Around twenty years ago, web-based advancements revolutionised the property industry, increasing your reach as much as your workload, your responsibilities and your customers’ expectations.
In 2019, technology has once again spun the sector on its head, and here’s our view on what the fallout is for agents.
Today, we use the internet for just about everything. From the mundane things, like carrying out the weekly shop (48% of Brits) to finding available properties (89%), there’s next to nothing that the modern-day consumer can’t do when and where they want.
The power of online has been ingrained into every aspect of our lives. So, if the same can’t be said for your business, then you’re facing some very serious limitations.
Challenge 1: Too many contacts, too little time
With portals – and your online presence – bringing in more business, it’s now your job to wade through 100s and 1000s of property viewing and valuation requests, just to get to the one that’s ready to sell, buy, let or rent.
At the touch of a button, your customers can express an interest in your properties, services and brand – taking time and energy to qualify them.
Because of this, it’s not always clear where you should prioritise your time – an already valuable commodity – or know what leads you’re allowing to slip away.
Technology offers the answer to this.
Email marketing will help you to identify your hottest prospects. From a single sales message, you can create a pipeline of interested prospects who’ve clicked on a particular property more than once, or work out who’s looking to sell soon.
Challenge 2: The ever-present threat of the online model
Online agents have built their business model with a customer experience that – at its core – is innovative.
By utilising technology to offer personalisation, flexibility and immediacy, they’ve quickly gained traction with today’s consumers.
According to accountants, Moore Stephens, over 150 estate agents went insolvent last year. And with predictions that a further 7,000 could be showing “signs of financial distress”, it’s crucial that high-street businesses don’t bury their heads in the sand and hope it all goes away.
Today’s consumers have been spoilt for choice. They’ve become accustomed to ordering products and services at a moment’s notice, and when pushed, are willing to jump to another brand to have those needs met.
You therefore need to be smarter with how you deliver exceptional customer service – a good place to start would be to expand your online reach.
It’s no longer considered revolutionary to have a functional website and a basic presence on social media. Sure, these channels are still extremely useful – there’s no doubt about that – but having them is no longer considered a competitive differentiator, purely because everyone has them.
We offer agents a wide range of additional lead-generation channels, from E-Zines – which put your hottest properties in your customers’ inbox on a bi-weekly basis – to our online valuation tool, Digi-Val.
So, the opportunity is definitely there for agents looking to stand out.
Challenge 3: Comparisons are easier to make than ever
Today’s consumers are a fickle bunch, and that’s down to the fact that they’re faced with more choice than ever before. There’s an estimated 51,000 estate agents and auctioneers in the UK to date, and your customers have the means to look up and compare each and every one of them.
Eight out of ten Brits (79%) will see three agents and receive valuations from at least two before committing to an agency.
And even then, there’s no guarantee that their head won’t be turned by the promise of a better offer, as is the case for 43% of homeowners who become frustrated during the selling process.
So, how do you keep yourself in the running for their continued business?
Simply put, by convincing them that you are the go-to expert in your local area. And for this, you’ll need content, which 84% of consumers now expect as a given from any brand.
A daunting prospect for many, but with BriefYourMarket.com, you’ll have access to an expanding library, providing you with ready-to-send marketing material and freeing up your time to focus on your customers.