Measure Your Marketing
Measuring is a crucial—and an often-overlooked—component of a successful personal marketing effort. You can’t make mid-course corrections or refine your plan next year unless you know what’s working and what isn’t.
Ways to measure effectiveness include customer surveys, Web site statistics, and call-tracking systems. At the very least, you should ask all your prospects how they heard about you and what enticed them to call you. And you should keep a record of their responses.
Greg Herder, CEO of Hobbs/Herder, a real estate marketing company in Newport Beach, Calif., offers some hints on how to measure your results:
How can sales associates measure the effectiveness of their personal marketing efforts?
Herder: The bottom line to look at the size of your market share within whatever defined marketplace you’re targeting. Then consider the other activities you’re doing in the area. If personal marketing is the only thing you’re doing and your market share starts to climb, you’ll know that’s a direct result of your personal marketing.
If you're doing direct mail, advertising, and door-knocking, it’s more difficult to determine what is and isn’t effective. Look at the mix of personal marketing versus traditional prospecting, and adjust your market share to gauge the impact of your marketing.
Another option is a questionnaire directed to people in your target market areas. The survey is designed to determine if those people think of you and your company when they think about real estate. Ask questions like: “If you were going to list your home for sale today, whom would you list with and why?” If your marketing is effective, your name and your slogan or personal message should start showing up in the responses (see also "Use Cover Letter to Boost Response").
What’s the most common mistake practitioners make in measurement?
Herder: One thing that gets salespeople into trouble is not separating their personal marketing from their property marketing. A way to avoid that is to use a tracking service that identifies the origin of calls and e-mail leads. Using such a service demonstrates which leads came from which marketing pieces. [Editor's Note: One such service, IfbyPhone, is a REALTOR Benefits® partner, offering special pricing to NAR members on call and e-mail tracking and lead response services.]
What else indicates a marketing campaign is having an impact?
Herder: When salespeople start making an emotional appeal, many of the objections from prospects disappear. When you create a personal story that people buy into, mentally they’ve already bought your services before they call you, so they are less concerned about details of your background and skills as they might otherwise be. For example, if you fall in love with a house, you may buy it without asking how old the roof is. The more effective your personal marketing campaign is, the less of a salesperson you need to be and the fewer questions and objections prospects are likely to raise.
Another interesting feature of good marketing is how many other real estate professionals you irritate. As soon as you start doing really effective personal marketing, other salespeople will start complaining that you aren’t talking about the facts of real estate in your advertising. They are right, and that’s why it’s working.