Now that your house is ready to be revealed to the public and many efforts are being made to promote the listing to an interested and appropriate audience, the next step is to provide some measurement of the effectiveness of this effort. The worst case scenario would be to throw a lot of time, money and resources toward marketing your home and not know what impact it is having. This is a regular failing of many real estate agents AND many home sellers.
Below are a few metrics, or landmarks, that you can utilize to measure the effectiveness of your marketing effort. We will also discuss what changes and enhancements you can make to the effort by utilizing this information.
- Time – is the overriding landmark of every listing and really effects all aspects of the promotion effort. Most buying activity is initiated monthly as influenced by typical pay periods and monetary living expenditure such as rents or mortgages.
A standard practice is to produce a tiered marketing effort over a 21 day period, and if an acceptable offer hasn’t been accepted, measure the results and make any changes to the offer. The marketing cycle then resumes. This allows the message of change to reach buyers who were initially exposed during the beginning of the cycle, and to reach buyers who are just entering into the market and who have yet to be exposed.
- Activity is the product of all related promotional efforts being employed in the market throughout a particular cycle. These instances need to be counted, tracked and communicated to, by source, measure any possible reaction to the marketing effort.
- Showings – refer to the number of potential buyers who individually view your home. These are activities that are usually brought about by other agents, or yourself. The agent needs to be communicated with directly to illicit the interest of the potential buyer, their thoughts about the home and any potential roadblocks that might be preventing them from making an offer.
In a moderately active market, your home should produce about 15-20 showings per month. When the showings falls below this level, changes to the listing need to be considered.
- Open Houses – refer to people who visit your home during a public viewing opportunity. An effort should be made to gather contact information of these prospects, or their agent, in order to illicit a response. Open houses should also include the activity resulting from the broker’s open.
The activity and promotion related to holding an open house offer a good avenue of eliciting activity on the listing. These should be scheduled at least once every marketing cycle.
- Web traffic – refers to counting the number of prospective buyers who have been exposed to your marketing message, and those you can identify by means of digital tracking in order to elicit a response. Changes to an ad, creating a new ad and any re-marketing activity should be measured for positive or negative reaction.
- Sign traffic or public inquiry – refers to the number of people responding directly to signage or advertisements. These prospects need to be identified and nurtured through a communication effort in order to elicit a response.
- Competitive changes – happening to the homes for sale in your market have a significant impact toward your marketing effort. Homes going under contract will increase the demand for your home. Homes which change their prices, or are taken off market may influence the position of your home within the market and consideration may be needed to reposition and react to those market changes.
Response is the action taken with regard activities happening in the market as it relates to your listing. Some of these responses happen interactively and some of them may be needed on a periodic basis, i.e. every 21 days or when a change to the listing occurs.
- Agent Feedback – every viewing scheduled by an agent needs to be followed up to elicit feedback. Agent’s scheduling though the MLS ShowingTime app are automatically send a feedback survey. However, these showings need to be tracked and responded to individually as well.
Agents who attend a broker’s open are regularly provided a feedback survey which needs to be compiled and evaluated. However many times agents provide feedback of interest which also need to be followed up directly.
- CRM Response – There is huge value in being able to interconnect all of the inquiries from the various methods of advertisement into a CRM (Customer Relationship Management system). A response / nurturing communication effort needs to take place from the moment that the inquiry arrives, until the prospect has requested your action, or to no longer communicate with them. You can also effectively communicate to the entire base when any changes are made to the listing.
- Website Activity – Most digital forms of advertising the listing will offer gross results of the number of viewers who were exposed to the listing, or of viewers who took action on the ad by either looking at the pictures or possibly providing their contact information. The most straight forward method of response would be to reach out directly to these buyers and illicit their level of interest.
- Digital Re-Marketing – Many forms of digital marketing can “tag” the users that were exposed to a listing and what actions they took upon receiving the exposure. These “tagged” prospects can then be gathered into a group that could be used and further communicated to. This is commonly referred to “pixel’ing”.
Digital remarketing is the ability to identify and group prospective buyers based upon their footprint (pixel) on the internet. Every time a buyer searches a website or landing page which contains your pixel, they can be searched by the platform which placed that identifier. For instance, placing a Facebook pixel code on the listing page of your website, would allow you to identify and send a paid ad to them. The same holds true for Google and certain high quality CRM’s. This is very useful in continuing to show your ad (listing) to the prospect in different areas throughout the web, as well as to communicate any targeted change messaging that you would like to send.
- MLS Reverse Prospecting – The MLS tracks the number of prospects in its system who have viewed a listing. The reverse prospecting capability allows you to create a list of agents who have customers that have viewed your listing within searches that agent provided to them. This is an excellent resource for change messaging.
As was discussed earlier, you will periodically need to measure the effectiveness generated by all of the landmarks of your marketing effort. The ultimate goal of selling your home is to receive an offer that both fulfills your objectives and is feasible for the buyer to accomplish. If this isn’t occurring, you need to consider your reaction to enable a positive result.
- Wait for Change – One reaction is obviously to stay the course and wait for a change to occur. This may be valid reasoning if there is something in the market that you anticipate will change in the near future. This might be things like anticipated changes in interest rates, seasonality or the amount of new buyers entering the market (i.e. tax returns usually spur the market).
Note that buyers monitor the amount of time that a listing has been active on the market with little or no activity and will devalue their offer accordingly. Overpriced homes frequently will sell for less over time than if they were priced correctly when listed.
- Change Messaging – You may consider changing the contingencies of the listing, or if modifications to the listing have occurred that were previously a roadblock. Changing and publicizing changes in the the messaging of the listing can elicit activity.
Note that any changes in a listing will generally re-message the audience who have searches set up within the MLS. One pro tip is to frequently change the pictures in the listing to keep it “top of mind” for this audience.
- Change Price – The last, and most impactful modification to your listing can be by changing the price. You need to keep in mind the pricing strategies that you employed when initially listing the home, such as the pricing tiers that most buyers are searching for. Do not consider changing the price upward for enhancements that are made to the home, as most other comparable homes already offer those features. Price changes need to be effectively re-publicized to the audiences that you have gathered or identified.