Many small business owners struggle with measuring how well individual marketing campaigns are performing. This is especially true when you launch several campaigns simultaneously — mobile coupons, social media surveys, print ads. Some property managers wonder if measuring marketing efforts really matters.
Three Reasons Why Measurement Matters
Measuring return on investment helps you identify what strategies are working for your business and which ones are ready for the recycle bin. With accurate measurements, you can prioritize activities effectively and make better informed decisions about future campaigns. Finally, measurements give you benchmarks for determining value and demonstrating return on investment.
What to Measure and How
Before you start gathering data, you need to conceptualize your challenges. It’s easy if you break it down into three stages.
#1 Name Your Challenge
In step one, you’ll clearly define your challenge or problem. What is your goal? Do you want to improve your reputation in the community? Are you looking to grow your market share or outperform similar properties? Maybe you want to reduce vacancy rates by ten percent compared to last year or last quarter.
#2 Test Your Solution
In stage two, you put your solutions in motion. You’ll need to identify media or activities you want to measure. It might be partnering with an advertising firm, running ads in the location newspaper or enlisting the help of social media influencers.
#3 Establish Benchmarks
Define your baseline standards. Individual property benchmarks will depend on your overall property goals. You might want to measure your marketing activity against industry norms, past performance or local competition. In stage three, you identify measurement standards to prove the effectiveness and monetary worth of certain campaigns.
Let’s say you want to introduce a new floor plan or upgraded amenities to the community and think local real estate agents are a valuable resource.
Designing Your Marketing Strategy
The graphic above doesn’t include all details for your plan. For example, you might want each real estate agent to use a registration code to measure who generated the most traffic, or your goal might be to measure only increased traffic using outside influencers. Your property goals define your tactics.
To effectively measure return on investment, you need to focus on the desired outcome. Let’s use social media as an example to show you how designing your marketing campaigns for measurement works. If you’ve recently deployed new property management software that helps your team respond faster to maintenance requests, your desired outcome might be to repair a less than stellar reputation and improve online reviews.
- Your first line of action might be to use social media to announce your improved response times (property activity).
- This activity generates interest and attention. Measure interest by the number of shares, re-tweets, comments or inquiries.
- Heightened interest, if effective, will increase public awareness and improve satisfaction for current residents.
- Improved satisfaction leads to a change in attitude in the community.
- Better perception leads to more traffic and hopefully increased lease applications and a better reputation overall.
You could incorporate a feature on your property website that shows the average response time to maintenance requests as your team improves. This is a great feature that many industries use as an accountability tool and a marketing tool. Your property management software team can help you learn leverage analytics to fine tune your marketing activities.
There’s an awesome analytics tool to help you measure social media engagement and calculate your ROI called True Social Metrics. Get a free 30-day trial here.
Whether your property management goals include rebuilding a soiled reputation, announcing new services or amenities, or generating community awareness, measuring the value of your marketing campaigns is essential if you want to get the highest return on investment. Understanding what to measure and how is the best place to start.
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AppFolio, Inc. develops Property Management Software that helps businesses improve their workflow so they save time and make more money. Appfolio submits articles & blogs including topics of Resident Retention, Improved Owner Communication, Time Management, and more.