How to Optimize Your Real Estate Marketing Budget
How can you optimize your real estate marketing and get more out of your current budget?
Optimizing a company’s marketing budget is critical for success. Whether you are just starting, or are doing 100 transactions a year, perhaps you already realize that you need to get more for your marketing dollar. That puts you ahead of many that underestimate the importance of it. Too many investors rush their marketing campaigns in order to get some money coming in. However, marketing money is always precious. It doesn’t matter whether you are starting out with $500, or are running a $5M a year marketing budget, you’ve got to get the most out of it. There are those that will run multi-million dollar loses to try and get ahead. That isn’t sustainable. Marketing must work; not only to turn in deals, but real net profits. It is those that have the best net marketing returns that are privy to the best profit margins. That means a growing competitive edge.
So how can you optimize your marketing?
1. Learn: Look at the whole picture before taking on a campaign. Know the total costs, all the actions involved, get familiar with best practices, and how to optimize each stage of the process. For example; sending out postcards to distressed sellers may be a way to generate leads, but there is more involved in turning a postcard into cash profits. Recipients have to go online or call in. That means labor to service those leads, and then to turn client’s deals into money. Are there ways to increase performance with better text on your mailers? Better scripts for responding to leads? Can leads be better targeted so each transaction has a higher profit margin, and responses result in more conversions? Can deals be turned around faster so that you can do more of them each year?
2. Diversify: Like any investment portfolio or business, real estate marketing budget should be diversified. There are lots of things can impact marketing results at any moment. So make sure you have a well-rounded marketing mix, as well as spreading out your budget over time. For example; as a new investor, agent or real estate startup, don’t blow your initial capital the first month. Spread it over three, six, or 12 months so that you can keep going.
3. Watch for Rotations: In this sense, real estate marketing is no different to the stock market or housing market. Each type of marketing has its own cycle. This is true for direct mail, email, internet leads, and in-person marketing. Know your cycles and how to identify subsequent indicators. Then look for opportunities to get ahead of the competition. Always consider adding new channels to adapt.
4. Never Miss a Lead: If you are just letting leads go to voicemail or they are piling up in inboxes, they are being wasted. You simply cannot afford to burn leads in such a manner. Get a better system, or more help if need be.
5. Never Toss a Lead: Don’t just discard a lead because you can’t get them on the phone, or they aren’t ready to accept your terms yet. Every single one should go into a database. Anyone you truly can’t help may benefit from someone you know. Think of it as a referral. Maybe you can get something in return. Or, maybe that will help move a lead through your funnel. For example; referring a buyer lead to a credit repair expert.
6. Automate: This simply cannot be underestimated. Automate your marketing, and automate follow-ups for all those leads in your database. Let the system keep marketing for you, while you focus on new business.
7. Serve Them Well: Optimizing real estate marketing budgets isn’t just about getting more leads or responses. It is equally about the net from each lead. Generating new leads is incredibly expensive. Referrals and repeat business is virtually free. What’s the extra margin on that for you or your firm? Make the most of each lead, serve them to the best of your ability, and win repeat business.
8. Keep Improving: Like personal and professional growth, optimizing real estate marketing isn’t something that you really ever ‘arrive’ at. It’s a constant mission. Keep reviewing performance monthly and quarterly, and annually. Keep tweaking and fine tuning your process.