There is one ultimate reason that we all market our services - profit. We market ourselves in a variety of ways and on multiple channels so that we show up on our potential clients' radars.
When trading in the stock market, we have access to performance indicators that tell us how well stocks and sectors are doing. One look at these indicators with reference to our own portfolios gives us enough information to make adjustments. We move money where it is most likely to give the best ROI.
But how do we know which part of our marketing efforts are effective? What are the indicators? Where should we put our money and where should we move it from? So, tracking leads is an essential part in the marketing process.
Current marketing methods for realtors
Let's take a quick example. A simple way that realtors market themselves, is through postcards that are sent in the mail along with flyers and coupons. Another way is through advertisements on the back of buses, billboards, lawn signs, and even radio ads. Yet another way is through social media (see: 7 tips on Instagram marketing for real estate) and through Pay-Per-Click Marketing.
All of these are meant to create name recognition and one lead may be all it takes to pay off an entire year's worth of ads. But how do you know which lead is converting and which isn't?
First, let's talk Real Estate CRM
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and is usually a software offered as a service. In a mobile connected world, marketers need to engage in omni-channel marketing to make a prospect's experience seamless and convenient. A CRM is the best way to manage new and old relationships because they serve as powerful lead management systems. But this happens once a client or prospect is on-boarded. We need to see how to track leads before we move a client into our CRM for realtors.
Why Tracking Leads is Important
Tracking leads for realtors is essential because we want to know where our clients are coming from. With traditional marketing, we face the following problems, which makes tracking leads even more critical. This is because:
- Competition is fierce - Did you know that there are over 40,000 realtors in Toronto alone? Can you imagine competing with so many realtors for the same traditional media buys? Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing for you?
- Postcards get thrown in the trash - This is a common occurrence. The likelihood of someone holding on to your postcard until they're ready to buy, sell, or refer is close to nil.
- Ads get obstructed - With the exception of radio and TV ads, I've seen - and I'm sure you have too - countless ads being covered in mud splash, hidden by trees, or by cars. Imagine the one person who was meant to see your ad doesn't actually see it because of obstructions. That's a lost lead.
This is not to say that traditional marketing is bad. In fact, it is essential for the integrated realtor. For example, while an ad may get obstructed, in most cases, the obstruction isn't permanent. In addition, the law of large numbers applies - which means that more people are likely to see your ad on a billboard than when you send out a limited number of postcards.
How do you know which ads are working and which ads aren't? The answer is simple! The best way to be sure about your ROAS (return on ad spend), is to track your leads across channel and create some sort of lead management system for yourself. This is the single most important thing that we should do when focusing on our marketing efforts. It's great to spend thousands of dollars on marketing and ads, but if we don't know which ones are converting, we're throwing money away. A friend who holds a position in the upper echelons of one of North America's largest property management companies regularly tells me, "vague goals result in vague outcomes." Let's turn that and say, "vague lead tracking results in vague marketing outcomes." So, if we apply that logic, we know we have to track leads. How do we do that?
1. Call Tracking
Simple Method - Asking
The first thing we have to do is track our calls. Whenever we get a call or an email, we have to make it a habit of asking where the caller saw your ad. If you're getting many phone calls about your lawn sign, but none about your postcards, you might need to move money from that channel and put it into another.
Pro-tip: You can't always attend to your calls. Ensure that in addition to asking for a name, number, and message in your voicemail, ask that a caller leaves info on where they saw your ad and which ad they're calling about.
Advance Method - Tracking Softwares
An advanced and highly effective call tracking technique is to use call forwarding services. For each of your print ads, having a different toll-free number that forwards to your mainline is a good strategy. This way, each number is associated with a specific ad or channel, but they all get forwarded to the main line. Once a day or once a week, you can check to see which number yielded the most calls. Correspond the number with its ad will give you an above-average understanding of your call conversion.
There are plenty of call tracking and forward service for realtors available out there. In fact, a simple Google search on call tracking will yield results to some great services, such as Call Rail. Have a different phone number for each of your
This is so simple, yet many mortgage brokers, realtors, and developers won't even look at this. If you would like to learn how we can help you with call tracking, send us a line.
2. PPC Analytics
When you market using Google AdWords or Facebook Ads, they show you how many clicks your ads are getting along with a variety of other information pertaining to your visitors. Two important elements are geographical origin of clicks and times of day when your ads get the most engagement.
Some ads may also work better than other ads. When you track which ads are driving the most leads at what time of day, you can recalibrate them so that they show at the most effective time or to a particular type of audience. We will publish an article on PPC marketing soon. Be sure the check back to see when it's up.
3. Website Data Analytics
You have a website - great! Bonus points if it is mobile-responsive. How do you know how effective your website is in generating leads?
Track where your customers are coming from through your website's analytics system. Most new websites should have a comprehensive analytic reporting tool that tells you where your traffic originates and how it finds you. This differs from PPC analytics because it may not always be through an advertisement that someone finds you. They may have seen your name listed in an online directory, or they may have read a blog post you wrote, or even while looking for services similar to the ones you offer on search engines.
Knowing where this traffic is coming from can tell you where you need to focus your marketing efforts. Are you getting traffic from an area you do not service? Think about that when you look at your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts (see: how can SEO help my business?)
If you don't have website data analytics, ask your webmaster to install one.
Pro-tip: Google Analytics is a free, intuitive, yet sophisticated system that takes very little time to setup. It can also tell you where on your website, they decide to leave and see if there's something that's turning them off.
If you need help with this, book a free consultation with us.
4. Landing Pages
Suppose you put an advertisement on the radio to ask listeners to go to your website. How do you know which ones visited because of that ad? The radio station can only tell you how many listeners it has on air. A smart way to do this is to create an exclusive landing page for your radio ads that you don't promote anywhere else (see: how can I use landing pages to generate leads?). So, if you see your website showing you visits to that particular landing page, you know that it came from the radio. This is pretty easy to set up and is a cost-effective way to generate and track leads.
Let's take an example. Imagine you're an interior designer who has an ad running on an FM radio station during a show called Radio At Noon for the summer months. Your call to action is asking your audience to visit your website. Instead of promoting your main website address, you should promote a landing page address. So, instead of promoting www.interiordesigner.com, you promote www.interiordesigner.com/radioatnoon.
You can do this for podcasts, for postcards, for lawn signs - the applications are virtually limitless.
Tracking your leads is the most fundamental way to figure out which ads are working and which aren't. Tracking calls, using analytic data, and landing pages are essential in doing so because it allows you to recalibrate your spending. This way, you save money, generate more leads, and close more business.
If you would like to make tracking work for you and create landing pages for your business, we can help you. Just click here for a free consultation.