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When it comes to spreading a message in the luxury real estate space, agents are often covering familiar ground. They treasure each and every existing client and spend time and resources nurturing those relationships — yet bringing in new leads is what truly keeps businesses alive. So how can agents ensure they’re reaching the broad yet exclusive audience they want? How can they guarantee that their marketing efforts are really working?
Looking at lead generation is the most basic indicator that outreach is being received by the right stakeholders. But Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Real Estate Professionals with Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton, New York, recognize that today’s marketing can go so much further. Gone are the days when agents put their promotional materials out into the world and wait passively to hear back: the digital age has brought better data-driven metrics that help agents get a much more granular look at how their content is performing. Here are some of the key performance indicators to keep an eye on.
Start with simple math
It’s still important to begin with the essentials. “I track the number of phone and email inquiries on a listing, the number of showing requests per week, and the percentage conversion of showings into interested parties,” says Frank Bodenchak of his monitoring process. In luxury real estate, metrics like these have always been the easiest way to see, at a glance, whether your marketing efforts are generating the results you want.
But there are two more simple stats that ought to be monitored: the number of days a home has been on the market, and the number of showings per home. “If you aren’t getting enough showings, or if showings aren’t generating offers, then marketing, product offering, and price need to be revisited to improve these metrics,” notes Dawn Bodenchak. The longer a property sits, the likelier potential buyers will expect that either the seller will lower the price or that there is something amiss with the home.
No one likes to wait
If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, chances are it’s measuring how often you correspond with your leads and clients, and reminding you periodically to follow up with them. If you’re not using a CRM system, then it’s critical to proactively track your email, phone, and in-person exchanges.
The Bodenchaks make a habit of always tracking response time — how much time has elapsed since a lead’s initial inquiry. The average response time, according to one study by Inside Real Estate, is about 15 hours and 30 minutes, though research has also shown that a staggering 48% of inquiries fall through the cracks.
You also need to be cognizant of the time that elapses between follow-ups, which, surprisingly, is reported to be the most overlooked aspect of real estate lead generation. By closing these gaps, agents will easily start to see a growing number of qualified leads.
Make the most of online
“We still use magazine ads for brand awareness and reminding buyers and brokers about a listing, but the first line of contact is internet-based,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Over the past decade, we’ve moved away from relying on print for information dissemination to relying on email blasts, real estate search engines, and social media.”
Google Analytics is a fundamental way to watch your web traffic. You can review how many people visit your site and track their browsing behavior. For instance, keeping an eye on your bounce rate will inform how quickly visitors leave your site after they arrive. You’ll also be able to assess which of your pages are the most popular. Adding these metrics to your marketing rubric gives you the bigger picture of how your efforts are succeeding.
Frank and Dawn Bodenchak have seen firsthand the benefits that social media brings to their marketing. Facebook and Instagram provide feedback to help agents monitor their social channels, stay notified on engagement and responses, and maintain real-time marketing awareness. “By switching to a business account on Instagram, we are now receiving all kinds of key insights from posts,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Beyond likes and comments, Instagram tells us the gender, age, and location of our audience. With even a small budget for online marketing, we can make an impact.”
The basics still apply
“Know the landscape, know the pricing, and know the product — and most importantly, know how the product can be adapted to work for a buyer,” says Dawn Bodenchak. “The metrics we use to evaluate our marketing success may not have changed, but the means to achieve them have.” Now there are more tools in agents’ inventory to make sure that their strategies are successful — and, by extension, that their leads, prospects, and clients enjoy the best service possible.
About Sotheby’s International Realty
Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 as a real estate service for discerning clients of Sotheby’s auction house. Today, the company’s global footprint spans 990 offices located in 72 countries and territories worldwide, including 43 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house. The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a franchise system. The franchise system is comprised of an affiliate network, where each office is independently owned and operated. Sotheby’s International Realty supports its affiliates and agents with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Affiliates and agents also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.
The affiliate network is operated by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, and the company owned brokerages are operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. Both entities are subsidiaries of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY) a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and Sotheby’s International Realty Inc., both fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.