A marketing plan will help you focus on your most critical tasks to grow your business while saving you time and money. Here are six easy steps for creating your marketing strategy.

1) Review your business. What were your key metrics for last year (sales commissions, listings taken, listings sold, number of clients, etc)? What were your successes? What do you want to improve?

2) Decide where you want to be. What do you want to accomplish over the next year? Based on last years performance, what key metrics do you want to hit? Be specific. How much will you make? How often will you work? What types of clients do you want to attract?

3) Review your performance. Which marketing activities are bringing in business? Which are a waste of money and can be cut out? What marketing activities should you invest in, such as publishing a monthly newsletter, developing your online marketing strategy, or doing more business networking?

4) Select your marketing tactics. It can take seven to ten contacts with someone before they hire you. Plan for it. What is the step-by-step process you will implement to convert a complete stranger into a paying client? What marketing tactics will you use to:
* Market to strangers: How will you attract the attention of those people who have never heard of you?
* Market to suspects: How will you follow up with people who have opted in to receive more information but you havent yet talked with one-on-one?
* Market to prospects: How will you sell your services to those who contact you?
* Market to clients and past clients: How will you keep in touch with clients, deliver excellent client service, and ask for referrals?
* Market to referral partners: How will you find and partner with professionals and community influencers to cultivate referrals?

5) Schedule your activities. Now that you know what needs to be done, schedule your activities in your calendar. What activities will you do each week? For instance:
* Strangers Run weekly classified ads.
* Suspects Publish a weekly email newsletter.
* Prospects Follow up with phone calls, mailed letters and emails.
* Clients/Past Clients Take a past client out for coffee each week.
* Referral Network Subscribe to blogs, newsletters, and social media channels where colleagues interact. Each day, post a new comment on someones blog or engage with them on Twitter/Facebook.

6) Schedule a monthly review. Block off a few hours each month to review your marketing calendar and your goals. Are you hitting your targets? What is or isnt working? What do you need to modify to achieve your goals?

By following these six steps, you can create a marketing plan for your real estate business if just a few hours.