The cost of bad marketing decisions and how to change how you make your choices to increase ROI and build your agency.

Effective marketing is essential to building your real estate business. Without strong marketing campaigns, you cannot reach new markets, engage with those in your database, or build relationships with possible referral sources.

Unfortunately, many real estate agents simply don’t know how to make solid marketing decisions and instead base their choices on emotion, guessing, or by following trends. Does this sound like you?

If you’ve been making marketing decisions the wrong way, don’t worry. You can’t still turn it around and create marketing strategies that will help your business grow. Here’s how.

The Cost of Bad Marketing Decisions

When we talk about the cost of bad marketing decisions, most agents think in terms of money. This is an obvious assumption, since the majority of agents waste thousands of dollars a year (or month) on marketing campaigns that never return any significant leads.

Though wasting valuable marketing dollars is one of the most impactful results of bad decisions, it certainly isn’t the only one. Here are some more consequences of poor marketing decisions:

■ Wasted time.

The more time you waste on marketing efforts that are not panning out, the more of an opportunity you are giving your competitors to win your potential clients’ business.

■ Diminished reputation.

While some bad marketing decisions simply result in low ROI, others can actively harm your reputation. Marketing that is too pushy, poorly executed, or that taps the wrong target market can confuse or even turn away those who might otherwise want to work with you. It can also cause bad word of mouth that can follow you for months — or even years.

■ Lack of trust.

One of the goals of marketing is to build trust with your ideal customers. Just as solid marketing strategies slowly show your potential clients that you will treat them right should they choose to work with you, bad strategies erode that trust and take you one step further away from winning their business.

■ No growth.

When your marketing is not generating new leads or helping you get closer to those who may eventually want to do business with you, your growth will be limited. To keep your business strong, you must be able to reach new markets and effectively engage with those who will give you referrals or end up becoming clients one day.

The Wrong Way to Make Marketing Decisions

So what does make a good marketing decision? It usually helps to look at all the wrong ways to make these choices. They include:

■ Following what everyone else is doing.

See your competitors sending out mailers with recipes on them so you decide to do the same thing? You’re not going to stand out from other realtors if you’re doing all the same things. In fact, it may even impact your reputation if your clients get the idea that you have no original ideas and are only piggy-backing on others in the industry.

■ Jumping on new trends.

Many agents suffer from “shiny object syndrome” and constantly get distracted by the next great thing in marketing. This prevents them from being consistent or persistent with any of their marketing strategies and leads to poor results.

■ Making decisions based on emotions.

Do you get upset because a campaign isn’t generating leads and immediately abandon it for something with more guarantees? When you make decisions based on emotions instead of data, you will never get the solid returns you are after.

■ Trying to do everything.

Some agents think the more types of marketing they can get involved in, the better. However, they usually end up spreading themselves too thin among various marketing vehicles and never put enough money into the campaigns that have the potential to deliver the largest returns on investment.

■ Guessing.

Most real estate agents are not experts at marketing. Instead of delegating the marketing work to a dedicated professional, they guess at what will give them the best ROI. This guessing game rarely bears fruit, and most agents get frustrated and end up spending money they’ll never get back in the form of leads.

■ Letting someone else in your office handle everything.

If you have an in-house marketing team whose sole job it is to handle your marketing campaigns, you absolutely should let them handle the decisions. However, most agents don’t have these resources. If they don’t want to make decisions themselves, they often delegate it to an assistant, an intern, or another agent who doesn’t have any more knowledge of the subject than they do. This results not only in poor decisions, but also in the agent not even knowing what those decisions are or how they might be hurting the agency.

The Right Way to Make Marketing Decisions

Marketing decisions should always be based on data. Fortunately, data is abundant when you properly use social media or Google online marketing tools. When you set up Google and Facebook Analytics properly and integrate them with your CRM system, you can rely on accurate data to determine which campaigns are working, which are not, and how to tweak them to get a better ROI. You will know the exact campaigns, messaging, pages, and audiences that are generating engagement and you can double down on what is working to drive your business forward. You can stop the bleeding from any poor marketing decisions immediately and instantly make your business more profitable. As a bonus, analytics also show you what your ideal clients like and trends that are happening in the market so you can stay ahead of the game.

Have you been making marketing decisions based on emotion, guessing, or by jumping on the newest, shiniest marketing trend? Now is the time to turn your marketing around and start basing decisions on analytics.

Need some help setting up your analytics and figuring out how to interpret which campaigns are giving you the most ROI? Reach out to the knowledgeable team at Luxury Presence. We’d be happy to help you get on the right path.