Posts Tagged ‘Advertising Budgets’

Tom Caraccio

Just for the Record…The Real Estate Marketing Blueprint!

It’s time to set the record straight! Just this week gone by I was chatting with a client about marketing, and how a successful campaign has several steps that must be followed for success. These steps are lead generate, lead qualify, lead follow up and lead conversion. This is the basic structure of what a marketing system for real estate agents should have at a minimum.

Once I finished drawing this out for them and really giving them the winning formula to be successful in real estate sales, (In fact, thinking about it now this advice could be worth thousands dollars to the right agent), this particular agent responded with, “Wow there’s a lot of steps involved. Wouldn’t it be easier to just advertise for the people who are ready to sell right now?”

And the short answer is, yes. But in this imperfect world we live in, it doesn’t work to advertise for people who want to sell their home now. Real estate marketing just doesn’t work that way.

Real-Estate-Marketing-Blueprint

You see real estate sales success requires a human factor and that factor is a level of trust that prospective vendors feel about the agent they choose. So the chance of you being chosen to sell someone’s home from an advertisement saying, “We are the best” is very slim and some professionals would say as slim as 0.1%.

And that is pretty poor results. In some demographic areas that wouldn’t even amount to one sale, so it would be fair to say that that particular strategy doesn’t work.
So how do we boost our marketing? How do we guarantee that our marketing will pull motivated, qualified prospects that will eventually convert into clients?

It’s a simple strategy but one still not understood by many agents. If you took this strategy and got a little creative with it, it will bring you, like it brings my clients, unchallenged, results month in month out.

First you create advertising and marketing pieces that attract prospects to you; it’s all in the headline and the offer here. The headline needs to stop them and get their attention, and then the offer needs to evoke curiosity with some fear attached, so mentally and emotionally your ad or marketing will get people of their butts to take some action.  The offer should be constructed with the prospect in mind. What would they like to know about selling their home?

Why do we do this?

This way every lead that comes to the agent has already qualified themselves by requesting information about selling a home. “Wowing” the potential customer works well here. My clients also use Reports, CD’s, Books and DVD’s that have been carefully created by us, to deliver their information and this adds a level of “wow” and “authority” to their relationship they have with their prospects.

Next step is to qualify the prospects that respond to your marketing by placing a phone call to them, asking why they requested the information. They will give you feedback as to whether they just wanted the information for education or whether they have been thinking of moving. This step when done correctly will give you other valuable information such as time frames and reasons. This helps the agent determine motivation and sets the time frame for the next step, which is…

Leads follow up and this is done until the prospect dies or buys. As you can see this step varies in time from prospect to prospect. So try to keep this step as easy as possible and mix it up with personal contact, emails, newsletter and any other ways that trust can be built to a rock solid level.

During your follow ups you should be engaging the prospect with offers of useful information that they may want if they were moving into decision making mode about selling. For example you could offer a property report which helps them estimate a sale price by comparisons (CMA) and they can order this from the agent.  By the prospect requesting the information it would show the agent that they may be getting ready to make a decision and the agent can call them for a chat to convert the prospect.

So there you have it, a million dollar blue print to reliably get in front of motivated, qualified, sellers month in month out.  It’s up to you the value you put on this information, it’s either worth nothing to you or worth everything to you. Some of you reading this immediately identify why your marketing hasn’t been working up until now. Were you trying to get clients from your marketing, were you asking for business in your ads? Or were you trying to develop a long term relationship with potential vendors?

Petra Sprekos

Counting the real value of your advertising

Australia is a market of duopolies. In every sector there are 2 to 3 players which dominate the landscape and in our market it is no different. As a select few players have such a strong presence in the market, real estate agents are at the peril of the industry and face the rising costs from portals for online advertising.

So whilst advertising your properties online and offline is integral to get the best sale price for your vendor, agents need to scrutinize their advertising spend to drive more value from their existing activities.

Re-thinking your advertising budget

So how can you drive more value from your existing budget?

STEP 1; The first step is to evaluate what parameters you use to buy advertising. Whilst some sites have high numbers of unique visitors, they also have more noise surrounding them, making it difficult for your listing to get the exposure it should for the investment you make.

Rather than buy based on total visitors, look at how many visitors are searching for your local area, and how many enquiries agents are receiving per listing on the sites you are using. This information should be able to give you more of an insight into what you will get from your investment.

STEP 2; The second step is to review your cost per view/lead target. Rather than look at the overall number of leads generated for the properties you are advertising, break the cost down to understand how much you are paying per view or per enquiry. By understanding this information in more detail, you will be able to compare sites like for like to determine which site provides the lowest cost per view and lead.

Once you have this information you will then be able to determine which sites provide the best return on your spend and re-allocate funds on this basis. It is also important to realize that some sites may perform better in certain areas ie renting vs buying thus it is also important to look at the value derived for each part of your business.

STEP 3; The third step is to set targets to achieve. Now that you understand how much you are paying per lead or view, put some targets in place to reduce your average costs then work towards achieving them.

There is no doubt that you will need to use a mix of sites to achieve this, but the aim is to optimize the return you get from your spend. Apart from maximizing the value derived from advertising spend on third party sites, you need to consider how you can attract more buyers / renters to your own site.

With over 80% of Australians looking for property online, a little bit of investment in SEO may go a long way, and this is one area that should not be ignored in your online advertising strategy.

Although the economy is picking up and the market is strong, putting the fundamentals in place to run a lean business will ultimately provide your agency with greater returns. Understanding the value from your spend now, will ensure your business will be able to effectively deal with price rises in the future.

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