There are more estate agents now in the UK than in the ‘boom’ years of the early 2000s; with over 26,000 registered agencies chasing approximately 1m transactions per year. Some areas of the UK have such an excess capacity of agents that there is simply not enough business to spread around. There is also less fluidity of stock; with the average homeowner now moving every 16 years.
More competition + fewer listings = fewer houses for agents to sell.
Then there’s the rising costs, reliance, and ever-changing nature of the portals; with agents being reliant on them whether they like it or not in some cases.
It’s not all doom and gloom.
Agents that are prepared to set themselves apart from the competition can get ahead. So, here are five things that you could do right now to win more business for your agency.
Market share by branch type | Source: House Advisory
1. Agents typically grow their income when the market grows. But what happens when the market declines?
On average, we complete five property transactions in our lifetime. Surely every agent would want the opportunity to fulfil every transaction – requirements permitting – for each client, rather than let them go to a competitor?
Whilst the leading online/hybrid agents have huge national databases, the independents – crucially – have access to a goldmine of local clients; 1000s of them in most cases. So, if you’re guilty of not using your database to generate repeat business, and view your clients as ‘single transactions’, you are missing out; not just on new business, but on reducing your overall marketing spend.
Keeping connected with your past clients means that you don’t have to step up your prospecting when the market dips, and spend £1000s on generic marketing material that simply doesn’t work. The key to sustainable marketing is to do it all the time, not just when things are going well. This way, you’ll avoid having to implement reactionary crisis marketing when things aren’t going so well. Then, when a client is ready to sell again – and you really want to be at the forefront of their mind – keeping connected really does make a big difference.
Of portal leads go unanswered
2. You’re missing out on – and not qualifying – your portal leads.
Research indicates that agents fail to respond to up to 40% of all portal leads. Granted, in many instances, portal leads can often simply be a request for additional pictures and property information, with a lead only really becoming valuable when they generate business. However, one of your main objectives should be to demonstrate exceptional customer service at all times.
Clients want instant gratification when requesting details. They also want to see the kind of service level that they’ll receive from you. To help you demonstrate your commitment to exceptional customer service, save you time and connect your agency with every lead, our Portal Lead Responder automatically replies to 100% of your enquires 24/7; driving traffic to the listing on your website.
3. You know automation is a great idea, but you don’t know where to start.
From registration to ten years down the line, automation keeps you in touch with your past clients to give your agency the best possible chance of winning repeat business when a client is thinking of making a move or refinancing.
Agents are phenomenal at what they do but having the time to implement automated processes can be time-consuming and fairly daunting. We’ve taken the hard work out of automation for agents; designing a range of out-of-the-box journeys that you could implement right now.
Talk to a member of the team to discuss how you can generate more market appraisals up to 3 months after an online valuation, or how you can secure new instructions up to 6 months after the initial appraisal took place.
4. You want to differentiate yourself from the competition at key points.
How often do you hear industry gurus proclaiming that it’s all about differentiation? Clichéd yes, but they are right.
Imagine sending an automated pre-appraisal campaign – featuring a video of your valuer – thanking them for booking their appraisal. Now include a 40-second overview video of what you’ll cover in the appraisal, putting the client completely at ease and instilling trust from the outset.
Post-appraisal, imagine that you’re dealing with the most estate-agency savvy vendor. Instil even more trust by sending a ‘thank you campaign’, complete with a downloadable guide to your marketing and selling processes, as well as a ‘top 25 questions for vendors answered’ document. What a way to demonstrate your expertise and differentiate your agency.
5. You don’t have a defined marketing strategy.
Fundamentally, you want your marketing strategy to generate you a significant Return on Investment, be cost-effective, and utilise the full marketing mix. Estate agency marketing is about being relevant, frequent and consistent. To maximise the value of your database when prospecting, it’s important to be able to tailor your marketing to each individual. Instead of blanket canvassing, you should look to be hyper-local. Utilise your knowledge, your listings and reviews to help turn over more stock and win more business.
If you’re looking for an example strategy to help get you started, our Activate program looks at how agents can generate ROI from their marketing in just three months. Watch the video to learn more. If you’re interested in seeing the program in action — with no obligation — talk it through with one of our specialist marketing consultants and see the range of campaigns you could implement in your strategy.