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70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before a prospect even reaches out to a salesperson.

You may have heard this popularly quoted statistic before which says that what we know to be called “marketing” dictates 70% of the sales process. But if we take a look around the real estate industry, here’s what we see again, and again, and again…

Generally speaking, marketing managers/teams are:

  • Understaffed
  • Under-resourced
  • Under-appreciated
  • Under-compensated

This is a problem I’ve had the joy and challenge of fixing with hundreds of workshops and consulting engagements over the course of 8 years, and I think almost everything comes back to one massive mistake marketers, and leadership, keep making (or better said, are not doing)…

Attributing revenue to marketing.

You see, the most important conversation marketing managers/teams should be having with leadership teams should sound something like this:

“We can see clearly that our vendor lead focused PPC advertising, which cost us $15,000 this year, generated 375 seller leads (~$40 per lead), and $4,500,000 in GCI from directly attributed property sales – based on an 80% conversion rate from lead to listing. We can also see that our property alert emails generated 720 buyer enquiries this year, directly producing 70 contracts of sale. But the biggest win came from organic traffic from Google, as we can see that we generated 200 seller leads and 300 property management leads which resulted in $4m in GCI and $280k in new property management revenue.”

Sounds good, right?

Sure does, but literally less than 5% of real estate businesses (based on our interactions) have anything close to a conversation like this at the end of the year.

Instead, it sounds something like this:

Marketer: “Well, traffic grew this year. Our social media followers have doubled. The number of impressions has really taken off on social. And we’re thrilled at how many people are watching our Facebook and Instagram stories.”

Principal/Business Owner: “That all sounds nice. But did it make us any money?”

The bottom line is this my friends:

Successful marketing managers/teams don’t just show, but PROVE their worth.

And they find it much easier to get the income they command when it comes time for that conversation with their principal.

But it’s not just about the marketing manager/team needing to refocus their efforts. The leadership and sales teams need to understand and respect the marketing team for the contribution they make to the business and actually allow them more freedom to prove their worth.

I see this scenario play out time and time again… a marketing manager will be deep-diving into some sort of reporting tool to understand how a particular campaign performed, to improve on the next one or ascertain how much revenue was generated. A salesperson barges through the door and needs a brochure done NOW! The marketing manager gets pulled away, distracted, and doesn’t return to the important step of attributing revenue to the critical marketing decisions being made in the business.

But sales agents aren’t always responsible for distracting the marketing manager/team. Many of them often do this to themselves by spending hours on Canva or Instagram crafting the perfect post with the right amount of hashtags. This might be fun from a personal perspective but you can’t deposit your social media impressions at the bank. It’s not to say those tasks aren’t important. They just need to be balanced with activities that you can attribute to revenue generation.

It all starts with knowing and using the right tools to measure how effective your marketing is (like Google Analytics and the agency CRM in the case of the real estate industry) and balancing this with your other marketing tasks.

If you’re a marketing manager/team and you are ready to be appreciated as you should be, the time is now to get the right tools, show the right numbers, and prove your proper worth. You get extra points for creating a sign for your desk that reads: “SALES AGENTS – DO NOT DISTURB – I’M BUSY MAKING YOU MONEY”.

If you’re a principal, help your marketing manager/team by asking the right questions. Instead of vanity metrics like “how many Facebook followers did we add this month”, ask them how many vendor or landlord leads you generated through your PPC (pay per click) or email campaigns or how many leads were generated via a Google search, as just a couple of examples.

Marketing, in EVERY real estate business, should be judged on income, not just outputs. And it’s up to both the principal AND the marketing manager/team to work together.

Otherwise, you’re probably just wasting half your money on marketing without knowing which half.

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