There’s nothing wrong with using intuition in your marketing decisions, but if you can’t quantify the results, you’re not really marketing–you’re gambling. In fact, it’s worse than gambling, because with gambling, at least you know when you’ve won. With “hunch based marketing,” you have no way to define success. And with no way to quantify what success even means, how can you possibly make improvements to have a better year next year?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is throwing money at different online or offline strategies, using intuition as your only guide. This “loosey goosey” decision-making means your marketing strategy–and consequently, its associated budget–is being driven, not by how much money it’s making you, but by how strongly you feel it will help with (fill in the blank with a perceived benefit…exposure, leads, building your brand, etc.).
You’ve been doing this many years, you say. “I’ve found that this works well for me.” And maybe it does. But can you prove it, and can you quantify it? Or are you relying on some assumptions that may or may not be accurate?
To successfully grow your business, you need to be able to quantify results from your marketing campaigns. Let Excel become your best friend. Learn to use it to track sales and where they originate. Your intuition may be 100% right, but you need to be able to make improvements to it based on real numbers. If your hunches were wrong, do you just wait until you have another hunch to try?
What if, by more accurately measuring your marketing success, you could make small improvements that would double your lead flow, or triple your conversion rates? That’s the way to turn your good intuition into laser-focused strategies.
This kind of attention to ongoing marketing processes is what separates the marketing pros from the amateurs. The amateur does one of two things: Throws money around like it’s going out of style, chasing every new fad marketing “system” that comes along, or sits close-fisted, not wanting to risk any cash on marketing.
Both of these approaches are equally destructive to your success in the real estate business. One wastes your precious resources on things that don’t produce results, and the other is too afraid of committing capital to produce the results. Both lead to dead ends in the long term once your luck–or intuition–runs out.
One thing I’ve learned is that if the success of your marketing efforts is unknowable, so is your budget for it. You can’t determine what your budget should be for any particular marketing effort until you at least have the ability to measure its results. Then and only then can you assign it a budget, and increase it over time as results start to prove the strategy successful.
Repeat after me: If you have no way of quantifying the return an investment is going to provide you, it doesn’t deserve a place in your budget.
Let’s put it this way. Many agents are quick to gamble several hundred dollars per month on marketing strategies that can’t be measured. I’ve had clients in large markets where commissions are larger make humble confessions to me about throwing around thousands of dollars on questionable marketing practices. (I’ve also had them brag about it.)
But here is the real hidden cost of making intuitive marketing decisions without the numbers to back them up. It’s not in the money wasted, it’s in the money misallocated. These are budget decisions, meaning it’s a zero-sum game. Money spent in one place can’t be spent elsewhere on something that would have produce better returns.
The opportunity costs could be enormous–to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars in lost commissions per month in some markets, not to mention per year. Flying by the seat of your pants is a recipe for failure.
On the other hand, if I could demonstrate that spending $1,000 per month on a real estate SEO or PPC campaign would net you an extra $5-10,000 in commissions per month, who wouldn’t take that trade? Of course, I can’t demonstrate something you won’t try. But once you do decide to invest in my services, I promise accountability and measurable results.
So here’s something to think about. What if you were to cut the misallocated and unmeasurable marketing strategies from your budget, pool some of them together, and commit to a bold SEO or PPC budget for six months? I know I can show you measurable results in that time and give you a healthy return on investment. You’ll be sold once you see the results.
I figure I can’t ask you to allocate a portion of your online marketing budget to me if I can’t demonstrate to you over time that I’m making you money. Fair enough?