The coronavirus is already having a big impact on our personal and work lives; with notable changes in public behaviour following the World Health Organisation’s call for self-isolation and more rigorous hygiene practices to minimise the spread.
So, after what began as a promising start to the year, estate agents find themselves facing disruption within the market once again.
With some UK agencies already reporting higher viewing cancellations and a decline in sales enquiries, it’s understandably a very difficult time for business owners and members of the general public as a whole.
Airlines are amongst those to be hit the hardest commercially, seen in the collapse of Flybe. But we’re also seeing reduced movement and migration closer to the ground.
Over the weekend, The Telegraph reported on an estimated 50% reduction in property viewings, whilst also leading with a seemingly contradictory prediction that house prices will rise by 2% across the year – in spite of what’s going on.
How can estate agents plan for the future?
In his unveiling of a £30 billion package to get us through the coronavirus outbreak, Chancellor Rishi Sunak commented that there will be a significant but temporary disruption to the economy.
During this disruption, what exactly can estate agents do to position themselves for the future; for that point when the market stabilises and movement picks up again?
Against such an unknown entity as the COVID-19, it’s natural to want to put everything on hold until things have settled down.
However, this transitional period could actually give you the chance to build on what you’re already doing.
There will always be those looking to sell, let, buy or rent.
After polling their database, one London-based agency found this to be the case in their area, with 83% of buyers and sellers adamant that the coronavirus would have little to no bearing on their decision-making.
Free marketing webinars for estate agents
To help agents transition through this period of interruption, we are running free one-on-one consultative online webinars to help estate and letting agents plan and prepare their marketing for an immediate response for when market conditions re-stabilise following the interruption of the COVID-19 (coronavirus).
The four-part online program outlined below takes approximately one hour to complete but you can select which module(s) you would like to focus on, if you have limited time, as each takes around 15 minutes.
Part one: monetise your database
We’ll examine how to correctly input data into your CRM system so that you can use it for future marketing purposes. We’ll also analyse how to review your Return on Investment and work out how profitable your data is to provide you with a competitive edge.
Part two: active clients
We’ll look at the ways that you can communicate to your clients to address the issue at present, and how you can communicate your properties and services digitally to maintain operational efficiency.
We’ll also look at how to automate cross and upselling communications, and how to create informative, automated transnational journeys to differentiate your marketing from competitors in your area.
Part three: past clients
We’ll examine how to re-purpose your database in a GDPR-compliant manner, and discuss the most profitable communications that you could send right now to re-engage your past clients.
Part four: on-market opportunities
We’ll show you how to prospect for secondary instructions.
We’ll also look at how you can use your success metrics in your digital and print campaigns.
Simple steps to mitigate risk now
If you’d like more information on any of the guidance provided here, we would recommend referring to the World Health Organisation.
You can also talk to our team of marketing strategists about your agency, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Implement distancing tactics
Give your employees flexibility to work from home.
Reduce meetings and travel, in line with guidance provided from Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Establish remote work proccesses for your internal and external business communications.
Be open with your customers
This should also apply to your team members and other shareholders, but keep those communication avenues open with your sellers and landlords especially.
If you have any properties currently listed for sale or let, shift your marketing strategies to online channels and take the weight off your agents conducting face-to-face consultations.
Online activity will skyrocket during this period of isolation, helping agents to line up opportunities for the future.
Savvy business owners across the globe have already switched to different digital platforms to ease the difficulties we may face, with one cosmetic company based in Wuhan seeing 200% growth from engaging with its customers virtually.
Does your insurance cover you?
The government’s recent classification of the coronavirus as a ‘notifiable disease’ may bring comfort to some agencies with business interruption policies in place.
Not every policy will cover this retrospectively, so it’s advisable to consult your insurance provider before making a claim for business losses due to the COVID-19.
Plan for the long term
This pandemic will have an effect on everyone but there will be a period where we see the market stabilise again.
Use this time to think ahead and start strategising for future growth and recovery.
To help agents with this, we’re running a 4-part online program. Click on one of the links to register.