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Drive-by. Online. Property Website.

If any of these three items above are currently listed as options for your traffic sources, guess what? You are not accurately tracking your traffic and could be throwing your marketing dollars out the window!

I’d be willing to bet that all three of these are currently listed as traffic source options on 99% of communities around the country. I’m not saying that these three items cannot be traffic sources, but listing them as how the prospect originally heard about your community is inaccurate. To further explain, let’s take a look at each one:

  • Drive-by. Think of all of the things that could be out in front of your community that good marketing dollars are being spent on: monument sign; banners; bootlegs; amenity signs; balloons; etc. Unless you ask a prospect “was there something specific you saw when you drove-by,” you have no way of knowing what marketing item made them stop. Maybe it was the beautiful landscaping that you finally got done after begging the owner for more money to make the entrance look more visually appealing. Better yet, maybe it was the balloons that you spent all morning putting together in a huge arrangement that caught the prospects eye. Regardless, always ask the prospect what they saw when they drove-by.
  • Online. Entering a prospect as an online lead is about the same as saying the prospect dropped out of the sky and happened to land on your community. It is probably the most vague traffic source you can enter, because it literally tells nothing about how the prospect heard about your community. It is your job as a leasing agent to dig a little deeper so if the prospect mentions they heard about you online, ask them if there was a particular website. What search engine did they use? What did they type into the search box? Even just asking these two things can tell you a lot, because if you search your property daily, as you should be doing, you can usually determine what link they clicked. Was it Apartmentguide.com? Was it Forrent.com? Did they see the property website? Many times we go to communities and the client is spending money on both Apartmentguide.com and Forrent.com, but they are looking to discontinue using one. A leasing agent providing the traffic source of “Online” would do nothing to assist the client in knowing which one of the two ILS’s is working.
  • Property Website. If a prospect tells you they heard about you through your property website, this does not make sense as a possible traffic source. Unless a prospect just so happens to think of your exact property name, or exact property URL, there is no way they just happened to search for your property website. They had to have searched for a general term first that allowed them to be able to locate your community. It is important that you understand because you need to be aware of what prospects are searching that is allowing them to find your website. In doing so you can help track what SEO tools are working or what key words are being effective in helping your community be recognized by Google.

It is crucial that you are obtaining the most accurate information when it comes to sourcing your traffic. In doing so, you’ll be able to track exactly what is driving prospects to the door. Marketing is oftentimes a numbers game, but it can be a whole lot easier if you are able to allocate your time and money toward sources that are driving qualified leads to your community.

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