As the real estate market stabilises, it’s tempting to look at where you are investing your marketing dollars and consider where you could potentially cut back. Things might be tighter for you cashflow-wise if you aren’t turning over the same amount of stock you were at this time last year, and you might think cutting back on marketing to reduce your outgoings is a wise decision.
But can you really afford not to invest in your business? If you are in this industry for the long term, you are going to experience the ups and downs of the market throughout your career; some months will be slow, and some will be highly profitable.
If we study the top performers in the real estate industry, we can see a clear pattern in what has contributed to their success. In most cases ‘consistency’ plays a large role. Top performers all know that prospecting for new business has cause and effect, meaning if you don’t make the calls you need to this month, you won’t have the pipeline of new listings coming in the door that you need next month. Without consistency, we fall into the trap of getting distracted with new listings and dropping the ball on prospecting, which means not hitting sales targets the following month.
Marketing works in quite the same way, especially social media. Consistency is required to continuously build momentum and, if you are shifting focus on your marketing initiatives all the time, you will waste your time and money in the long run.
So is social media worth investing in and how do you measure it?
There are two main ways to directly track whether your social media content is converting to ‘leads’ in real estate – and in this example by ‘leads’ I’m referring to listing appraisals:
1. Ask your customers where they heard about you – if you have a system in place to survey new leads and track where they came from, you will be able to get a better understanding of which marketing efforts are working. However, this isn’t foolproof; many customers might first hear about you from your website, the online portals or a DL flyer. Then they might navigate to your social platforms, see that you are an expert in your field and then decide to call you in for an appraisal. Sometimes it can take seeing multiple marketing touchpoints for someone to make a decision.
2. Track leads through your website – this method takes a bit of effort and technical ability to set up and will also depend on the capability of your website. Firstly, you must have control of your own website or agency website and access to the back-end of it. Secondly, you will need to have some type of online form to capture leads digitally. And finally, you will also need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website; this is a piece of code pasted into the back-end of the website to allow you to better track interaction from Facebook. Theoretically, once this is in place you could track the number of new enquiries you receive from social media with this method. Unfortunately, this is also not a perfect mechanism for tracking either, as people might click to your website and then call you, in which case you may not be able to track this behaviour.
So really there is no perfect way to track return on investment on social media if you are looking at appraisals received as your main metric. But the reality is that you aren’t selling socks, or lipstick or any other fast-moving consumer goods that people might be easily swayed into buying from seeing a post on social media.
What we do know is that building lasting relationships and rapport with people is what ultimately results in winning a listing from a client. And let’s face it, it’s also much easier to convert someone you have a relationship with.
My personal belief is that when it comes to real estate conversations are your conversions. This means that every conversation you are having with people in your community is moving you towards generating more business.
This is one of the main reasons that we track engagement and reach as the main metric for ROI for real estate. Unlike many other marketing methods, on social media you can track the number of people that have seen your social content and the number of people that are responding and reacting to it. If you are targeting people who might do business with you then without a doubt there is value in this, even if it doesn’t eventuate immediately to a listing or sale.
With social media you can strengthen your relationships with your existing clients, build more awareness of who you are and the services you offer in your farm area and get in front of your pipeline clients on a daily or even weekly basis. So why wouldn’t you? If you don’t I guarantee your competitors will be.