How to Use Marketing for a More Successful Real Estate Year in 2015


With less than 10 weeks left in this year, it’s time to “assess and plan” for your success in 2015. This is “truth time,” as you put together a successful marketing plan for the upcoming year.

What I mean by that is it’s time to look in the mirror and be completely honest with “the man in the mirror.” If you don’t like what you see, it’s time to make some changes.

First Steps

Do an honest assessment of this year. This can be harder than you think. Take a look at the marketing plan you created for this year (you did have one, didn’t you?) — then ask yourself these four questions:

  1. How did your marketing plan work for you this year?
  2. Did you meet or exceed your income goals?
  3. Where did the implementation of you plan fall short?
  4. What do you need to do differently next year?

Next, ask yourself where the problems occurred.

  • If your marketing efforts fell short, it’s time to figure out exactly what happened.
  • Before you can create a winning marketing plan, you need to identify the problems and create solutions for those same problems.

The Fix

If your plan didn’t work or if you didn’t meet your income goals, it’s time for a turnaround.

Related: The Real Estate Marketing Mistake That Could Cost You Millions

Remember that planning is what you do before you do anything.

Step 1: Take a close look at your plan.

Did you have solid strategies and tactics for the implementation of your marketing plan?  Maybe you need to add additional marketing strategies in your business.

Every real estate investor needs to have more than one or two ways to find deals. In fact, the more you have, the better chance you have of snagging that killer deal. Folks who depend on just one strategy will be in trouble if that lead source dries up. This is where many investors found themselves in the past couple of years if they were only chasing REO’s or short sales. When those lead sources all but dried up in many areas, those investors had to pretty much start over and develop new lead sources.

Trust me; that is not a place you want to find yourself.

Step 2: Make sure you have your implementation laid out correctly.

I believe that there is only one way to successfully implement your strategies over time — and that is to map it all out on a calendar. I like to take that one step further and create weekly action steps on the big whiteboard in my office.

You simply can’t get from point A to point B without a plan, without a map.

And much like when you take a trip, you won’t get very far if you hide your map away in a kitchen drawer. Like your map, you have to keep your plan handy. It needs to be visible. You need to refine your action steps each and every week.

Plan it All Out

It’s one thing to know what you should be doing, but without creating an actual plan for the implementation of your marketing, the chances of reaching your goals are really pretty slim.

Here is a simple step by step process:

  1. Write down every marketing strategy you currently use in your business.
  2. Next, write down at least 2 or 3 new strategies you can implement in your business for lead generation. Notice I didn’t say “stay in your comfort zone.” Really stretch yourself on this one. What are some other ways you can get leads, other strategies you are currently not doing that you can begin implementing now?
  3. Put your new strategies into practice. I want to caution you not to get sucked into the idea of “waiting until after the holidays are over” to get started. Think of these next 12 weeks as time to plan and time to practice implementing these new strategies so you can really nail them in 2015.
  4. Once you have your list of strategies, break them down into weekly or monthly steps.
  5. Next, put those steps on a calendar. That’s right; schedule them just like you would a dentist appointment.

Create a 12 Week Plan

Here’s what I recommend you to do to make this process a whole lot easier — I want you to create a 12-week plan. Take the pressure off yourself by working in 12-week blocks.

Related: Real Estate Marketing: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

How many times have we set ourselves up for failure by trying to manage 12 months in one giant action plan? I know I have.

Here is a much easier way to plan for success.

List all of your marketing activities on a calendar for 12 weeks and stick to the plan. When you come to the last week in this 12 week block, look at your plan and ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working and what do I need to adjust to make it work?
  • Is there something else I should add to the plan?
  • Are there additional networking activities I can add to my marketing plan that might lead to more deals for my business?

If you’ve been avoiding your local REIA meetings or other investor meet-ups, remember these are work activities. Sure, they’re fun, but they can definitely help grow your business. The same is true for non-real estate groups. Get the word out there about what you do.

Here’s a Resource for You

I just read a great book called The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran. Now is this is the perfect time to pick up this book and prepare for next year’s success.  Don’t forget we will be staring at 2015 in a little over 10 weeks. There’s still time to finish this year strong a get a jump on creating success next year before the holidays are here!

How successful has your 2014 marketing plan been? What do you plan on tweaking for the coming year? Can you believe it’s already almost 2015?!

Weigh in with your comments below!

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.


  1. I love the 12 week plan. I would a 10 week format myself and it works really well. I allow myself a week before the end of the 10 weeks to assess where I am and make adjustments.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge…

    • Roselynn –

      You definitely need that planning time to make it work. I think it’s important to have annual goals, but to really achieve them you need shorter defined periods of time to focus on specific steps to take. Thanks for reading.


  2. Great tips, Sharon!

    This year I learned a lot about the marketing strategies that work the best for me as well as gaining more experience hiring and managing contractors. Outsourcing definitely saves a lot of time on my end!

    In the beginning, it’s hard to outsource. Though, as the business grows more funds can be put towards outsourcing tasks others can perform better so we can spend more time on other things and be more productive. Definitely a lesson learned this year!

    I enjoyed the article. Thanks for sharing. Happy Halloween! 🙂

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