The rise of the internet as a tool for buying everything from food, goods and other consumer products has grown to include more significant value purchases, such as holidays, cars and property transactions. So much so that homeowners looking to sell their property now primarily turn to the internet to advertise their sale and to attract buyers who are looking for a new home.
One advantage of advertising your property online is that the spread is wide. Your property details can reach far more people than via a local advert in an estate agents window or via a local newspaper property feature.
Advertising properties on the internet opens up new opportunities for investors looking for buy-to-let properties outside of their local area, or those wanting to relocate to a different area for work, for retirement, or to move closer to family.
For an estate agent, listing their available properties online is a low-cost way to spread the word about what properties they have on their books, upcoming properties and investment opportunities. It is also an excellent tool for building a much more extensive customer base, targeting individual properties at suitable demographics and essentially getting those all important new instructions.
By using some smart online marketing techniques, a savvy estate agent can cut the costs of their marketing campaigns while creating more focused adverts for specific audiences rather than simple blanket advertising that they would have used in the past.
Pre-digital marketing methods were limited, but also quite sufficient for the time. However, now that the world has been opened up by the internet, it is more critical for estate agents to broaden their horizons and make good use of the internet and what tools it has to offer.
Many estate agents have learned that combining both digital and non-digital marketing methods are essential for success both on a local and national level. In fact, while many other types of businesses can thrive on digital marketing alone, estate agents are better positioned to target both digital and non-digital audiences. For example, local audiences that are mainly non-digital in their approach to finding a new home will still prefer to look in your window or call into your office for information about properties in their price range. More digital-savvy customers may prefer to browse details online and create their own shortlist of features that they are interested in before contacting you for more information or to book viewings.
Let’s take a look at five steps you can take to boost your sales and marketing efforts and make your estate agency the primary point of contact for both buyers and sellers in your local area and far beyond.
1. Get yourself recognised
Familiarity builds trust, especially if you can establish recognition as an expert in your field. This is why you need to create a healthy brand identity that is recognisable, such as a well designed and distinctive company logo. What you present behind your logo is important too, so make sure that your brand is recognised for supplying plenty of useful information and for giving excellent customer service. When you become the ‘go-to’ source for everything property related, your brand will be trusted by buyers, sellers and investors alike.
2. Make things easy for your visitors
Trying to make your estate agents look too technical and smart is never going to win over your audience. Yes, your customers will want to see a professional estate agent, but they don’t want to be talked down to or be hit by a lot of technical jargon that they don’t understand either.
Creating things like buyers guides for customers who are new to the area can help to build trust and attract new clients. Helpful tips and recommendations about local services, leisure opportunities, schools, as well as hospitals and dentists will be handy for families moving into the area.
You could also produce a step by step guide to buying your first property. This would be welcomed by first-time buyers who are not familiar with the process of securing a mortgage and buying a home.
3. Keep in touch
Regular communication with your customer base has always been an essential factor for all good estate agents. Even before the internet was around, estate agents kept mailing lists and would post out flyers, newsletters and magazines to keep their customers engaged and keep their company name at the forefront of their minds. The same techniques still apply here, but instead of printed communications you could capture email addresses and send out regular alerts and updates about new properties coming onto the market that they may be interested in.
4. Get blogging
Having a business blog attached to your website may seem pretty standard, but many estate agents don’t realise just how vital their website and blog is. Creating and posting fresh content for your blog on a regular basis not only helps to keep your existing customers engaged, but it also helps with your website SEO rankings. Make the most of your blog and use it to showcase exciting properties and share useful information for homeowners and sellers that they will find helpful.
5. Be consistent & get those new instructions
If you are going to get your brand identity recognised and respected, then you have to be consistent with your efforts. You need to keep on giving out useful information to your customers and keep reminding them that you are there to help them when they need you. Keep in touch and when it comes time to sell their property and look for a new one to buy, you should make sure that you’re company is the first one they think of to guide them through the process. Offer free valuations and give advice on changes they could be make to maximise the sale potential of the property – offer them value for money and make it difficult for them to justify selling their property with anyone else. Getting those new instructions is imperitive to all estate agents and therefore should be at the forefront of all your marketing efforts – both digital and traditional.