Real Estate Agent Online Marketing Budget

You need to market your real estate agency online. But how much should you be spending? That is the question. It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the tools available and the various platforms on which you can promote your business. After all, there are many different platforms, many different tools, and of course many different prices. So it can seem like a daunting task to determine how much you should be spending online without going broke. We can help. In this article, we will lay out a step-by-step approach that will enable you to form a realistic and sustainable online marketing budget.

Set A Budget

Firstly, you need to set a budget. Now, we aren’t suggesting that you cut back on your social media or website engagement budget – far from it! However, you should be setting aside a certain amount of money each month that you can allocate to digital marketing. Setting a budget allows you to consider what is and isn’t expendable. It also provides you with a starting point from which you can work. Having a rough idea of how much you can spend helps keep your budget in check and prevents you from wasting valuable time and resources on content that can’t generate sales.

Determine What You Need

Now, you need to determine what you need in order to successfully market your real estate agency online. This means considering the following:

  • The amount of time you are able to devote to the project;
  • Your available resources (human and digital); and
  • Your current rate of Internet marketing success.

If you are brand new to the world of digital marketing, it can be a bit of a shock to realize that you need to set up automated email campaigns, write content for blog posts, and create website mockups if you want to succeed. The amount of content you need to create will depend on your target audience, the geography, and the size of your agency. Just think of all the content that you need to create in order to successfully promote your real estate agency in your own backyard! Your clients will naturally turn to the web to research properties, and you need to provide them with the information that they are seeking. A good place to start is your website. Designing a good website, however, can be fairly costly. If you are looking to create a professional-looking site that will generate leads and sales, you will need to budget for a web designer.

How Much Do You Need?

The next step is to figure out how much you need. As we have established, setting a budget is a good idea. Now, you need to determine exactly how much you need in order to succeed. Start by considering the following:

  • Your target audience (e.g., home buyers, real estate agents, etc.).;
  • The platform(s) that you will use to promote your agency (e.g., social media, forums, etc.); and
  • The style and content of your website (include images, videos, text, etc.).

Once you have a clear idea of your target audience, the platform(s) that they are using, and the content that you will feature on your site, you can start to build a marketing budget that will enable you to succeed.

Create A Marketing Plan

Now, you need to create a detailed marketing plan. A marketing plan is a roadmap, a blueprint, a strategy that will help you to reach your goals. You should start by considering the following:

  • Your objectives for 2017 (e.g., sales, leads, brand awareness, etc.);
  • The resources that you will need to reach your goals (e.g., human resources, digital resources, etc.); and
  • What will be your key performance indicators (KPIs) for the year (e.g., new business, sales, leads, website traffic, etc.).

Creating a marketing plan that will enable you to succeed is extremely important. It will likely be the most valuable document that you create this year. Having a clear idea of your strategy, aims, and objectives will enable you to determine the right course of action and to track your progress. Additionally, you can use the plan to determine your key performance indicators, establish benchmarks, and track your progress.

Choose A Budgeting System

In the same way that you need to set a budget, you need to choose a budgeting system. This is a tool that you will use to track your available funds. It makes it easy to keep accounts of what you have and what you spend. Most budgeting systems are essentially simple to use and require little or no training to get started. Some of the most popular budgeting tools are:

  • Xero – for small and medium-sized businesses;
  • Money Dashboard – for startups and other businesses with a limited amount of money to spend; and
  • Mint – for those who want to keep an eye on their finances.

Your choice of budgeting system will be based on your existing financial processes and the way that you want to track your budget. If you are looking to set up automated payments, prepare cash receipts, and track your spending as it happens, then Xero is the right choice for you. If you are looking to keep a closer eye on your funds and want to add visual elements to your budgeting, Mint is a great option.

Purchase Digital Marketing Tools

Once you have set up your budgeting system, you can start to purchase the following:

  • Email marketing tools (e.g., MailChimp, Active Campaign, etc.);
  • Content creation tools (e.g., WordPress, Blogger, etc.);
  • Analytics tools (e.g., Google Analytics, Piwik, etc.); and
  • Monitoring and analysis tools (e.g., Hootsuite, Social Warfare, etc.).

These are just some of the basic tools that you will need in order to succeed in online marketing. Consider investing in a few key tools that will make a difference, and start measuring your results. For example, if you are looking to create content for blog posts or for use on social media, you can use tools like WordPress and Blogger to create content, and social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to promote your blog content and attract potential clients. Additionally, you can use tools like Hootsuite and Social Warfare to gain online exposure, create brand awareness, and grow your business.

With these tools, it is easy to create automated email marketing campaigns, track the results of your marketing efforts, and determine the ROI (return on investment) of your digital marketing strategy. Just make sure that you read the terms and conditions of the tools that you are using to ensure that you are not using any illegitimate means to gain additional leads and sales.

Determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Now that you have a clear idea of how much you need to spend, how much you have to allocate each month, and the various platforms upon which you will be promoting your agency, it is time to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are measurable benchmarks of success that you can use to determine the effectiveness of your strategy. When used in conjunction with analytics tools, KPIs can be extremely valuable information, as they provide you with detailed data about the performance of your marketing efforts. The following are examples of KPIs that you can measure:

  • New business;
  • Sale;
  • Leads;
  • Visits to website;
  • Subscribers to email lists; and
  • Click-throughs (e.g., from social media to website).

Determining these key performance indicators can be a little tricky. Calculating the actual value of these metrics can be a bit subjective, especially when looking at the results of a long-term strategy, such as an SEO campaign. However, there are generally accepted ways to determine the relative value of these metrics. For example, you can use the following formula to calculate the value of a lead:

Number of leads x Average lead value x Conversion rate