Understanding the performance of your marketing channels can provide valuable insight into how to improve your customer acquisition efforts. Of course, there are so many metrics and online marketing buzzwords these days it can make your head spin. But for any real estate business, whether a one-man brokerage or a large organization, there are two metrics that trump all: visits and conversions. These are the metrics that help you get to your bottom line, and you need to be actively monitoring them.

Here is a step-by-step guide to get you started with tracking your conversions, analyzing your marketing spend, and improving your efforts to acquire online customers.


      measurement image via shutterstock

1. Set up analytics and include a goal for your bottom-line conversion.

For most real estate companies, the key conversion to track would be sales inquiries, unless you offer products or services with payment online. Make sure to set up a custom goal in Google Analytics so you can track when a visitor performs a sales inquiry — normally this would be after the visitor hits the “submit” button on a contact form.

2. Include a value for your conversions.

If you’re an e-commerce company, it’s fairly straightforward to set a value for each conversion based on the product or service you sold. For a real estate business, you need to define the value of a potential customer.

You can do this by figuring out the percentage of online inquiries you convert into real customers and what the average commission would be. So if your average commission is $5,000 and you convert 10 percent of online inquiries into customers, then the value of each online conversion would be $500 (10 percent of $5,000).

3. Segment your online traffic based on channels you are actively marketing.

The most effective way to do this is to create a spreadsheet and include all of your key channels. This would include segments such as newsletter, pay per click, direct advertising, display ads, social media, search engine optimization branded (branded organic traffic), and SEO nonbranded (nonbranded organic traffic).

4. Include marketing spend for each of the channels.

Are you running a Google AdWords campaign? Spending money on newsletters? Working with an SEO agency? If so, you want to reflect these costs and associate them with the respective channels so you can analyze where your money is being spent most effectively.

5. Calculate cost per acquisition (CPA).

Using conversion numbers and your cost data, you can now calculate cost per acquisition (and income per acquisition) for each of your channels. This is simply costs divided by conversions for a given channel. You will see significant variances between each of these segments, and that’s completely normal.

6. Analyze the results.

Once you start collecting this data, you will then be able to understand how you’re spending your money, which channels are most effective, and areas to better optimize and improve.

Most importantly, you want to compare month-over-month and year-over-year data and look for red flags (unusual variances in your channels) to have a strong handle to make smarter decisions in your online marketing spend.

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription