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Vendor paid marketing: What’s generating the highest returns?

By Mike York
02 August 2022 | 1 minute read
mike york little hinges reb nqdoi5

Vendor paid marketing activities can be set-and-forget, but as the market starts to cool, what worked a month ago just won’t cut it. Re-evaluating your marketing stack will help you position yourself as being on the cutting edge of what’s really selling properties in the current market, as well as making sure you’re setting yourself up for sales success.

We speak to hundreds of agents every month, who share with us what’s working and what’s not. Across the board, we’ve found that the set-and-forget agents are overly reliant on one or two channels for buyer leads. While this approach was generating sales in the frantic market we’ve seen over the last year, the top agents are looking to diversify their lead acquisition channels as we head into a softer market.

Are your current marketing channels working for you?


If what you’re doing is working, there’s no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater just to jump on a new trend. The best-performing agents we speak to:

  1. Are trying new things. You won’t know what’s going to work unless you’re willing to experiment. However, because every real estate transaction is slightly different, don’t just experiment once and write off a tactic if it doesn’t generate immediate returns. Test, tweak and test again until you get to a point that you can systemise.

  2. Understand the fundamentals of a marketing funnel. Measuring what’s working at each stage of the funnel helps agents identify what’s working or where leads might be leaking out of your bucket as you move them towards a sale:

    1. Attract: At this stage, you want to get your property in front of as many of the right kinds of eyeballs as possible.

    2. Qualify: Get those eyeballs to commit to an inspection, both physically and virtually. Make sure you’re spending time on the right buyers by leaning on technology to do the work for you, and get as many people as possible to view the property to see if it’s right for them.

    3. Convert: Are you reducing friction and making it as easy as possible for buyers to move from offer through to contract? Make technology do some of the heavy lifting at this stage.

  3. Use data to measure what works and what doesn’t. Agents who understand the fundamentals of performance are looking at metrics like:

    1. Reach: Am I getting in front of as many of the right kinds of people as possible? What additional channels can I add into the marketing mix to get in front of more people? The best agents aren’t putting all of their marketing eggs in one basket and are leveraging paid social, retargeting, real estate portals, virtual open homes for interstate and international buyers AND their email databases to get their listings in front of all potential buyers.

    2. Creative messaging: Is your content resonating with your buyers? Are they asking for more photos, a video, or a multimodal accurate virtual tour? Giving buyers the right content at the right time can help them move much more quickly through the sales process.

    3. Cost: What’s your eyeball-to-buyer lead rate? Impressions or pageview numbers don’t mean much unless you’re measuring how they convert to leads. You can measure leads a number of different ways, but one of the easiest is new contacts added to your buyer database (measure quality based on the number of contact details they provide). If your marketing spend isn’t converting to leads, reassess the benefits of the channel.

If your budget, content, and distribution strategy are working in harmony, you’ll see an increase at all stages of the funnel, from page views to leads to offers to conversions. It also makes sense to compare your data monthly and over longer periods of time. If your costs are going up and your leads/sales are going down, something needs to change.

Why mix up your vendor marketing stack?

Testing and improving your standard marketing strategy is a lot of work — so why bother when you’ve got a system you’re happy with? You’ll open yourself up to more listings. You can position yourself as being a marketing expert, particularly in a market that’s not performing to the levels it was last month. Sellers want to work with innovative agents who are doing something different — and this is your opportunity to do just that.

Mike York is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Little Hinges.

Vendor paid marketing: What’s generating the highest returns?
mike york little hinges reb nqdoi5
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