First National Real Estate Grows Leads by 71% with HubSpot

Sue Goddard is the Digital Marketing Manager of First National Real Estate (FNRE), a not-for-profit cooperative of independent real estate agents with specialist skills in residential sales and property management, commercial and rural property. FNRE has over 350 offices situated across four different countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Vanuatu. Sue wanted to improve FNRE’s lead generation and nurturing capabilities, and also automate manual tasks that were reducing operational efficiency. However, with the sheer size of the company, she needed a solution that could address these challenges at considerable scale. Through engaging the HubSpot Growth Stack, Sue has been able to future-proof FNRE’s inbound marketing and business acquisition needs, and achieve some phenomenal success metrics. Over the last six months year-on-year, FNRE’s leads have grown exponentially, with unique website visitors increasing by more than half, and each visitor consuming more FNRE content than ever. Know someone that might find this case study useful? Click here to send it to them

71%

additional leads generated

54%

growth in unique website visitors

23%

increase in total pageviews

About First National Real Estate

First National Real Estate is Australia's most advanced real estate network and the trademark 'Swash' is the country's most recognised symbol for real estate. We're a not-for-profit cooperative of independent real estate agents with specialist skills in residential sales and property management, commercial and rural property.

A Mountain of Content and No Way to Scale It

Sue mentioned that FNRE already had a substantial amount of content, with over 600 blogs live. She felt that the main problem centred around how these blogs were performing and being utilised. Although the company’s customer personas were clearly defined, existing blog content contained no calls-to-action, which meant that they couldn’t maximise the effectiveness of their impressive content library to target potential customers. She also spoke about the need to automate several manual tasks that were taking up time and resources that could be applied better elsewhere. The lack of adequate targeting, combined with the time taken up by manual effort, meant that FNRE’s lead generation and nurturing process wasn’t working as well as it could, or should. While fixing this was a big challenge, Sue was also tasked with finding a solution that had the scalability to cater for FNRE’s size, and meet the demands that come with having over 350 offices.

Sue realised that the right marketing automation tool could address these challenges by helping to develop the personas and calls-to-action to nurture leads at such scale, while automating many of the manual tasks that were in place. However, with a traditionally-focused approach to marketing prevalent in FNRE, Sue was concerned that getting buy-in from senior stakeholders would prove difficult. Fortunately, however, the network seized the opportunity with enthusiasm. The first challenge involved finding the right tool, and then proving the value of investing in it to key decision-makers. “Although the appetite for innovation was very much there, some education was needed to show key stakeholders how these new processes would work and what value they would bring once implemented.” In the same boat? Request a free demo to see how HubSpot can help!

All-In-One and Budget-Friendly to Boot

While Sue did evaluate another tool in the shape of Marketo, it was HubSpot that caught her eye immediately. She stated that the all-in-one, holistic nature of HubSpot was what particularly stood out to her. With HubSpot, she could house the massive volume of content that FNRE already had, while using other features to streamline workflows and tasks to drive and nurture leads for her 350+ offices. Sue also mentioned that it was this all-encompassing capability, combined with the budget-friendly price, that helped her prove the value of HubSpot and, ultimately, convince senior stakeholders that it was the right fit for FNRE. “I had looked at Marketo, but I really liked HubSpot’s all-in-one capability, as it had everything we needed in one place and at the right price.”

"I had looked at Marketo, but I really liked HubSpot’s all-in-one capability, as it had everything we needed in one place and at the right price."

Sue Goddard

Digital Marketing Manager

First National Real Estate

Seamless Workflows and Efficient Lead Follow-Up

With the entire business brought into HubSpot, it was time to get started with the Growth Stack and fine-tune FNRE’s strategy. Sue stated that the onboarding process helped the team get to grips with all that HubSpot has to offer, and also learn how best to migrate their abundance of content from their existing CMS. She spoke about the clear and concise communications she received as a key contributing factor throughout the process, with help always only a phone call away. Sue also pointed to her completion of the Inbound Certification as a massive benefit in honing her HubSpot skills.

Sue was then able to apply her new knowledge of HubSpot to fine-tune buyer personas and create calls-to-action to suit each one. She explained that smart content was crucial in refining the lead nurturing process, as it allowed FNRE to give their customers the right content, at the right time, based on data gleaned from customer actions. This activity helped generate more appraisal requests - a term FNRE uses to define a lead. As part of this, Sue touched on her consistent use of the HubSpot Workflows feature to distribute these appraisal requests to the relevant office and estate agent, ensuring timely and efficient lead follow-up.

At the start of 2017, FNRE launched an ongoing paid campaign across Google Adwords and social media using HubSpot Ads. The goal was to generate more appraisals with an initial boost that drove traffic to HubSpot-housed landing pages, where prospects were prompted to fill out an appraisal request form. This would then trigger a workflow relevant to one of the buyer personas that had been created and start the appropriate nurturing process. The entire campaign required the seamless interaction of elements such as data collection, content, forms and lead distribution, which wouldn’t have been possible without the all-in-one functionality of the HubSpot suite.

"I would say that inbound marketing is definitely a long game, it’s about adding value to your customers, building trust and, ultimately, positioning yourself as a thought leader within your industry."

Sue Goddard

Digital Marketing Manager

First National Real Estate

Visitors, Views and Leads in Droves

In terms of overall success, Sue agreed that the Inbound methodology is a long-term solution rather than an immediate, short-term fix, and getting familiar with HubSpot was an incremental process. However, she concluded that it was certainly worth the wait, as results have been consistently excellent ever since. “I would say that inbound marketing is definitely a long game, it’s about adding value to your customers, building trust and, ultimately, positioning yourself as a thought leader within your industry. In terms of implementation, from my own experience it took approximately 3 months to get 100% set up on HubSpot. It was a process, however, well worth the effort.”

Referring to year-on-year performance over the last six months, Sue pointed to an enormous 54% increase in unique website visitors. This was accompanied by an extremely impressive 23% growth in total pageviews, meaning these new visitors are consuming more of FNRE’s content than ever before. She also spoke proudly of her paid campaign as an instant hit, citing a truly staggering 71% increase in leads since its implementation. With the success FNRE have had up to now by using HubSpot, Sue stated that she wants to achieve more wins in the near future. She outlined plans to migrate additional content over to HubSpot, as well as continuing to refine their lead generation process, conversion paths and buyer personas.

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