Beyond leads: What are other metrics of real estate marketing success?
When it comes to getting a message across in the luxury real estate space, brokers often cover familiar areas. You value every existing customer and spend time and resources cultivating these relationships. However, bringing in new leads is what really keeps businesses going.
When it comes to getting a message across in the luxury real estate space, brokers often cover familiar areas. You value every existing customer and spend time and resources cultivating these relationships. However, bringing in new leads is what really keeps businesses going. How can agents ensure they reach the broad, yet exclusive audience they want? How can you guarantee that your marketing efforts are really working?
Looking at lead generation is the most basic indicator that the right stakeholders are making contact. However, Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, real estate professionals at Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton, New York, recognize that marketing today can go much further. Gone are the days of agents launching their promotional materials and passively waiting for feedback: The digital age has produced better data-driven metrics that give agents a much more detailed view of how their content is performing. Here are some of the key performance metrics to keep an eye on.
Start with simple math
It’s still important to start with the basics. “I keep track of the number of phone and email inquiries in an entry, the number of inquiries per week and the percentage conversion of shows into interested parties,” says Frank Bodenchak of his monitoring process. With luxury real estate, metrics like this have always been the easiest way to see at a glance whether your marketing efforts are getting the results you want.
However, there are two other simple statistics that should be monitored: the number of days a home has been on the market and the number of screenings per home. “If you’re not getting enough ads, or if ads aren’t generating offers, there is a need to review your marketing, product offering, and price to improve those metrics,” notes Dawn Bodenchak. The longer a property stands, the more likely it is that potential buyers expect either the seller to lower the price or that something is wrong with the home.
Nobody likes to wait
If you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place, it will likely measure how often you correspond with your leads and customers and be regularly reminded to follow up. Unless you’re using a CRM system, it’s important to proactively track your email, phone, and personal exchanges.
The Bodenchaks make a habit of always tracking the response time – how much time has passed since a lead’s first request. The average response time is around 15 hours and 30 minutes, according to a study by Inside Real Estate. However, research has also shown that a staggering 48% of requests fall through the cracks.
You also need to know the time that elapses between follow-up exams, which is surprisingly considered to be the most overlooked aspect of real estate lead generation. By closing these gaps, agents can easily spot a growing number of qualified leads.
Make the most of it online
“We still use magazine ads to increase brand awareness and remind buyers and brokers of a listing, but the first line of contact is web-based,” says Frank Bodenchak. “For the past decade, we have relied on e-mail explosions, property search engines and social media instead of print for disseminating information.”
Google Analytics is a fundamental way to monitor your web traffic. You can check how many people are visiting your website and track their surfing behavior. For example, keeping track of your bounce rate will tell you how quickly visitors leave your website after they arrive. You can also judge which of your pages are the most popular. Adding these metrics to your Marketing rubric will give you an idea of the success of your efforts.
Frank and Dawn Bodenchak saw firsthand the benefits social media brings to their marketing. Facebook and Instagram provide feedback to help agents monitor their social channels, stay informed of engagement and responses, and maintain real-time marketing awareness. “By switching to a business account on Instagram, we now get all the important information from posts,” says Frank Bodenchak. “In addition to likes and comments, Instagram provides information about the gender, age and location of our audience. With just a small budget for online marketing, we can make a difference. “
The basics still apply
“Know the landscape, know the prices, and know the product – and most importantly, how the product can be customized for a buyer,” says Dawn Bodenchak. “The metrics we use to measure our marketing success may not have changed, but the means to achieve them have changed.” Now, agents have more tools in their inventory to ensure that their strategies are working – and, more broadly, that their leads, prospects, and customers are enjoying the best possible service.
About Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning customers of the Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint includes 990 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 proprietary brokerage offices in major metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the name Sotheby’s International Realty and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system consists of an affiliate network in which each office is independent and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a variety of resources for operations, marketing, recruiting, education and business development. Partners and agents also benefit from a connection with the venerable auction house Sotheby’s, which was founded in 1744. More information is available at www.sothebysrealty.com.
The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and the company-owned brokers are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both companies are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and providing real estate brokerage, relocation and fulfillment services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc. both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.