Real estate marketing can be overwhelming. Given their sales experience, most agents have a knack for creating marketing materials and connecting with potential clients, but staying consistent throughout the year can provide challenges. This is where having a marketing calendar can really help you stay on track.
Here’s how to create a real estate marketing calendar that you’ll actually use.
1. Review the benefits
If you know the benefits of having a real estate marketing calendar, you’re going to be more likely to use it consistently, so let’s review why having a calendar is important.
A real estate marketing calendar lays out your months for you and gives you actionable steps to take to grow your social media following, your incoming leads, and ultimately your client base. It encourages you to plan and think through your campaigns. It gives you time to evaluate what’s been working and what has been a waste of time. And most importantly, it removes the need to be inspired in order to market your business. Many agents will be familiar with the ebbs and flows of being inspired to market themselves. Some days you’re all over social media, writing blogs to rank higher in Google and sending out mailers, while other weeks when day to day tasks, sales calls, or showings get busy, you’re silent. A marketing calendar removes the need to be inspired and tells you when to post what. It removes the guesswork.
Keeping these key benefits of using a real estate marketing calendar in mind, let’s look at how to layout your calendar for success.
2. The calendar layout
First, you’re going to need a canvas. This could be a free online tool like Google Sheets, Google Calendar, or Trello, a paid online tool like Monday or Asana, or an old school desk calendar for those of you who prefer analog. Choose the layout you’re most comfortable with, and make it readily accessible. If it’s a desk calendar, put it in a place to review daily. If it’s an online tool, add a bookmark, make it your homepage, or save it as an icon on your phone. The more you see your calendar, the more you’ll commit to it.
Using whichever tool you choose, layout dates for the next three months in your marketing calendar. We recommend working in three-month intervals and having a big brainstorming session every quarter - this gives you enough time to prepare, but also to see what’s coming down the pike. It’s sometimes hard to see where you’ll be in 10 months, so don’t go too far out or you might get overwhelmed.
Create room in your calendar to write down the following:
- What kind of content you’ll be sharing
- Where you’ll be sharing your content
- Who you’re targeting with your marketing materials
- Important dates to remember
- Marketing costs/budget
Now, let’s discuss these items in further detail.
3. Identify your target audience
The first thing you’ll want to identify in your marketing calendar is your clients and potential clients, and think about what they respond to and how you can help them. Segment your target audience into different groups and strategize on how you can speak to their needs. Think about where they live, what kinds of properties they might be interested in, and what questions you could answer to set their minds at ease. For every marketing event on your calendar, you should write down who your target audience is right beside your marketing initiative.
4. Write down what you’ll be sharing
Make a list of your marketing tactics: you can incorporate things like hard mailers, social media posts, videos, blog posts, personal outreach, newsletter blasts, lead generation campaigns, or any other kinds of marketing pushes you plan on doing. Once you’ve made your list, space out your content over the next quarter so that you’ve got something happening and something to plan for at all times. Make your calendar busy, but manageable, and take into account the best times to share materials.
Social media posts often perform best during the week, while quick update videos or behind the scenes photos might be better to shoot on Saturdays when you’re hosting an open house or showing a listing. Layout a content schedule that works for you, and stick to what works.
5. Note where you will share your content
You should also note where your marketing materials will be shared, whether it be on Facebook, your website, or to a specific neighbourhood. If you make a video for example, note the platforms you’ll be sharing it on. This keeps things from becoming overwhelming. Remember that you don’t need to share everything everywhere.
It also helps you identify and keep track of where you’re investing your marketing efforts, and to see which channels you might be neglecting. If you’ve slotted in lots of time for email blasts but no time for personal outreach, that’s something you might want to address. A marketing calendar helps you visualize these kinds of issues.
6. Mark important dates
You definitely don’t want to be insensitive to an important date, or miss out on a chance to piggyback on a trending event. To stay on top of what’s coming up, fill in your calendar with as many important dates and trending events as you can find. In addition to making sure you’re on top of important dates, it will also help you come up with post ideas, blog topics, and newsletter opportunities.
7. Set a budget
You should be investing at least a small amount of money into your marketing budget every month, so get in the habit of adding your budget or daily ad spend to your marketing calendar. Even if you spend no money in a week, make note of it. When you look back on your calendar and see you’re under budget for the month, you might be inspired to embark on a larger campaign in the future. It’s all too easy to say you’re going to spend a certain amount of money on advertising every month and forget to do it. Spread your ad dollars around and see what works best for you.
8. Set a time to review your marketing calendar
This is quite possibly the most important event on your calendar, so be sure to highlight it in bold! Set goals for yourself at the beginning of every quarter and review them to see what worked and what didn’t. Take some time to analyze where you’re investing the most money and time, and whether or not those marketing efforts are paying off. If they are, you might want to consider putting even more attention into them next quarter, and if they’re not, it may be time to adjust.
Most agents will find the process of creating a real estate marketing calendar highly rewarding, especially after they review their calendar for insights and adjustments. Layout a calendar for the next three months and see if it helps you stay organized.