The 2023 real estate marketing mindset

By Chris Arnold
Launch news 2

Over the last 6 months, the sales process for new property marketing projects has shifted. Developers, owners, and fellow marketers are asking more questions about KPIs and ROI than ever.

This isn't 2019 anymore. Money is tight, so naturally, everything finds itself under a microscope.

I used to try and answer this question with a passion.

My Type A, Enneagram 1 self loves to figure it out and stand by a solution. I'd do my best to reassure by reviewing what we know about the location, the expected audience, unit sizes, rents, etc.

I would also reference stats and spitball numbers based on previous projects. It was a big game of hypotheticals.

But it's a losing battle. And it will be for you, too.

Here's why.

I was reminded recently that a 13-year-old can capture, edit, and post a TikTok video that gets 5,000 views and hundreds of engaged comments in an afternoon.

As professionals, that can be disheartening to reflect on when we consider that a beautifully designed multi-million dollar property often only sees a few hundred leads.

So no matter what I say about KPIs, I know I'm dead in the water when that type of media expectation is normalized today.

Developers, owners, and operators see a landscape of virality, views, and engagement daily.

"I want that," they (understandably) think.

Back to real estate, though.

How does this relate to property marketing?

And how does it work when there is a renewed drive to see results in a budget-conscious and fickle capital environment?

I think it requires a reframing of our new 2023 reality.

Right away, I use this question to share my point of view on property marketing and its impact on an organization's overall marketing strategy.

It's not one thing or two things. It must be a global approach that the entire organization agrees to.

What are two ways we can view the ROI of our marketing efforts?

One involves "KPIs," and the other does not.

First, you can measure the impact of your work by looking at soft metrics. Metrics that are often observed or self-reported:

  • New Subscribers
  • Website Traffic
  • Social Engagement
  • Reviews
  • Mentions (social, email, DM)
  • Leasing Engagement (emails, calls)
  • Revenue (this is a must-ask question today)

The second way to evaluate marketing ROI has nothing to do with metrics. For this, we turn to the evaluation of process and efficiency.

A single thoughtfully executed pre-leasing effort can unlock many time-saving pieces of the corporate process:

  • An email newsletter system, workflow, and distribution list primed for all future initiatives.
  • A roadmap for all organic social distribution.
  • A framework for content calendars that the organization can "press repeat" on.
  • A growing list of interested renters that can be blended into future marketing campaigns - property or corporate-specific.
  • Activation strategies that can be used as internal IP moving into subsequent properties.
  • Most items listed above are created in a company vacuum if no process or bigger picture is defined.

In other words, there's a tendency to recreate the wheel every time.

New brand approaches, new email campaign tools, new opinions on data, etc. A revolving door each time a property needs to find success.

So, when we think about KPIs and the ROI of marketing a property in today's world, it's not binary.

The renter today is more sophisticated than ever and can't be bought through an ad.

They want to understand the story of where they will be putting down roots, spending tens of thousands of dollars, laughing and crying, and, more generally, doing life.

That decision, today, is about more than a KPI.

It's about a thoughtful brand and property design with the renter in mind. It's about making that property easily discoverable and consumable. And it's about finding clever ways to be top of mind and in the running.

It's not just Google Analytics.

It's some data and a lot more about having your finger on the pulse.

Self-reported attribution and gaining clarity in a buyer's journey will be the new secret sauce for savvy marketers in the coming years.

We already see it happening today.

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