How to Develop a Marketing Plan for Real Estate

An easy to understand outline on how to develop a Marketing Plan for Real Estate Agents. This is an effective and proven plan that I and my colleagues use every day and that will help you market and grow your business.

Real estate is one of the most competitive business sectors. More than other types of businesses, success or failure is determined by how well you market your business. Writing a marketing plan is the first step. This plan serves as your road map for promoting your real estate business successfully, and must be revised annually to reflect changes in your business environment.

Determine the vision for your business

This is the backbone of your entire real estate marketing plan. What do you want to achieve in the short term and in the long term? Create a brief statement describing the service you’ll provide to make clients eager to work with you.Example: We intend to provide [target customer] with [service] that makes them feel [emotion] to work with us — not only during the buying/selling process but also beyond closing, so they’ll refer their friends and family to us.
Example: Our company will change the way [target customers] think about the real estate market. How we provide [service], [service] and [service] will assure them that we are the best partners in real estate.

Delegate your team’s responsibilities

Create a list of your team members and their individual roles and responsibilities. This ensures all areas of business are accounted for and eliminates any confusion and overlap. Here’s an example from our download:
A real estate marketing plan table for delegating a team's responsibilities by name and function.

Identify your target client

Understanding your audience is vital to developing a successful marketing strategy. Is your target client a first-time home buyer, a home seller or a renter? Or are you targeting a more specific subset like relocators, retirees or investors?

What is your target client’s persona?

Once you know who you’re targeting, you can further develop their persona. These important details will make your real estate marketing strategy effective and efficient (remember to follow all applicable fair housing laws in your area). Here are some questions to help establish your client’s persona:

  • Where do they want to live?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their annual household income?
  • What is the household makeup?
  • What do they want from their home?
  • What are their feelings and concerns about searching for and purchasing their home?

What do you want your target client to think of you?

After a client receives your marketing message, how do you want them to perceive your business? Draft a sentence or two describing the ideal scenario.
Example: After receiving our message, we want our target client to believe that our company is available 24/7 and has the people and knowledge to guide them quickly and painlessly through the home-buying or selling process.

How do you want your target client to act?

Do you want them to schedule an appointment? Call for more information? Knowing the desired action in advance can save you time, money and effort when forming and implementing a marketing strategy.Example: We want our target client to call or email our office and schedule an appointment with one of our agents.

 Set Milestones

A general real estate marketing plan provides an outline to achieve a long-term goal. A real estate marketing plan should also consist of tasks and major milestones for new investors to ensure you’re on the right path. Not unlike setting goals, milestones will give investors something to work towards that doesn’t seem too far away. Setting milestones makes even the most monumental tasks seem possible. Therein lies the benefit of setting milestones: investors will gain a sense of accomplishment. The resulting positive mindset is sure to progress the business further, and meeting milestones is one of the best ways to do so.

Identify your overall goals 

There are three types of real estate marketing goals: Business, strategic and tactical.

Business goals 

What does success look like for the business? Is it establishing a number of new clients? Obtaining a number of referrals from past/present clients? Hitting a certain sales figure? Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable. 

A real estate marketing plan example of a business goal.

Strategic goals

What are your strategies for achieving your business goals? Write strategic goals next to your business goals. Example:

Tactical goals

You’ll use these tactics to accomplish your strategic goals, which will in turn lead to achieving your business goals. Example:

Craft a unique selling proposition

A unique selling proposition, or USP, differentiates you from your competition. It’s the most important thing a real estate agent needs for a successful marketing plan. Consider your target client and the challenges they face — how can you provide a solution to their problem and how much are you willing to spend to do so? See what your competitors are doing and offer a better solution. Example:

What differentiates you from your competition?

Map out qualities that make your business unique — then explain why they work and how to improve upon them. Example:
A real estate marketing plan table with three columns for differentiators, how they work and why you know they work.

What steps do you take to maintain your differentiation?

List at least three ways to maintain your USP. Example:
A real estate marketing plan table with a column for differentiators and another for how to maintain them.

Complete a SWOT analysis

Determine your strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats to help understand the viability of your goals. Example:

Use the analysis results to your advantage

Write out a plan to leverage your strengths, overcome your weaknesses, capitalize on your opportunities and eliminate your threats. Example:

Perform a competitive analysis 

Assess your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and write them down. Example:
A real estate marketing plan table listing a competitor, their strengths and weaknesses.

Monitor your competitors’ performance 

Observe what they do and how they’re doing it. You may also want to look at their past performance, including:

  • How many closing sales they have per year
  • The average list price they work with
  • Their percentage of the market (from the MLS)

Evaluate competitors’ marketing efforts 

How are they advertising and branding themselves? Look closely at their efforts — especially those within your farm area:

How is their website structured? Check whether it’s driving leads and what types of ads they’re using.

How are their listings formatted? Look on Zillow and see what images and words they use to attract buyers.

Are they a Zillow Premier Agent? They’ll have a distinct advantage if so — because Zillow Premier Agents are automatically connected with active buyers and sellers.

Are they using print ads? Read the ad section in your paper and flip through local real estate books to see what they’re doing and who they’re targeting.

How are they marketing on social media? See if they’re advertising on Facebook and what groups they’re targeting. Familiarize yourself with their posts, topics and how they brand themselves — and pay attention to how many followers they have.

Are they using Google Ads? Find out what keywords they’re using and the demographics or interests they’re targeting.

What branding are they using? Go around town — look at billboards, flyers and other marketing tactics. Do they have a theme or catchy slogan? Are people talking about them?

Capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses

Once you’ve analyzed the competition, you can develop a plan to outperform by pinpointing areas they’re missing or where they aren’t being effective. Example:

Plan for success

Regardless of whether you are a real estate agent or a real estate developer, you will need a real estate development business plan. This will set you up for success. You can plan your expenses, contingencies, and other risks with the help of a real estate development business plan.

Many people fail when they work in a vacuum without such planning. For example, you can plan your budget for next year’s real estate marketing strategies with the help of a well-documented business plan.

Develop brand awareness

Just like big brand businesses, your real estate business must also strive to develop a brand of its own. It could be under your name or your business’s name. Any real estate sales strategy that you apply must keep this concept in mind.

People often wonder how to get into real estate sales and how to successfully build a business. The answer lies in planning to develop a name brand and using it to market the business for years to come.


Real estate is a balancing act between making a profit and serving customers well. If you want to do well in real estate, then you need the right marketing plan.

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