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Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Estate Agency

Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Estate Agency

With so many social media platforms to contend with, it’s not so surprising that many estate agents tend to gloss over LinkedIn, instead focusing on the more ‘traditional’ channels of Facebook and Instagram.

However, LinkedIn hosts a whole range of features that are perfect for estate agents to leverage not offered by other platforms. And more people are using it than ever before. In Q1 of 2021, LinkedIn revenue increased by over 23% year on year, and in the last quarter of 2020, the platform saw an astonishing 50% uplift in content posted on the platform.

Here’s how you can make the most of LinkedIn:

Personal account vs business page

While having a business account on LinkedIn really is a must have, the truth is that people buy into people, so making sure that your agency is making the most of personal accounts is key to a successful LinkedIn strategy.  

If you’re the owner or director of an estate agent, making sure that your personal profile is visible to your target audience will help you to be seen by potential vendors, investors and even property developers.

Ensure that your profile explains exactly who you are and what you offer. Consider your banner – is it clear and clean? Using keywords in your bio will help you to be found by the right audience.

LinkedIn Features

LinkedIn is consistently introducing new features, and many of them are particularly beneficial for estate agents.

LinkedIn Articles

You may already be familiar with the benefits of blogging for your estate agency, but using LinkedIn articles can be a fantastic way to share your knowledge and expertise with a wider audience. The LinkedIn algorithm will show your article to specific users in your network, so make sure your content is relevant. What’s more, as long as the article is public, it can show beyond your direct connections to a wider target audience who’ve expressed an interest in the topic.

LinkedIn Stories

A recent introduction to LinkedIn, Stories work in the same way they do on Instagram and Facebook. LinkedIn Stories allow you to promote short snippets of content which will remain on the feed for 24 hours.

Stories can be promoted from a personal account, or a page, and can be a brilliant way for agents to show snippets of their day. From quickly showing a property, to talking about your experience, they are a great way to share quick-fire content.

Additionally, as they are still fairly new, it’s likely that LinkedIn will “push” this content for a while, making it more likely to show up on the feeds of your connections and followers.

LinkedIn Live

While you will need to get approval to use LinkedIn Live, it’s a great tool to connect directly with your audience in real time. You can stream live content, answer questions directly, and truly connect with those who are watching.

A further benefit of LinkedIn Live is the additional visibility it can offer. When someone goes live, push notifications are sent to the devices of their followers, so it can be an ideal way to make sure your content is being seen.

We hope this helps you to generate more leads from LinkedIn. As usual, if you would like us to handle all your social media for you, as well as email campaigns and print too, get in touch below.

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3 steps to establishing trust in your estate agency

3 steps to establishing trust in your estate agency

Is this something you already consider? Do you work to establish trust with your estate agency customers?

A recent study undertaken by the home buying platform Yes Homebuyers found that just 1% of people think that estate agents are trustworthy as a profession.

The survey of 1174 individuals found that, when it comes to trust, estate agents are ranked lower than lawyers and traffic wardens.

But what is it about estate agencies that breeds this mistrust? Research carried out by CV-Library back in 2019 found that estate agents are one of the least trusted professions due to their perceived lack of morals (66.4%), greed for money (62.1%), unreliability (56.5%) and irritating nature (26.6%)!

Charming, hey.

So, how do you change this and create a trustworthy reputation?

While the statistics above may seem disheartening to say the least, it’s wise to remember that, trust them or not, buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants still usually need to engage the services of an estate agent.

How can you make sure that you are their first choice when they do?

1.     Don’t only show up when prospects are selling

 

One of the biggest mistakes many estate agents make is to only be in front of their ideal audience when they have already decided to sell. Think social media channels packed only with properties for sale and calls to action to book a valuation.

Instead, create and distribute content that helps your customers get to know you and understand more about what makes your agency different. Both before they sell and whilst they are selling. Consider showing some of your personality on your social media channels. Go behind the scenes and let your customers know more about your staff. Get involved with local Facebook groups and provide advice.

Being visible to all in the area you serve allows you to grow your reputation as an agency that provides more than just a sales service. Rather, you are part of the community.

2.     Provide added value to your audience

 

We all know buying or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions most people make in their lifetime. Therefore, reassuring them that they are making the right decisions along the way is important.

Add value for your purchasers and vendors by providing guides and information that helps them to best understand specific parts of the sales process. This also allows you to manage expectations so consider including content on things like typical timescales for searches in your area or how the tenant referencing process works.

The more transparent and helpful your content, the more harmonious your relationship with your customers is likely to be.

3.     Encourage and promote case studies from happy customers

 

How often have you received a card, a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine from a happy vendor? A lovely gesture, but what if those gestures could better help you to secure future business? Instead of a shelf brimming with thank you cards, you could have a suite of case studies, quotes and reviews on your website that you can promote to your next potential vendor.

60% of marketers identify case studies as one of the most trusted content pieces by audiences. Unlike reviews or quotes, case studies show your customer’s journey, their problems, and how they were solved.

So consider asking happy customers for case studies (or even reviews if they’re a little shy) that you can then share on your website, in your email marketing and on your social channels.

How BriefYourMarket helps you to win trust

 

BriefYourMarket allows you to quickly and easily send marketing campaigns – across various channels, including email, SMS and direct mail – AND TO YOUR ENTIRE DATABASE. This will enable you to disseminate your trust-building content to potential customers across a variety of platforms.

You can create nurturing content that leads a prospect through specific email campaigns designed to build trust and win new instructions.

And with our Communications Managed service, WE can send expert content that helps to keep your potential clients connected with your brand across email, social media and other digital channels FOR YOU.

Get in touch below if you would like to see a demo.

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How blogging can help you win more instructions

How blogging can help you win more instructions

When it comes to marketing your estate agency, blog or article content can be a vital element that allows you to stand out from your competitors, show your expertise and WIN NEW INSTRUCTIONS.

Your blog is the one area of your website that allows you to show your company personality and truly prove your knowledge of your area, the property market, and customer needs.

Writing well crafted, valuable content that appeals to your prospective customers offers a wealth of benefits. A single blog post can provide you with a suite of content that can be repurposed across various platforms and in many ways.

We explore why blogging for your estate agency should form a significant pillar of your estate agency marketing strategy:

 

Appear before your competitors on Google

One of the biggest benefits of creating blog content is the boost it provides your website when Google decides which webpages should appear first for certain search terms. ‘Search terms’ are the phrases that your potential audience type into Google such as ‘estate agents in Derbyshire’. One of Google’s main indicators that your website is relevant for that particular search is that the phrase appears on your webpages, but it’s often difficult to weave them into your main pages. Blogging allows you to rank higher than your competitors for these searches and without compromising other pages of your website.

 

Make posting on social media easier

Writing a single, well-crafted blog piece can provide you with a breadth of content for social media, too. For example, if you create an article that includes tips, each tip can then be turned into its own social post. You then might want to thread them together to create more exciting content such as videos or stories.

You can also repurpose your blog for LinkedIn – using their native article platform to recreate what you have written but from a slightly different angle. Or consider making slides of some of the main points and using LinkedIn’s slide share features.

 

Ensure you are the go-to agency in your area

Creating blog content provides you with a real opportunity to show that you are the local expert. Whether it’s talking about specific issues or showing you understand what’s going on in the market, blogging builds trust so you are the obvious choice when prospects decide to sell.

 

Providing real value to your prospects is the key to more instructions

Blogging is one way for you to provide something of real value to your audience to better guarantee they open, read and RESPOND to your email campaigns. Whether that’s creating a monthly newsletter that keeps prospects up to date on what’s happening in their area or sending property market updates that showcase your expertise. Trial adding blog content into your emails directly or encourage recipients to visit the blog on your website. Keep your agency front of mind and prompt new instructions.

 

Let BriefYourMarket do the hard work for you

If promoting your blogs via emails, social media, even SMS and print campaigns seems time-consuming, we can help. Our Communications Managed service provides you with a digital plan that suits your business requirements and sends campaigns on your behalf. Let us take the stress out of managing your content so you can focus on progressing sales.

If you would like a demonstration of how we can help with your communications, enter your details below…

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Keeping momentum post stamp duty holiday

Keeping momentum post stamp duty holiday

Leading up to the end of the first Stamp Duty Holiday, we started to see some cooling in the market, with Rightmove announcing that, while prices were still rising, they were doing so at a slower pace than in previous months. Additionally, the number of properties available on estate agent’s books were at an all-time low.

While debate continue to abound about how the market will react to the end of the tax relief on purchases, research carried out by Savills shows that only 5% of purchasers will consider abandoning plans to buy a property if they miss the June deadline. Additionally, 71% of those currently in the purchase process do not expect to complete ahead of the stamp duty holiday deadline anyway. Clearly the potential stamp duty saving was not the only factor in their decision-making process, according to the survey of around 750 Savills buyers.

However, with supply starting to slow and a battle to gain instructions, it’s more vital than ever that agents provide clear and meaningful communications with potential vendors and buyers to support the momentum that has been driven over the past 12 months.

How buyers are affected by the end of the stamp duty holiday

While the full discount on up to £500,000 ended on 30th June 2021, the additional grace period on properties up to £250,000 until 30th September means that buyers can still benefit from 2% relief on Stamp Duty Land Tax.

On a practical note, for a property priced at the current UK average of £268,000 (ONS), the difference in tax due before the holiday ends, during the period up to October, and once the relief is removed is as follows:

SDLT Due – up to 30th June – £0
SDLT Due – Between 1st July – 30th September – £900
SDLT Due – After 1st October – £3400

For many buyers, the actual financial burden of stamp duty will be minimal. In addition, with more low deposit mortgages available than in previous years, upfront costs for a property purchase are still lower than we have seen in past years, despite rising property prices.

Communication is key

With headlines across the mainstream media announcing the end of the holiday, rushes to complete, and general chaos around conveyancing, it’s unsurprising that both buyers and sellers alike have felt the pressure to make a move before the relief ends.

However, agents are in an excellent position to dispel the fear around the future and reassure both vendors and purchasers alike that, for those who want to move, it’s still a good time to do so.

Since lockdown, buyer priorities have changed. People are working more flexibly, want more outside space and are looking further afield to get what they want. And these preferences are unlikely to be set aside down to upfront costs.

Our clients are seeing success with clear communication plans which outline what the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday means in real terms and continue to promote the benefits of their services and spotlight properties that meet buyer needs.

While the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday will no doubt have a small and short-term impact on the market, agents who continue to make the best use of their database and provide valuable content are likely to be the long-term winners. 

If you would like a demonstration of how we can help with your communications, enter your details below…

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The digital legacy of lockdown

The digital legacy of lockdown

With further easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK this week and a red-hot property market, it seems some of the digital innovations agents have made to work around the pandemic may stand the test of time.

Statistics from Yomdel show that, more than ever before, buyers and vendors alike are turning to online communication in order to engage in agency services. Their figures show that estate agents’ website traffic was 142% higher in April 2021 in comparison to April 2020. While this may feel like a given because of the high demand, the majority of the uplift has been from new vendors (242% increase) and new landlord enquiries (100% increase).

The pandemic prompted lots of estate agencies to increase their use of digital marketing and many agents believe it’s changed the way they’ll do business in the longer term. Richard Combellack of BriefYourMarket.com told us: “Our data shows agents are taking the opportunity to drive content-rich strategies to engage with prospective clients via their inbox. The volume of marketing emails being sent from estate agents through our system has risen from 4 million in April 2020, to 15 million in April 2021.”

During this busy time, agents are also looking for ways to automate communication with clients as much as possible. Combellack continues: “We can see our customers are making the most of automation to engage with their vendors, buyers and landlords. Last month, 21,000 ‘triggered’ emails were sent using BriefYourMarket.com and the importance of creating a nurture sequence based on the home mover journey has never been greater. For many agents it’s now more about the customer’s experience in the long term – not just the initial valuation, sale or purchase.

The digital legacy of lockdown isn’t limited to outbound communications. Yomdel’s figures show the number of leads captured via live chat was 80% higher in April 2021 when compared to April 2020. While lockdowns have meant less in-person interactions, the upsurge in online communications alongside round the clock working has meant customer expectations in many instances are higher. There’s a clear customer appetite for engaging with real human beings at a time of day, or night, that suits them – Yomdel’s manned live chats are, on average, seven minutes longer than chats handled by bots and a huge 44% of all live chats on agency websites now occur out of hours.
As we hopefully move towards the fourth stage of the route out of lockdown roadmap in June, when it comes to marketing, it certainly appears that many agents will be retaining several elements of the “new normal”.

 

 

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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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