload many more. Also, when those photos syndicate over from the MLS, even if you've uploaded high-res photos to the MLS, they are lower-resolution on Zillow. The way to solve this is once you've claimed your listing on Zillow, you can edit the listing and swap the photos for the high-resolution files from your computer.
Zillow Listing Video
When I jump on Zillow, I only see around 5% of the homes with video added to their listings. Zillow specifically says that to get more traffic to your listing, add a video. Zillow favors listings on their sites that include video. If you're in a highly competitive area with lots of listings, this is one way to have your listing be shown at the top of the list when people search on Zillow.
Premier Agent App
To add a video to your listing, you either need to pay Zillow for their premier agent platform to add your professionally edited video, or you can download their premier agent app. Once you've downloaded the app, you can log in and find your listing then go through the steps to add the video right there on the spot. The app walks you through how to do it, and it only takes a few minutes.
A couple of tips before you shoot the video:
- Open blinds, curtains, and turn on all the lights
- Be sure no ones in the home and animals put away
- Take short 2-3 second clips starting from the front exterior, working your way inside, and wrap up with the backyard
- Zillow only allows 2 minutes total, so don't shoot too long or too many clips. You'll find that 2 minutes goes pretty fast
- Connect to the homes wifi and upload as soon as possible, so you don't lose the video that you just shot
Swap Photos to high-res
Just like Zillow above, be sure that you are claiming your listing on Realtor.com and swapping your photos for the high-resolution images that you originally uploaded to the MLS.
20. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
Every Door Direct Mail by the United States Postal Service is the cheapest and most effective method to deliver mail to the neighborhood and surrounding areas. For as little as $.18 per piece of mail plus the cost of printing, you can target mail routes around your listing.
As you can see, having a reliable real estate listing marketing plan does so much for you and your client. It's vital that you not only create your plan but execute it consistently for every listing. Once you have the consistency down, it's only a matter of time before clients start coming out of the woodworks asking you for your expertise!
Any experienced agent knows that listings are the name of the game. The more effectively you can market your listings, the more of them you'll get. I've always felt that the more listing focused my business has become, the more time freedom in my life and business I've received. Now go out there and get some eyeballs on those listings!