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TC AM 010 - What Counts as a Conversion?
Keep it simple with these tips.
Welcome to the fresh faces in the development and multifamily worlds who found us last week! Join other smart, curious folks by subscribing below.
Good Morning 👋 – Chris here.
Welcome to the Transforming Cities A.M. Edition.
A simple Saturday read in under 5 minutes.
Pioneering and placemaking with Anna Mackay
Our second-ever guest returns to the podcast! I love having alum come back.
Since we last spoke, Anna Mackay started her own company, Sister City, which develops inclusive and affordable housing. Her projects seek to reevaluate social, environmental, and financial equity.
We touched on mission-based development, the challenges of developing affordable housing, and the stigma associated with being a female developer.
She gets real on this episode, and I'm thrilled to have had this chance to speak with her again.
So much to unpack and enjoy with this one, so I welcome you to take a listen on your favorite podcast app!
What counts as a conversion?
Last week I spoke on the topic of company-wide nurturing and alluded to this week's theme of conversion tracking at the website level.
What should count as a conversion?
We think of a conversion as an action that shows intent to take the next step and do business with you. It's a hand-raiser move.
If the action is otherwise arbitrary, it's just a person looking at a website.
For example, we get plenty of interesting eyes on our company website at Authentic, but only a small percentage take a particular action that we see as a hand-raiser.
Skewed Analytics: A Warning
Dovetailing into this topic nicely, Mike Whaling recently shared a great post that sparked a thought or two and reemphasized something I see with our property partners.
At the core, he commented on skewed analytics data and pointed out that simply viewing a floor plan is not a conversion.
That may seem, well, simple on the surface, but the GA Goal was buried deep in reporting and completely changed the property's assumptions about performance.
It could be easily missed, and it was clearly a way for the marketing partner that was in place to fluff the conversion data.
What's the takeaway?
Focus on tracking actions that customers take on your websites that show intent and interest. Not simply indicators that someone is on a website clicking around.
And be sure you or your marketing lead understands that data and the goal/conversion tracking in place.
Side note: I still remember when companies could sell advertisements based on the number of impressions their website received. Unfortunately, eyes don't equal leases signed.
Back to it, though...
Here are a few examples of a converting action that shows intent and interest:
Contact form submissions
Unit-level interest form submissions
Onsite activations that lead to the website (calls, QR codes)
Phone calls made when viewing the website
Popup or sticky form submissions
New email subscriptions
Examples of non-converting actions:
Viewing a specific page or series of pages
Browsing floorplans of different units
Website referral from a friend
Personally, I love to see potential renters show up by way of signing up for a waitlist or availability alert.
It shows potentially long-tail intent and interest, not only at the property but company-wide, too, tying in last week's email.
Nurturing leads for months is an incredible way to turnkey your first grouping of lease signings once it's time to press "go."
As a final thought, I want to make a case about self-reporting data at the property level.
Businesses have been doing it for years, so why not have leasing teams do the same? I just don’t see it often.
It's easy to ask:
How did you hear about us?
Can you remember what prompted your interest?
Where did you first learn about the property?
You could really ask anything, to be honest.
But gathering important insight directly from the renter's experience will never appear in a report.
You may find out that your onsite signage prompted a bookmark in a browser that wasn't opened for another few weeks, which led to a nurture campaign signup and an eventual lease signed.
The number of scenarios you may discover simply by collecting empirical evidence offers up a neat opportunity to put yet another piece of the puzzle together for you and the marketing team.
And better yet, it will likely inform what a more optimal rollout could look like for your next lease-up.
How are you approaching conversions as we approach leasing season?
Just reply to this email and let me know. Happy converting!
That's all for this Saturday.
If you enjoy this newsletter and its added value for you, the best compliment you could pay me would be to share it with one person and encourage them to join us.
My eyes are open for feedback, too. Let me know what content you enjoy and want more of. And, of course, what you find less valuable. See you next week!
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