Marketing isn't Magic. It's Simple Math

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Marketing Isn’t Magic. It’s Simple Math.  

Let’s, for a moment, pretend that we’re discussing your new property. It’s behind in leasing and needs to sign 10 leases this week. You’re stressing because you don’t know how you’re going to get it done. 

For one, you don’t get that much traffic. You want to run a special to attract new people but you think, ‘how are we going to expose it to enough eyes?’ 

Then you hear us say that all you need to do is drive 1,400 people to your website and it’ll take care of itself. 

“That doesn’t make sense!” You respond.  

Actually, it does. And we’ll show you how with some simple Marketing Math.

Get Out Your Calculators

It’s time to figure out your property’s key metrics. Many of you already know some of these off the top of your head. And if you don’t, you can find them within your resident management portal.

Your Closing Ratio

What’s your closing ratio? And we’re not talking about the slightly inflated number from your leasing agents that makes them look better. Let’s face it. If you’ve ever been a leasing agent, you know what I’m talking about.  

It’s okay to include that lady that toured for her granddaughter and didn’t leave an email address. And the guy who just stopped by over lunch and said he’d come back and never did.  

We want to include them because in this calculation, you want to know the true closing ratio, even if it’s low.  In addition, a low closing ratio actually helps you; you should be conservative with your numbers. 

We’re looking for the number of submitted applications that actually convert to a signed lease. This should be nearly 100% but, in all honesty, sometimes we have those denials based on credit or background checks.  And other times they get approved and don’t respond.  

For example if (on average) for every 10 applications, you may see eight signed leases. That’s an 80% application to lease closing ratio.

(Formula to follow: # of signed leases / # of filled-out applications)

Your Application Ratio

Now that we have your closing ratio let’s discover how many people you need to bring into your office to achieve your target number of leases.  

We want to focus on in-person tours. Let’s leave out guests who don’t take a tour or may just apply online without contacting the property.

Determine (on average) the number of tours you give before someone fills out an application. You should be able to get this from your guest card totals or from your weekly leasing reports. 

For example, if you’ve given 20 tours in one week and two of them filled out applications, then you’re looking at a 10% tours to application ratio.

(Formula to follow: # of filled-out applications / # of tours)

How Much Overall Traffic Do You Need?

On average, from your overall web and telecommunications traffic, it’s time to consider your conversation ratio. To make it easier, let’s build this number off of your website traffic, which you should be able to find from your property’s Google Analytics.

For example, if you have 500 unique visitors per week and receive, on average, 15-20 tours/calls/emails from that traffic, you have a 4% web “conversation rate”.

(Formula to follow: # of tours, calls, emails / # of unique visitors)

Yes, there are other people that contact your property that might not touch your website. They may drive by your property, see it on an ILS, or be a referral from a current resident. Since it’s difficult to pinpoint consistent lead sources, we’ll count them as bonus traffic for the purposes of our example and won’t include them.

Now Let’s Put It All Together

  • Lease Target — If we have a property with 10 vacant units our target is 10 leases.

  • Applications Target — If, based on overall numbers, 75% of the approved applications turn into leases, we know that we need at least 13 applications.

  • Tours Target — If, based on our ratio, we convert 25% of tours into applications, then we need at least 56 tours.

  • Traffic Target — If we receive 500 visitors to the website and about 4% of them actually get in touch with your property, then we’ll aim for at least 1,400 unique website visitors.

Overall, if you need to sign 10 leases in one week, depending on the data examples above, you’ll need at least 1,400 people to visit your website within the next 7 days.

Annette Smith