How to Focus Your Real Estate Marketing with Data Insights
In many ways, the real estate agency comes down to survival of the fittest. If, as a small agency or individual real estate broker, you cannot compete against the big dogs, you may as well pack up. You need to be heard, breaking through the clutter to offer your services to home buyers and sellers when they most need them.
That means focusing your budget and attention on marketing your expertise. But what do you do if already established, larger firms with bigger marketing budget are doing the same?
The answer is simple: do it better.
Your advantage as a broker is your flexibility. Rather than simply throwing money at trying to get your audience attention, your goal should be to focus only on the most effective strategies that make an impact without siphoning your budget.
None of that, of course, is possible without an emphasis on data in your real estate marketing.
Why Data Matters in Your Real Estate Marketing
Any real estate broker with a limited budget knows you cannot just put a billboard on a busy street in your neighborhood and hope it works to attract clients. Without proof this billboard actually brings in business, you will waste most, if not all, of your budget without any idea of the tactic's actual impact.
At the very least, you need to know how each of the marketing tactics you spend resources on is actually performing. How many web visitors does a billboard generate, especially compared to a Facebook ad? How many of these visitors become leads and, eventually, clients?
Once you know these basic insights, you can prioritize. Suddenly, you have a way to evaluate whether spending money on Facebook or a billboard makes more sense for your business. But the importance of data in real estate marketing doesn't end there.
In addition, digital analytics can also give you insight into your audience's demographics and interests. Research has long shown the more specific your marketing efforts are in both targeting and message, the better they will perform. To achieve that specificity, you need to know as much about your audience as possible.
Need more proof data is essential in reaching your audience? Consider the impact it has on them. Experienced realtors know neighborhood data and other statistics can have a major impact on persuading buyers on the fence you have found the right home for them.
Data has the same impact on them as it should have on your marketing efforts: it allows for more informed decisions and greater confidence these decisions will turn out to be correct. That is, of course, as long as you know how to use data and put it into context.
The Problem of Data Overload
It all sounds so simple. Armed with everything you could possibly know about your audience, you can build a better marketing strategy. So why don't other realtors take advantage of this obvious enhancement?
Two words: data overload. The sheer amount of information you can gather from your digital marketing efforts about your target clients is both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, it can be the key to building a marketing strategy that actually relates and presents a solution to your audience's needs. But on the other, it can simply become too much to analyze.
Not surprisingly, this type of data overload is a common problem among businesses too small to employ data scientists in their marketing departments. In fact, 70% of small business owners don't even want to touch big data because of these types of barriers.
That's why an emphasis on collecting only relevant data is so crucial to help your real estate marketing efforts succeed. Put simply: the more specific you can be in your data collection efforts, the more easily you can shift your focus toward an emphasis on insights.
Emphasizing Data Insights over Data Collection
Your goal is not to collect a treasure trove of potential client data. Instead, your goal should be to collect actionable data that, when analyzed, will tell a story about your marketing performance.
First, that means focusing only on accurate data. Rather than relying on third-party vendors for your information collection, build and trust your own analytics framework. Google Analytics, for example, can be invaluable in helping you understand your audience demographics and behavior.
Second, establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) that are most likely to lead to actual business success.
In real estate, your goal is to become the agent for home buyers and sellers. The only data you should focus on is that which brings your potential clients one step closer to that goal. Some examples include:
- Web visits and conversions.
- Average cost per lead.
- Client lifetime value.
- Appraisal to listing conversions.
- Referral percentage.
We will focus more closely on these (and other) KPIs for your marketing efforts in a future post. For now, the most important thing to remember is that you need to focus on the right metrics to make sure your data leads to insights and adjustments (if needed), rather than simple overload.
In other words, you have to understand what marketing data matters, and what doesn't. On the back of that realization, you can create a real estate marketing strategy poised to succeed and maximize your resources.
Building a More Sustainable, Data-Driven Real Estate Marketing Strategy
Almost every real estate company engages in marketing. But how strategic are those efforts? Are all of your tactics tied into a specific goal, working off each other to promote your services and attract future clients?
Too often, the answer is no.
The reason is simple: without the necessary insights, you simply don't know enough about your audience, and the potential impact of your marketing tactics on that audience, to commit all of your resources to a single strategy.
But it doesn't have to be that way. If you shift your focus to actionable data that allows you to perform regular, holistic analysis of your marketing efforts, you can merge individual tactics together to create one consistent, coherent, and successful marketing strategy.
In that case, the whole really does become bigger than the sum of its parts.