Something I felt like writing about tonight is the subject of "marketing money". Real estate is such a fascinating profession. There really is nothing else like it out there where you have every walk of life - from Susie Homemaker to former corporate executives. When you think of lawyers, doctors or architects, there are of course different personality types and unique indivuals but there usually is a common theme as far as generalizations are concerned. You really can't do that with the profession of real estate.
Having been on the marketing side of real estate now for almost eight years I see some distinctions that stand out to me. First and foremost is that in general real estate professionals do not do a good job of keeping track of their marketing dollars and even if they do keep track they have almost no correlation to the ROI (return on investment) that those marketing dollars are reeping.
This has actually been the demise of many realtors I have known over the years. They have a good year, good few months or even a good closing and then suddently the purse strings are opened up and the spend is on. "Le'ts do this magazine, let's build this website, let's hire this search engine optimization company" and on and on. The end result as you can imagine is that things don't continue from a revenue generation standpoint (as this is a cyclical business) and the money spent on "marketing" is not creating results - or at a minimum there is no way to pin point which marketing efforts are producing results.
So as the market slows there is an almost palpable panic that sets in - "what do I do now?!", "what do I need to cut?!", "what do I need to keep?!" At this point it is almost too late. My belief is that always and forever there needs to be a clear and verifiable correlation between the marketing money you spend to the revenue you generate. Too much marketing money is spent to make sellers happy. And while this is important as you do "work" for your clients, if you have a strong story to tell - as in this is the spend that generates the biggest bang - then you can keep your clients expectations in check.
The internet is where I recommend people spend a good portion of their marketing money as it is easy to track back to results. Print advertisment first and foremost is rapidly declining as medium of choice and secondly is extremely difficult to track successful campaigns.
To conclude, I just want to emphasize one main point - know the results for the money you spend. Get clarity or as close as you can to the connection between what you spend in marketing dollars to what you reap in revenue generated. I believe it is the difference between the super successful and the - well the rest.
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