“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein


On our Real Estate Marketing blog we certainly spend an inordinate amount our fair share of time talking about real estate marketing and specifically online marketing and the necessity to have strong SEO, SEM, SERP’s and keywords in order to have a fighting chance for any online presence.

Yet, I know the majority of agents, both seasoned as well as those just starting out, still want to hold to some proven, traditional ways of generating business opportunities and those always elusive leads.

We’ve shared multiple posts on the subject of offline marketing and tried and true marketing methods like farming your neighborhood. However, what we may have been remiss in talking about is how you go about creating a real estate marketing plan.

In today’s real estate market, there is a high level of thought and action that goes into online marketing. But that is simply an extension of what your overall real estate marketing plan entails.

Best Practices When Creating a Real Estate Marketing Plan


Before you get too crazy ordering hundreds and thousands of dollars in marketing peripherals, you need to lay out a solid plan to insure you don’t run out of money, time and enthusiasm.

As a nearly 20 year veteran of the real estate industry, holding positions from Brokerage owner to Managing 100’s of agents for major real estate firms, I can tell you there is a definitive “fly by the seat of your pants” mentality to this business.

Why? Because it’s hard!

And most real estate professionals don’t realize (until it’s too late sometimes) they are the CEO of their own company and they have 1 employee (hint, that’s you) that has little to no training on how this all works.

From the cost-to-market through the management of time, most real estate professionals simply do not run their real estate business like a company.

From the moment you start your day, you have a job. I’m not talking about your career…I’m talking about your day-to-day function to operating your real estate business.

That job is to:

  • Increase your exposure
  • Increase your business
  • Increase your income
  • Most importantly, Increase your quality of life


First Step to Creating Your Plan


Have a Budget and stick to it!

This is where most real estate professionals fail…they don’t set a marketing budget or they don’t have a marketing budget to set! The good news is, Real Estate Marketing can be a low to no budget activity for anyone!


Low to No Cost Real Estate Marketing Ideas…

  • Door Knocking
  • Social Media
  • Brokerage Provided Material
  • Partner with a Team
  • Holding Open House


Second Step to Creating Your Real Estate Marketing Plan


Broadcast and Distribution

Some of the most effective real estate marketing is top of mind and word or mouth. In just about all cases, the reason why someone looking to buy, sell or invest in real estate decides to hire a specific agent is through a referral or by them asking around the office or church.

Whatever the means people are using to look for a real estate agent, it generally starts with, “Who would you recommend to help us (me) buy and/or sell our (my) house?”

It’s a great practice to get into your spheres mind and stay there!

This too can be a very low or no cost marketing plan but you have to be consistent and you can never stop targeting your sphere and influencers.

‘influencers’ (/inflo͝oənser/ verb 1. someone you know who wants to see you succeed and has folks they know to whom they can sing your praises.)


Low to No Cost Action Items to Broadcast and Distribute…

  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • B2B
  • Churches, Community Centers and Local Schools


Final Step to Creating Your Real Estate Marketing Plan


Be S.M.A.R.T. with your real estate marketing

You caught me…I stole this from Floyd Wickman! It’s as true now as ever…



Have a plan and do your best to stick to it! Certainly, you will see a time to increase or decrease your budget and scale of your marketing plan but maintaining a specific message and overall ‘readability’ to your marketing is key.




Again, this is where we see a good number of folks run into trouble. They simply do not set a budget or a time table for their marketing plan and either run out of money to sustain their marketing or simply give up because they perceive a lack of return. Most direct mail campaigns don’t ‘bare fruit’ for several months.

You need to be in this thing for the long haul and your budget has to be such that you can go at this with the knowledge there may be stretches where you will get little or no action.


Action Oriented


There needs to a clear and concise reason why folks are getting your marketing. Whether you are looking for new buyer or pushing hard to be the listing leader in your farm. The folks receiving your mailers and email blasts should know what to expect…even before they read your piece.

Also, have a clear ‘Call-To-Action’ so folks are made aware of any special value proposition you have or anything that sets you a part from the others. Remember, there are a ton of folks doing what you do…don’t just be another agent in the crowd.




Any return on investment must be measured with the fact you have to know your market and quantify what your farm realistically looks like.

  • Is there enough inventory in your sphere?
  • Is there a fairly high turnover rate?
  • Are the price points such that there are plenty of buyers?
  • Does your farm have more than a few agents working it?


Track Your Numbers


Nope, this one is not part of the S.M.A.R.T acronym but still, a factor most take in to account when they start their marketing plan.

Before you start spending money and hitting your farm with tons of info, you should know how many folks are getting your message.

  • Is your farm big enough to justify the cost?
  • Can you spend less money by door knocking and reach a larger sphere? (The answer to that is always YES)
  • Is your budget already set and can you maintain a marketing plan…month after month after money!



You may have noticed, the majority of Real Estate Marketing ideas outlined above are offline action plans that do not require anything other than determination and hard work. Don’t get caught up in the online marketing chatter…particularly if this is something that will require a steep learning curve or lots of money.

Effective real estate marketing is simple…it’s just not always easy.

If you’re willing to do the things others are not…YOU WIN!!!!