Ultimate Guide to Creating a Winning Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan
Best Practices for New, Experienced and Successful Listing Agents*
Win the Listing:
Create a Winning Listing Presentation
What Home Sellers Expect from their Listing Agent
Today’s sellers are looking for agents who are masters of real estate technology. Sellers want agents who are enthusiastic about selling their home; but, with more buyers viewing home listings online, a strong digital marketing strategy is becoming even more essential to staying competitive.
At the foundation of any great listing are high quality photos and a detailed property description. Beautiful, high-resolution photography is more likely to catch the attention of online browsers, but there’s also a big opportunity to stand out even more by using more rich media in listings, such as downloadable and interactive floor plans and virtual tours.
Similarly, more than a quarter of buyers (39%) use videos in their home search, but only 11% of agents use them.
Leveraging desired, yet underused, rich media such as interactive floor plans and virtual tours, maps and video helps demonstrate to sellers that you are on top of the latest trends and capable of finding the right buyer for their home.
General Listing Presentation Tips
What you share in your listing presentation matters, but so does how you say it. Here are some general tips for making a good impression.
Practice. Whether you're just starting out or updating your presentation, run through it with colleagues several times to gain confidence in your delivery and to achieve a more relaxed, conversational tone.
Watch your time. Are you speaking too fast? Are you lingering too long in some areas or going off on a tangent? Aim for a crisp presentation that feels polished without feeling cold and impersonal.
Be prepared. Make sure your tablet or laptop is charged and that you have a charging cord handy. If presenting in person, don’t forget to bring a hard copy of your presentation or, alternatively, send a link to the presentation as a follow-up opportunity.
No matter your experience level, there's always something new to learn and ways to improve your technique.
Presentation Tips for New Agents
Know the property. What history or features make this house unique? What renovations or appliance upgrades will make the listing more attractive to buyers? Understanding the full picture of a property before you present it to potential clients will help you align with their goals. Conduct as much research as possible on the property ahead of time.
Get the client’s perspective. Ask questions upfront to better understand what the client perceives as the top selling features and the main areas in which they feel you should focus. Also, try to gauge how much time they have for the presentation. If they’ve sold multiple properties in the past, they may not need a long presentation; if they’re new to the process, they may need more hand-holding.
Know the area. Is the neighborhood walkable, bikeable or car-dependent? How close are essential services and community resources? Are there attractive points of interest nearby? What pain points might the seller want to plan a reactive response for such as noise, traffic or parking? Explain to potential sellers that you want to help buyers see themselves living in the home, not just buying it.
Share reporting data. Share any reports that indicate buyer demand, pricing trends, number of comparable active listings, average days on market in the area and other relevant data.
Show the comps. How does this property compare to others that have recently sold? How quickly have comparable properties been selling? Start with the property type (single family home, duplex, etc.) and location, and then add any other relevant factors like age, condition, amenities and more. The more specific you can be, the more confidence the seller will have in your estimates and marketing plans.
Outline your marketing plan. Who is the ideal buyer? What unique needs or desires do they have? What online and offline strategies will reach that ideal buyer? What steps will you take to prepare the property for listing, such as offering high quality photography, an interactive floor plan or a virtual tour?
Presentation Tips for Experienced Agents
Experienced agents will want to incorporate all of the above best practices plus the following:
Share testimonials. Make sure to include positive feedback you’ve received from previous clients, namely seller testimonials that communicate specific, positive experiences and competency. Learn more tips about how to ask for a client testimonial.
Presentation Tips for Successful Agents
Successful agents will want to incorporate all of the above best practices plus the following:
A list of recommended vendors. Are there issues that need to be addressed before listing, such as replacing floors, interior and exterior painting, or leaky roofs? Providing a list of tried-and-trusted vendors testifies to your experience and will help expedite the home preparation process.
Bring your marketing plan to life. How have you successfully marketed listings in the past? Pull examples of similar properties from your website, blog or social media accounts to illustrate your acumen as a successful agent.
Listing Presentation Checklist
Your listing presentation is your chance to show why you’re more capable of selling the client’s home than other agents. Use this checklist to help win your next listing.
Include the following slides in your digital presentation deck and print pages as a leave-behind.
You, your company name and a short recap of your experience
Key features or history
Suggested upgrades or renovations
Nearby resources, services and attractions
Traffic level, noise and parking
Recent comparable property sale ranges
Recent comparable property time on market
Ideal buyer’s wants and needs
Online and offline strategies (highlight your strengths!)
Overview of necessary steps
Examples of your previous marketing plans in action
Concrete results you’ve achieved
Copies of your presentation or one-sheets
Prepare Your Listing:
Create a Successful Listing Marketing Plan
Successful listing marketing plans include digital channels that go beyond the MLS. You can't be what the industry calls a "post and pray" agent, hoping that once your listing hits the MLS, the right buyers will find it. Consider using a dedicated web page for certain properties and rich media offerings from Listing Media Services to differentiate your listings.
How Buyers Find and Interact with Listings
As referenced earlier, 95% of buyers interact with online listings during their home search. Providing a combination of high-level and immersive features in your listings lets buyers see how the property addresses their needs and imagine all the possibilities.
To strike this balance, include the essentials such as:
- Details about the property and others like it that recently sold
- Floor plans
- Neighborhood information
- Your contact information
- Information about upcoming open houses
Also, include digital opportunities to learn and explore, such as:
- Exterior and interior photos
- Interactive floor plans and virtual tours
- Virtual open houses
How to Market Listings if You're a New Agent
Successful listing agents agree that marketing takes effort. Use your time and energy efficiently by playing to your strengths, while also identifying the most important skills to next-level your marketing plan.
List Where People Look.Make the most of online resources, including MLS and third-party aggregators, such as Zillow.
Photography.High quality, well-lit and inviting photographs of both the interior and exterior are crucial to getting your listings seen by buyers. Consider a turnkey photography solution such as Listing Media Services, which can provide photography with fast turnaround.
Virtual Tours. While DIY tours are possible using smartphone apps, the quality of your equipment and your photography skill level are critical in presenting a professional package. If the quality of the virtual tour differs too much from that of your still photos, a buyer may question what it’s “really like.” Here again, Listing Media Services can help by providing professional-quality, immersive virtual tours, along with photography and interactive floor plans, from one place.
Print. While digital is the new frontier in listing advertising, don't ignore tried-and-true print marketing. In certain markets, print mailers and advertising can help an agent cut through the online noise and target specific markets. Your local office supply store may provide design and print services. For professional and stylish print materials, consider hiring a designer and using a professional print shop.
Establish your social media presence. Create a business presence on at least one social media platform. Social media is not only great for sharing your content, but also helps you identify housing trends and messaging techniques before they’re fully mainstream.
How to Market Listings if You're an Experienced Agent
Experienced agents will want to incorporate all of the above best practices plus the following:
Develop your storytelling skills. Learn to craft catchy descriptions that spotlight at least one enticing quality of the home as a hook.
Upgrade Your Media. A professional photographer’s equipment, experience and editing skills can make a huge difference. Consider adding aerial drone photography or video walkthroughs as well for total coverage and visibility.
Test new offline campaigns.Try a new format for your print marketing material, such as direct mail pieces.
Strategize your social media. Develop a regular schedule of themed posts. Interact with your social media community to find out what your audience cares about most. Keep in mind that you can post the rich media content you already have, like video walkthroughs, on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram. Get creative with the different content options available on these platforms to gauge customers’ response and adjust accordingly.
How to Market Listings if You're a Pro
Veteran agents will want to incorporate all of the above best practices plus the following:
Optimize your listings. Tag the MLS description with important keywords so the listing appears high in Google search results for open houses.
Launch your own website. If you don't have one already, consider hiring a website designer to build your own site. Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to build search engine visibility.
Build your own landing pages. Give your rich media a home by creating dedicated web pages for each of your listings.
Enhance photography metadata. File names and alt text help search engines index and retrieve your images. File names should be unique but clear (e.g., the address of the property and the room in the image). Alt text dictates what’s shown if a browser can’t display images or what’s heard if someone uses a screen reader. Accurate and useful file names and alt text improve SEO and accessibility for buyers that use screen readers.
Expand your social media presence. Use the expertise you’ve gained on one platform to build your presence on others. If you don’t have one already, LinkedIn is a great place to establish your business presence by posting local community trends and your latest tips for sellers, in addition to your listings.
Listing Preparation Checklist
Gaining a competitive edge in marketing your listings is more important than ever. Use this checklist to create the marketing strategy best suited for each property listing.
Use MLS and third-party aggregate sites
Add a compelling hook to the description
Embed keywords in descriptions
Create a webpage for each listing
Build your own website to showcase all your listings
Prepare for All Visual Media Capture
Ensure interior spaces are clean, decluttered and well-lit
Ensure exterior spaces are freshly landscaped and well-lit
Edit photos to enhance details and unify coloring
Consider aerial photography
Create image metadata and optimized filenames
Interactive Floor Plan and Virtual Tour
Make your floor plans clickable to see rooms within the perspective of the overall floor plan
Incorporate home walkthroughs
Include neighborhood and special community features
Pick your favorite platform to use daily
Schedule relevant, themed content
Build a professional presence on LinkedIn
Add new social platforms over time
Create Just-listed postcards
Consider direct mail
Advertise in regional publications (e.g., community magazines, newspapers)
Incorporate flyers and brochures
Build a presentation folder or packet
Incorporate flyers and brochures
Experiment with billboards
* The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Winning Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan is intended to provide helpful information and tips to all agents, at any stage in their real estate career.