What’s more effective, a marketing strategy or a marketing plan?

Successful home sales begin with a marketing strategy and plan.

by Dan Krell © 2010

Does your listing agent have a marketing plan or a marketing strategy? Ok, it was a trick question. Actually, your agent should have both! Long gone are the days of receiving ten offers a day after the sign goes in the ground. In order to get an edge over the competing neighborhood listings these days, successful listing agents need to have an understanding of planning and strategy concepts, as well as their application.

A marketing strategy is the process of positioning your home; in other words your agent researches and compares data from the neighborhood and your home, as well as comparison data from other homes in the neighborhood and extended market area. Comparisons are made between your home’s characteristics and style to the neighborhood to determine similarities and differences. Once the data is compiled and evaluated, trends begin to appear that brings your home to life; your home begins to have a personality of its own.

Your marketing strategy should also include price. Due to recent market fluctuations, price is a major concern for home sellers. Market instability can reveal erroneous data which may cause you to either set your price too high or too low. Nothing can ruin an effective marketing strategy more than over pricing your home, which can severely limit the number of home buyer viewings; while listing too low can result in selling for too little. Listing and sales price data reveal trends that will assist you in setting an initial list price (as well as subsequent price adjustments).

Once your home is on the market, your agent’s marketing strategy (or lack thereof) will determine how home buyers and real estate agents react when thinking of your home. You should be certain that the strategy is appropriate and inclusive because re-positioning your home can be very difficult; the image that is presented to buyers and agents will be impressed forever in their minds. Additionally, word gets around the area fairly quickly, so negative images are surely to be passed along to others who may not yet have seen your home (and ultimately may not because of the shared information).

The marketing plan can be considered a road map in the application of the marketing strategy. It goes without saying that everyone’s listing is on the internet these days, as well as most agents advertising in the local papers. But as any marketing major might tell you it’s not the ad itself, but what the ad says. So, having ads, placements, and flyers generally do not get the attention of home buyers on their own, rather it’s the strategy that is being expressed that grabs home buyers’ attention. Additional consideration should be given to where and when ads about your home will be placed.

The marketing plan should not stop at an internet and print advertisement. The plan should include when open houses should be held (including what to say to visitors), and other means of reaching out to home buyers (such as post cards and broker opens).

Although marketing strategies and plans are vastly different, they are related. The marketing strategy determines the positioning of your home; while the marketing plan is the map that is followed to help home buyers find your home. Without a strategy and plan, your home sale will have to rely on sheer luck.

This article is not intended to provide nor should it be relied upon for legal and financial advice. This article was originally published in the Montgomery County Sentinel the week of January 18, 2010. Using this this article without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2010 Dan Krell

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