Agents and brokers are often shooting in the dark when it comes to defining (and sticking to!) marketing budgets. This year at ICNY19, I spoke with Kim Luckie, marketing director for ERA-American and Julie Tambussi, marketing director for Savvy & Co. to discuss how to plan and account for marketing expenses.
Both Kim and Julie not only plan marketing budgets for the brokerage, they also assist agents with understanding their marketing overhead as well.
“A good rule of thumb for planning purposes is to earmark about 10% of total sales for marketing,” said Julie.
It’s important to understand the need to invest in future sales and to keep the pipeline full. Julie and Kim both believe you should invest in your sphere of influence first.
Let’s take a deep dive into four essential real estate marketing strategies and how to budget for them.
Your first marketing dollar should always be spent on your people.
As the industry shifts, agents must demonstrate value and serve the people in their network.
Below I've broken down four typical relationship marketing activities and suggested budgets:
Depending on your overall strengths, you should also consider budgeting for content marketing.
Content marketing empowers you to tell the story of your passion and purpose to your audience.
Content marketing is also known as inbound marketing because it helps draw people to you.
It helps create mutually beneficial collaborations to foster your connections with community leaders and partners.
Content marketing comes in all forms such as video, podcasts, blogs, whitepapers, books, ebooks, neighborhood guides and much much more.
In the table below, I've broken down four different content marketing investments and how much you should consider investing in them.
If done well, all of the above marketing activities help to create the brand experience you are hoping to achieve with your clients and potential clients. But, in our current marketing landscape, its critical to allocate budget for exposure and reach. This comes in the form of advertising, sponsorships and creative collateral such as brochures, tearsheets, signs and more.
Again, strategic marketers understand how all marketing effort serves to eventually drive adoption and growth. However, most real estate agents, earmark a portion of their budget specifically for lead generation. And remember, the fortune is in the follow up. Agents should always have a plan to manage the follow-up process to succeed. Once you make the commitment to any campaign, it’s important to deliver on the promise or it’s worse than if you hadn’t generated any leads at all.
So, depending on the size of your business, you can expect to scale the budget up or down based on need. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to marketing budgets, but it's important to plan and account for things that often are overlooked on the balance sheet.