September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.
This article was last updated September 23, 2022
In every market transition, there are winners and losers. The winners are those agents who differentiate themselves through strategic plans of action.
Let’s be honest, the fast pace of multiple offers and above-listing-price sales has led to most agents just putting a listing on the MLS and spending zero effort on marketing.
Whether it’s happening in your market now or not, a stabilization in the number of transactions and increasing average days on market is imminent. The market is shifting, so agents will have to step up their listing game to thrive.
Sellers know their house can sell. They want to know how you will maximize their price with the fewest headaches for them.
Enter your listing marketing plan.
To help you continue to grow your business as the market normalizes and flex those listing marketing muscles, here’s a step-by-step plan to launch your listing’s marketing — and sell quickly, for more. Watch the full video above to find get more tips on how to keep your sellers in the loop and adoring you.
The 3 P’s of marketing listings
There are three areas to be addressed when putting a home on the market. The 1st P stands for the product. The home. What needs to be done for you to present this home in the best way possible to the largest audience of potential buyers? This means prepping the house, including landscaping, touching up paint, decluttering the home and staging. Make sure you have the product (the house) putting its best foot forward.
The second P stands for pricing. What is your pricing strategy? Understand the current state of your local market, and communicate it in a way that helps the sellers price the property in a way that maximizes their sales price.
The third P stands for positioning. This is where we make sure we get as many people through the house as quickly as possible to find the ideal buyer willing to pay a premium for our seller’s home. This is where marketing comes in.
Preparing your plan
Here’s how to get started:
Anything named has more perceived value. I called my marketing plan “The Listing Launch Formula.” As I sat with sellers, I would communicate something like this:
“Over the past 20 years, with hundreds of listings sold, I’ve honed my seller marketing plan to a process that helps you sell your home for the highest price possible, in the least amount of time, and with the least amount of headaches. I call my system of results The Listing Launch Formula.”
Having a strategic plan of action and naming it will make your listing presentation stand out.
Get ready for launch
Let’s start with the basics. Make sure you have professional photographs, video and 3D virtual tours, like Matterport. The more detailed and professional the photography, the more likely your online marketing will grab the potential buyers’ attention.
Check your signage
Make sure your signage is clean and professional. There’s nothing less appealing than driving up to a pristine home with a dirty sign out front. Your signage is a part of your introduction to neighbors who may be considering selling as well. Put your best foot forward for this listing and potential future business.
Utilize take-one boxes to promote the home as well as yourself. The front of the flyer should be about the listing. Give enough information to pique the buyers’ interests and enough for them to call you for additional information.
Utilize the back of the flyer to introduce yourself or to drive them to your website. QR codes directing people to your website or a video about the home are extremely effective right now. Have your flyers printed and ready to be placed in the take-one box as soon as the sign goes up.
Get some buzz going
Let the neighbors know that the home is coming on the market. Your timing on this will depend on your local rules about coming soon listings, but utilize as much time as your local legislation allows to let neighbors know in advance of the home hitting the market.
Agents can accomplish this in several different ways. The standard most use is direct mail, but door-knocking and phone calls are even more effective.
Door-knocking would include a conversation like this:
“I’m Sally Agent with ABC Realty, and we are about to put your neighbor’s home at 123 Live Oak Street on the market this week. We always like to let the neighbors know, so if you have a friend or family member looking to move into the neighborhood, you have the opportunity to help find your next neighbor.”
The conversation on the phone call is very similar. Utilizing a tool like Sly Broadcast is effective in reaching a large number of neighbors as well. Sly Broadcast is a technology that allows you to upload a group of phone numbers, record one voicemail, and then send it to those voicemail boxes. It’s an effective way to reach a large group of neighbors at a minimal cost.
Reaching out to the neighbors throughout the process will help you stay top-of-mind when they consider selling as well.
Differentiate yourself from other agents by sharing with the seller not just the how of your marketing but why you do certain things. Do the research for your area, but for our local market, Thursdays are the highest traffic days for our websites.
With that in mind, we like to launch our listings on Thursdays to get the maximum exposure possible for our sellers. Most websites highlight new listings at the top of their search pages, so we want our client’s home to be front and center on the highest traffic days possible.
Launching on Thursday also allows us to create a buzz leading into the open house that we schedule for either Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. We like to delay first showings until we do our first open house. This is the way we communicate that to the seller:
“We hold off showings until the open house to generate as many showings of your home as possible. If we are able to have other potential buyers seeing your home at the same time, we can create an environment where fear of loss can generate more emotional offers at higher potential prices for you.”
We also want to utilize the open houses as a chance to meet neighbors who might be considering selling. We like to utilize door-knocking and phone calls to make the neighbors aware of the open house with a slight twist.
We let the neighbors know the open house will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, but we will invite the neighbors to visit between 9-10 a.m. if they would like to avoid our anticipated crowds. If someone shows up between 9-10 a.m., you’ll know they are neighbors and potential future listings.
Maximize early exposure through social media
Social media is a great way to get the word out quickly about your new listing. Here are a few ways to highlight your new listing on a few different platforms:
Facebook offers several different ways to bring awareness to your new listing. Quick video posts of you in front of the home are extremely well received and generate engagement. Posts with links to photos and details of the home on your website also work well. Documenting your activities leading up to your open house works great, too.
Create social graphic posts that are easily shareable for your sellers and their friends/families as well. This gives you the ability to organically reach their connections, which compounds the exposure for the listing and you as the seller’s trusted agent of choice.
Similar to the idea for Facebook, social graphics about the home will work great as posts on Instagram. Use your story to document the sign going up, and show a few highlights of the house through video walkthroughs to prompt interested people to call for more details.
Putting together an Instagram Reel with quick pans of the home’s best amenities is effective when you tag the post with very local hashtags, including the city, neighborhood or area where the home is located.
Professional social graphic posts, videos and short written descriptions with photos work well on LinkedIn. LinkedIn content usually does better when it gets to the point quickly, but short written descriptions of homes do really well here.
Yes, TikTok does work for promoting listings. Use trending songs or voiceovers with photos, videos and details of your new listing to generate a surprising amount of exposure. Don’t discount this up-and-coming format for listing exposure.
A listing should generate two additional clients for your business. Having a strategic marketing plan for your listings will help your sellers, and it will help you, too. Take action now to formulate your marketing plan for listings, and you will see your business grow.