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Upskilling in a digital age

Upskilling in a digital age

As businesses re-build themselves post-pandemic, New York Times bestselling author Dan Schawbel has this week published an article about the growing demand for workers with both digital and tech skills.

Although the content of his article centred on life in the USA, we found everything he said also relates to the situations we’re seeing with our customers here in the UK.

Estate agents up and down the country are talking to us in increasing numbers because they want to be providing timely, valuable content to their local audiences. They need design, copywriting, print and digital marketing expertise, along with the tech to track their return on investment. The tricky part for many agents is finding the right person, or people, to do it all.

Skills available vs skills required

Dan’s article highlights how, while an estimated 305,000,000 full-time jobs have been lost across the globe as a result of Covid-19, a significant number of positions remain unfilled and, to an extent, unfillable. One of the reasons he describes is the widening gap between the skills required by employers and the skill-sets employees can offer.

Valuable combination of digital and tech

One key issue is the demand for workers who have both digital and tech skills. Ranked as two of the most important competencies by organisations across the globe, it’s exactly the skill-set we recruit into our organisation here at BriefYourMarket. And it’s those skills which have been most in demand from our customers in the past six to twelve months.

From systems to solutions 

When we started out in 2008, customers came to us for our technology. Our core offer was a high-tech email marketing platform which could be fully integrated with the industry’s leading CRM systems. 

Way before ‘GDPR’ entered our vernacular, BriefYourMarket was based around individuals being able to select which content they wanted to receive. Estate agents loved us and we quickly grew from being a preference-based e-marketing platform, to a comprehensive marketing system. 

BriefYourMarket now incorporates email marketing, printed direct mail and SMS, linking not only with CRM data but also with localised on- and off-market data, with multiple time-saving options like web-to-print and automation.

A shift in what agents want

Where we’ve seen rapid changes recently is in what our customers now want from an organisation like ours. 

Going back to the pre-digital era, the estate agency was built on personal relationships. Sales staff were called ‘negotiators’, marketing meant leafleting the local area and vendors chose an agency by their high street location. Then came along Rightmove, followed swiftly by Zoopla and we all began to accept that digital platforms would reign supreme for home-movers. 

Now, much of the chase for vendors and landlords has also gone digital. But the skill-set required to do that successfully isn’t always easily found in an estate agency setting. Increasingly we’re speaking to agents who want to outsource the job of retaining previous customers and attracting new ones. But when it comes to options for outsourcing, marketing agencies often come with a high price tag and freelancers may need more hand-holding than is beneficial.

This is where BriefYourMarket becomes the perfect choice. And it’s why our fastest growing service is our ‘done-for-you’ package, which we call ‘Communications Managed’. This is an offering where digital marketing content is written, designed and sent on an agent’s behalf by our team of Personal Content Executives.

Our customers work with us because they know they can confidently hand over the task of keeping their contacts warm. They can get on with managing active leads and running their business without worrying about communicating with their audience on a consistent basis. They don’t feel the pressure to come up with ideas and content for marketing. They can see at a glance what kind of return on investment we’re making for them. Above all, our customers know they’ll get a steady flow of valuation requests without having to lift a finger.

A bright future

As the digital and tech skills gap widens, estate agents are finding new ways to plug that gap. Whether agents choose to invest in in-house teams or source the right external providers, for many it’s a race to ensure they don’t get left behind. For us, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in business.


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Are you expecting a rush to remortgage?

Are you expecting a rush to remortgage?

With Rishi Sunak warning about the risk of inflation in the Spring Budget, many homeowners will have begun to consider what it will mean for their mortgage payments when interest rates increase. If your agency offers independent mortgage advice, the next few months are a perfect time to reach out to homeowners who you know are likely coming to the end of their fixed terms.

Lowest interest rate on record

When the Bank of England made two emergency interest rate cuts in March 2020 to help ease the impact of Coronavirus, the base rate dropped to the lowest interest rate on record. Although this was intended as a temporary measure, the Bank of England announced this month (on 18th March 2021) that it would hold the base rate at 0.1% until their next Monetary Policy Committee meeting on 6th May.

Good time to act

Historically, the most attractive mortgage deals have disappeared as soon as there is any sign that the Bank of England may raise interest rates. As restrictions start to ease and the economy begins to recover, it’s a good opportunity for you to reach out to contacts on your database with information that could help them switch mortgage lender to reduce costs and fix their interest rate for a further period. It’s also something that would likely motivate first time buyers, encouraging them to jump onto the property ladders whilst they can still secure great mortgage deals.

Locking in a good deal

Last year, 1.5 million people carried out a remortgage, according to the trade body UK Finance. At present, the average rate on a two-year fixed mortgage is currently 2.57%, up 0.14% from last year, while a five-year fixed has risen by 0.01% to reach 2.75% (Moneyfacts March 2021). With the Roadmap out of Coronavirus currently on track and businesses starting to reopen, there is no certainty over how long the rates will remain this low. For many homeowners, as insecurity in the employment market continues, locking in a deal now should avoid them being stranded should their existing fixed-term end and their ability to secure a new deal be impacted by their employment status.

Find new leads

Whether you want to target prospects via email, post, SMS, social media or all of the above, our teams can help you put together a variety of marketing campaigns. Our all in one marketing and communications platform links seamlessly with your own database, cross tabulating with on- and off-market data to help you find exactly the right audience.

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Acquisition of Live Chat operator Yomdel

Acquisition of Live Chat operator Yomdel

BriefYourMarket.com have just completed the acquisition of the Live Chat operator Yomdel, to bolster our digital offering.

Yomdel are the market-leading customer experience and live chat provider specialising in providing manned chat services to multiple sectors including property, financial services, removals, travel and many more. The addition of Yomdel will serve to enhance the range and breadth of services it provides to clients by extending technology-driven marketing and customer experience capabilities that will help grow your business.

Yomdel is led by CEO Andy Soloman and CCO Tim Breden who will continue to lead Yomdel as well as supporting the BriefYourMarket management team. Clients of either business will not see any immediate changes, but can look forward to exciting developments in the future. Tim Breden, COO at Yomdel said: “When BriefYourMarket approached us and shared their vision and passion, we knew it was going to be a win-win for both of us and, most importantly, for our many customers and partners. This will enable us both to realise hugely ambitious and innovative plans to help our clients rapidly grow their businesses and we’re delighted to be working on a new and exciting future with Damon and the team.”

Integration of the two platforms will be forthcoming which will mean BriefYourMarket clients will be able to provide ‘Live Chat’ as an additional call to action within their digital communications and through the CRM integrations understand which have resulted in goal conversions.

Yomdel was the first company in the UK to provide 24/7 fully managed live chat services, and also offers mystery shopping and a range of experiential and customer research services. Yomdel clients have live chat software and fully trained operators standing ready to engage with website visitors 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Yomdel’s live chat services can be used on any website for online sales, lead generation or customer service and support. Companies that can benefit from Yomdel include everyone from very small, low traffic private businesses, global corporations, public bodies and charities.

Yomdel is the market leader in live chat for estate agents, and also works across multiple sectors including removals, storage, travel, consumer redress, financial services, charities, medical, legal and many more.

To find out more about either platform, book a consultation.

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Transforming ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’

Transforming ‘generation rent’ into ‘generation buy’

With a raft of good news for potential first-time buyers announced by Rishi Sunak in the March Budget, now is a great time for agents to take advantage of the ascending appetite for “generation rent” to become “generation buy”

Making mortgages more accessible

Figures from the Building Societies Association show that 40% of first-time buyers say raising a deposit is the most significant barrier to purchasing their first home. Indeed, in some locations across the UK, mortgage repayments at current rates would work out to be more affordable than paying rent. But with a minimum 10% deposit required, tenants have been held back from making the transition to home ownership. 

However, the announcement of the government-backed 95% mortgage opens up an entirely new market of potential buyers who were previously cut out of the market. For agents, this presents the perfect opportunity to directly engage with renters coming to the end of their current tenancy to promote the idea of home ownership as an alternative to seeking a new rental property. 

Stamp duty holiday

Another win for those who have been considering making the move to home ownership is the stamp duty holiday extension. With potential buyers purchasing a home up to a value of £500,000 saving up to £15,000 in stamp duty, it’s an opportune moment for agents to really hit that buying message

While the extended stamp duty holiday deadline is coming along fast, first-time buyers are potentially in the ideal position to be able to complete a sale quickly, making them a very appealing prospect to your existing vendors. Additionally, the staggered period between 1st July and 30th September offers further incentive for new buyers to enter the market. 

Convert your tenants into purchasers

For agents, there has never been a better time to convert tenants nearing the end of their existing tenancy into potential buyers and we can help you to tap into this opportunity. BriefYourMarket.com links seamlessly with your existing CRM system, cross-tabulating with on- and off-market data to enable to you to create highly targeted messages to specific groups of contacts. From email marketing, to postal campaigns, SMS and social media, we’ve got it covered for you.

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