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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 can estate agents use Facebook Ads?

How can estate agents use Facebook Ads?

If you’re looking to generate leads for your estate agency it can be hard to know which platforms will work best for you.

However, with over 30 million users per month in the UK, the chances are that your audience will be using Facebook.

While posting to your business page helps to build your brand with those that already follow you, targeted advertising campaigns get you noticed quickly by those that don’t, generating more leads.

Why use Facebook advertising?

Firstly, while we refer to Facebook, the platform is actually now known as Meta and covers advertising not just on Facebook – but across Instagram, other networks and within specific apps.

The combined monthly active users across Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp has surpassed 3.6 billion users globally. And while you may hear stories of Facebook usage reducing, it’s still accessed daily by 44% of the UK population.

Facebook Ads give you the opportunity to deliver your message directly to your ideal audience, be they vendors or landlords right where they are – on their Facebook feed.

How do Facebook Ads work?

Firstly, ignore that button that tells you to ‘boost this post’. That’s not what Facebook advertising is really about.

Instead, set up an Ads manager account to properly use Facebook Ads to their full advantage.

By doing this you get access to a range of tools which will help you to better focus on the actions you want your audience to take when you show them an advert.

Facebook gives you the ability to choose campaign types based on the action you want a user to take – common ones which are beneficial to estate agencies include:

  • Traffic Campaigns: Drive users to your website
  • Conversion Campaigns: These are designed to get a user to take a specific action on your website or a landing page. For example, this could be to make an enquiry, or to use an online valuation tool
  • Lead Generation: Lead generation campaigns work by asking users to fill in a form on Facebook. These can work exceptionally well if you have a ‘freebie’ (often referred to as a lead magnet) to offer. This could be something like a specific area report, or a guide for landlords on an interesting subject

Targeting on Facebook can be based on a range of user behaviours and your own data. For example, you may target people in a specific demographic, or choose to retarget users who have already been on your website. It’s worth bearing in mind though that some housing adverts may be restricted, so always check Facebook’s policy first.

Just remember though, like any other type of advertising campaign, Facebook Ads are designed to build initial awareness, but how you nurture leads you collect is just as important. So, when creating a Facebook campaign, do consider what happens next – such as follow up emails or other actions.

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Attracting landlords with email marketing

Attracting landlords with email marketing

Average rental prices in the UK have skyrocketed over the past year, with Nationwide reporting a 14.3% growth in the UK.

In addition, new mortgages taken out in 2021 have increased, as buy-to-let landlords come back into the market.

While it’s clear to see that there is a renewed appetite from investors to re-enter the lettings market, as a lettings agency how can you ensure that you are attracting landlords?

Email marketing can be one of the most direct and effective ways to build your brand and entice landlords to use your services.

We explore the benefits of email marketing when attracting landlords.

Nurture trust

If you run a lettings agency or property management company, you’ll know that trust is absolutely vital between your business and your landlords clients. After all, they are asking you to look after one of their most valuable business assets.

While they are initially looking for an agency who will source good tenants, they also want to make sure that you can act as a trusted advisor. They may ask you for advice on what legislation they need to be aware of, tax implications and managing tenant queries, for example.

Direct email marketing gives you the opportunity to prove your knowledge. You can share articles about changes to law, provide case studies on how you have dealt with challenges and show your local knowledge with regular market updates.

Stay ‘top of mind’

Whether your email list is made up of potential clients who have previously reached out but found tenants elsewhere, or those who perhaps downloaded a lead magnet, if you offer valuable content these potential landlord clients will remember you.

In a buoyant market it can be difficult to be the first agency to secure a tenant. However, by ensuring that you stay in touch with landlords who have contacted you – you help to future proof your estate agency or lettings company.

Upsell your property management services

Offering property management services is an ideal way to introduce recurring revenue into your agency.

Landlords often want to be ‘hands off’ with their tenants. However, while they may be less choosy about who sources a tenant, they want to know that their property is managed by a company who is professional, trustworthy and knows what to do if things go wrong.

Email marketing allows you to build that trust and show your track record.

Additionally, don’t forget your existing landlords who may be on a tenant find only service. While many inexperienced landlords may initially feel that they wish to manage their property themselves, many underestimate the time it can take to organise things like repairs, safety inspections and liaising with their tenants.

Keep showing the value of your property management services through your emails.

If you are looking for an email solution to attract more landlords, BriefYourMarket can help.

From monthly newsletters to sales-led email sequences, we help you to build a suite of content to showcase your brand to landlords.

 

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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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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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