It’s already December — 2019 is sneaking up on us! Now is the time to plan out your real estate marketing budget, before the new year hits.
Ready to get on the right track for next year? Here are a few tips for getting that budget started.
Step 1. Look at what you earned last year.
Most advisers say agents should spend at least 10% of their commission on marketing, so you need to start looking at your 2017 and 2018 numbers. Use those as a base for 2019.
New to the industry? No problem. Set a benchmark for where you’d like to be, and earmark 10% of that if you can (e.g. from your savings).
Step 2. Compare your average commissions over the past year to the sales trends you’re seeing now.
What trends are you seeing in your market? Just because last year was booming (or terrible!) doesn’t mean next year will look the same.
Consider whether you should adjust your 2019 earnings estimate based on what’s happening in your market right now — listing shortages, higher sales prices, longer time on market, etc.
Step 3. Once you have that budget number in mind, it’s spreadsheet time.
Create a spreadsheet that tracks the channels you want to use for marketing next year — anything from direct mail to digital to local advertisements.
We recommend dedicating 50-80% of your budget to digital marketing, because it’s where your ROI will be highest. You can target ads to more qualified users online.
Use your spreadsheet to divide your budget across channels. Look back on how you’ve divided your spending in years past and evaluate how successfully you’ve generated leads.
If your approach hasn’t been working, now is the time to shake it up! If you saw a lot of success through a particular channel, consider shifting more of your budget in that direction.
Step 4. Set money aside for your marketing must-haves.
For example, every agent needs a Google business profile. It appears at the top of Google search results so prospects can prominently see your contact information, positive reviews, photos, and more.
Before someone sees your website, they see your Google business profile — and a complete profile gets 7X more clicks. It should be the foundation of any digital marketing plan, so set that cost aside now by purchasing Homesnap Pro+.
With Homesnap Pro+, we’ll quickly verify and manage your profile for you, so you appear at the top of real estate searches and rank high when leads type your name into Google.
Even if you decide to dedicate only a small amount of your budget to digital marketing, make the Google business profile a priority. Every prospect will Google you, so this investment will deliver major payoffs over time.
Step 5. Find the balance between spending too little and too much on marketing.
Every agent’s situation is different. Are you brand new? Do you have another source of income? Has your client base just been booming year after year?
You need to invest in marketing to get your name out there and continue to get clients, but you want to be strategic about where those dollars are going.
Reflect on how your business is going, and find the right balance between spending what you don’t have and holding onto too much.