7 Questions to Test Your Agent’s Real Estate Marketing Plan

At HomeLight, our vision is a world where every real estate transaction is simple, certain, and satisfying. Therefore, we promote strict editorial integrity in each of our posts.

A real estate marketing plan involves a combination of online and offline tactics, including listing syndication, social media promotion, print advertising, open houses, and more. A well-executed approach can make all the difference in attracting potential buyers and securing a quick sale at the right price.

When you’re selling, it’s essential that you work with a real estate agent who understands your local market and can tailor a marketing plan to highlight your property’s unique features.

Find a Top Listing Agent to Market Your Home

HomeLight makes it easy to connect with a top real estate agent who can develop a marketing strategy tailored to your home. Your agent will be equipped to provide complete service including: professional photography, listing on major online home search sites, open houses, and more.

Nip possible issues with your agent’s proposed marketing plan in the bud during their listing presentation — when an agent makes his or her initial pitch to represent you in the sale of your home, and you get the chance to ask questions.

“During the agent’s listing presentation, see if their messaging is generic, lacks strategic direction regarding who the target buyer audience is, and lacks understanding of the home’s unique selling points,” says Chad Martin, president of Element-360, an award-winning real estate marketing agency in Asheville, North Carolina. “See if the agent lacks a background and track record in the respective market niche. Pay attention to how well they listen.”

Here are 7 key questions to test if your agent’s real estate marketing plan is up to snuff.

1. What kind of outreach will you do to draw in buyers?

An agent’s marketing plan for your home should provide a clear course of action for how they plan to attract buyers and generate buzz about your listing.

“The marketing plan is at least 50% of how a home gets sold and why you’re hiring a Realtor,” says Tiffany Fykes, a top-selling real estate agent in Nashville, Tennessee. “If an agent can’t tell you what they’re going to do to market the home, then they’re just going to post it on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), put a sign in the yard, and pray that somebody comes to buy it.”

Considering that 96% of homebuyers use the web during their home search, see if your agent discusses strategies such as:


Search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) are two key terms to listen for when it comes to marketing your home, according to the experts we spoke with.

SEO drives free traffic to a web page (such as your real estate listing) from search engines like Google. SEM directs paid search engine traffic, such as pay-per-click ads, to places like your agent’s website to boost your home’s listing exposure.

Does your agent talk about optimizing your listing to include commonly used, sought-after keywords?

Social media

When it comes to promoting your home on social media, you’ll want to be sure your agent is well-versed. See if they’re familiar with using Facebook’s audience ad targeting, and ask if they can show you examples for how they’ve used Facebook to promote a Sunday open house or drum up buzz around listings with a “coming soon” or “just listed” ad.

Also inquire about whether your agent leverages any other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, or whatever’s worked well for them in the past.

Are they offering up creative ideas specific to your home, like highlighting your spacious kitchen with the two Viking stoves, or posting a digital tour of your house on Instagram or TikTok to tease the listing? What about a video that spotlights backyard amenities like the in-ground pool and children’s treehouse?

Here you’re checking to see if your agent’s plan will hit buyers in as many places on the web as possible in creative ways that highlight your home’s unique selling points.

Spreading the word about your house to local real estate agents and the neighbors

Your marketing plan should also have methods for cultivating interest in your home among other real estate agents, such as those who’ve brought buyers to the table elsewhere in the neighborhood.

Find out if your agent has plans to:

  • Talk up your listing around the office
  • Call buyer’s agents to generate buzz that’ll lead to showings of your home
  • Shoot out an email blast to buyer’s agents in their network
  • Send direct mailers to buyers in hopes of getting them to attend an open house
  • Place ads in newspapers and magazines targeted at buyers who are in the sweet spot for your home’s price range

Ask to see an example of your agent’s past marketing materials. Ads in print publications as well as fliers should feature some key components:

  • An eye-catching, professional design
  • Simple, easy-to-read fonts
  • The home’s full address
  • Basic property details such as number of beds and baths
  • A few high-quality listing photos (one of your home’s front exterior; one back exterior; and a couple of the best or most updated rooms in the house, such as the remodeled kitchen, or primary bedroom with vaulted ceilings)
  • Proximity to walking trails, local hot spots, top school district, or other attractions
  • Catchy copy to describe your home’s most desirable qualities, such as “turnkey” or “$20,000 worth of upgrades”
  • A list of all your upgrades, such as a finished basement or brand-new master bath
  • Your agent’s name, brokerage, phone number, email, and website

2. Who’s our target buyer pool?

Like a politician should know their audience before delivering a speech, your agent should have a clear understanding of who your target buyer is.

Ask your agent about the buyers they’re focusing on with your home’s marketing plan. A good agent will have research and knowledge of the area and know the buyer pool like the back of their hand.

Listen for the agent to tell you about demographic shifts in the neighborhood, who’s moving in and who’s moving out, and make sure they have a clear and vivid picture of the people who would buy your house.

Are they young families looking to settle down before the school year starts? Are they older, making your single-story style an attractive option for aging in place?

3. How do you plan to market my home visually?

85% of homebuyers browsing online find property photos “very useful,” according to the National Association of Realtors.

Ask your agent if they plan to hire a professional photographer to snap pictures that will portray your home in its best light. A professional photographer will take photos of your home with the right lighting, mechanics, and details, including:

  • A wide-angle lens to show more of a room at once
  • Natural light to make each photo feel warm and inviting
  • Angles that don’t show mirror reflections in the shower door, or windows where the view outside is blocked with bright light
  • A DSLR camera and tripod rather than a freehand cellphone

Beyond photos, 65% of agents are leveraging drone footage and 64% are using listing videos as part of their marketing, according to a recent HomeLight survey.

4. How do I know whether the marketing plan is working?

If you’re the type of person who likes frequent updates, you want to find out if your agent will have the tracking metrics, should you ask for them.

Will they text you, call you, or email you with new developments?

Even if you plan to stay at an arm’s length throughout the marketing process, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your agent’s staying on top of your home’s performance and buyer interest around it.

Listen to see if your agent keeps tabs on things like:

  • How much traffic your online listing is generating
  • How many showings you’re booking
  • Where buyers are finding your listing
  • Social media metrics around any ad campaigns

5. What happens if we don’t get any showings?

A marketing plan shouldn’t be set in stone; rather, it should be able to shift and react to changing circumstances as needed.

You might listen for a response like Fykes: “You’ve got to adjust to what the market tells you. At the beginning, we’re making really educated guesses on all of the pieces of the marketing plan.”

For example, perhaps your home has been on the market for 10 days yet no real estate agents or buyers have toured it. Maybe, then, it’s time to bump up Facebook advertising or send marketing emails to a different group of real estate agents.

Marketing professor Randy Hacker, executive director of the Keller Center for Research at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, offers this word of caution: “Sellers should recognize that many marketing efforts require a reasonable amount of time to generate results, so don’t pull the plug too quickly.”

You want an agent who won’t panic at the first sign of trouble but can identify the issue, adjust fast, and tweak your marketing plan accordingly.

6. What’s your marketing budget?

Here you’ll get a feel for the money behind your home’s individual listing, but you also want to find out how much the brokerage you’re working with cares about marketing their business and brand to the community at large.

“We spend a lot of money, not just for every specific property but for generating views online, attracting buyers, and we then convert them to buy the properties that we list. All of that marketing money is being funneled into these different listings,” says Fykes.

So not only should there be a strong marketing plan for your individual home, but you should see if the agency who will represent you has an effective overarching marketing plan they are willing to invest in.

7. How will I know if the price is right?

Your agent should be well-versed in creating a comparative market analysis to price your home accurately from the get-to. If a home is priced incorrectly and lingers on the market, buyers will question whether something is wrong with it.

Pricing a property too high is going to lose you money in the long run, so you want your agent to be real with you about what happens if your home sits stale for too long.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 38% of recent sellers reported that they’d trimmed the asking price at least once.

How aggressive will your agent be in adjusting the price to market conditions and buyer demand?

Maximize your home sale success with a tailored real estate marketing plan

Businesses across all industries rely on clever marketing plans to promote their products and services. Your home — which is a product, too — deserves its own tailored publicity roadmap.

But great marketing doesn’t come out of thin air. It requires deep knowledge of your target audience and careful planning.

That’s what you hire an agent for. When you’re ready to sell, HomeLight can connect you with a top agent in your market who has the marketing prowess you need.

Real estate marketing plan FAQ

Header Image Source: (Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst)