How to Market a Listing: Step-by-Step Guide (+ Real Estate Marketing Plan Template)

Title image for 'Step-by-Step Guide: How to Market a Listing,' featuring an illustration of a man using a laptop with real estate listings displayed on the screen.

Selling a home promptly is a pinnacle of success in the ever-evolving real estate market. Yet, trends suggest this has become a formidable challenge for many homeowners. Evidently, in the span of just one year, from 2022 to 2023, the percentage of homes sold within a single month has halved, nosediving from 55% to a mere 28%.

What does this dramatic shift tell us? It underlines the fact that putting up a 'For Sale' sign and waiting passively for buyers to show up is no longer enough. Today's real estate arena calls for a more strategic approach - a well-drafted, intelligent, and personalized marketing plan that can cut through the noise and connect with potential buyers.

In this straightforward guide, you'll find a clear, step-by-step path to successful listing marketing. It centers around proven techniques aimed at catching the eye of your ideal buyers and ensuring your property shines, even in a crowded market. At its core, you have a handy tool - a real estate listing marketing plan template. Think of this template as a roadmap with instructions, designed for everyone.

Each property sale is unique, so it's not necessary to use every technique in this guide. However, having a range of tips and tactics at your disposal is invaluable. Carefully select the steps to include in your listing marketing strategy by considering your client's needs, budget, property specifics, and local market conditions to create a tailored approach that maximizes success.

Here's an overview of everything we'll cover in this article:

Listing Marketing 101: Essential Steps to Create a Powerful Marketing Plan

As we delve into the process of marketing a real estate listing, it's essential to remember that these steps serve as building blocks in creating a powerful, customized marketing plan. 

From deciding on the best way to advertise real estate to forming strong listing strategies, every aspect adds depth and dimension to your real estate marketing plan for sellers. 

Whether it's identifying listing marketing ideas to promote real estate listings or planning a detailed listing marketing checklist, these building blocks complement each other to shape a comprehensive real estate listing marketing plan that stands the test of the competitive marketplace.

  • Step 1: Thoroughly Assess Your Property

Title image for 'Step 1: Thoroughly Assess Your Property,' showing a person closely inspecting property information with a magnifying glass, highlighting the first step in a real estate listing marketing plan.

Before diving into your real estate listing marketing plan, it’s essential to thoroughly understand the property you’re selling. This foundational step ensures that you can highlight the property's strengths and address any potential weaknesses. Here's how to get started:

Property Details

Collect all the essential information about the property, including:

  • Square footage
  • Lot size
  • Number of bedrooms and bathrooms
  • Recent renovations or upgrades


  • Property Deeds and Records: Available at your local county recorder’s office or through online databases.
  • Building Plans: Contact the original builder or architect, or check with your local building department.
  • Home Inspection Reports: These provide detailed information on the property's condition.

Unique Selling Points (USPs)

Identify what makes the property stand out. Is it the location, design, amenities, or something else? These unique aspects will be key in your marketing efforts.


  • Real Estate Websites: Compare your property to similar listings on Zillow,, and Redfin.
  • Local Market Trends: Use tools like the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and neighborhood reports from local real estate agencies.
  • Customer Reviews: Look at previous buyer feedback if the property was listed before.
Real estate listing summary showing property details, unique selling points, and a descriptive overview, essential for effective listing marketing.

History of the Property

A deep dive into the property's past can be integral to your selling strategy. Understanding past ownership, any major repairs, and possible historical significance paint a comprehensive picture for potential buyers.


  • Property Records: Available through local county records or online databases like PropertyShark.
  • Title Company Reports: These can provide detailed history and any encumbrances on the property.
  • Historical Societies: Local historical societies can provide information on the historical significance of older properties.

Target Audience

Determine who is most likely to be interested in this property. Is it perfect for families, young professionals, retirees, or investors? Tailoring your marketing to the right audience is crucial for effective listing marketing.


  • Demographic Data: Access demographic information through the U.S. Census Bureau or local city planning offices.
  • Buyer Persona Tools: Use online tools like HubSpot's Make My Persona to create detailed buyer personas.
  • Neighborhood Demographics: Websites like City-Data or local government websites provide insights into neighborhood demographics.

Determine the Price

Conduct a comparative market analysis (CMA) to understand how similar properties in the area are performing. This will help you set a competitive price and identify market trends.


  • MLS: Access the Multiple Listing Service for recent sales data.
  • Real Estate Market Reports: Use reports from sources like the National Association of Realtors (NAR) or CoreLogic.
  • Online Tools: Websites like Zillow’s Zestimate, Redfin’s Estimate, and provide estimates and comparable listings.

By thoroughly getting to know your listing, you lay a strong foundation for your real estate marketing plan, ensuring you can effectively highlight its best features and attract the right buyers.

  • Step 2: Get Your Listing Market-Ready

Step 2: Get Your Listing Market-Ready - Illustration of a person painting, focusing on the importance of home staging and improvements in listing marketing strategies.

With a comprehensive understanding of your property achieved, the next phase focuses on getting your listing in prime shape for showcasing to potential buyers. This preparation is a key stage in your real estate marketing strategy, setting the stage for a successful sale.

Physical Home Improvements

As per the 2023 Profile of Home Staging by the National Association of Realtors, several recommended home improvement strategies emerge as frontrunners. 

  • Decluttering the Home: According to industry experts, 96% agree that removing excess items and organizing spaces can vastly improve the appeal of a property. The cleaner and more organized your property, the more inviting it becomes.
  • Thorough Cleaning: A thorough cleaning job, advised by 88% of professionals, can enhance the feel and look of your property, making it sparkle from corner to corner.
  • Pet-Free Showings: Since pets can sometimes be a distraction during property showings or cause allergic reactions, 83% of experts suggest temporary pet relocation during such events.
  • Minor Repairs: Little tweaks matter. About 72% of real estate professionals underline the importance of addressing any minor maintenance issues.
  • Carpet Cleaning: Reviving your floors with professional carpet cleaning can dramatically elevate your home's presentation—it's a step supported by 71% of the industry professionals.
  • Depersonalize: By removing personal items like photographs and memorabilia, 65% of professionals agree that it can help prospective buyers imagine the space as their own.
  • Paint Touch-ups: Revitalize your property with a fresh coat of paint, or even some touch-up work as recommended by 58% of industry insiders.
  • Wall Painting: What's more, 57% of specialists suggest that dressing your walls in neutral tones can broaden your potential buyer pool and impart a clean, modern look.
  • Outdoor Landscaping: Giving attention to the outdoor living space, gardens, or lawns can increase your property’s curb appeal—a sentiment shared by 50% of professionals.
  • Grout Cleaning: Last but not least, don't ignore tiny details such as grout—clean, shiny grout may be a small feature, but it's seen as crucial by 30% of professionals.

Physical Home Staging

Professionally staged kitchen and dining area with modern furnishings, showcasing traditional home staging techniques for real estate listing marketing..

Following a meticulous spruce-up of your property, the subsequent step in your listing strategy is home staging. According to industry statistics, 81% of buyers' agents confirm that staging enables clients to visualize a property as their own, effectively personalizing the space. This creates an intrinsic connection between potential buyers and your listing, a key aim of listing marketing.

It's not just about in-person impressions either. Online impressions count and staged properties hold power here too. Around 40% of agents observed that clients were more likely to tour a property they first saw online if it was staged. Property staging, therefore, serves as a bridge, connecting the digital realm with the physical, enhancing the attractiveness of your listing in both landscapes.

In essence, staging transforms your listing from a mere property to a potential home. It crafts a narrative of a possible life in that space, thereby capturing buyers' imaginations and emotions. This connection can make all the difference in your listing strategy, generating high interest and ultimately leading to a successful sale.

  • Step 3: Develop High-Quality Visuals

Step 3: Develop High-Quality Visuals - Illustration of a photographer taking pictures, emphasizing the importance of professional photography in real estate listing marketing.

Visuals are the cornerstone in the world of property marketing. They offer prospective buyers a peek into what they can expect and can greatly influence their decision. High-quality visuals, therefore, should be a top priority in your listing marketing strategy.

Professional Photography

Real estate listing photo with virtual twilight effect, highlighting a well-lit home exterior against a picturesque evening sky.
A hero shot of the property enhanced by virtual twilight

Emphasized by 73% of industry professionals, high-quality professional photography can work wonders in showcasing your property's best features and creating a compelling first impression. Hiring a professional photographer ensures the use of proper lighting, the best angles, and optimal framing to capture your property at its finest.

In addition to taking excellent photos, post-production serves a crucial role in creating a polished final product. Real estate photo editing services, like virtual decluttering, image enhancement, and virtual twilight can further embellish your property images. 

These services remove unnecessary visual distractions, enhance image quality, and create romantic evening shots. This boosts your property's visual appeal, strengthening your listing marketing strategy and ensuring potential buyers pause, admire, and engage with your listing.

Virtual Staging

Real estate listing photo featuring a bedroom with virtual staging, demonstrating the potential layout and design.

As a tool steadily gaining prominence in the field of property marketing, virtual staging significantly impacts how prospective buyers perceive a potential home. This key strategy was found to be crucial for around 48% of buyers' agents, underlying its growing importance in this digital age.

Virtual staging uses digital technology to furnish and decorate a property, helping potential buyers see how the space can be used. This process provides a clear idea of the room's scale and possible furniture arrangements, making it easier for buyers to visualize living in the home.

Related article: Integrating Virtual Staging into Your Real Estate Marketing Strategy

The beauty of virtual staging lies in its combination of practicality and creativity. It eliminates the need for physical furniture rental, saving both time and money. This cost-effective method allows you to present different style variants and room setups that cater to diverse buyer tastes, thereby casting a wider net to appeal to a broad range of potential buyers.

Virtual staging can also be powerfully combined with 360-degree shoots and 3D tours to create a highly immersive property viewing experience. This integration elevates the realistic representation of your listing, providing a dynamic, virtual open house experience that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere, thereby solidifying your listing marketing strategy.


  • Provides virtual staging services for $24 per image with an 8-hour turnaround time.

3D Tours and Virtual Walkthroughs

Matterport virtual tour of a cozy living room, showcasing the spacious layout and inviting atmosphere for effective real estate listing marketing.

The digital revolution has significantly impacted real estate marketing, introducing new tools like 3D tours and virtual walkthroughs. These immersive experiences have become standard in property listings, providing an interactive viewing experience that greatly surpasses traditional static photographs.

Let's break it down with some numbers from 2023 Zillow Buyers' Housing Trends:

  • Comprehensive Viewing: 72% of buyers believe 3D tours provide a superior sense of space and layout, offering a more comprehensive viewing experience.
  • High Demand: 67% of buyers want more listings to include 3D tours, indicating a strong demand for this immersive tool.
  • Preference for 3D Tours: 40% of buyers prefer 3D tours over in-person viewings due to convenience and time-saving factors.
  • Mobile Convenience: 68% of buyers find it highly convenient to view properties on their phones, allowing them to tour homes at their leisure.

These statistics echo the growing importance and promise of 3D tours and virtual walkthroughs for real estate marketing strategies. By integrating these innovative tools, you elevate your listing to meet prospective buyers' expectations, ultimately leading to higher engagement and a quicker sale.


  • Matterport: Helps create immersive 3D tours to enhance your real estate listings.

Floor Plans

Real estate image showing a side-by-side of a 2D floor plan and its 3D rendering, highlighting the benefits of detailed floor plans for listing marketing.

Floor plans are crucial for property listings because they give buyers a detailed view of the space. They show the size and arrangement of rooms, how the house flows, and how different areas connect. This helps buyers determine if the property meets their specific needs and preferences.

Here are some insightful statistics:

  • Time-Saving: 52% of buyers said they could have avoided unnecessary property viewings if they had a clearer understanding of the floor plans.
  • Buyer Interest: 82% of buyers are more likely to view a property if they like its floor plan.
  • Enhanced Understanding: 76% of buyers find that dynamic floor plans help them determine if a property meets their requirements.

Beyond traditional 2D floor plans, 3D floor plan renderings are growing rapidly in popularity. These provide a lifelike, spatially accurate representation of the property, giving buyers a much more realistic perception of the property's layout.

Drone Photography

Drone photography has emerged as a powerful tool in real estate listing marketing, providing unique bird's-eye views that capture both the property and its surroundings, offering potential buyers a comprehensive understanding of the context. 

Around 50% of real estate professionals have adopted this technology, with 7% using drones personally and 43% hiring professionals. High-quality drone photos enhance property presentations, delivering visually impactful experiences that boost engagement and can accelerate the sale process.

  • Step 4: Compose a High-Impact Listing

Title image for 'Step 4: Compose a High-Impact Listing,' featuring a person explaining property features, highlighting the creation of effective real estate listings.

Once you have your visuals ready, the next step in your listing strategy is to craft a compelling, high-impact property listing. This involves having an attention-grabbing title, a captivating description, and detailed property features. Each of these elements serves to draw potential buyers in and get them interested in learning more about your property.

Craft an Attention-Grabbing Title:

Your title is the first thing potential buyers see, so it needs to stand out. It should be succinct yet informative, summarizing the key selling features and unique aspects of your property. Your title isn't just a headline; it's your first chance to make an impression and pique buyers' curiosity.

Write a Compelling Description:

Your property description is your opportunity to make a compelling case for why a potential buyer should consider your property. This should paint a vivid picture of the property, highlighting its major features, unique amenities, and any recent upgrades or enhancements. Be sure to include information about the property’s location, nearby amenities, and any unique features. This is your chance to sell the lifestyle your property affords.

"Listing showcasing unique selling points of a property, including elegant tile downstairs, ample storage, high-end finishes, and two master bedrooms.

Detail Property Features:

This section should provide detailed information about your property. Include details like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, any unique features (such as a large backyard, a swimming pool, energy-saving installations, or a recently renovated kitchen), and other details. This section gives potential buyers the specifics they need to assess if your property fits their requirements.

Crafting a high-impact listing is an art – and its goal is to captivate potential buyers, not just with stunning photos, but with persuasive, descriptive text that invites them to envision living in your property, ultimately leading them to a sale.

  • Step 5: Syndicate Your Listing Across Platforms

Step 5: Syndicate Your Listing Across Platforms - Illustration of a person using a laptop to distribute a real estate listing across multiple online platforms, enhancing listing marketing strategy.

Once you've crafted a high-impact listing, the next step is to ensure it reaches the widest audience possible. This means syndicating your property listing across various platforms to enhance its visibility and reach.

One of the main avenues to consider is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS is an efficient tool used by a group of real estate brokers to consolidate listings and share property details amongst each other. By listing your property on the MLS, you exponentially increase your property's exposure to potential buyers, moving one more step towards a successful sale.

Additionally, property listing websites and real estate apps also serve as excellent platforms for property listing syndication. Popular sites such as Zillow, Trulia, or, offer large audiences and easy accessibility for potential buyers. They also often provide additional features such as search filters, property comparisons, and favorites lists, catering to modern buyers' needs.

Broad syndication of your listing across various platforms is a potent way to significantly enhance your property's online visibility. This strategic approach can draw in potential buyers from diverse sources, accelerating the sales process, and optimizing your property listing strategy.

  • Step 6: Showcase Your Property

Step 6: Showcase Your Property - Illustration of a person holding a model house, highlighting the importance of property presentation in real estate listing marketing.

While well-crafted listings and enticing photographs can draw potential buyers in, the true test of a home's appeal comes when buyers step into the property, physically or virtually. Showcasing your property through open houses, virtual open houses, and private showings can make a big difference in the buyers' decision-making process.

Let's review some recent data from 2023 addressing virtual tours and open houses:

  • Most buyers have taken between 1-4 virtual tours (58%), with the median number of virtual tours being only 1. Meanwhile, 33% of buyers conducted no virtual tours, and a mere 9% ventured into 5 or more.
  • Similar statistics are reported for open houses: 58% of buyers attended 1-4 open houses, 34% attended none, and just 8% attended more than five, with the median number of open houses also standing at 1.
  • The typical buyer usually attends 2 private home tours, takes 1 virtual tour, and visits 1 open house. A small portion of buyers forgo private tours entirely (11%), but some still attend open houses (22%) or take virtual tours (29%).

Open Houses:

Regular open houses offer potential buyers a chance to explore your property in a casual, pressure-free setting. It gives them the opportunity to get a feel of the property and envision the possibility of making it their home.

Virtual Open Houses:

In today's increasingly digital world, virtual open houses have become an excellent tool to showcase your property to prospects who can't visit in person, expanding your reach to potential buyers regardless of geographical boundaries.

Private Showings:

Private showings cater to serious buyers ready to take the next step. These personalized viewing experiences allow potential buyers to investigate at their own pace, ask direct questions, and get a unique, intimate feel for your property.

By showcasing your property through these various methods, you can appeal to different types of buyers and increase your chances of closing a sale. Consider this step in the process as the actual meet and greet between your property and potential future homeowners.

  • Step 7: Promote Your Listing Online

Title image for 'Step 7: Promote Your Listing Online,' featuring a person with a megaphone and smartphone, highlighting online marketing strategies for real estate listings.

Promoting your listing online is a critical ingredient in your real estate listing marketing strategy. With a blend of paid strategies, organic content, and dedicated single-property websites, you can maximize your property's online exposure and amplify reach to potential buyers.

Online Advertising:

Investing in online ads can expand your property's visibility far and wide. Using advertising services like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, you can target demographics and geographies that are more likely to harbor potential buyers. Advertising on popular real estate portals enhances your chances of attracting buyers actively searching for properties, making it a beneficial step in advertising real estate listings.

Single-Property Website:

Creating a single-property website for your listing allows for a dedicated space to showcase your property in detail. This provides potential buyers with comprehensive information about your property, from high-quality photographs and floor plans to neighborhood data and contact forms. Remember to optimize your website for mobile viewing, considering today's increasingly mobile-first browsing behavior.

Organic Social Media Posts:

Related Articles: 50 Power-Packed Ideas for Engaging Real Estate Social Media Posts & Top 10 Real Estate Social Networks

The role of social media in promoting real estate listings cannot be understated. The 2023 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Technology Survey reports that 54% of agents use social media as their main lead generator. Regular, organic posts about your property on your business social media channels can engage an audience that is already interested in your services, subsequently expanding your reach.

With reports indicating that up to 96% of home buyers use the internet as their primary house hunting tool, having a robust online strategy for your listing is essential. By using online advertising, creating single-property websites, and leveraging organic social media posts, your listing gains sizable visibility and appeal, bringing you closer to a successful sale.

  • Step 8: Engage in Print and Broadcast Marketing

Title image for 'Step 8: Engage in Print and Broadcast Marketing,' featuring icons representing print and broadcast media, emphasizing traditional marketing strategies for property listings.

While online marketing plays an integral role in your real estate listing marketing plan, the use of print and broadcast marketing channels should not be overlooked. They provide an additional touchpoint to engage with potential buyers and can significantly add to the reach and impact of your promotional efforts.

Print Marketing:

Print marketing provides tangible materials that potential buyers can refer to at their convenience. Postcards, flyers, brochures, and local newspaper ads are all valuable forms of print media. Creating visually appealing and information-rich print materials that give an overview of your property's features can make your listing stand out. Remember to include crucial details like contact information and the property website URL in all your print materials to enable interested buyers to learn more or get in touch.

Real estate flyer showcasing a modern, virtually staged home.
Real estate flyer featuring virtually staged furniture

Broadcast Marketing:

Broadcast marketing through mediums like local radio or television can have significant reach, especially within the local community. Crafting a compelling visual advertisement or a catchy radio commercial can spark interest and engage potential home buyers on a broader scale. It allows for a wider reach within your local market, especially if timed during peak listening or viewing hours.

Engaging in both print and broadcast marketing methods as part of your listing strategy can supplement your online efforts, ensuring you leave no stone unturned in promoting your real estate listing. Implementing a well-rounded strategy that includes print, broadcast, and digital marketing can extend your reach and engagement with potential buyers, increasing the chances of securing a sale.

  • Step 9: Promote Locally

Step 9: Promote Locally - Illustration of a person holding a 'House for Sale' sign, focusing on strategies to market real estate listings within the community.

Local promotion, although conventional, still holds value in your real estate listing marketing strategy. Implementing familiar, easily-accessible local advertising routes can spark interest among potential buyers right in your neighborhood or those visiting the area.

Yard Signs:

Yard signs are a staple of real estate marketing. They gain immediate attention from passersby and neighborhood residents. Make sure your sign includes key information and, if possible, a compelling photo of the property.

QR Codes:

Enhance your yard signs or flyers with QR codes. When scanned by a smartphone, they can take potential buyers directly to your online listing or the single-property website. This provides instant access to detailed information about your listing.

Use Local Business Partnerships:

Consider partnering with local businesses for cross-promotion. This could be as simple as leaving property flyers at a popular local café or arranging with a local furniture store for staging your property.

By utilizing these local promotion practices, you anchor your listing in the local community. Not only do these methods create awareness among locals, but they also attract attention from individuals who may be visiting the neighborhood with intent to relocate there. Therefore, promoting locally is an effective way to market your real estate listing and reach those most likely to be interested.

  • Step 10: Utilize Local Agent Networks

Step 10: Utilize Local Agent Networks - Illustration of two agents shaking hands, emphasizing the importance of collaborating with local real estate networks for effective listing marketing.

Tapping into local agent networks is a powerful strategy in a comprehensive real estate listing marketing plan. Such networks help broaden the exposure of your property to a wider audience and can accelerate the selling process.

Connecting with local real estate agents and brokers allows you access to a wider web of potential buyers. By furnishing these agents with your property details, they can present your property as an option to the buyers they are working with. This offers a higher probability of matching with a buyer who is seeking exactly what your listing offers.

Furthermore, joining agent networks can give you insight into local market trends and buyer preferences which can help refine your listing strategy. Regular engagement can also build strong professional relationships, and your property can become top-of-mind for other agents when meeting with prospective buyers.

Lastly, consider hosting broker open houses, where local agents can tour your property. This enables them to get a firsthand feel of the property, raising the chances that they'll highlight your listing to potential buyers.

By effectively leveraging local agent networks, you significantly enhance the visibility and appeal of your property among potential buyers. This strategy ensures that your listing reaches a wider audience, thereby increasing the probability of a speedy and successful sale. These networks can be an invaluable resource, helping you to both market your current property and future real estate listings.

Ensure to provide your clients with a weekly update on the progress of their listing. Good luck!

Real Estate Listing Marketing Checklist PDF

Building Your Own Real Estate Listing Marketing Plan

Creating a successful real estate listing marketing plan is crucial for maximizing your property's exposure and attracting the right buyers. However, it's important to understand that not every step is necessary for every listing. Tailor your strategy based on your property’s unique features, your client's needs, budget, and the local market conditions.

For instance, if professional home staging is beyond your budget, consider virtual staging as a cost-effective alternative that still showcases the potential of the property. Similarly, while high-quality drone photography can provide stunning visuals, traditional photography may suffice for smaller properties or those in less scenic areas.

The flexibility of your marketing plan allows you to select the most impactful strategies. Start with a thorough assessment of the property to identify its unique selling points and target audience. Utilize professional photography or virtual staging to enhance your listing. Promote your property across multiple platforms, leveraging digital marketing techniques to reach a broader audience.

Incorporating modern technology such as 3D tours and virtual walkthroughs can provide an immersive viewing experience, but it's not mandatory if it doesn't align with your target market’s preferences. Engaging with local agent networks and employing local marketing strategies can further increase your property's visibility within the community.

By focusing on the most relevant and effective steps for your specific situation, you can develop a robust and flexible marketing plan that highlights your property's best features and attracts the right buyers. Tailor your approach to fit the unique needs of each listing, ensuring a successful and efficient sale.

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