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Realtors’ guide to budget blowing, $100 at a time

Blowing the Budget, $100 at a Time

In this market, it is crucial that we spend our money very very carefully and only use avenues that bring results! This sounds so basic, yet it’s difficult to stick to the “rules” when you’re bombarded with great new marketing ideas every day, and new advertising opportunities. Everything they say is so enticing!

It’s just a 1/2 cent per customer per day (for a $995/mo digital billboard you share with 8 other businesses, for a six month contract…. $6000 invested!)! 53,000 people will read your ad on the convention program (yeah right, do you keep those things? go back to your hotel room and read the ads?)

So many agents say “it’s just…” $100 per team sponsorship, or $200 for custom notepads, or $50 per month for the web page upgrade.

Tracking what matters

Yet do you track the only thing that matters? WHAT BRINGS BUSINESS IN THE DOOR? It’s only $100 IS $100 thrown down the drain if it doesn’t do a darn thing to make the phone ring. And the $995 ad could be a bargain if you get a listing out of it! But the point is you will never know unless you track it.

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It’s not that hard! Just ask everyone who contacts you, how did you find me? Then mark it in your calendar. I track all my advertising and marketing expenses, and each lead that comes in write down where they came from.

My calendar for last month reads like this:

  • 5 inquiries from local print Real Estate Journal
  • 11 emails from Craigslist postings
  • 16 Trulia leads
  • 35 referral from friend/relative/past clientDo you see where I need to spend the most money / time / energy?

This won’t be the same for all agents. But you need to track your money and efforts and somehow come up with a way to evaluate if they are working or not. An “expensive” $300/month program isn’t that expensive if it pulls in 3 listings a month, does it? And a “cheap” $100 ad that pulls zero actually is pretty expensive, isn’t it?

Written By

Erica Ramus is the Broker/Owner of Ramus Realty Group in Pottsville, PA. She also teaches real estate licensing courses at Penn State Schuylkill and is extremely active in her community, especially the Rotary Club of Pottsville and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. Her background is writing, marketing and publishing, and she is the founder of Schuylkill Living Magazine, the area's regional publication. She lives near Pottsville with her husband and two teenage sons, and an occasional exchange student passing thru who needs a place to stay.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Joe Loomer

    July 6, 2011 at 6:27 am

    Lead with revenue baby! Great post Erica! I would add that you need to know your personal hourly rate. If you're worth say $125 an hour, and you're spending two hours a day on Facebook playing Farmville or Idiotville or whatever – then you need to have a boss-to-employee talk with YOURSELF about where your money's going – especially if that time could have been spent engaging your SOI.

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Sig

    July 6, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Nothing ever changes. When I began my career in 1972 all I ever heard from hucksters was "If you buy this….. you only have to make one sale a year to pay for it and still make a profit." It didn't take me long to figure out that the only goal these hucksters had was to take the money out of my pocket and put it in theirs by exchanging whatever snake oil product or promis they could come up with. Whatever did we do with our time before computers and social networking came along? Let's see, Oh yeah. We networked, prospected, concentrated on listing and selling. The way we do business has changed a little with electronics but the hucksters are still here and still trying to get into our pockets.

  3. David Lightburn

    July 6, 2011 at 7:10 am

    Very true…Sadly most of us don't know where the money goes. I spoke with an agent yesterday that was convinced that they are making $60,000 a year until they started to think about all those $100-like expenses that can quickly turn $60k to $30k if you don't know what's working.

  4. Ben Fisher

    July 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

    16 leads from trulia is impressive! Thanks for giving some insight as to where your leads come from.

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