Capitalizing on sales opportunities while minimizing out-of-pocket expenses sings to any entrepreneur’s heart, but this credo hits especially close to home for the hungry and ambitious real estate agent competing in a crowded market for a limited number of leads.
This is why successfully evaluating the best use of advertising dollars can give a savvy agent a leg up on the competition. The first step in determining where to place limited advertising dollars for maximum impact is to set a budget not per month, not per day even, but per lead. With this step an agent is challenged to ask and answer the question of how much is reasonable – and profitable – to spend per potential lead generated, understanding that not every warm lead will turn into a hot lead, and not every hot lead will turn into a sale.
To arrive at a reasonable per lead advertising budget, it is wise to first analyze the average number of leads it takes to get from A to Z – real estate lead generation service to a closed sale. Next, analyze the percentage of commission from each closed sale that can be reasonably allocated toward generation of new leads. It is important here to not simply follow the national averages, but to determine actual per lead cost-to-closed sale ratio in each specific market area. One additional challenge that enters the picture when completing these essential tasks comes when factoring in how prospects research listings in today’s market.
With the rise of the internet search coupled with the ever-present difficulty in quantifying results of direct mail and print advertising campaigns, setting realistic budgets becomes increasingly challenging.
Many real estate lead programs are now using call capture technology to determine how advertising dollars should be allocated to hit their budget per lead. By attaching an 800 call capture number to every piece of advertising used to generate leads, agents are able to track results. With call capture comes the opportunity to evaluate each advertising and promotion venture in real-time, providing the busy real estate agent with hard data on what types of advertising and promotional offers generate leads.
Call capture works through a toll free number that has multiple extensions. Some call capture systems offer “mirrored” extensions that give agents the ability to track which piece of advertising and what types of special offers generate leads. Each number in any given call capture extension is assigned to a different piece of advertising – a “1” might indicate direct mail, a “2” a magazine ad, a “3” an internet offer, and so on – so when the lead calls in on a certain extension, the agent is able to ascertain which types of advertising and promotion are the most cost-effective.
The call capture system also allows the agent to record different types of special offers on the recorded message each extension holds, and to “mirror” those offers with different types of advertising and promotion. For example, an agent might offer a free credit report for a direct mail postcard and newspaper ad, and a special discount for an internet search-generated lead. Using the call capture system reports, the agent can analyze in great detail which types of advertising and which special offers generate the most interest among prospects.
Even more importantly, when the lead calls in to the toll free number and punches in the extension, the call capture system captures the caller’s phone number, with an option to capture the name and address of the caller as well. In this way, the busy agent also has information to follow up on leads generated by the call capture system.
With the flexibility to analyze captured data, call capture systems make it possible for an agent to test the waters for new ad campaigns and make small or large adjustments in advertising strategy in each market that is of interest. In one close-knit neighborhood, an agent may find that any effort outside of building neighborly goodwill through word-of-mouth is essentially a waste of advertising dollars. In another neighborhood an agent may discover that individuals prefer to surf the web to locate properties of interest. Results-or lack of results-from the call capture system will provide this data and help agents streamline their marketing and lead generation for maximum profit.
Author Bio: Andrew Thomas is a Content Marketer, Blogger, Best Lead Providers and Real Estate Discount Broker. He is professional story teller at ZipBrands.com
He has studied the Real Estate Business for years. He enjoys connecting with people, keeping updated with latest in the field of Real Estate and Business etc. He has also discovered great shortcuts that can help investors make better decisions when it comes to buying and selling. His work across multiple disciplines broadly addresses narratives of human experience. You can also follow him on facebook .