Real Estate Marketing - Attrition is Your Sworn Enemy

Attrition is the enemy of real estate marketing. So to be successful in your marketing, you first have to understand the concept of attrition. You also have to work hard to reduce it.

This article will help you understand attrition and give you tips for reducing it within your real estate marketing program. Let's begin with a basic definition.

What is Attrition?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines attrition as "a reduction in numbers usually as a result of resignation, retirement, or death." Don't worry, we're not talking about retirement or death here. But we are talking about a reduction in numbers -- and the size of that reduction has a direct impact on your real estate marketing success.


Now let's convert that definition for real estate marketing purposes.


Real Estate Marketing Attrition
In your marketing program, attrition refers to the number of people who do not take the actions you want them to take. At each step in the marketing process, you stand to lose some people. The more people you lose along the way, the less successful your real estate marketing program will be. So let's talk about minimizing attrition by using the following example.


A Real Estate Marketing Scenario
Let's consider a marketing campaign that combines real estate postcards and web-based lead generation. It's a solid marketing strategy -- one that I've seen used successfully many times in the past. But like any real estate marketing strategy, it has attrition points:


  • Attrition Point #1 - When you mail the postcards, a certain percentage of them will not reach the intended recipient's due to bad addresses and the like. 
  • Attrition Point #2 - Of those people who do receive your postcards, only a small percentage will respond and visit your website. 
  • Attrition Point #3 - Of those people who visit your website, some will not find what you want them to find. Or they simply won't be interested and they'll leave. 
  • Attrition Point #4 - Of those who visit your website and take the action you want them to take (perhaps signing up for market alerts), some will mistype their email address. 
  • Attrition Point #5 - Finally, of those who (A) get the postcard, (B) respond to it and visit your website, (C) take the action you want them to take, and (D) have no technical issues ... only a portion of them will be qualified prospects. 

I don't tell you all this to discourage you. On the contrary, I want you to understand the concept of attrition so you can build a real estate marketing program that minimizes attrition as much as possible.


Attrition is a fierce enemy that cannot be defeated entirely. But you can certainly reduce it, and thereby minimize the impact it has on your real estate marketing success. For instance, let's refer back to the marketing scenario above. Here are some ways we might reduce the amount of attrition at each of the five points listed:


  • To Minimize Point #1 - You can optimize your postcard deliverability by updating your mailing list, or by purchasing a fresh list from a reliable vendor such as InfoUSA. 
  • To Minimize Point #2 - You can increase your postcard response by adding value to your offer (even in a non-monetary way) and strengthening your call to action. 
  • To Minimize Point #3 - You can help people find what they came for on your website by adding a graphical link to it on your home page. 
  • To Minimize Point #4 - You can minimize the number of people who mistype their email address by using double-entry verification on your web forms. 
  • To Minimize Point #5 - You can increase the percentage of qualified prospects who respond by using an offer that will only appeal to certain people (sellers, for example).

 These are just some of the ways you could reduce the level of attrition in this particular real estate marketing scenario. You could do many other things to optimize your results as well, but they are beyond the scope of this article. My goal is simply to get you thinking about marketing attrition and the various ways you might reduce it.

Understanding marketing attrition is the first step in reducing it. So think about your own real estate marketing strategies. Map out the various steps in the process, and jot down the attrition points. They should be fairly easy to spot after reading this article. Then think of all the things you can do to minimize each point of attrition, and work hard to do exactly that.


About the Author
Brandon Cornett provides real estate Internet marketing services and SEO support for real estate agents nationwide. Visit the author online at

Free LeadSite Offer!