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Looking for a sample real estate marketing plan to create your strategy?
We’ve got you covered.
Why You Need A Real Estate Marketing Plan
According to the U.S. Small Business Association, only 56% of small businesses with 50 or fewer employees have a marketing plan. This means almost half of smaller businesses are missing out on leads and sales.
Here are four other reasons why a marketing plan is essential for your real estate agent or investor business.
- It forces you to think about where you’re going with your real estate business. Creating a common goal to drive towards.
- It ensures you that you’re aligned with your company values.
- It serves as a foundation for your marketing activities. If you build a house, you start with a solid foundation. Same thing with your marketing plan.
- Possibly the most important – it gives you a process. Without a process in place, you won’t have the direction that you need and will likely either be going off course or start to feel totally confused about your marketing efforts. The process can also act as a measure of your failures and successes.
Sample “Simple” Real Estate Marketing Plan
At its most basic level, a good real estate marketing plan is answering a series of questions that helps you define your ideal targets, craft your business’s most compelling offers into a cohesive story, and uses good distribution channels to reach your ideal targets.
Here are the questions you need to ask when making a good real estate marketing plan:
- What are your goals?
- What impact do you want to have on your communities?
- Is your market saturated with similar offers, or is it ripe with opportunity?
- How tough is your competition?
- Who is your ideal target?
- What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats?
- What are your compelling offers?
- How will you reach your target audience?
- What is your marketing budget?
- What keywords are the best opportunities in your market?
What is Your Goal?
First things first: you need to set your goals and objectives.
Clearly, state what you want to accomplish for yourself in your real estate business. If you’re an investor, it could be buying 20 properties this year. As a real estate agent, you might be thinking about attaining 15 listings.
Or, in both situations, you could be wanting to get your brand or name out more for recognition. It could be 50 percent of your target market knows who you are. Be sure to set goals that you can quantify so you can record and track your accomplishments.
What impact do you want to have on your communities?
You want your real estate business to be sustainable and build a good relationship within your community. How you approach and treat your clients has a tremendous impact on how your business is viewed within your market.
Your clients have a direct effect on your business reputation, lead volume, and deal volume. But it’s not just your direct clients. Anyone that you interact with can be considered an indirect client. Local residents, Facebook friends, your website host, employees, contractors, partners, and suppliers.
You must constantly be assessing your behaviors and the impact they have on both your local community but also the broader audience.
Then you can assess and find your personal niche within. What events to attend and who to build relationships with. Your community approach will also help you create your immediate and long-term business needs.
Is your market saturated with similar offers?
You want to build strong relationships with your customer base. As you’re maintaining a high value and positive service for your customers, they’re more likely to spread the word among their peers.
If you’re in a competitive market and you’re finding it hard to make your marketing stand about your competition, then be sure to make your service and client experience stand out.
Build your real estate brand identity and your customers will become ambassadors if they see and feel that “above and beyond” connection.
How tough is your competition?
First, you need to identify your competitors. Take into account your potential or future competitors too.
There are a couple of methods you can use to do this.
1. Look at them from a customer’s point of view
If you can look at your competitors from a customer’s point of view, then you’ll be able to spot some of their larger strengths and weaknesses.
It’s a fun yet challenging activity to think like a customer. Why would a customer want to use them as a real estate service? Is it because they’re able to offer more, have faster payment turnaround time, or do they have top tier customer service? These could all be strengths for your competition.
Become your ideal client and put yourself in their shoes. Wonder why you would be more likely to deal with them instead of using your company to accomplish their real estate needs.
2. Look at them from their point of view
Next, take a look from their point of view. This can help you understand their strategy, culture, and attitude towards the market. Take a look at what assets they bring to the field and how you would use them if they were yours. Take a look at what you interpret as their weaknesses.
How could you commit to making those weaknesses into your strengths?
Ask and answer these questions before your analysis:
Before you dive into your real estate marketing competitor analysis, be sure you’re asking the right questions. Here are some common questions to get you started:
- Who are your competitors?
- What types of services are they using?
- How much market share do they have?
- What have been some of their past strategies?
- Are they using the same strategy?
- Are they aggressive with their real estate marketing?
- How competitive are they within the market?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- Are they a threat to you? If so, how big of an impact can they have?
- Does their marketing strategy affect yours or how you do business?
Who is your ideal target?
Create a simple paragraph profiling your ideal real estate target audience. Create a customer avatar in terms of these demographics: sex, age, family, earnings, lifestyle, and geographic location.
Ask yourself questions about your customers such as:
- Are they followers or leaders?
- Are they timid or aggressive?
- Are they introverts or extroverts?
- How often are they likely to move?
- Are they traditional and bare more of a connection to community?
No matter your real estate market, you’ll need to narrowly define them in this section. It is an important step that will guide you as you plan your media and public relations campaigns.
What are your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats?
Performing a SWOT Analysis is a key step when creating your real estate marketing strategy.
The term “SWOT Analysis” sound like a daunting task. But, it can actually be simple. It’s basically broken down into two categories:
- Your internal issues: Strengths and weaknesses
- Your external issues: Opportunities and threats
Performing this analysis will allow you to see what factors will help you achieve your objectives due to your strengths and your opportunities.
It will also point out what obstacles you need to hurdle before you can achieve your real estate goals due to your weakness and/or threats.
Overall, the SWOT analysis assesses your real estate company’s strengths, weaknesses, market opportunities and potential threats to give you insight into the possible issues that can have an impact on your success.
The number 1 goal of a SWOT analysis is to determine and assign all important factors that could positively or negatively have an impact on the success of one of the categories which gives you an in-depth view of your real estate business.
Four Categories Of SWOT:
- What are the advantages of your real estate business?
- What can you do better than your competition?
- What exclusive resources can you use that others can’t?
- How does your market see your strengths?
- What factors into you closing the deal?
- What is your company’s Unique Selling Proposition?
- When considering your strengths, take a look at both your internal employees and external customers/market.
- What might you be able to improve on?
- What locations and markets should you avoid?
- What potential clients within your market might see as your weaknesses?
- What factors cause you to lose the deal?
Again, account for your internal and external clients. Do your clients see weaknesses that you haven’t seen? What are your competitors doing better than you right now?
Weaknesses can be a gut check. But stick with it and be as realistic as you can.
- What positive opportunities are available to you?
- Are there trends that you need to know?
Some of the positive opportunities you can take advantage of are:
- Changes in real estate technology. For example, recording a video testimonial and uploading it to Facebook as soon as you record it.
- Changes within the real estate field. Are more real estate agents becoming investors or vice versa?
- Changes in the economic status and population profile within your market.
- Are there any local events that you can help organize or lead within the real estate niche?
Take a look at your strengths and weaknesses as you approach your opportunities. They can provide you with invaluable information on what you can work harder to improve upon.
- What obstacles do you need to hurdle in your market?
- What are your competitors doing?
- Are there any technical issues that are threatening your market position?
- Do you have cash-flow problems that you need to address?
- Do you have any weaknesses that are threatening your business?
Once you have chosen your real estate business values within the four SWOT categories, then you can develop more of a strategic plan.
For example, once you’ve been able to identify your weaknesses and potential threats, you can create a plan to eliminate, or at the least, minimize them while continuing to improve upon strategies that will make you a more powerful business.
Examples of a SWOT Analysis from Bplans
What are your compelling offers?
What exactly is your compelling offer?
In order to create your compelling offers, ask yourself the following questions:
- Who do you sell or buy real estate to or from? Be highly specific.
- What are the problems that you help them solve?
- How do you solve their problems?
- Why are you better at solving their problems?
Now create your compelling pitch like this:
How [insert who your ideal client is] can [insert verb] [insert the problem] through [insert solution].
Check out Inman’s The Agent’s Ultimate Guide to Crafting Clean, Compelling Listing Copy.
How will you reach your target audience?
Getting your audience to engage with your content is essential for connecting with your target market online. The online real estate market is increasingly growing and vying for client attention.
But, even the investor or agent with a small budget can have great success with the right strategies in place.
Start by narrowing into a highly targeted audience.
If your offering both buyer and seller services, your target currently includes more people in your local market.
For example, focus on only one section of zip codes within your market city. Then expand your area as your finances and business grows.
So, choose a specific area of your market and focus efforts there. Then expand.
A second option would be to focus on the seller or buyer market if you’re a real estate investor. There are specific factors to consider, but marketing towards the seller’s market is most likely the one to go after.
Your marketing costs within major cities are most likely going to be expensive, so media such as Google AdWords might be too high unless you can target slightly out of the city.
If you don’t have the budget, then take advantage of pricing within the suburb markets.
Before diving into your target market, work up your ROI using the Carrot ROI calculator.
The other thing you need to do is get your website organized to target your audience. If that requires creating city-specific pages, then that is what you need to do.
Also be sure to get one of the most overlooked pages, your “About” or company page optimized. Be sure it includes your city or area, as well as how you conduct your business and what your process is. Spell out your strengths and why they should choose you over the competition.
What is your marketing budget?
Having a solid marketing budget is an integral part of being realistic and will help you improve your revenue over time.
If you don’t know your budget, you can overspend on marketing costs. Therefore causing an unwanted and bad experience.
Here are a few steps that can help you organize your budget and to determine where to strategically spend your marketing dollars.
Watch our 4 Step Marketing Budget Formula whiteboard strategy sketch and be sure to check out the Carrot ROI Tool if you need help determining your ROI and kick start your planning.
1. Financial organization
Your first step needs to be organizing your current financial positions. You MUST be specific. If you’re too loose and choose to estimate, it creates an unrealistic budget.
This starts with getting in order your revenue information. You’ll need to know how much revenue your real estate business is making on a monthly basis. Even though your income varies throughout the year, it’s important that you have a number based on reliable revenue (the minimum amount of money you make each month.)
You’ll also need to minus business expenses. Rent, materials, the cost of VA’s, etc.
Any business expense you have must be subtracted from your revenue before nailing down your marketing budget. Setting a realistic budget is one that focuses on income that exceeds expenses.
After you find your disposable income amount available, you’ll need to determine what that money will be put towards. Although marketing is a major area to focus on, don’t forget to set aside a budget for unexpected circumstances and growth.
Separate your money based on your goals. If your primary goal is attracting leads, then you would put more money towards online marketing.
But, if your goal is to hire more VA’s or a full-time assistant, you’ll want to put more income into the growth of your company and set aside less for marketing until you’ve been able to close more deals.
2. Determine where you want to allocate your funds
Once you have calculated what is available to spend on marketing, your next step is organizing and prioritizing your money.
There are really three main elements to how you spend your marketing dollars:
- Budget size
- Your past experiences
- Reaching the optimum target audience
Start by organizing how to spend the budget based on the amount. If you have a small, more limited marketing budget, then you should probably consider Craigslist ads, Facebook ads, local citations, social media posting, and email advertising to attract new clients.
A heavier marketing budget would provide the opportunity to include direct mail, bandit signs, and AdWords to attract an expanded range of clients.
Apart from any budget limits, don’t forget to consider and implement what strategies have worked for you in the past. You might have noticed postcards helped bring in more clients during a specific time of year.
Then do that same strategy again, even if you still have more budget for more expensive marketing methods.
Also, don’t overlook the marketing channels that will help you target and reach your optimum audience. For example, Facebook advertising has become a better channel for targeting motivated sellers, but you still need to create the right audiences in order to filter out potential buyer leads.
Create and document very detailed customer avatars. Then, think about which media they’re more likely to consume. That is the spot where you need to be advertising.
If you’re considering testing a new marketing channel, be sure to allocate some funds for that test. Start off with a small budget, since you don’t know how effective the new channel will be.
For example, if you enter the AdWords marketing channel, start with a small campaign with highly targeted keywords and budget.
Only allocate more budget after you’re able to gain enough data to determine if it’s working for you. If it’s working, then pull more funds into the new marketing channel.
What keywords are the best opportunities in your market?
How do you use real estate keywords? If you’ll only be using them to optimize your website for search rankings, you could be missing out on other ways to gain visibility within your target market.
Get into the mindset to use your keywords within both your online and offline marketing.
Here are some platforms where you can utilize your real estate keywords more:
- Real estate website optimization (homepage, landing pages)
- Real estate content (blog posts, articles)
- Email subject line optimization (prospects, blog posts, articles)
- On and offline branding
- Real estate social media profile optimization (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
- Offline marketing (postcards, bandits signs, direct mail)
Using real estate keywords should not be limited to your digital marketing efforts.
Find different ways to plug them into your offline practices as well.
For example, are you sending out flyers or postcards that are taking advantage of some keywords?
Are you placing bandit signs around your target market with specific messages and a phone number in case they’re sitting in a parking lot and want to write your number down to contact you later?
If you’re using this kind of marketing right now and you’re not using some keywords, then it’s time to readjust your strategy.
Keywords hold a lot of power when it comes to online marketing but can be effective offline too. Just be careful that you’re not infringing on trademarks. If you question a keyword phrase, be sure to check it out first.
If you need help finding the right keywords to optimize your real estate investor website, check out our SEO Keyword Bible with 70+ SEO keywords.
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Summing Up Your Real Estate Marketing Plan
This plan assumes that you’ve got a website that has been proven to convert leads.
If you’re trying to scrape together a bunch of tips to save a few bucks on building your website, you’re doing it wrong. It’s gonna cost you a lot more than the price of the monthly membership to build what we’ve built.
There are a few things you should do first to get that website up and running, and these only take a few minutes:
- Get your testimonials up on the site because social proof and credibility is key to conversions.
- Get your bio up to also build social proof and credibility.
- Make sure the copy on the site reflects your business and is in line with local laws (for example, if you or your team have a real estate license, you’ll need to change the copy to make sure you’re properly disclosing your license… but you should make that into a benefit, since a license gives you more options for sellers than someone operating without one).
Okay, so that last one might be complicated, if you’re totally new to the business… but you need to be making sure you’re aware of the laws around you, since being ignorant isn’t an excuse if you’re trying to get out of a five-figure fine for operating without a license (in some states)…
Which reminds me that I need to mention we’re not attorneys or financial advisors, all of this stuff is just general advice and you need to get specific, professional advice on your real estate investment business…
It’s a really good idea to have a competent lawyer make sure you’re not offering something illegal without knowing it.
There are a couple of ways that you can use these questions…just cut and paste them into a document and start answering them, if you’re ready.
Want our help in making your real estate marketing plan?
Again, If you’re already a Carrot Member, you can download the sample 4 page document. If you’re not a Carrot member yet and you want a little more guidance, you can download our sample real estate marketing plan template.
For other real estate marketing tips check out our Live Carrot Coaching Calls for members (Mastermind Calls) each week. Or, if you’re not a member, take a tour or our Coaching Calls.
Need some direction? Plan out your first 90 days with this Carrot Strategy Sketch.