A real estate marketing plan lays out how you’ll go about marketing and advertising your commercial real estate business and any properties you have for sale or lease over the coming year. With a marketing plan, you define who you are, what your target and goals are, and what methods you’ll use to reach your audience and achieve your goals.
Two things are worth knowing about a marketing plan. First, like a business plan, a marketing plan isn’t set in stone. You can revisit it as the months or year goes on and revise it as your needs change. Second, a marketing plan isn’t something you can “wing.” It’s worth it to take the time to write down your plan. Doing so means you’re more likely to stick with it. Plus, when you have a written plan, you can always go back and reference it.
Ready to start putting together your plan? Here’s what you need to do.
The first part of creating a marketing plan should be figuring out who you are and, most importantly, what makes your business unique. One way to figure out who you are is by working through a SWOT analysis.
SWOT is an acronym for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.” To get a clear sense of who you are, you need to look at both the good and the bad:
- Strengths: Strengths are the things your business does well. You might have properties in your portfolio that are located in the most in-demand locations in your city. Or your company might have decades of experience and instant name recognition. You might have a team of real estate agents working for you who have years in the business and books full of loyal, repeat clients. If you have any resources or access to features that put you ahead of your competitors, you should include them in the strengths category.
- Weaknesses: A weakness is anything that keeps you from performing at your best. Maybe you have high turnover and are continually losing agents to competitors. It could be that you haven’t closed a sale in several months. Another weakness is being unsure of what your company is and what makes it unique compared to other commercial real estate companies or agents.
- Opportunities: If strengths are things your company already has that make it better than the competition, then opportunities are chances your company has to improve or become better than your competitors. An opportunity might be finding a commercial property to sell in an up-and-coming area, where there aren’t many other real estate agents or where there’s ample demand but fewer properties.
- Threats: Threats are factors that can put your business at risk or that can hurt your company. Zoning limitations can be a threat to a commercial real estate agency, as can an influx of other agents into an area.
In addition to a SWOT analysis, the “know thyself” section of your marketing plan should include the basics. How many agents are working for your company, or are you a sole proprietor? How long have you been in business? What’s your company’s mission or vision?
If you have a unique or exciting origin story, include it in this section.
Set Your Goals
The second step when putting together a marketing plan is to identify and set your goals for the months or year ahead. What do you hope to achieve?
The trick to setting goals is to make sure you’re creating goals that you can achieve. To do that, it helps to get SMART about goal setting.
SMART goals are the following:
- Specific: Specific goals have a clear endpoint and result. “Increase sales by 10 percent in the fourth quarter” is a specific goal. You know exactly what you are working toward.
- Measurable: It’s easy to get wish-wash when it comes to goal setting, which is why it helps to have a goal you can track and measure. You can measure “increase sales by 10 percent” by looking at your sales figures from the previous quarter and comparing it to sales figures in the current quarter.
- Actionable: An actionable goal is one that you can actually do. To increase your sales, you can take steps to market your properties better and to find more leads and prospective buyers.
- Relevant: A relevant goal is one that makes sense for your company. It’s within the scope of your business and the realm of possibility.
- Time-bound: How can you know when you’ve achieved a goal or if you’ve failed to reach your target? You need to set a time limit. “In the fourth quarter” lets you know when you plan increasing sales and whether or not you ultimately reach that goal.