As a letting agent, it's understandable that you focus is on acquiring landlords and finding great homes for renters. However, that might mean that, on occasion, the marketing plan might get pushed to one side.
Whether you’re a large or small agency, a marketing plan is essential for building a brand name, creating trust and exciting landlords and renters.
If you’re pushed for time or aren’t quite sure what goes into a watertight marketing plan, worry no. In this guide, we’re providing everything you need to know to create a marketing plan for your letting agency.
Why use a marketing plan?
There is no cohesion without a marketing plan, and things will soon become messy. It’s hard to keep track of budgets, and you find yourself trying actions with no real strategy. As a result, you don’t get the outcome you want and soon try another method, which will probably be just as disappointing.
It’s all about strategy and ensuring that you’re not missing out on any opportunities. A marketing plan puts you on the right course to turn your business goals into a reality. It provides direction while giving you and your team goals to achieve.
Here are our top tips for creating a marketing plan
1) It’s all about the SWOT
One of the first things anyone learns in a marketing class is SWOT. Or, in other words, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Understanding these four key points is the first part of creating a robust marketing plan.
As a letting agency, your strengths might be the people who make up the business. After all, the world of lettings is primarily a people business. Weaknesses might relate to a lack of knowledge in marketing or having a lower budget than competitors. Opportunities could include the fact that you’re the only agency in your patch that creates a robust marketing plan, and threats might equate to challenging economic conditions in your local housing market.
Whatever SWOT metrics that you uncover, detailing them at the beginning of your marketing plan will put your agency in good stead to create and execute a top strategy.
2) Who is the target audience
Who is your target audience? Well that’s easy, right? It’s landlords and renters. While the key aspects of your target audience are pretty easy to identify, you’ll need to be a little savvier when unpicking their specific personas.
What type of landlord operates in your patch? What are the rental averages, and how much are the homes worth? Do you work somewhere with high-end landlords? Or are house prices and rents lower than the average? Ask similar questions for renters: who are the people renting homes in your local area? Does the neighbourhood attract sharers, single professionals, students or families?
What are their budgets? What do they value in a rental home? There’s so much to unpack to build a profile of your ideal landlord and renter. The more information you have about them, the more concise your marketing plan will be.
3) Don’t aim too high
We all know the goal is to acquire stock and let more homes. But the journey to that stage won't be clear unless you have smaller achievable goals that can put you on the road to success. Create smart, smaller and attainable targets that, when added together, will lend themselves to the bigger picture.
All of your goals should have a time frame so that you’re more likely to complete them. But what constitutes a smaller, more attainable goal? It depends on your primary objective, but if it’s to create inbound leads, you might aim that to write four thought leadership blog posts each month and spend a specific amount on paid social media advertising.
No matter your objective, start with achievable goals. And before starting any tactics, write out and visualise your aims. Doing so will give you more clarity over what you’re trying to achieve and will make your marketing efforts more sustainable.
4) Set your budget
After mapping out your goals, you will need to figure out the budget and see what elements are attainable. Knowing how much you can spend will help you prioritise. If your budget is limited, it might be that you focus on one aspect over another.
Alternatively, you might decide to split the budget so that you try your hand at several marketing methods to see which one achieves the best results. But the only way to see how the budget is distributed is by knowing how the amount that you have to spend.
5) Create a calendar
Now that you have an idea about your goals and financial capabilities, it’s time to create a schedule. Having a calendar that can be easily shared across the team will ensure that everyone knows what they’re doing. It might be worth using a task management tool so that everyone has accountability.
You can choose to plan the calendar monthly, quarterly or yearly, depending on your own preferences. But the primary goal is to make sure that everything is noted down and team members know what they’re doing and when they’re doing it.
Planning to succeed
Many letting agents try a few different marketing actions without having a strategy in place. The results are usually always unsatisfactory. By having a marketing plan, you’re more likely to stick to it and therefore see long-term results rather than quick fixes. Having a marketing strategy in place is the best way for you to plan for success.
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