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How to leverage changes to stamp duty in your estate agency marketing

How to leverage changes to stamp duty in your estate agency marketing

On 23rd September 2022, the government announced changes to stamp duty that will remove around 200,000 people from paying stamp duty and reduce the amount of tax due for many more.

The threshold at which stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is paid has increased from £125,000 to £250,000, while the threshold for first time buyers to pay the tax has increased from £300,000 to £425,000.

For first time buyers in areas such as London and the South-East, the changes could mean a saving of as much as £11,250. While for non-first-time buyers purchasing a house for £312.000 – the average price of a home according to land registry, they would save around £2500 in stamp duty fees.

While rising interest rates combined with the increasing cost of living have started to impact the property market, it’s still very much the case that these changes to stamp duty will be welcome news to those at the lower end of the market alongside first-time buyers.  

For estate agents this is an ideal opportunity to reach out to your existing database and leverage your marketing. With this in mind, we explore some of the best ways that you can communicate changes around stamp duty to both your potential vendors and buyers to obtain new leads.

 

 

Get your messaging right

Many estate agents would have already put plans firmly in place to communicate changes to their database. But if you’re not one of them, it’s possibly time to consider your messaging.

Providing educational updates builds trust with your audience. And in this instance, you can also add value by providing items such as tax calculators or average savings on specific properties you have available.

Ensure that your audience is segmented. Buyers want to understand the potential savings on properties which may be of interest to them, whereas vendors are interested in what this means for either the price their home can achieve, or how in-demand it may be.

It’s also wise to split your audience based on things like price ranges. This is so that your message is tailored. If you can be as specific as possible when communicating with your audience, you’re more likely to receive a positive response.

 

 

Showcase affected properties

Now is the time to update your content across all of your platforms.

Ensure that listings on both your website and third-party platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla are clear where a property may be exempt from stamp duty (either completely or for first time buyers).

Consider putting together an email for your buyers showcasing any properties which are now going to be exempt from SDLT.

Not only is this likely to drive more interest from buyers but shows your proactivity to the vendors of these homes.

 

If you are considering email marketing for your estate agency, BriefYourMarket can help.

Offering one of the most cost effective email marketing solutions for estate agents, we help you to take a pro-active approach to marketing your business.

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Adapting your message for the rising cost of living

Adapting your message for the rising cost of living

It’s no secret that the cost of living is rising in the UK.

Average energy bills are expected to rise by £1,500 this year, with a £700 increase in April followed by a further £800 rise in October. This comes under the regulated price-cap mechanism.

Additionally, the cost of transport has soared by 13.5% which has been fuelled by both rising petrol and public transport costs, and food is currently 7% more expensive than last year.

While the housing market has seen a huge undersupply recently, the race for increased prices is starting to cool. This is due to more properties coming onto the market, and more reductions appear on property portals.

As the property market adapts, it’s wise to ensure that your marketing focus and tone does too.

During the pandemic, estate agency messaging was centred around the ‘race for space,’ stamp duty holiday and moving away from cities.

But now as people’s priorities are changing, your messaging should to.

 

A focus on energy

The increasing costs of gas and electric are one of the major factors affecting the cost of living for many, and it’s wise to bear this in mind when promoting properties online.

Energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings are often stuck at the bottom of property listings – however, as buyers face substantial energy bills, it’s likely that they will be taking a closer look.

Where properties are particularly energy efficient or in some cases rely on alternative fuel sources, it’s worth highlighting any cost saving benefits.

Examples of energy efficient homes or those that use alternative fuel sources are:

  • Biomass boilers in new builds
  • Electric only homes
  • Homes with working fireplaces

Additionally, be aware that an older home which is harder to heat may become less desirable for a while.

Even in the luxury market, a heated swimming pool might appear more of a burden than a benefit.

Therefore, managing conversations with vendors with this type of property should be realistic.

 

Rising interest rates

As interest rates rise, so do mortgage repayments.

Based on borrowing £175,000, the average monthly repayment for new mortgage customers have risen by an average of £71 each month (£852 a year) since the start of the pandemic.

Concurrently, the average income needed to secure a mortgage on a property valued at £250,000 has increased by £4500 over the same period (assuming a 30% deposit and borrowing 4.5 times your income).

These combining factors are particularly hitting the lower end of the housing market as first-time buyers are most affected.

If there are less home buyers at the lower end of the market, it can be wise to ensure your marketing of low value properties is as attractive to investors as it is to potential homeowners.

Consider including average rental yields and features that make the property attractive to landlords, as well as those who want to buy a home to live in.

 

Ensuring that your communications are clear and empathetic to people’s changed circumstances will allow you to build a more trustworthy estate agency brand.

So have a review of your current marketing channels – your social media, email marketing and website information to check that it is in keeping with the current market, and make changes where needed.

BriefYourMarket can help you to craft tailored, branded emails that speak directly to your target audience.

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Upselling property management for estate agents

Upselling property management for estate agents

Adding property management services to your estate agency can give you a recurring source of revenue, help you build longer term relationships with landlords and help you be seen as an expert in your field.

With annual growth of 10.7% up to Q1, 2022, the lettings market is booming in terms of revenue.

However, with a reduction of stock and a race for tenants to source a suitable property, competition can be fierce for both tenant finding and property management services.

This makes it vital that agencies who offer property management put robust marketing strategies in place to attract and retain landlords for these services.

We explore how email marketing can help you upsell property management.

 

Understand segmentation

Knowing the needs of your landlords is key to creating your email marketing strategy.

Typically, your key market will fall into one of three categories:

  • Landlords who currently manage properties themselves
  • Landlords who use a different managing agent
  • Landlords who are renting for the first time and who are undecided on how the property will be managed

Each type of property owner will have different priorities and therefore your messaging should reflect their needs.

Creating different audiences for each email campaign will allow you to pitch your services with the right content for each group.

 

Selling the benefits

When you have created your segmented groups, you can start to work on selling the benefits that matter to each audience.

Landlords who manage properties themselves often underestimate the amount of time that goes in to looking after tenants or are worried about keeping up to date with legislation and compliance.

Often a property owner will happily manage a property with easy-going tenants, and then find themselves stressed when they encounter ones who are more demanding.

For this audience, consider using email to show how easy their life could be if they opted for management services.

For property owners who currently use a different agency to manage their property, your tone should be a little different. They are already aware of why it makes sense to use a third party to manage their property, but in this case, you are selling the benefits of your own services.

Focus on your USPs – perhaps you use a certain software that your landlords can access directly or have a great track record in dealing with difficult situations such as evictions.

When it comes to managing property, often the test of a great agency is what they do when things go wrong, rather than when everything goes right. Use case studies to show how you provide your services.

If you have a new landlord who has not yet made up their mind on property management, you have a golden opportunity to upsell as you find a tenant.

In this instance it is worth looking at new landlord offers, such as discounts for a short period of time or include extras such as a free tenant checks or even check in services for new landlords.

At BriefYourMarket we help you uncover the value in your existing database and create branded email content. This enables you to quickly identify and upsell to your current landlord database.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you increase your revenue by attracting more property investors to your management services.

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How to be an Attractive Estate Agency for Property Investors

How to be an Attractive Estate Agency for Property Investors

For many estate agencies, property investors make for an ideal client. Unlike homeowners, they are likely to buy and potentially sell on properties with regularity. If you offer lettings and property management services, professional landlords can also be the source of an ongoing income with a portfolio of properties under management.  

Building long term relationships with investors can help to add an additional dimension to your estate agency, providing you with a consistent revenue stream.  

But how can you make sure that your agency is attractive to property investors?  

 

Position your services for property investors 

If you are keen to attract investors, consider how you position your services.  

Most professional landlords will have different priorities to your average buyer and will be looking more closely at factors such as typical rental yields and potential for capital growth. In some instances, investors will be looking for refurbishment opportunities – whether for instant “flipping” of the property, or for conversion of a home into an HMO.  

Therefore, it’s wise to consider how you present your available properties for sale. Be sure to include details of potential rental income and focus on benefits to landlords, such as area demographics that show that there is rental demand in the area.  

Show your property management expertise  

Many professional investors don’t want to be too “hands on” with their portfolio and will therefore want to engage the services of an agency which can both find tenants and offer day to day property management.  

Landlords want to know that their asset is well protected. This will mean trusting their agency to both properly inspect and raise maintenance issues throughout tenancies. making sure that the property is not subject to depreciation.  

They also want to know their chosen agency can protect them from loss of income– for example taking the right action should tenants not pay rent or giving them the best advice to reduce void periods.  

Consider your content  

If you want to attract investors, be sure to create content that shows your knowledge and understanding of what matters to landlords. 

 From the latest updates to changes to legislation, to showing your knowledge around common issues, creating articles, emails and even social media posts that provide helpful information for landlords, you start to build trust.  

Think email 

Unlike home buyers, investors will often be open to purchasing a property should the right opportunity come along at the right time. Therefore, it’s vital that you build your investor email list and provide them with value.  

You can consider creating specific email campaigns targeted purely at your property investor audience which gives access to exclusive property deals, sharing market updates or landlord specific content that you have created.  

Here at Brief Your Market, we can help you to create branded email campaigns specifically for this audience.  

 

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How can Estate Agents use Google Ads?

How can Estate Agents use Google Ads?

Many estate agents use digital advertising to promote their business, and Google ads can form a major part of your agency marketing strategy.  

However, understanding how the platform works is key to your success. With that in mind we look at how estate agents can use Google ads.  

How do Google Ads work?

Google offers several advertising campaign types  

  • Search – text ads which show on Google search results 
  • Display – These ads are images which show across different websites 
  • Video – video ads which are displayed on YouTube 
  • Shopping – Products with images which show across Google search results 
  • App promotion – promoting an app across a range of mediums 

For estate agents, the most useful of the campaign types are often search ads. Search ads on Google work by bidding on specific keywords to that your advert appears at the top of search results.  

When you bid on a keyword you are entered into an auction against other advertisers who are bidding on the same keyword for the space to display your ad at the top of search results. If someone then clicks your ad – you pay for that click – which is why Google ads are often referred to as pay per click.  

Display ads may also be useful to help you to stay “front of mind” for your audience. For display ads, you are bidding for ads space online. You can choose a wide range of audiences to show your ads to – from those who have been recently searching for what you offer, to retargeting those who have already visited parts of your website.  

 

Understanding keywords

If you choose to create search ads for your estate agency – firstly be very clear on what you are looking to achieve. This will help you with your keyword research.  

For example, if you are looking to attract more vendors – then your keywords will focus on sales related searches such as “sell my home in (location)” or even “estate agency near me”. Whereas if you are looking to grow the number of managed properties, you may instead consider keywords such as “property management services in (location)”.  

It’s wise to be very specific with keywords, choosing those which have a “high intent” – meaning that the wording gives the impression that someone is ready to take action. As you pay for every click, you want to ensure that every one of them is worth it.  

 

Knowing the competition 

The cost per click of a keyword is, to some degree, set by market forces. Before choosing to embark on a Google ads campaign for your agency, take a look at the competition for the keywords you are looking to bid on in your area.  

While your “bricks and mortar” competition may be other agents, when it comes to Google ads, you may find that your competitors for ad space are a little different. For example, if you bid on the search term “sell my home quickly” you could discover that you are up against house buying or property investment companies.  Or if you bid on terms such as estate agent near me that your competitors include the big property portals. So be sure to ascertain who your competition is, and if you have the budget to compete with them.  

 

Whether you choose to drive enquiries from Google Ads or another source, making sure that you delight your customers once they come to you is key, so consider your marketing funnel carefully to gain maximum success from your ads campaigns.  

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