Do you know?
Do you have a system in place for keeping track of where your customers and clients are coming from? Or do you just "do some things" and hope they work?
Unfortunately, most Realtors and Real Estate Agencies just follow the crowd, doing the same real estate marketing everyone else does so that they have a presence everywhere anyone else is.
For instance, everyone places their homes for sale ads in the Sunday newspaper, or the local Homes magazine. And if two agencies sign up to support the local Booster Club by posting team pictures, everyone else has to follow suit or they might "look bad."
It makes no sense, but it happens that way for one simple reason: Most agents and agencies don't know where their business is coming from!
- If you knew that you got the majority of your buyers from your web page would you work harder to promote the web page?
- If you knew that the dollars you spent on a full page in the Homes magazine hadn't resulted in even one call for the last 6 months, would you stop advertising there?
- If you knew your newsletter brought you 2 or 3 new listings every month would you mail more newsletters?
- If you knew that classified ads didn't work at all, would you keep placing them?
You won't know any of that unless you set up a system to keep track of where your calls, emails, and walk-ins are coming from.
Start now, so that within a few months you'll know exactly where to spend your real estate marketing dollars - and where NOT to spend them.
Make up a chart with the various ways you advertise: Web site, prospecting letters, postcards, Homes magazine, newspapers (by name if you use more than one), flyer boxes, just listed cards, etc. And do remember to include columns for "reputation" and referrals.
Put your ads in a folder and date them, so you can go back later and look at them after you know which ones worked.
Make the referral column on your chart wider than the others... so instead of a checkmark you can enter the name of the person who referred you. Then be faithful about sending a thank you card, or at the very least, making a thank you phone call. When you show appreciation for help given, you'll get even more.
Be sure your chart has room to write down the name of the new customer or client, because the second step to record keeping is to note how many of those leads resulted in closed transactions.
If an advertising venue gets you plenty of inquiries but no sales it might be attracting the wrong people.
Just creating your chart isn't enough. Once you have it, you have to use it. That means asking people how they found you. Some agents are reluctant to do that. If you're one of them... get over it! This is your career and your money we're talking about!
Keep your charts, and at the end of a week or a month, sit down and read them. Find out how many people came to you from each source. Balance that with how many times you used each, of course.
The last step is to compare how many dollars you spent on each form of real estate marketing to how many closed transactions resulted from each.
Armed with that information you can either eliminate some forms of advertising entirely, or work on improving the messages you send out. If newspaper ads worked one week and not another; it's time to get those ads out of the folder and study what you did.
This record keeping shouldn't take more than an hour or two a week - and it can save you hundreds, if not thousands on advertising costs.