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Keeping vendors engaged throughout the sales process

Keeping vendors engaged throughout the sales process

You’ve got an offer.

Your vendor is happy, your buyer is happy.

Then… silence.

Property transaction times are increasing. In 2020 the average time for an agreed sale to complete surged from 90 days to around 110 – 115 days according to Zoopla.

While it’s likely that we will see fall back to more normal timescales in 2022 – thanks to a less frantic market, it’s still very much the case that many estate agencies are failing to keep vendors engaged throughout the sales process.

The importance of good communication

In a recent survey carried out by The Homeowners Alliance, 87% of people said that a rapport with branch staff was their main reason for choosing a specific estate agent.

However, a great relationship built during the process of finding a buyer can quickly turn sour if good communication doesn’t continue during the sales progression stage.

In another survey, this time carried out by the Law Society, 45% of respondents said that poor communication either prolonged or caused their home move to fall through. And while many delays may be out of your control as an agent – keeping your buyer up to date, and showing you are very much working on their side is crucial.

While delays often happen, the way you communicate with both vendors and buyers throughout the sales process are what will leave the lasting impression.

Be proactive

Being pro-active during the sales process is one of the best ways to leave a good impression with your vendors. If you don’t actively update them, this will leave them with the feeling that they are “constantly chasing” you – as you put the onus of communication on them.

Schedule in specific times to call them, even if there is no update to give.

You can also provide a “feel” of communication by getting clever with your content throughout the sales process.

Carefully planned content

In addition to providing sales progression updates, creating a good email content plan can help you to strengthen the relationship with your vendors.

Consider content that will help your vendors at each stage of the sales journey. When an offer is accepted, you may want to send out a standard email that explains what the sales process looks like, and the likely stages that they will need to go through. This not only provides a sense of support but can help to speed up the sale if both sides know exactly what they need to do next.

As sales near exchange, consider other information that will be helpful to them. This could include details around what their completion day may look like, or even tips for packing and moving.

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Should estate agents outsource their marketing?

Should estate agents outsource their marketing?

If you run an estate agency, there’s no doubt that you have a team of great salespeople. But what about marketers?

A good marketing strategy for your business should be about more than just generating leads in the here and now. The best agents put in place marketing that is designed to grow their brand, show their authority and provide a long-term pipeline of business.

While larger corporates may have full marketing teams, it’s often the case in smaller agencies that the business owners or other departments are responsible for putting in place the marketing strategy. And even more frequently, it’s something that keeps getting pushed to one side as other priorities get in the way.

If you’ve reached this stage, it may be time to consider a specific marketing resource. But is it something you should hire for in-house – or is it better for estate agents to considering outsourcing their marketing?

The benefits of keeping marketing in house

Choosing to employ someone to take care of your estate agency marketing can have several upsides. For starters, a person who is based in your office on a day-to-day basis will quickly pick up on your company culture, your brand voice and how you want to be seen in the market.

It’s also helpful that they are “in the thick of it” and can see exactly what properties you have available, what your customers are saying and can get direct feedback from your negotiators.

Additionally, if you are using outside agencies for specific skills such as digital advertising or graphic design, having a single point of contact who is responsible for co-ordinating with these agencies can make sure that they do the best possible job.

The benefits of outsourcing estate agency marketing

Choosing to hire an agency or freelancer can be the ideal option for some estate agents.

One of the most obvious benefits is cost. Unlike hiring an employee, you can choose to outsource as and when you need to. For example, you could hire an agency to put together a strategy which is then implemented by your in-house teams. Or you may want to put together certain campaigns at specific times of the year without fully committing to taking on a full time staff member.

A further advantage of using external help with your marketing is that you can hire an objective expert. When you’re too close to your own agency, it can be harder to see the bigger picture – or easy to get stuck in a rut of “doing what we’ve always done”. A fresh perspective can breathe new life into both your strategies and your content.

A hybrid model?

For lots of estate agents, choosing a hybrid model is the perfect solution. Having a point of contact in house who is responsible for day-to-day marketing, but supported by specialist external help for areas where you may have less expertise.

Here at BriefYourMarket, you have the option of either. You can use the platform to write, design and send marketing campaigns yourself, we’ll even provide monthly content for you to use as you see fit.

Or, our Communications Managed team can do it all for you. Either way, our team of marketing experts are here to help skyrocket your pipeline through valuable email, social and print campaigns.

This offers an affordable alternative to hiring in house, or using expensive marketing agencies.

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Don’t rely on other people’s platforms – build your own database

Don’t rely on other people’s platforms – build your own database

Digital marketing has bought with it a raft of ways to communicate with potential estate agency customers. First came the platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla. They provided potential buyers with a single marketplace to browse new properties for sale in their chosen location.

A few years later, social media exploded into our lives. This provided agents with another online space to promote their business.

Now there are seemingly endless choices of platforms on which an estate agent can market their business. From Tiktok to Gumtree and everything in between, there has never been more options when it comes to promoting your services online.

But there is one thing that all these online spaces have in common. Namely – you don’t control them.

Relying too heavily on other people’s platforms can mean that, should the goalposts move, you could find yourself without a reliable source of business.

Therefore, it’s vital to build your own business database, one which you own and manage. We discuss why you should never rely on other people’s platform, and how to build your own robust “little black book”.

Platform changes

Some reading this may remember the heady days when you could simply post on Facebook and get hundreds if not thousands of views of your content. The truth is that’s no longer the case. Most social media platforms limit the reach of organic posts, generally driving businesses to rely instead on their advertising services.

And even where you do get great organic reach, there is nothing to say that the terms won’t change again. Instagram could introduce a fee for business posting if they so desired, for example.

And additionally, user behaviour changes too; Facebook’s daily user numbers have gone down for the first time since it’s inception in 2004.

Relying on a single third-party platform can put your business at risk if either the platform, or the audience changes.

What can you do instead?

The key to ensure that you are not stuck with one platform is to build your own list. While you may use third party sites such as Rightmove, social media, or other listings to promote your business, be sure that it is with the intention to build your own email list.

Most consumers are data savvy and will not always give away their email addresses for little return, so it’s important to offer value in exchange for their details. This could be in the form of a “lead magnet” – giving them something they want in exchange for their email – such as a guide, access to a webinar or similar. Or you could ask them to sign up for up to date news in their area. This is where local market newsletters can prove incredibly popular – even amongst those who are not thinking of moving right now.

Building and nurturing an email list means that you are “top of mind” when it comes to the time that someone on your list wants to sell their property, or are looking for a new home.

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How to market your estate agency in 2022

How to market your estate agency in 2022

After what was a whirlwind 2021 for many estate agents, it’s now time to look at how you can continue to grow in the coming year.

The UK property market is still very much on an upward trajectory but the shortage of homes available for sale means that competition is becoming fiercer between agents.

So how can you ensure that your business continues to thrive?

The answer is implementing a strategic marketing plan that ensures your business is front of mind when someone is looking to sell their home or let their property.

But what are the best marketing tactics you can utilise to build your brand?

We look at some of the best ways to market your estate agency in 2022…

2022 – the year of the short video?

Our attention spans are getting shorter, and therefore so is the content we consume. Short, snappy video is some of the best performing media on social platforms, with TikTok leading the way.

Indeed, the social media platform became the most popular destination on the internet in 2021, beating Facebook and Google for web traffic.

We’re not suggesting every agency needs to start a TikTok account but be aware of the current trend and consider how you can incorporate short video into your marketing materials.

Content is still king

For any estate agent to stand out from the crowd, producing relevant content that shows their expertise is still the number one priority.

Content can be in the form of social media posts, website blogs, email newsletters or even good old-fashioned printed materials.

The key is to consistently show that you understand the local market, are completely up to date on property news and highlight the benefits of choosing your business over the competition.

While creating great content is a way to display your knowledge and personality, it’s also important that you have a plan for making sure that it actually gets seen. Consider factors such as optimising blog content for search, for example. Or incorporate a growth strategy into your social media plan.

Email marketing

Email marketing is still one of the very best ways to get your message directly in front of your audience. Of course, you need to be sure that you are consistently building your database of leads, but it’s also worth considering the long-term view.

If you engage your buyers, tenants, landlords and previous vendors with your content, they will want to remain on your email list.

This helps to keep you front of mind when they look to move on and is also likely to increase your reputation as the “go to agency” in your area as you are top of the list when it comes to recommendations too.

Whatever the housing market brings in 2022, creating a solid marketing plan will help you to stay on track to achieve your goals and growth well into the future.

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What type of content works best for estate agents?

What type of content works best for estate agents?

Content marketing continues to grow in popularity. In 2021, 82% of marketers reported actively using it – up 70% from 2020.

You’re likely already using content to attract attention, but how do you know that you are doing the right thing?

We explore what type of content works best for estate agents.

What is “content”?

Put simply, content is any information that your business puts out into the world. It could be written articles, social media posts, videos, designed images, website copy or even podcasts.

Having a clear content strategy for your estate agency is about more than just creating great content. How you choose to distribute it to your audience is vital. There’s no point having an amazing blog post written on your website if no one is going to be able to see it. So, consider how you would like to “push out” your content pieces. It could be via your social media platforms, by guest posting on websites or by sending direct email to your target audience.

Creating a clear content strategy – knowing what you want to say, what medium you will use and how you will push out your content will help you to achieve your goals. With that in mind, we explore content themes that work well for estate agents.

Educational content for estate agents

It will often be the case that your potential customers are looking for answers to specific questions prior to making a move. Being a source of information will help you to be the “go-to” agency.

Educational content can take many forms; you may choose to give up-to-date information about the local property market, or provide long form guides for sellers or landlords answering their common questions.

A good start is to get the team together and write down your ideas for educational content. Are there questions you get asked time and time again? Put them together in a great blog, or an explainer video.

Look at your own sales statistics, is there data there that will interest your ideal clients – such as what local areas are selling the fastest, or where there is a specific trend?

Brand content

Don’t confuse brand content with your sales content. This is the content that will help to differentiate you from your competitors.

This is where you “pull back the curtain” on your business. Tell people who you are and what you do well. Let them meet your team and give a bit of background to who you are.

Trust and authenticity are becoming ever more important to all types of consumers, and the property sector is no different. Consider how you can leverage your content to show a bit more about your brand. From “meet the team” style videos, to showing a day in the life of your agency, giving your audience more of an insight into who you are will help to engender trust and increase conversions.

Sales content

We have put this last for a reason. Constantly bombarding your audience with sales content is not likely to give you the results you want. While of course you do need to sell – it’s what makes your business work – when it comes to pushing out content, you need to ensure you don’t “lose your audience”.

Instead, mix up all three types of content to keep people coming back to your social platforms, keeping subscribed to your email list, and revisiting your website. This means that, when the time is right for them – they are far more likely to choose you as their agency.

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