There was a time when a person selling a house would simply walk into their local estate agent, arrange a valuation and ultimately ask them to sell the house. But the internet has given sellers so much more choice, including internet-only estate agents, that it’s more important than ever for estate agents to establish their online visibility.
With the rise of property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market, potential buyers are starting their searches there – they don’t care who the agent is. On the one hand, a sale is a sale, and buyers will buy the property that’s right for them, irrespective of who’s selling it. On the other hand, the portal approach is doing very little for your brand. That’s why it’s important to get your online presence right so that when these buyers eventually become sellers, you’ll be agent they ask to sell their property.
Building your brand and your marketing story is not straightforward in an industry as heavily regulated as real estate. Sure, you’re selling property in, say, South London, but what sets you apart from the other South London estate agents? Fortunately, with some help from a marketing professional (*cough* Estata Marketing) you can identify your unique strengths and showcase them to potential sellers.
Here are three things you can do to increase your online visibility…
If you are spending money on inbound marketing (SEO, social media adverts, etc) you may be losing clients due to a poor first impression from your website. Even if your buyers are coming through Rightmove, your sellers will be coming to you through your website. It needs to make the right impression – show the consistency, professionalism and quality your potential clients will be expecting.
It also needs to be instinctive and responsive – if it’s easy to navigate, visitors to your site will be more likely to hang around and convert into paying clients.
You want your website to stand out, but do it with your logo and your images, not your layout. Studies show that people looking at websites form an impression in about 0.5 seconds so make sure it’s laid out in a familiar way so they can immediately find what they’re looking for.
If you don’t like your website, or if you’ve overheard a colleague apologising for it (!), it could be time for an overhaul.
- Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all great platforms that estate agents should be using. But don’t fall into the trap of just posting about the properties you’ve got for sale. It’s also important to keep potential clients updated with industry news, and them who you are and what you care about. Remember, if they can engage with you as a person, they’re much more likely to convert.
Try to put a face behind the brand. Having your directors and team make amateur videos of the new flats they’ve taken on, or the Friday night group celebration will personalise your image and positively build rapport. Of course it’s up to you how to use social media, but don’t fall into the trap of rehashing content that other sites are doing better.
Another thing to keep in mind that is very important, you cannot make everyone happy. Some people will not appreciate your social media posts and some people will love them. Have fun, keep it professional and make regular posts to engage people, it’s truly what your ideal clients are looking for.
- Email marketing
Now that the change to data laws has finally happened, we should all have up to date email contact lists. GDPR may have been a headache, but it does put estate agents and other businesses in an excellent position, only emailing people who have asked to be included on the circulation list, thereby making each email more effective.
The estate agency industry lends itself very well to email marketing. Many people sign up for property alerts, and with a constant supply of new properties, you’ve always got something to share. You can also include a link to your blog – good quality, “evergreen” (timeless) content is always worth including, while tips and advice make good freebies to encourage people to open the email.
- Leaflet Distribution
Don’t toss away the idea of leaflets just yet, print marketing still has legs and boy can they run! Post GDPR opens the doors to more traditional methods of advertising, think leaflets. Hate them or love them, Estata marketing has used these leaflets with our clients to great effect and high ROI. Leaflets have an open rate (assuming you place them in an envelope) of basically 100%. Compare this to the property industry email campaign open rate of about 20-30% depending on the database and subject quality.
Good design and a call to action are ultra important for an effective leaflet campaign, plus, you will need to use this technique in tandem with your social media and website call to action for full effect.
So how much does it cost? Well depends on the quantity, print quality and even the amount of colours you use on your card. If you go with say 5,000 cards designed professionally and printed with limited colours with distribution around London, you could look at costs of under £2,000 for the whole thing. Not bad for a 100% open rate and branded message straight to a landlord.
- Email Signatures
Easily one of the most overlooked marketing tools by estate agents today. Your email signature is a free tool is available for anyone with email… so everyone. Have you just taken on a new development in central London? Advertise it to everyone of your clients that your team is emailing!
Ideally, you would place a banner of the announcement (new estate agent office opening, new apartment/development, new website, etc.) in combination with your existing signature. Remember, your branding should remain consistent.
The team at Estata Marketing has a lot of experience at increasing the visibility of estate agents. Whether you need help with your website, social media, email campaigns or anything else, we can help. Get in touch today on 07460 388 640.