Virtual promotion: how are estate and letting agents marketing to generate interest in their properties and services?
Getting the market moving
On the 13th May, the UK Government made the welcome announcement that it was easing restrictions for the property market in England. This meant that people who were looking to make a move could now proceed in line with its official guidelines.
At the time of writing, the respective markets in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are still heavily restricted; home moving is not permitted and only virtual viewings should take place unless the property being moved into is vacant or the move is deemed as critical.
In England, agents are now able to list new properties and visit to take photos and videos whilst adhering to official safety guidance. However, it is still necessary for agents to conduct virtual viewings in the first instance, with physical viewings only taking place with serious buyers who are genuinely interested in the property.
Agents ramp up digital marketing activity
As the announcement was made, agents were quick to respond to the easing of restrictions, eager to highlight that the market was open for business.
Cumulatively, agents updated 1.3 million people on the 13th May by property email updates via the platform. May 2020 saw a 9.6% increase on cumulative property-email interactions when compared with the buoyant February market which was full of pent-up demand fuelled by Brexit and the now infamous ‘Boris Bounce’.
Agents have renewed vigour in their marketing and are keen to service public demand for property and guidance information. The majority of businesses are now opting to communicate with their entire database by email property bulletins every other working day.
Agents have more to directly offer their clients now too. The ‘desire’ for property is tangible. The rebound in housing demand isn’t only due to pent-up movers who were put on hold during lockdown, there are new movers registering with agents at record levels as property becomes more accessible via virtual services.
What’s trending in estate agency marketing?
Reassurance and virtual service
There has been a huge push on reassurance pieces. Agents have been quick to demonstrate that offices are open and operating safely, with many choosing to publish their own COVID-19 safety guidelines in line with the government’s guidance. Many have also sent out their physical viewing and valuation policies.
Agents are eager to shift existing stock and many have chosen to send out filming checklists for vendors and landlords to help them capture property USPs on video.
Simple property viewing videos (like the example below) are being created between vendors/landlords and agents. These are then being distributed in hot property emails via our Video Module to encourage bookings for virtual accompanied viewings.
Portal stats and comments
Recent Rightmove and Zoopla press releases have been used for content marketing. Rightmove’s ‘record-breaking browsing’ release and Zoopla’s recent ‘88% surge in buyer interest’ commentary are being leveraged by agents who are using the established property-portal brands to drive direct traffic to their own webistes, properties and services.
Proceeding with a physical valuation or viewing are being marketed with advisories in place. Agents are driving virtual viewings first and informing people that they must establish they can financially proceed with the purchase before progressing to a physical viewing.
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