Real Estate Listing Marketing: How to Successfully Market a Listing
Sometimes homes sell themselves--but most of the time, there's a real estate agent working very hard behind the scenes to get the job done successfully.
After helping thousands of real estate agents sell homes faster and for more money, we've collected all of our best real estate listing marketing tips. Read on to learn how to successfully market any real estate listing.
- 7 Real Estate Listing Marketing Tips Before Publishing
- 7 Tips to Market a Real Estate Listing After Publishing
- Creating a Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan
7 Real Estate Listing Marketing Tips Before Publishing
Successfully marketing a real estate listing starts long before a home is live on a multiple listing service (MLS). In fact, you should develop a real estate listing marketing plan before you have a new listing so you're ready to impress clients with your marketing ideas during the initial listing presentation. In fact, we've already done a lot of work to help you list a home by creating a collection of new listing checklists, which you can download for free and customize here.
When it comes to preparing to publish a home for sale, start with the following tasks...
1. Identify the Property's Features
Before you can promote any listing, you need a full, clear understanding of the property's positive and negative features. Even though every buyer has different preferences, it's extremely important to understand what the majority of buyers want.
Walk through the home and write a list of every notable feature in the home - from the most obvious things (like an open-concept layout and natural lighting) - to the more minor, potentially forgettable things (like ceiling fans). Make sure to also consider the exterior of the home, the location, and the neighborhood. Think about who might fit best in this home based on the layout, location, style, or any other factors.
Related: 19+ Outdoor Staging Ideas
You should also record features that could be viewed negatively by the target homebuyers. You can then address these directly by putting a positive spin on them and even using virtual staging to make the full potential of the home crystal clear to potential buyers.
2. Write a Great Listing Description
With a complete grasp of the type of home, the pros and cons, and your potential audience, you can start implementing your real estate marketing strategy by writing an effective listing description. Even though the most impactful tool to sell a house is your listing photos, your listing description is an ideal place to make sure buyers notice all the great features of the house that might not come across in photos.
For example, all new plumbing or solar panels are important and popular features of a home but aren't easy to see. After the listing photos capture the buyer's attention and peak their interest, the listing description should convert a buyer's interest into action. After reading it, you'll want the buyers to think, "I want to see this home today."
An effective listing description should be:
- Easy to read (not in all caps, not a huge block of text without paragraphs, not containing poor grammar or punctuation)
- Action-oriented (the last line should have a clear call to action)
3. Take Professional Photos
If you want to sell a home quickly and for the most money, you will want to have a variety of high quality photos taken of the home, which you can use to market the property. Publishing a few and/or low-quality photos will hurt your ability to effectively market and sell a home.
Which property do you think buyers would rather walk through? Option 1, with two photos of the home's exterior that look like this:
Image via Craigslist
Or option 2, with approximately 20 photos of the interior and exterior that look like this:
Virtually staged photo from Stuccco
If those houses were the same size, value, and even had similar features - which one do you think would sell faster and for more money? Option 2.
An easy and effective way to help you market a property is to take great photos of the property.
Although you can learn to take the photos yourself, we recommend hiring a professional real estate photographer. It doesn't take much time to learn how to take a photo - but it does take a lot of practice and equipment to learn how to do it well. In our experience, it's well worth the investment to hire a professional photographer who can snap beautiful photos quickly and easily on your behalf.
4. Virtually Stage the Home
A study done by the NAR (National Association of Realtors®) showed that staged homes get more showings, sell faster, and sell for more money. If you are tasked with selling a home that is vacant or poorly furnished and you choose to not invest in staging it, you are hurting your chances of selling it quickly and for the highest price.
The reason a Realtor may choose to not stage a home is because traditional home staging is expensive and time-consuming and does not guarantee that the photos of the staged property will end up looking great. The good news is that there's now an alternative to asking the homeowners to move out of their home, waiting for traditional home stagers to move in inventory, and paying hundreds or thousands of dollars. That alternative is called virtual staging.
Example of a virtually staged basement from Stuccco
Virtual staging can help buyers visualize themselves in the home and massively increase the perceived value of any space quickly, easily and affordably. In fact, you can get a property's virtually staged photos done in less than 24 hours for as little as $29 per photo. To learn more about virtual staging, read the full guide to virtual staging.
Example of a virtually staged living room from Stuccco
If you decide you'd like to take photos of a home on your own, here's a guide that walks you through how to take photos for virtual staging.
5. Film a Property Video
Video is another form of content that helps increase your reach and engagement if you're planning on marketing the listing online (and we think you should be!). You can even create a Youtube channel to gather all your property videos and potentially generate more buyer leads and listing leads. By using real estate tools like Matterport you can generate 3D renderings and shoot a virtual tour of your property.
If you choose to use videos in your real estate marketing strategy, you should plan to shoot the video content on the same day you take the photos or schedule the real estate photographer. You can edit your own videos with easy-to-use software like InShot or Magisto.
The simplest path to creating a real estate video for listings is to use Stuccco's slideshow video generator to create a slideshow of all your property photos. If you subscribe to a virtual staging plan (you will need to be signed in to a Stuccco account to view the virtual staging plans), you can also generate a slideshow video of your virtually staged photos in a single click.
6. Consider Publishing a Single Property Website
A single property website is exactly what it sounds like - a full website or landing page dedicated to one property. It doesn't replace the listing on the MLS or on real estate portals like Zillow and Realtor.com but gives you more space to flaunt beautiful listing photos and a detailed description. In turn, it makes the property feel more valuable and more luxurious.
Many real estate agents don't use single property websites because they think it will take a lot of time and money to do so. However, Stuccco's single property website builder allows you to automatically generate a single property website from your virtually staged images and other listing photos. It takes less than five minutes and doesn't require any tech skills at all. Get all the single property website details right here.
Sample Single Property Website from Stuccco
7. Prepare Your Promotion Methods
Now that you have a thorough listing description, beautiful photos of the home, and a property landing page, you're almost ready to publish the listing!
But as soon as you publish your listing to the MLS, you'll need to hit the ground running with your next phase of real estate listing marketing tactics, which means that the time to prepare your promotion methods is now.
If you already have an active following on social media and/or a list of email subscribers, you might even want to tease the listing. You could share one virtually staged photo or a fun fact or hint about the house to help you build curiosity prior to going live with the listing.
7 Tips to Market a Real Estate Listing After Publishing
Once everything is ready to go and your homeowners are prepared for showings, you can finally hit publish on the listing. Take a minute to celebrate and then it's time to start promoting.
1. Send or Deliver Direct Mail
Sending flyers as a part of your listing marketing plan can be effective for most home sales but it's especially useful if the property is in a desirable location or neighborhood. This is also a relatively easy and affordable listing marketing method. You can use a service like ProspectsPLUS to customize real estate templates and get them printed, or even print them and send them directly to your target audience.
You can also customize real estate listing templates using Canva for free and then print and mail them yourself. These flyers or postcards will be particularly powerful when you use your virtually staged images to grab potential buyers' attention. Every Stuccco virtual staging order includes a downloadable QR code that you can include in a flyer, postcard or brochure. When buyers scan the QR code with their phones, they'll be taken to your Property Page (the name of Stuccco's property website feature) where they can see the property's photos and location and easily reach out to you, the listing agent to schedule a showing.
Example real estate listing flyer from Canva
2. Email the Listing to Your Subscribers
If you have a list of contacts' email addresses, this is an ideal time to send them an email with listing information. If you don't already have an email list, consider creating one. Email is particularly effective for real estate agents. Even if you don't have extensive plans for email marketing, it can still be an extremely powerful and relatively passive and personal way to generate and communicate with real estate leads.
3. Share the Listing on Social Media
As a real estate agent, you should have one or two social media profiles even if you don't use them as a lead generation source or post consistently. Posting your local real estate listing as a form of Facebook marketing and tagging the sellers, if possible, is an especially powerful method of marketing a listing.
Potential homebuyers are likely scrolling Facebook or Instagram more often than they are scrolling Zillow so this is an easy way to put the listing right under their nose. You can also encourage your friends and family, connections, and everyone in your SOI (sphere of influence) to share the home in order to increase your reach. It takes less than a minute, so many people are more than happy to share a post on social media.
4. Share the Listing in Targeted Online Groups
After you post the listing on your personal and business social media accounts, you should also share it in more specific and more highly targeted groups. You can find these groups on various social media platforms and other community-oriented apps like Nextdoor and Craigslist.
Facebook groups are a powerful way to reach homebuyers in your area. To find active groups of potential homebuyers, ask your connections about their favorite local Facebook groups or platforms. You can also search for Facebook Groups with specific neighborhood names and other differentiators. There are also real estate Facebook Groups in virtually every town and city, so search for those as well.
You can and should also list the home on Facebook Marketplace to create another channel for potential buyers to find the home. In 2020, Facebook Marketplace saw 800 million monthly visitors so don't miss out on this free opportunity to promote your listing.
Read 25 creative ways to sell a house for more unique tips to market a home.
5. Share the Listing with Real Estate Professionals
If you're part of a real estate brokerage, use your fellow real estate agents and brokers as a source of buyer leads. They can share the listing online and in person when serving their own buyers. This is one of the many reasons it's so valuable to connect with local real estate and industry professionals.
6. Advertise the Listing Online
The entire process of selling a home quickly and for the most money really comes down to getting the listing in front of the right buyers which is why advertising can be so effective - it immediately pushes your listing out to many more potential buyers than you could reach manually.
Of course there is a learning curve to any method of advertising real estate online, but this could definitely be a marketing tactic that is worth the investment of your time and effort. Eventually, as your understanding of advertising for real estate listing marketing grows, you'll be able to minimize your ad budget and maximize your reach. For real estate listings, try advertising via:
- Facebook ads
- Instagram ads
- LinkedIn ads
- Zillow Premier Agent
- Realtor.com Advertising
7. Host an Open House
Finally, hosting an open house should always be an important part of your real estate listing marketing plan. It's a no-brainer way to encourage potential buyers to see the home without coming across as salesy. Not to mention, open houses are a great way to get buyers' feedback on the home, generate leads, and market yourself as a real estate agent.
Make sure you promote the open house in addition to the listing whenever and wherever you share it. You should also add the open house time and date to your MLS listing.
For two great resources to have you have success with open houses in a post-covid world, read:
Creating Your Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan
Keep in mind that your methods of marketing a real estate listing should vary slightly depending on the actual property. You wouldn't use the same methods to market a ten million dollar home in Beverly Hills as you would promote a $150,000 single family home in Scranton, Pennsylvania. However, as you gain experience with selling listings, you will find a few marketing methods that prove to be consistently effective for you.
No matter how you choose to promote your real estate listing, virtual staging will elevate your results. You can place a virtual staging order today and get your virtually staged photos, property video and property website completed by the same time tomorrow. Placing a virtual staging order only takes five minutes - try it now.