5 Sales Metrics Real Estate Agents Need to Monitor
By Matthew Bushery
About Agent Basics
You can’t successfully make business decisions without knowing if your sales and marketing efforts are delivering real results. Closely tracking marketing metrics in Google Analytics, like website traffic, clickthrough rate, and return visitors, and sales metrics in your customer relationship management software (CRM), which allows you to see leads and their status in the sales cycle, is the best way to truly understand if your real estate marketing and sales tactics are working.
The problem many real estate agents face is they’re unsure of which of these metrics they need to routinely inspect to improve their business. If you’re overwhelmed by the array of sales metrics you can monitor and aren’t confident which ones should be prioritized, we’ve got you covered. Read below to discover the core metrics you must keep close tabs on.
1) Contact Rate
This used to be the metric for real estate agents that was defined solely by how many cold calls and direct mailings they sent to prospective clients. Not anymore.
In addition to making a steady stream of phone calls to leads and providing plenty of print materials, agents are becoming more and more accustomed to prospecting via email — where it is far easier to measure success. Whether it’s an automated email campaign you send out to multiple leads or emails you send to individual ones, your customer relationship management software (CRM) should provide you with a record of which emails were opened and which (if any) links in the email were clicked.
First, establish what your average open rate is. For most bulk emails, an open rate of 2% – 10% is respectable, and anything over that is stellar. Once you have a sense for your average, look through the emails you’ve sent and find out what variables seem to be influencing the open rate. That could include factors such as:
- How often you reach out to leads
- What types of messages and marketing collateral you send them (e.g. ebooks, blog posts, etc.)
- What the demographics are of those who respond (e.g. older or younger, looking for high-priced properties or affordable homes for sale, etc.)
After identifying common themes in the ways you attract leads, you can tailor your marketing based on your findings.
If email is working well for real estate lead generation, for instance, ensure you’re sending the right emails at the right times. Test different strategies by sending personalized emails to qualified leads at different periods. One segmented list of leads could receive an email once every two weeks while another segment could get an email every four weeks. Once you discover the open rates for the two groups, you can deem which works better and use that frequency across the board for your real estate marketing.
It’s this type of testing that will tell you if you’re sending too many or too little emails, and ultimately give you a clear picture of your leads’ marketing preferences.
2) Cost Per Lead (CPL)
The simplified formula for CPL is to divide total ad spend during a specific period by how many leads come in during that same period. So, let’s say your monthly ad spend was $1,000 and you brought in 10 leads — that’s a CPL of $100. While this number can help some agents modify their marketing, if you want to get a clearer picture of how your lead generation efforts are working — and if they’re worth it — you’ve got to dig a bit into your close rate (more on that below).
There isn’t a single CPL that’s right for every real estate agent. One thing’s for sure, though: Content marketing can generate quite a few more leads than direct marketing. So while you can and should invest some of your ad dollars toward paid advertising, don’t forget how blogging a few times per week and posting to social media daily can bring in low-cost leads (and plenty of them).
“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
— Milton Berle
3) Time to Close
When you turn those leads you’ve generated into clients, you’ve got to keep an eye on how long the sales process takes. Another way to put it: You can’t spend a third of your time on a transaction that takes six months to complete. Rather, you’ve got to be expeditious with the time you spend with clients. Track the average length of time your deals take to close.
If your sales pace is slow based on your deal-closing standards, evaluate where you can speed things up with buyers and sellers. A couple key ways to maximize your time include sourcing leads where homes come off the market quickly and only working with clients who are intent on a quick house-hunting process. The former tip requires some market research (like combing over National Association of Realtors’ housing reports) to identify worthwhile areas to pursue clients in, while the latter necessitates some relationship-building to get an idea of what timetable the clients in question are looking at for purchasing or selling a property. If these clients take too long in their decision-making, you can decide if it’s worth waiting for them to make up their minds or if there are better business opportunities out there that won’t take as long to close.
4) Leads by Source
With your online marketing efforts, you’ve likely gotten leads from a variety of channels, not simply one or two. Maybe your landing pages and email campaigns produce a fair amount of your leads, but there are many places from which you’ll secure sales opportunities.
For instance, a number of agents these days are finding sales opportunities from their social media accounts. Facebook has been known to be one of the top real estate lead generation tools in recent years. In fact, 74% of referral website traffic for agents comes from Facebook.
The point is you need to identify the best lead sources, and once you know exactly where your business is coming from, you can focus more of your marketing energy there. If your website isn’t one of the chief sources of your lead generation, then take a closer look at your site’s value proposition to ensure your messaging is clear to site visitors and that they know what actions to take to begin working with you.
“Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.”
— Jack Welch
5) Closing Rate
This is the metric that paints you a complete picture of your sales and marketing efforts. Monitoring how many leads actually turn into bona fide clients may not take much time (if you’ve set up your CRM efficiently, that is), but it can give you a clear picture of what you’ve accomplished and where you need to improve (how you can turn leads into clients). If your close rate isn’t as high as you’d like it to be due to a lack of leads, consult with colleagues and to find out what’s worked for them and take a more proactive approach in your own real estate marketing. For example:
- A/B test your website (like your landing pages and calls-to-action) to improve click-through rate
- Determine which social media platforms bring in lots of qualified leads
- Adjust your paid advertising campaign, like the PPC keywords you bid on and where you advertise
- Develop more targeted email blasts to existing leads, featuring local listings and company info
- Find out which blog topics perform best (likely ones with high click-through/social sharing rates)
- Take a closer look at your site’s value proposition and copy (including homepage, landing pages, and blog)
If securing leads isn’t an issue, but the ones you do have aren’t closing at the rate you want, then some different or altered marketing tactics need to come into play. For instance, consider holding more open houses for your sellers and reaching out to prospective buyers personally by phone. Other changes to your marketing you that could help you out include:
- Offer a referral program, or market your current one more often via social media and email
- Revisit your real estate listings copy to make the properties you’re trying to sell more enticing
- Reach out to friends and family to learn about anyone they may know looking to buy
- Contact agents you know and don’t know to see if they have potentially interested clients
Discover the keys to a high close rate by reading our Academy post How Real Estate Agents Can Move Leads Through the Funnel.
What real estate marketing analytics do you find most important to monitor? Shares your views with us in the comments.
Published on July 16, 2014
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.