The Cost of the Lead-to-Lease Data Disconnect

Leveraging CallRail Tracking to Understand Cost Per Lead

Based on years of marketing experience in the property management industry, All Points Digital co-founder, Jason Mazur, understands the many ways that incomplete lease source data can cost a company. In his discussion of “Digital Marketing for Apartments” and its in-depth analysis of the Cost Per Lease  (CPL) metric, he recounts this all too familiar experience:

When the APD team meets with property managers, our conversations often begin with this question: What is the cost per lease for each of your marketing channels?

From ballpark figures to blank looks, the responses indicate that the dollar to source connection is a guess at best. The frightening reality is that in almost all of these meetings, the worst case scenario is the status quo. In short, lots of money is being spent, but what that expenditure is achieving and how it is most successfully resulting in leases remains largely unknown.

Why is it critical to have a comprehensive understanding of lead-to-lease connections?

When properties seem to be consistently generating revenue, complacency can happen. It can be tempting to operate under the assumption that the traditional marketing channels being utilized are why the contact forms and phone calls, as well as signed leases, are happening. However, this laxity means that money is not only being left on the table but also being squandered. Here’s why understanding your lead-to-lease connections can make a major impact.

  1. Start optimizing your marketing budget! Dollars are being wasted on marketing campaigns that aren’t reaching the target audience. Additionally, paying for ILS use essentially means that a property is partially paying that ILS company to be its competition!
  2. Take the emotion out of your budget use and marketing evaluation. Joining an ILS because “everyone else is doing it” doesn’t mean that that expense will result in greater lead generation. Impromptu marketing changes when interest seems lower or activity differs from the prior month, doesn’t account for the myriad reasons that may contribute to this perceived reality.
  3. Leverage your investment. Determine your target CPL, so you can evaluate which marketing channels are ineffective and allocate funding to sources that are actually generating leads.

What does that source and lead evaluation look like?

Let’s break this tracking evaluation down into two parts. Part 1 addresses standard property management industry tracking, while Part 2 addresses how much more that tracking could be doing for your business.

CallRail Site Tracking Customer Journey
Source: CallRail

Part 1: The Current Tracking Approach

Single source tracking continues to reign in the property management industry. Jason Mazur addresses this issue in a recent interview with the Call Tracking & Marketing Analytics Software Company, CallRail. He explains that “everything from a website [is interpreted] as a website lead. [Property management professionals] have no idea if it came from ads, internet listing services, or anything else”. Even without knowing the nuances of the marketing landscape, the image clearly shows that single source tracking means valuable resources aren’t being utilized and that any tracking information that is gleaned provides an incomplete picture. Mazur further comments that “to not understand those leads coming, essentially, [property companies cannot] optimize campaigns or understand how to break out your budget”.

Part 2: Comprehensive Tracking With APD

Standard real estate software providers, like RentCafe or Yardi, track calls, but these systems fail to connect initial leads through the leasing process. Without this tracking, knowing if the lead was qualified and if marketing efforts are working isn’t possible. By connecting the initial lead source through the CRM (customer relationship management) system, the marketing channel that truly drives qualified leads and signed leases can be identified. However, APD co-founders Jamie and Jason Mazur developed a more comprehensive and powerful tracking system using CallRail’s dynamic number insertion. As Jason Mazur succinctly phrased it with the CallRail team, using this approach allows the APD digital marketing team to “track the hell out of everything … Tag it, track it, and understand it.” While connecting the data dots can take sufficient resources, it can show clients the ROI of each marketing dollar.

For property management companies who want the most for their digital marketing money, the comprehensive approach is essential. In the same CallRail case study, Jamie Mazur, highlights the benefits of this tracking method. He emphasizes that “natural keys, like the lead’s phone number and email address, exist in our clients’ CRMs and are also captured in the CallRail system for leads from a phone call or form submission.” That data is then utilized by the APD team to identify the source of the CallRail call and its associated lead or opportunity in the CRM. From start to finish, the APD approach provides the data that both the APD team and their clients need to ensure that their digital marketing approach is providing the anticipated financial results.

We know that property managers, themselves, are often the key person to closing a leasing deal with their tenants. In choosing to collaborate with All Points Digital, you are choosing to revolutionize your approach to lead generation and lease tracking, so that your company, not a third party facilitator or competitor, can reap the benefits. Instead of throwing away dollars on campaigns and marketing channels that aren’t advantageous to you, we want to leverage each campaign and each tool to maximize the return on your investment. For innovative approaches and data-driven results, schedule a free consultation to discuss your marketing needs.