Online versus offline marketing - what works and how

How estate and letting agents could get better results with less spend using smarter marketing methods.

What marketing are you doing? Canvassing? Touting? Newspaper ads?

Is any of it working?

Each week, I have around 10 calls with independent estate agents (book yours here) to assess their marketing spend and the results they get.  Here’s a real-life example of offline marketing activities and budget for the last 12 months:

ActivityAnnual spend
Newspaper ads£8900
Local magazine ads£800
Sponsorship of local football club£1200
Total offline spend £17,450

Total number of valuations over the last year: 250

(You’ll see I’ve excluded the portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market are your method of delivering on your promise to your clients – to market their properties. Any marketing advantage of being on those platforms is a by-product of this delivery; an indirect bonus. That’s why I haven’t included it in the marketing spend.)

However, when this particular agent analysed these valuations and subtracted (as much as she could do) the word-of-mouth and referral-generated valuations, less than 100 had been generated from these marketing activities.

Cost per valuation: £175

The problem is that these valuations are all ‘cold’ – in other words, with no prior relationship, or nurturing of the potential client, the likelihood you will convert the val to an instruction is so much lower. You may very well just be there to make up the numbers – as the third agent through the door. And what is your conversion rate likely to be then? 50%? 33%?

Cost per instruction: £350 – £525

Let’s look at online marketing.

I’ve put together a suggested budget, assuming you were outsourcing some activities, and keeping some in-house:

ActivityAnnual spend
Social media management – outsourced£2400
Facebook advertising spend£3600
Online instant valuation tool (eg ValPal)£1200*
Content writing – blogs and emails – outsourced£2400
Landing page software£175
Email marketing service£160
Total online spend £9,935

*less if you are a client of mine

 Projected number of valuations: 100

Cost per valuation: £99

Plus, by following a robust nurture plan and follow-up strategy, these potential clients will be so much ‘warmer’ than using traditional offline methods, so your conversion rate should be higher – say, 60% +

Cost per instruction: £165

So – offline or online?

There will always be a place for offline marketing, I think.  If you use it cleverly – integrating it with your online activities – canvassing, advertising and the rest can become a lever to make your online marketing efforts more successful.  However, on its own, it can be dull, self-centred and ineffective.

I’ve put together a cheatsheet to help you plan your marketing budget. It’s free in exchange for your email – just pop in your details here.

Like to know how you can ramp up your marketing and get better results with less spend? Answer a few questions here and I’ll let you know if and how I could help you.
Online versus offline marketing - what works and how

What to read next: Why you need a marketing funnel

What to do next: Do you get my Supertips? They’re jam-packed full of great tips and marketing strategies just like this one, and best still – they’re free! Get yours here ->

Speak to Sam: If you’d like to know how I think you could improve your marketing, just answer a few short questions here and I’ll tell you if and how you could be more effective.

0 282