Selling your home requires more than just publishing your listing on the internet. You need to understand the audience your listing is will target, what marketing channels you’re going to use to reach them, and how you’re going to message them. As a listing agent, the one thing I make sure each and every seller gets is a well-rounded marketing plan. When you begin to interview real estate agents to list your home, it’s crucial to get this information from them. After all, you want to make sure you know how your home is going to be seen by people. So what is a listing marketing plan and why do you need one? Get all of the details here.
What a Marketing Plan for Your Listing Looks Like
A marketing plan for your listing is a comprehensive overview how you plan to get your home in front of the right audience of buyers. While publishing your listing to various websites is a great start, using this method alone will result in a longer lead time for finding your buyer. There are a number of channels and components that should be considered in a thorough marketing plan. I’ve outlined a few important ones below.
Your Target Audience
The first thing you’ll want to define is whom your listing is targeted towards. This will depend on various external factors like location, home size, aesthetic and amenities. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily want to advertising a listing to young families if the home is a townhouse located in a 55+ community. Instead, you’d likely want to target 55+ retirees looking to downsize. Your real estate agent should have a comprehensive understanding of buyer audiences and their home preferences in your area.
A S.W.O.T. Analysis
An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats inherent to your property is always a good exercise. Even the most perfect of properties typically have one of each. Knowing and understanding where your home excels and where it falls short will help you price and position your listing in the marketplace. An example of an opportunity might be this: the home down the street from you is the exact same model. You know the owners put $50k into redoing the floors and kitchen and they just sold their home for $150k more than yours is currently valued at. An opportunity could be spending the time and money on making similar enhancements. Work with your real estate to determine which components of the S.W.O.T. analysis could be worth further consideration.
Your Marketing Channels
There are a number of different marketing channels that should be considered in your marketing plan. How and where you share your listing will largely be determined by the audience you are trying to target. Below are some examples of areas your real estate agent may want to publicize your home.
Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
At the very least your real estate agent should be posting your home on the MLS, unless you’ve discussed otherwise. This is a service that only licensed professionals have access to and it makes your listing immediately visible to thousands of buyer representatives.
When we talk about syndicate websites we are talking about Zillow, Redfin, Trulia, Realtor.com, and the hundreds of others that buyers use to find homes. Generally speaking, listing on MLS will share your home on these syndicates as well. Ask your real estate agent where your home will be posted. Syndicate websites are the most efficient way to amplify the exposure of your listing.
Many real estate agents, like myself, have a customized website they use to promote their business and their listings. Having a dedicated page or, in some cases, a dedicated website for your listing is another great way for you to share your listing with their readers. Be sure to see what custom websites your real estate has access to and how they plan to leverage them when listing your home.
The more classic way of sharing your home is through an open house. There are two primary types of open houses: a broker’s open and a buyer’s open.
A broker’s open generally happens when your home is newly listed. Your real estate agent will reach out to other agents in your community and invite them to tour the home. The hope is that they’ll share it amongst their database of buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 29% of buyers found their home through another real estate agent.
A buyer’s open is the classic sign-on-a-street open house where curious buyers will come and tour your home without needing to make an appointment. It’s great way to get in front of your potential buyers. Talk with your real estate agent about open houses and your scheduling preferences early on.
Social media is an amazingly effective method of sharing your home in a highly targeted way. Whether you are spending money on targeted social media ads or posting your listing organically, it can be a useful tool to promote your listing. Get a good understanding from your listing agent on how social media will be used and if at all. Some great platforms to ask about are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and NextDoor.
Print media can be a great way to attract buyers, especially when it comes to luxury listings. Many cities and towns have local newspapers and magazines that are ripe for real estate listings. Ask your listing agent what plans they have for your home being featured in local or national print media.
Equally as important as the marketing tactics is the timeline. When and where will activities be taking place? It’s a good idea to get a sense of timing from your listing agent and ensure that schedule lines up with your personal timline and goals.
Why You Need a Marketing Plan
For my seller clients, a marketing plan is always part of the package and there are a number of reasons why your listing needs one. From understanding your agents knowledge and expertise to ensuring your goals as a seller are met, here are a few things to consider.
It Will Demonstrate Your Agent’s Organization
Any agent that provides you with a thorough marketing plan probably has a good sense of what they’re doing. Use it as a conversation piece to truly understand how they’ll actively commit to selling your home.
It Will Give You and Your Agent a Roadmap
In real estate, there is a often lot happening behind the scenes. The impact is that many clients often feel that little is happening. While a good real estate agent should be in constant communication, a solid marketing plan will give you a good understanding of where things are at. For example, having the period before your home is listed on your timeline (where staging, photography and copy editing are taking place) will have you feeling confident that tasks are underway.
Time Is of the Essence
A home that sits on the market for long periods of time statistically sells for below its asking price. Often times, before a buyer even has the chance to walk through its doors, it’s stigmatized as having something wrong with it. You want to drum up as much excitement for your home as quickly as possible to receive multiple competing offers. The result could be the difference between an offer over asking and one that is under asking. The S.W.O.T. analysis is a key piece in understanding how to price your home for maximum buyer interest.
There are a number of items included in a listing marketing plan and many reasons why you should have one. As you set out to list your home with a real estate agent, be sure you understand what’s in their marketing tool set and how far they’ll go to get your home sold.
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All of my clients receive a custom-tailored marketing plan for their listing. Contact me today to get started on yours.
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