Online marketing can be a daunting task for real estate agents and other real estate professionals. Some people get swept up in the metrics of online marketing, clicks, responses, emails, etc. It is easy to get excited at bumps in “traffic” to your website, but unless that traffic converts into a lead, it's not helping to grow your business.
Think about it like this, if you were running a print or television marketing campaign, would you get excited at the number of households you reached? That's the not key measurement you should be measuring in this specific situation. The key analytic that should be measured is one set by the goals of your marketing strategy. We've outlined a couple of tips on how to establish a marketing strategy for those within the real estate industry.
Setting & Creating Goals
Setting goals for your marketing strategy is the easiest way to measure your accomplishments. Goals clarify for you and your business why you are marketing and what you are ultimately trying to accomplish. Those additional metrics can help you reach your goals, but without goals, those metrics risk distracting you for the trees when you need to focus on the forest.
When you set a goal, don’t focus on something subjective like “increasing sales” or “raising brand awareness.” Focus your strategy on setting concrete, measurable objectives. Don’t get too caught up in setting small goals right now, like growing your email list. Those are marketing tactics or objectives, not overall strategy or goals. These small goals will be discussed later in the planning phase. The objective will comprise your goals, once they are fully developed.
Your goal should be something measurable like "generate 25% more qualified leads by Q3.” Set a time-frame for the goal (so your goal won't be on-going) and something that is measurable, like a percentage of increase or a set dollar amount you want to increase your revenue by.
Now that you have a goal decide how you will achieve that goal. Will you focus on homes sales? How about qualifying potential buyers or sellers? There are many different solutions for how to achieve your specific goals, and it's up to your marketing team to figure out how to get there.
Now that you have your goals, it's time to plan your strategy. This is where your tactical objectives come into play. To grow your business, you may focus on "create search engine optimized blog content” then “increasing blog traffic” which might eventually lead to a greater increase in qualified leads. Focus on your real estate business and the specific tasks that will accomplish your goals (and how your marketing strategy will achieve those goals). Think about your business holistically and how your real estate marketing strategy can fit into your goals.
Once you have a series of objectives, write out how you think your objectives will accomplish your goals. You need to critically review your objectives and goals and focus on the weak points in the plan and the challenges you will face in reaching your goals.
For instance, if you plan on doing pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and direct e-mail marketing to generate a 15 percent bump in revenue, where is the likeliest point you will fail? Is it “social media marketing?” If it is why? And how do you overcome that barrier? You don’t necessarily need to confront it right now; but it's important to think about the weak points in your strategy and what you can do to fortify it before implementing your marketing campaign.
Set a Timeline
Once you have your goals, metrics, and a list of objectives, come up with a schedule to achieve milestones. You need a timeline to ensure that you stay on track and achieve your goals during your allotted time period. Strict adherence to the schedule isn’t necessary, but it does allow you to frame your actions within the overall plan and measure your success later. You should do your best to set a hard deadline to accomplish your ultimate goal.
Setting goals are the most useful framework to create and execute actionable plans that transform your real estate business. Businesses often fail because their marketing strategy and leadership become stagnant and unfocused. A regular “goal setting” meeting every quarter or year is crucial to maintaining the fire in yourself, if you're a real estate agent, or your team, if you work with a real estate business. You don’t need to revolutionize your business every meeting, but you should always look for ways to improve your self, your business, sales, and operations.
For more information about real estate marketing, check out our brochure about inbound marketing for real estate brands: