Like any business, you need a solid marketing plan to flourish. This can be a challenge for both new and established agents. However, once you understand how to create a real estate marketing plan to grow your business, you’ll quickly realize how effective it is to make advertising a priority.
Marketing Plan for Real Estate Agents
The adage that you must spend money to make money still rings true regardless of your industry. But how and where is that money best spent? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the advertising choices that now exist with the ever-evolving digital age. That’s where we can help!
Our step-by-step 12-month real estate marketing plan instructs you on how to use print media marketing to grow your client base. So, you make real connections that generate referrals down the road. By automating your real estate marketing strategy using our magnets for marketing, tools and tips, you can effectively advertise your real estate business without taking on more work than necessary.
In addition, you’ll also learn how to incorporate print media into a simple marketing plan for real estate agents that works! Our direct mail marketing methods have a proven success rate with a high ROI (return on investment.)
Let us put our 30+ years of real estate marketing experience to work for you! Keep reading to learn more about how to develop a real estate business plan to strengthen your marketing. Plus, discover our easy, print media marketing template that spells out when to connect with your target audience and what to send them.
What Is a Marketing Plan in Real Estate?
A real estate marketing plan is an outline for a course of action to promote your real estate business. It details your annual sales goals and growth opportunities. In addition, this guide also describes the specific steps to take throughout the course of the year to advertise your services, develop new leads and gain referrals from your existing client base.
As real estate marketing is heavily dependent on referrals from word-of-mouth endorsements, it’s important that your business plan gives you credibility in addition to familiarizing others with your brand.
How Do I Write a Real Estate Marketing Plan?
This overview guides you on how to create a real estate marketing plan for your business. We also provide information on how much to spend on your advertising when formulating your advertising budget.
Research Your Industry
Research your industry and review your competition. Then identify your target audience and farming areas. (Real estate farming is also known as real estate prospecting.) You want to consider demographics, or who your customer is, as well as psychographics, the reasons why your client base may buy or sell a home.
Once you’ve done this, use this information to help you develop a strong mission statement that speaks to your core audience and helps you stand out from your competitors.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself include:
Determine Sales Goals
After you’ve researched your target audience, you now need to set a sales goal for the year. (You can also set monthly and quarterly goals depending on what works best for you.)
To do this, look back on past years sales as well as the current market. Then use this information to make an estimated guess as to the sales volume and commission you think you can make over the course of the year.
Set a Detailed Real Estate Marketing Budget
Once you’ve set a sales goal, it’s time to determine an advertising budget for your real estate marketing plan. Figuring out how much your annual sales revenue should go toward your marketing budget may seem daunting at first. However, there are basic guidelines to help you get started.
The average amount most businesses spend on advertising is between 2% and 12% of net revenue. Small businesses typically spend a smaller percentage of their net income on marketing. However, if you are a new business trying to gain traction, then you’ll want to spend more on advertising while you work toward becoming established.
The amount spent is also determined by your industry. B2B (business to business) companies generally allot 2-5% toward advertising. Whereas B2C (business to consumer) industries normally spend between 5% and 10% on marketing expenses.
Your budget encompasses more than just the cost of branded marketing products and advertisements. When allocating money for a real estate marketing plan, you need to consider the different types of advertising along with all associated costs. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
How Much Should REALTORS® Spend on Marketing?
Finding the right amount to spend on your marketing as a REALTOR® largely depends on your income. Obviously, new agents have less funds to spend than those who are already established.
While the 2-12% is provided as a guide, most real estate agents spend an average of 10% of their commission income on their advertising efforts.
Analyze Past Real Estate Marketing Strategies
Looking back on past marketing strategies to determine what worked in the past — or what didn’t — can help you choose what direction go for the new year. By analyzing what worked previously and seeing where you can make improvements, you can help you form a more successful marketing plan going forward.
You can then use your past performance as a starting point for expanding on profitable campaigns to make them even more effective.
Create a Real Estate Marketing Calendar
Once you’ve determined your marketing budget, use this information to create a marketing calendar for your real estate business. This calendar will outline the type of media used for each day/week/month of the year as well as how it’s to be distributed.
Track Your Progress
Once you put your marketing plan into action, you need to track your progress. Track your sales and overall ad performance as well as advertising costs. You should then make changes or updates as needed. If something’s not working, figure out why. Then either adapt it to perform better or scrap it for another alternative.
Now that you have the basics of creating a real estate agent marketing plan, keep reading to discover how to use print media marketing for your services. You’ll also find our template for creating a real estate marketing plan specifically for print media marketing.
What is Print Media Marketing?
Print media advertising consists of physically printed materials that you used to communicate with and market to an audience. These materials include newspapers, magazines, postcards, billboards, and brochures. It may also include other physical products such as custom magnets that are branded with the company logo and information.
Why is Print Marketing Important to a Real Estate Business Plan?
Print media is a classic marketing strategy in real estate. However, it continues to work despite the digital age. Even better, it can be used to complement your other advertising strategies to keep you top-of-mind. Not only does print media have a high ROI, but you’re practically guaranteed a high engagement rate.
Where you may struggle with your email open rate or social media likes, print marketing doesn’t face the same challenges. There’s also less competition.
Not only do 86% of consumers read their mail, but direct mail marketing has shown a 10% increase in new customers when utilized as a marketing activity.
As print mediums are tangible, they are a more durable and longer lasting option than digital media. They are also more likely to reintroduce the consumer to your advertisement through repetition.
By incorporating our print media real estate marketing plan you’re your advertising strategy, you’ll not only save time and stay on budget, but you’ll also see increased growth over time.
Once you’ve learned how to create a real estate marketing plan, you should allocate a percentage of your advertising budget to print media.
Why is Repetition Key to Real Estate Marketing?
Applying your branding across all your print media materials helps to reinforce your brand. Just like with digital marketing, your target audience will start to recognize you immediately as they are repeatedly exposed to your real estate agent marketing efforts.
Repetition branding can mean bigger profits, better name recognition and more referrals. With this in mind, we recommend sending out at least four promotional items of value throughout the year.
12-Month Real Estate Marketing Plan
Following is our template for a 12-month real estate marketing plan for print media. This plan breaks down the steps to take each quarter to follow up with your target audience and make new connections to gain leads.
Just like in retail, it’s important create a marketing plan for real estate a quarter ahead. This gives you ample time to schedule out your strategy based off the prior year’s results. It also allows for the time it takes for print materials to be produced and mailed out to prospects and clients. This ensures materials arrive in a timely manner and your advertising doesn’t miss a beat.
First Quarter Marketing Plan for Real Estate
For first quarter, we advise you choose one of the following sticky marketing products:
Baseball season starts each year either in late March or early April. Therefore, magnetic baseball schedules are the perfect way to kickstart your advertising for Q2.
To ensure your baseball schedule magnets arrive in customers’ hands before the season starts, we recommend that you place your order as early as possible in Q1. Not only does this allow adequate time to customize your sports schedules and ship them, but it also guarantees you the best pricing.
Pre-orders for our baseball team magnets start around mid-December with the absolute best product deals. If you need to increase your spending before the end of the year, this is a great opportunity to get additional tax deductions along with significant savings.
Otherwise, baseball team sports schedules for the current year officially launch in January. As the season starts around the same time as Q2, we advise you purchase these products in January, but no later than February to reach customers at the start of the new season.
Household Reference Magnets
If baseball isn’t big in your area or your target audience isn’t receptive to sports team promotions, then we recommend you send out a non-dated, custom magnet instead.
Our household reference magnets are always a hit. Featuring local phone directories, emergency tips, home maintenance tips, or kitchen measurements, these fridge magnets are a great way to represent your business! Not only do these magnets provide information that customer’s will want to keep handy on the fridge, each one can be fully customized with your business branding and contact information.
Another alternative to baseball schedules this time of year are our line of magnetic notepads. Notepads are an inexpensive and practical way to provide the recognition you want. Designed with a card stock backer and non-toxic magnet, these memo pads and to do lists also have a kitchen conversion chart and password keeper on the back. So, it will stick around on the refrigerator even after the pages are gone.
Second Quarter Real Estate Marketing Plan for Agents
Staying a quarter ahead with print marketing materials, second is the best time to buy football and festival schedules as well as magnetic tear-off calendars.
Here are the products we suggest ordering during Q2:
Promotional Football Schedule Magnets
Second quarter places a huge emphasis on football! After all, it is considered one of America’s favorite pastimes. Our real estate football schedule magnets are incredibly popular among prospects and clients. They are also one of the must have magnets for real estate marketing each and every year.
We launch our football schedule magnets in April. This gives you plenty of time to customize and distribute them before kick off in September.
Choose up to 14 teams to customize your NFL or college fb schedules. Then let our magnetic sports schedules keep your contact information in view for the duration of season. By ordering your schedules in Q2, you can ensure they are delivered ahead of football season which kicks off in the beginning of Q3.
Festival and Event Schedules
Summer is peak festival season. Therefore, creating a magnetic festival or event schedule around local festivals, events and celebrations is a great way to connect with your audience. You can even create magnetic schedules that give a line of musical events for an area music festival or highlight weekly family activities that take place at your city’s farmer’s market.
Make sure you plan and order festival schedules as early in Q2 as possible, so they reach your audience in time. Alternately, you can also purchase these customized magnets in Q1 as soon as you have the details you need from area businesses to complete your custom content.
Magnetic Tear-Off Calendars
Tear-off real estate calendars are one of our top-selling products each year — and for good reason! Not only are we home to the ORIGINAL magnetic tear-off calendars — Yep, we made them FIRST! — but this product is PROVEN to work.
A customer favorite, our yearly refrigerator pad calendars present dozens of ideas to elevate your marketing strategy. You’ll love our exclusive backer design that meets the needs of professional industries and real estate agents. While our house-shaped toppers are perfect for REALTORS®.
While most agents schedule their calendar mailings to arrive either just before or directly after Thanksgiving, we launch the new calendar lineup for the following year in June. Therefore, the end of Q2 is the optimal time to order your promotional calendars for your real estate marketing plan. Not only will you be guaranteed to the best selection, but you will also receive the best price.
Third Quarter Real Estate Business Plan
Your 3rd quarter marketing plan for your real estate business includes these products:
Real Estate Magnetic Calendars
Planning ahead remains key! If you didn’t order magnetic calendars in Q2, then you don’t want to miss this opportunity in Q3. Our tear-off calendars are an affordable year-round marketing solution that you don’t want to skip!
If you missed buying your branded calendars for your real estate marketing plan early on, then we advise you complete your customization and make your purchase no later than the beginning of October. This ensures that your calendars get mailed out before the end of the year. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider a New Year mailing instead. Or, for mid-year calendar magnets, try our year-at-a-glance calendars.
You can further explore ways to use promotional calendars for your marketing here.
Custom School Calendar Magnets
Back-to-school season is always a momentous occasion for households with children. Help parents and teachers keep track of important dates throughout the school year while also keeping your contact information visible.
School schedule calendar magnets are a great way to show that you care. Clients will be sure to show their appreciation with repeat business and referrals when you incorporate this useful marketing tool into a business plan for real estate.
For schools starting in early August, we recommend jumping the gun on these during 2nd quarter to be delivered in July. Otherwise, if kids head back to school after Labor Day, order your magnetic schedules in July to be distributed the month in August.
Basketball and Hockey Sports Schedules
Like baseball and football, basketball and hockey are also huge with sports fan. Therefore, these custom sports schedule magnets are another great addition to a yearly marketing plan for real estate agents.
Whether your town has a college team or your community roots for one of the pros, our basketball schedule magnets are a slam dunk when it comes to growing connections. Not only do we customize each of these sport schedules with up to any three teams, but your branding is also prominently displayed on every magnet card, regardless of the format.
Together, millions of Americans and Canadians follow a favorite hockey team. Pulling some of the most avid and devoted sports fans in the arena, hockey is a no-brainer for marketing real estate if your community can't stay out of the rink. Our hockey schedule magnets are available in three die-cut shapes with your choice of both American and Canadian teams.
Fourth Quarter Print Media REALTOR® Marketing Plan
The end of the year aligns with the largest holiday season of this. Therefore, 4th quarter is a prime opportunity to thank clients for their business, loyalty, and referrals. It’s also a great chance to refresh for image for the upcoming year.
Recommended fourth quarter real estate marketing products include:
Real Estate Magnetic Calendars
Great things bear repeating. That’s one reason why we keep pushing our calendar magnets — they really are effective! If you’re late getting started on your 12-month real estate marketing plan, not to worry. Our tear-off calendars make a big impact even as a first of the year mailing. If you waited too long to send calendars out before Christmas, we recommend sending out a calendar in the new year.
Our New Year’s themed calendars are perfect for January. Or mail out our popular recipe calendars. Not sold on either of these options? We also provide additional cover themes to fit any niche!
Client Gifts from REALTORS®
Magnets USA® and LifeLong Gifts™ both feature a unique lines of client gift ideas for real estate pop-bys, referral thank you's, and small tokens of appreciation. All of our marketing gifts can be personalized in full color with your information and custom branding.
Choose from our amazing selection of branded bottle openers and kitchen scrapers for affordable everyday marketing products. Or choose from our selection of upscale gifts including personalized kitchen cutlery, kitchen gadgets, and custom wood cutting boards.
As the holidays are the perfect opportunity to send thank you gifts, we set this as a 4th quarter task. However, there’s not wrong time to send a gift. So, don’t miss the chance to give real estate closing gifts or other thank you gifts in addition to client holiday gifts, throughout the year.
Custom Business Cards
The New Year is the perfect time to refresh your image! That makes 4th quarter the perfect time to stock up on custom business cards for upcoming conferences and networking events.
If you haven’t updated your photo for your business within the past 5 years, add this expense to your real estate marketing plan for the year! (Discover pointers for your next business portrait along with other great real estate marketing tips here.) You can also find tips on how to design a business card here.
More Ways to Build Business Relationships through REALTOR® Marketing
In addition to these quarterly gentle marketing methods for your 12-month real estate marketing plan, we also advise making personal connections with your customer base in between your advertising efforts. This includes sending out personalized notecards or greeting cards.
Creating custom cards is a wonderful way to nurture your business relationships. Not only are they well received by clients, but they are also an easy and affordable way to increase your profits.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, This clearly illustrates how setting aside a small amount of time to build and maintain quality relationships with clients can help you generate not only more sales, but referrals as well. Therefore, we highly promote using custom greeting cards monthly as part of every 12-month marketing plan for real estate agents.
Reasons to Send Greeting Cards as Part of a Real Estate Marketing Plan
There are so many wonderful reasons to send greeting cards to clients. Whether you buy and write out custom notecards in bulk or use a greeting card service for business, here are just a few of the many occasions you can take advantage of to stay in communication with prospects and existing customers as part of your marketing efforts:
Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Help You Implement Your Business Plan
Once you’ve established a marketing plan for your real estate business, it’s time to put it into action. If you aren’t sure how to best go about advertising your business, we’ve put together some great REALTOR® marketing tips, tricks, and ideas to help you get the most reward from your efforts.
From real estate branding to writing a killer real estate bio, we have the marketing advice you need to help you propel your business forward into the new year. Explore more real estate marketing ideas here.