As a broker-owner, you’ve put the time, money, and effort into a marketing strategy for your real estate business. But how do you find out if your hard work is paying off? This is a conundrum for all marketers, not just those in the real estate industry. It’s difficult to find out where your customers heard about your brand, especially when you are using marketing techniques to raise overall awareness.
Luckily, marketing return on investment is easier to track than ever before. While you may not get all the answers you desire, the data that’s available will allow you to see what’s working from a numbers standpoint.
But before we talk about numbers, there is a step that many marketers miss: goal setting. There are big goals, such as the total revenue you’d like to bring in for the year, and marketing-specific goals, which might read something like “be known as the go-to real estate company for first-time home buyers in my city.” While your revenue goals are easily trackable (although you may not know exactly which efforts helped you get there), more abstract goals are often more difficult to trace. You can start by setting some specific, trackable goals for your marketing efforts.
- Website traffic. Let’s imagine you would like to increase website traffic by 30 percent as part of your marketing goals. This is as easy as examining the number of visitors to your site via your Google Analytics account or other web analytics software. The next step is to determine how those visitors are arriving to your site to see which of your efforts are working. Your analytics tool will also show you which sites are referring traffic to you—maybe your ad on the local chamber of commerce site is driving people your way and you should renew it. Maybe your content contributions to a local blog are referring traffic and you should focus your efforts on writing a monthly column. These are all clues that your website’s analytics platform can give you.
- Social media engagement. In the past, many marketers measured social media success by the number of followers or “likes” on a page. This is no longer an accurate or valuable measurement in and of itself. What you really want to look at is how many engagements you are getting with your posts. Most major social media platforms have easily accessible analytics for page administrators, so you can see exactly how your posts are performing. You will want to look at metrics like comments, likes, retweets, and shares (depending on the platform) to assess ROI. Again, don’t forget to set a reasonable goal here before you begin measuring.
- E-newsletter open and click rates. The average email open rate for the real estate industry hovers at around 20 percent, according to MailChimp, an email marketing platform. No matter which program you are using, it will show you email open and click rates. Setting a goal that is a bit above average for your industry might be a good place to start. Play around with subject lines and the times of the day you send out your communications to see how they impact performance. Segmenting your distribution list in order to send customize mailings that are relevant to various subgroups of people within your audience (buyers, sellers, recent purchasers, recent past clients, long-time past clients, new leads) might work to boost your open and click-through rates.
These are just a few of the ways you can start to measure the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. There are many other formulas and metrics you can start to pull together once your campaigns are fully up and running. If you are doing any paid digital advertising, the vendor with which you are running ads may also be able to give you some interaction and click-through numbers. If you are collecting contacts via a website form, you can add in a question about how the person found out about your company to start gauging the effectiveness of your efforts. A concerted search engine marketing strategy can help to boost all your efforts across the board—consider hiring a professional to do an analysis and recommendation for you.
In short, there are many tools available to start attaching value and ROI to your marketing investments. Setting goals and tracking data and analytics with the various platforms you are using are good places to start.