Turning Business Goals Into Real Estate Marketing Plans [Free Action Plan Template]
By Sandra Manzanares
About Inbound Marketing
Goal-setting is just the first step in realizing real estate business success. Simply setting goals doesn’t automatically lead to results. Instead, many goals become just another item on the never-ending to-do list for agents, and year after year you’re left with the same shortfall on your original goals.
The key to getting results is setting up feasible goals and a detailed action plan that will keep you focused and hold you accountable as you work to achieve those goals.
In this post, we’ll show you how to develop a real estate marketing action plan for your business goals, how to outline steps and take action for each real estate marketing goal you have, and offer a free template to organize and track your real estate marketing strategies.
Developing a Real Estate Action Plan to Manage Goals
Set great real estate marketing and sales goals.
First, set realistically attainable goals. That doesn’t mean you can’t strive to be an Olympic swimmer one day, but if you’ve never been in a pool, it’s unlikely that setting a high goal at the outset will yield anything but stress and disappointment. As you set goals at the start of your year, don’t focus on the harder stretch goals, rather, focus on the goals that you know you can achieve within the year that will allow you to make progress towards your stretch goals eventually.
Use our real estate business plan template to help calculate the expenses, transactions, and monthly and yearly goals for your real estate marketing and business.
Set inspirational actions.
Developing a business plan with goals is just the first step. Specific actions should be the all-encompassing motivator. If you’re hoping to get leads, the motivating action may be “increase lead generation by 50%.” This becomes the mantra for your goal and will help you refocus when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
It’s also important to prioritize your actions. Is lead generation more important than lead management, or is content creation more of a priority this month? Use a color-coding or numbering system (as we’ve done in our real estate marketing action plan template) to prioritize which should come first.
Develop tangible action steps.
Now that you have motivating actions, you need steps. Keeping with the example above, increasing lead generation can encompass action steps like advertising through Facebook, running pay per click (PPC) ad campaigns, and writing three blog posts per week. Be focused with actions steps: This is not the time to add a laundry list of items to your plate, but rather to zoom in on the steps that are manageable and will give you the highest return.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
— Mark Twain
Write out the tasks for each action step.
This may seem redundant, but breaking your action steps into small, manageable tasks can alleviate the stress that comes with thinking about big steps (plus successfully tackling small tasks can increase positive feelings and your general mood toward your work). So, if one of your action steps is to increase lead generation through Facebook advertising, define what that means in small steps, whether that’s selecting your best 10 blog posts and choosing to boost them, or developing photographic assets for your top five listings to use in ads.
And don’t forget that you’ll have to write copy, build landing pages, and track how your ads perform. As you can already see, the process is already more in-depth than simply “advertising with Facebook,” so whatever actions you choose, just make sure the corresponding tasks are as specific as possible.
Determine the investment.
Each action and its series of action steps requires an investment, whether that be time, research, marketing collateral, money, etc. It’s important to write down exactly what it will take to execute this. Putting this is writing really lets you know how much you can feasibly manage in a week, month, or year. Ideally your top priority goals will take up the majority of your time and the lower priority goals will require less output of your energy and resources.
Create frameworks to track progress and hold yourself accountable.
Establish benchmarks: Take note of where you are now so you’ll be able to assess how much you’ve grown.
Develop methods for measuring and tracking: Determine how you’ll define a successful completion of a task, and also how you’ll determine if you’ve reached your goal by your deadline (e.g. “I track Facebook leads through a specific landing page, and will compare this data with my original data month-over-month to see if my leads are increasing by 50%”).
Set Start and End Dates: You likely won’t (and shouldn’t) tackle everything all at once. Above, we discussed setting priorities, and now it’s time to set dates. Write when you’ll start an action step and the deadline for completion. You can also create deadlines for each of your smaller tasks if that will help keep you on track.
Mark your progress, successes, and takeaways.
Marking tasks off of your action plan can alleviate stress and provide a sense of accomplishment. Once you’ve completed a task, small or large, write down the date completed. This should also jumpstart motivation to tackle the remainder of tasks in your real estate marketing action plan. Then, see if your actions led to your goal being met. Use a “Notes” section to write down any takeaways from your experience — good or bad — and focus on the tactics that worked and didn’t work to streamline your strategy the next time around.
Add coaching to the mix.
While this is an added expense, real estate coaches can help you stay accountable to your goals and complete the action steps mentioned above. The important thing is finding the one that works well for your goals, who checks in regularly, and who offers real industry insight. Use your coach as a resource to see if your action steps are on track, and meet with them to monitor your progress and to decide if you need to revamp your strategy mid-year.
Turning Real Estate Business Goals Into Marketing Tactics
Now that we’ve established how to create an action plan, it’s time to consider real estate marketing ideas and tactics for typical agent and broker goals:
Real estate lead generation takes many forms, and the tactics for getting leads will depend on your particular marketing niche. You could simply want a large lead base to cultivate or, in cases where you already have many leads, more targeted leads to pursue.
Marketing tactics to generate more leads could include:
- Building a content marketing strategy that develops you as a thought leader and drives website traffic.
- Using pay per click (PPC) advertisements that target a set of popular and moderately competitive key terms that lead to landing pages with strong copy and CTAs.
- Developing a strong brand on social media to grow your audience over time.
- Increasing lead capture opportunities on your website so visitors are more encouraged to get in touch or be put on your mailing list.
- Ensuring your website is responsive so you’re offering a great experience for mobile users.
If you want to attract more targeted leads, marketing tactics may include:
- Trying creative marketing ideas for your listings that hone in on consumer types and meet them where they are most social.
- Defining a niche market and finding the best ways to interact with those communities.
- Targeting hyper-local keywords for your marketing so you’re getting folks looking for properties specifically in your market.
- Using the filters on Facebook to target advertisements to demographics that are more likely to convert into leads.
- Sponsoring local events to develop a stronger community following.
Few things matter more for your bottom line than “did you close the deal?” When assessing ways to make improvements in close rate, you need to take note of lead nurturing.
- Show you’re a helpful agent by offering the right resources at the right times that will encourage leads to move through the sales funnel.
- This is also a great time to analyze your current methodology for attracting and qualifying leads so you can determine if you’re conversing with the right people for your area.
- Implement marketing automation so your messages reach leads at the optimal times and so you can deliver prompt follow-up to all of your leads.
- Develop an engaging newsletter that highlights listings, relevant content for your leads, and your brand’s messaging.
Decreasing Cost Per Lead
Reaching financial goals also requires a means to streamline the amount you’re spending, and you certainly don’t want to blow your advertising budget on the first 30 leads who come your way. To minimize the cost per lead for your real estate marketing, focus on the areas that need improvement. Attempt to streamline your ad spend by:
- Developing long-tail keywords approaches for advertisements so you’re attracting buyers and sellers with specific needs.
- Optimize your website with those same long-tail keyword phrases to increase the level of organic traffic to your website.
- Implement website optimization trackers and use Google Analytics to determine what’s not working on your pages and use that data to fuel site changes.
- Look at your ads’ Quality Scores and find new ways to optimize your ads and landing pages to increase views, clicks, and conversions.
Growing Gross Revenue
Your market is your market, and the comps in your area will contribute to pricing restrictions, but you can also generate higher interest in listings with your real estate marketing that will make bids on your listings more competitive.
- Offer beautiful, staged listing photography and strong listing copy that goes above and beyond the typical angles so you’ll generate more motivated leads.
- Create dedicated landing pages or single property sites for individual listings so you can include imagery and copy that give leads a fuller story for the listing.
- Advertise and run professional open houses, stage homes for flow, and capture lead information at open houses so you can follow up.
- Develop hand-out guides, infographics, and real estate reports that educate leads about your market. These will also communicate that you’ve done your research when it comes to area listings, increasing lead confidence that your pricing is fair.
Growth Rate Year Over Year
Getting consistent growth year over year in your revenue means that you’ll need to improve in the areas mentioned above, and find new growth areas.
- Analyze your core business metrics and see if you can tap new lead sources or diminish time to close with new nurturing tactics.
- Build your brand for what you want to attract. If you want to get into higher-priced markets, focus on securing professional listing photography and using a graphic designer to develop marketing assets for your business.
- Try creative marketing ideas that go above and beyond the usual. Diversify your lead base by using real estate video marketing, and capitalize on visual mediums like Pinterest and Instagram.
- Ramp up your ad spend and balance bids for a range of highly searched terms at various competition levels.
Goals don’t always have to be something new: Often a goal can mean scaling back and streamlining. If you want to reduce your expenses to allow more budget for marketing and advertisements, think about the following:
- Assess your technology use and find multi-functional software so you can get more value for your budget and not have tons of technology to handle.
- Your real estate website shouldn’t break the bank. There are modern, inexpensive options available, so determine if your current solution is too pricey for the return you’re getting. If necessary, secure one that has all the functions you need but still leaves budget for other marketing activities.
- Look at everyday expenses, like wardrobe, transportation, meals, and internet access, then outline a plan for minimizing your spending in each area. Over the course of the year, small steps will yield more money to spend where it matters.
How do you create your real estate marketing plan to achieve goals? What strategies do you find helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Published on April 17, 2015
Written by Sandra Manzanares
Writer, editor, and marketing manager with a passion for helping brands enhance their content marketing strategy. I'm a firm believer that creative storytelling is an essential part of the way we communicate. Constantly striving to fill my head with as much creative and analytical information as possible.