When it comes to investing time and money into any strategy to grow your business, the biggest mistake you can make is not tracking and analyzing the results of your efforts. If you are just doing things, but don’t really know if what you’re doing is actually growing your business, you are making decisions with a blindfold on, which is not a smart way to run a business.
Well hey there Jen Percival here and thanks for tuning into the Women Rocking Real Estate show, but just so you know if you’re new here, this show is not just for women, it’s for anyone that finds the content and strategies, and approach that I teach helpful.
Alright, this episode topic is long overdue and while it may not be the sexiest of all topics I could cover on the show, I have discovered from agents in my programs that it is quite possibly the missing piece of building a successful real estate business and chances are it may be the puzzle piece you’re missing too. So if you’re tempted to bypass this one thinking it’s going to be boring, I’m going to encourage you to rethink that decision, because when it comes to investing your time and money into any strategy to grow your business, the biggest mistake you can make is not tracking and analyzing the results of your efforts. If you are just doing things, but don’t really know if what you’re doing is actually growing your business, you are making decisions with a blindfold on, which is not a smart way to run a business. Effective marketing is a science, not intuition. Ideas can come from intuition, but they must be validated by facts, so that means you need to track the numbers, analyze the data and measure your results.
Your business decisions then need to be based on that data and not emotion, because if you’re not using data to make decisions about what to start, stop and continue doing in your business, I guarantee you’re deciding what to do or not do, based on your emotions. You’re deciding based on whether you like doing it or don’t like doing it, whether you find it easy or find it hard, whether you feel like it’s working or you feel like giving up and moving on to something else. I think we can all agree that making decisions based on those things is not the way to run a business.
The problem is that when most of us decide to do something that we think is going to help us grow our business and we invest time and money into it, one of two things happens:
We expect to get results from it right away and if we don’t get the results we’re expecting and when we’re expecting them, we give up and start something else. James Clear talked about this principle in the book Atomic Habits and I see it in practice all the time. He says, and I quote;
“We often expect progress on anything to be linear and we also hope it comes quickly. In reality though the results of our efforts are often delayed. It’s not usually until months or sometimes even years later that we realize the true value of the previous work we have done. This can result in what he calls the valley of disappointment where we feel discouraged after putting in weeks or months of hard work without experiencing any results and often we give up. However, the work was not wasted. It is simply being stored. You just haven’t hit the breakthrough moment where the results of your efforts can be seen.”
That principle is precisely why tracking certain metrics that I call lead indicators is so effective. Even though you may not have gotten the end result of a new client yet, these metrics I’m going to share with you will tell you you’re on the right track and that the clients are coming. That way you don’t give up too soon. Ok so that’s the first problem that can happen when we start a strategy that we think will help our business; we give up too soon.
The second problem that can happen, is that we don’t give up soon enough. We just keep going through the motions on auto-pilot doing the thing and feeling good about ourselves taking action consistently but have no idea if it’s actually working and oftentimes, it’s not! I see this all the time. Agents will listen to one of my podcasts where I talked about using content marketing to generate leads and then they’ll reach out to me and say they’ve been posting content for a year and haven’t gotten any leads so it doesn’t work. I go look at what they’ve been doing and discover they’ve been doing it all wrong. Wrong topics, wrong titles, wrong thumbnails, wrong formats, wrong content, wrong marketing. No wonder it didn’t work. They didn’t do it properly and actually wasted an entire year of effort and time. Had they been tracking their results, however, they would have discovered very early on that something wasn’t working the way it should, and then they could have tweaked things to get it right.
Alright hopefully by now I’ve convinced you that measuring your metrics is a critical piece of growing your business and we can get into exactly what metrics you need to measure.
From a high level, they generally fall into 3 categories:
In this episode, I am only going to briefly cover the financial and transaction metrics because chances are you already know what those are and while they are important obviously, they’re pretty standard and you’ve probably already been taught about them enough. However, in my experience, it’s the marketing metrics where the real blind spots are and where the real opportunities are, so that is what I’m going to focus the bulk of this episode on.
Now to make your life and business a wee little easier, I am also going to share my custom Notion template that I teach in my programs, that tracks everything you need in your business. This is probably the most valuable freebie I’ve ever given away, so if you’d like to get your hands on it and get a taste for Notion and what it can do for your business, you can download a copy of this free template from the show notes of this episode or on my website.
Alright up first is Financial metrics. Obviously you need to track your revenue and while most of you are hopefully also tracking your expenses, are you actually looking at those expenses and analyzing them on a regular basis, as it relates to the impact they’re having on your business? That’s where most agents drop the ball. They don’t look at their return on investment or use that data to make decisions about what to start, stop or continue spending money on in their business. I see this a lot with renting expensive IDX websites as just one example. They spend hundreds of dollars a month renting these sites but that investment doesn’t translate into any actual business.
But interestingly, that’s actually not where the biggest investment waste is. We are all inherently motivated to track our financial expenses. If we make a financial investment into something, we at least know how much that investment was. But the other type of investment that we make that’s often even bigger and that no one tracks, is your time investment into something. I like to call this your ROTI; Return on Time Investment. If we spent more time, understanding how we spend our time and the impact that time investment has on our businesses, I bet we’d all be a hell of a lot richer. Think about it. The average user spends 2.5 hours a day on social media. That’s equivalent to spending 4 months or a 1/3 of your work hours per year on Social Media. Can you attribute 1/3 of your annual revenue directly and solely to social media? I doubt it. Now if you knew that your time investment on social media only contributed 5% to your bottom line, would you spend 33% of your time on it? Probably not the best ROTI or return on time investment. But you’ll only know this if you track it. Now I’m not saying you need to keep a precise record of how you spend every hour of your time, but you should know roughly how much time you spend on various activities and you should look at it on a quarterly basis and annual basis, as it relates to how much revenue you’re generating from that activity. Now you often won’t get a complete picture until the annual review because of the unpredictable timing of revenue in this business, but you should be at least tracking your time investment on a quarterly basis. If you haven’t listened to EPISODE 53 and 54 I recorded all about time management, I highly recommend you do the exercises I taught in that series.
Alright moving along, the next category you need to track in your business falls under the umbrella of Transaction metrics. Again I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, but at a high level, you want to make sure that you’re tracking the following things.
You could go into a lot more detail than this, but in my opinion, it’s not necessary. You just need enough information to understand your business to make decisions, but too much information can be overkill and a time killer.
Alright moving along to the main reason you should be listening to this episode and that is to know the 7 marketing metrics that you should be tracking every single month in your business. The most obvious and important metric that probably comes to mind first for you when you think about this, is leads. How many leads and new clients are your marketing efforts driving to your business while we’re obviously going to be talking about this metric, leads are actually the last result that happens. You're only going to get a lead if you've built a proper sales funnel. In other words, people might be in your funnel at an earlier stage and haven't reached the final stage yet, which is converting into a lead. So if you only looked at the metric of a lead to determine whether a strategy is working, you'd be making a decision with incomplete information. There are a lot of other metrics that you need to measure that take place earlier on in the sales funnel that are all indicators if your strategies are working or not and those are what we need to look at first. In addition to that, if those metrics earlier in the funnel show that something isn’t working, but you don’t know about it, you’re going to be waiting around forever for leads and not know why you’re not getting them. These metrics will give you the clues that you need to know so that you can tweak, continue or stop investing time and money into a strategy.
Ok, so there are four steps to a marketing funnel in real estate 1) awareness 2) Interest 3) Connection & consideration, and lastly, 4) conversion. Before someone will ever contact you and become a client, they have to become aware of you first, they have to have an interest in real estate, and you have to nurture and connect with them to build those know, like and trust feelings so that they will consider you and lastly you’ve got to have strategies in place to convert them into a client.
A potential buyer may have searched online and found your website and then they discovered and watched a bunch of your YouTube videos and then maybe they found you and started following you on social media. They're aware of you. They've got an interest in buying or selling real estate and they’ve built a connection with you….all without you even knowing you’ve got this hot lead in your pipeline, that just hasn’t contacted you yet and turned into a lead.
So we need to be able to track the metrics that indicate the awareness, the interest, and the consideration, just as much as the final metric of converting into a lead, when we’re making decisions about what to start, stop and continue doing in our business. So what are those metrics?
First up is your website's metrics. I’ve said this a million times before….your website is the lowest-hanging fruit in terms of a lead generation tool. You just need your website to get found by the hundreds of people searching for real estate content every day and if you can do that well, you’ll never need to hunt for leads again. But if you have a website and you aren’t measuring the metrics on it monthly then you have absolutely no idea what it’s doing (if anything) for your business. Your website needs to work for you and the only way to know if it is, is by measuring the results. How many people are visiting your website every month and where are they coming from? Did they search for it specifically or is one of the pages on your website ranking well in the search results and if so, which pages? What terms did people type in to find your website? What’s your bounce rate? A bounce rate is the number of people that come to your website and only view the page they landed on. They don’t click anywhere else. If you’ve got a high bounce rate, your website is never going to work for you the way it’s supposed to and you need to fix it. However if over time, you are looking at your analytics and you’re making adjustments to your site and you are consistently adding content and you see that your traffic is growing and your site is ranking higher in the search results and your bounce rate is dropping and the time people spend on your website is growing, you will know it’s starting to work for you and you will prioritize how you spend your time on it. All of the metrics you need to track on your website can be found by installing Google Analytics. Schedule time in your calendar at the start of every month to look at the previous month’s data and then track it in a spreadsheet or Notion so that you can see what’s working and what needs to be fixed.
Alright, the next marketing metric that you need to measure every month is your YouTube channel. If you are not making YouTube videos, you are missing the second most effective lead-generation tool available to you. However, in order for these videos to work, you have to do it properly. I teach this step by step in my Attract Program if you want to learn how. When looking at what metrics to measure, at the beginning of every month when you’ve scheduled your “Measure the Metrics” time block in your calendar, you’re also going to look at your overall YouTube channel views, your channel watch time, your average CTR and your total subscribers. If these metrics are not growing and improving over time, that is an indicator that you’re doing something wrong and you need to drill deeper into the video content you’ve been creating. You’d then want to look at each of your videos and look at their CTRs and their watch time. If your CTR is lower than 4%, there’s a problem with the topic, the title, or the thumbnail. If your watch time is low, there’s a problem with your actual video and it’s likely your script, but could also be your editing or delivery. Most agents just look at the number of views a video has gotten and decide based on that whether it’s working or not and that’s totally missing the big picture. Views is dependant on the algorithm serving your video to people. If when YouTube does serve it people aren’t clicking on it, YouTube will stop serving it. If they do click on it, but don’t watch it for very long, they’ll stop serving it. So your CTR and watch time are the leading indicators that need to be measured so that you can increase your views. Make sense?
Alright moving along, the next marketing metric that you need to measure monthly is your email list. Keep in mind this is different than your database. These are people who have opted into either your email newsletter or they’ve downloaded a lead magnet like a relocation guide from your website. Your email list is the only real estate asset that you actually own in your business. You don’t own your website visitors or your YouTube subscribers or your social media followers. You could lose all of those, but no one can take away your email list, so it should always be a priority to do everything you can to grow it. But if you’re not tracking it, you’ll have no idea if it’s working for you or not. So what should you track? On your Measure your metrics day every month, you should track total subscribers and then look at your open rates and link click through rates. Open rates are not very accurate anymore unfortunately, but link clicks are so they can indicate how engaged your email list is. The best way to see how many people are actually reading your newsletter, is to include lots of links to valuable and interesting information. I teach how to do all of this in my Convert program, along with website copy, email nurture drip sequences and sales presentations. You should also look at your unsubscribes, but just know that a 1% unsubscribe rate is normal every time you send out an email. If you send one more than once a month it will be higher, so I don’t recommend you do. When you’re tracking your email list monthly, as long as you see subscriber growth and either consistent or improving open and CTRs, you know you’re on the right track and that your email marketing strategy is working. If you’re losing more people than you’re gaining or no one is clicking your emails, then you know you’ve got to tweak something.
Up next is your social media metrics. These should also be tracked on a monthly basis and I recommend that you obviously look at follower count, as well as engagement with your content. Keep in mind that views don’t count as engagement and shouldn’t be main metric that you use to judge whether your social media strategy is working. Follows, likes, comments, shares and DMs are the signals that your strategy is working. Views on the other hand will help the top of your funnel awareness, but only if those views are from people that could actually use your services. The problem is that you’ll have no idea where those views are coming from, so it’s not a metric that holds as much value as the engagement metrics. If when you’re looking at your results every month you notice that people are not engaging with your content that often, then you need to do two things 1) tweak your content and start posting stuff that people actually care about and 2) start engaging more with other people’s content in your market. Doing that can be just as effective, if not more.
Alright, the 5th metric that you need to measure every month relates to any paid advertising you’re running. It is very, very difficult to build a real estate business (or any business) without incorporating an advertising strategy. If you think you can do it through organic traffic alone, you’ll require either a huge network or a lot of time. Using an affordable and strategic online ads strategy, however, can fast-track your results. But please, for the love of all things real estate, if you’re going to invest money into any form of advertising, please measure the results. When it comes to online ads, the tools to measure the results are given to you on a silver platter. Depending on the platform you’re using and the objective of your ad campaign, the metrics can be a little different, but reach, views, view rate, clicks, and cost per result are the general ones to track and while there are some industry standards to measure your ads against, sometimes you’re really just trying to improve your own results from ad to ad. In my Attract Program, I teach a paid ads strategy on YouTube that’s meant to increase all of the metrics in your sales funnel - awareness, interest targeting, connection, and conversion.
When it comes to print ads, measuring the impact is a little less direct but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to validate the spend and there are a few ways you can do this. For starters, ask every lead you get where they found and saw you. They’ll often only tell you the last place they remember, but if you’ve got a proper onboarding process you should be asking them to check off all that they’ve noticed. We had a form that went out and we had a list of everywhere we advertised. After a year of not one person mentioning seeing our ads at the local hockey rink, we pulled them. You could also get creative with your print ads by adding some sort of CTA on them with some sort of incentive to take action. We put QR codes on all of our postcards with the chance to win a free iPad and that really helped us see how many people were seeing the postcard and scanning the code. It also got people actually looking for our postcards every month which was a great side effect.
Bottom line, don’t invest money into advertising if you don’t have a strategy and plan for how you’re going to track and measure the results.
Alright, this next metric on the list is not an obvious one at all. I’m going to bet no one listening tracks this one and if you do, send me a message so I can congratulate you for being a rock star. It is simply tracking every time someone asks you a question about real estate or comments on content you’ve created. So simple, yet such a leading indicator that you are growing your awareness, interest, or consideration. If you’re investing a lot of time and care into creating great YouTube videos and your local pizza delivery guy recognizes you, it’s working. If you’re getting asked what the market is doing by a random mom in the playground that you’ve never talked to before, it’s working. If someone asks you at a dinner party what a house in the neighbourhood sold for, it’s working. If you track this stuff every month and you see these comments and questions growing month over month, then you’ll know you’re doing the right things to build more awareness, connection, and consideration. If no one is mentioning anything to you ever, then it’s time to step up your marketing game.
Alright last, but certainly not least are your database metrics. Your database is made up of your sphere of influence, leads (which also includes referrals), clients, and your email list subscribers. Everyone should be in your database, but not everyone will be on your email list. Regardless of what category they fall into, all categories should be growing month over month. You should be growing who you know, your leads should be growing, your client base should be growing and your email list should be growing. If your business isn’t growing, your business is dying. But you won’t realize your business is dying unless you’re tracking the metrics. You may also want to look at your conversion rates annually. How many of the people in your database converted into a client over the course of a year? When it comes to the actual clients, you’ll also want to look at where the business came from. Was it from your sphere? Your website? YouTube? Social Media? Open House? FSBO? Cold Call? Referral? If you’re not keeping tabs on exactly where you’re getting business from, you don’t know what to double down on and what to abandon.
So to recap the 7 marketing metrics that you need to measure monthly in your business are:
If all of those metrics are growing, you can take comfort in knowing that the strategies you’re using are working, and it really is just a matter of time before leads start coming in if they haven't already. But the only way to know if these metrics are growing is to actually track them month to month. Don’t be one of the agents that gives up a strategy prematurely because they assume it’s not working just because they haven’t gotten any leads yet and don’t be the agent that’s just going through the motions on autopilot investing money and time into strategies that aren’t doing anything to grow your business. Be the agent that’s smart about it and measures their metrics.
If you’ve gotten this far, I hope that means you’re enjoying the show. I’d be so grateful if you left me a 5-star review on either Apple podcasts or Spotify and thank you so so much to those of you that have. I read every one of your reviews - especially when I feel like giving up.
Until next time.
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