How To Boost Your Estate Agency Instructions and Sales online
For estate agents, property investment firms and developers, keeping up with trends in digital marketing is the key to winning instructions, contracts and of course, selling properties. However, in an industry that has traditionally focused on print materials and good old face to face communication, the ever-changing digital landscape actually offers a great opportunity to get ahead of competitors by exploiting tried and tested digital marketing methods that are employed by other sectors.
Think outside the box when it comes to your property news and updates
While keeping your clients up to date in your company wins and successes, plus the latest information about house prices, rental returns and the market in general is great, think about what actually matters to homeowners who live in your local area. That's right, local news. Use what is going on in your local area to create great content pieces which focus on what matters to your customers. Is there a new restaurant opening that everyone is excited about? Why not treat a team member to a meal there and get them to write about it afterwards? What if there's a controversial planning application going through - trust me homeowners in the area are interested - talk about it! Changes to parking restrictions going on in your high street - trust me your customers will be Googling for all the latest info. By hosting this type of content on your website, you are appealing to the local community who are in most cases likely to be your audience.
Harnessing Local Knowledge as an Estate Agency
Following on from the above - as experts in the area in which your development or estate agency is located, you have all of the information at your fingertips to tell the world (and the local press) exactly what the trends are in your town. Have you seen a sudden demand for a specific property type as the result of say, a local school receiving an excellent Ofsted rating? Tell the world, and the local press!
Make Use of Long Tail Search Terms on Your Website
Ok, I've lost you already! What on earth is a long tail search term I hear you ask! Let me give you an example. I'm browsing the net and fancy taking a look at luxury property as I'm nosy like that. The chances are that I will type something along the lines of '£10 million house London'. The more general version of this would be something along the lines of 'Buy House, Fulham'. This is getting a bit closer, but is still a generic search term. However, if I am actually typing in 'Buy 2 bed flat under £500,000 with two bathrooms near Greenwich station' the chances are I have a serious intent. While generic search terms are very competitive (thanks Rightmove) going for the longer search terms are likely to see a good pay off. This becomes even more important when considering your vendors as an estate agent. I am not just searching for 'estate agent in Covent Garden', I'm looking for 'Estate agent fees, best reviews, Covent Garden'. By making sure that your onsite content structure is geared towards these types of search, you can increase your instruction rates by a great amount.
Estate Agency Social Media Marketing
Estate agents - please stop just posting up your latest instructions! No one has decided to follow your page just to exclusively see what your latest properties are - they use Zoopla for that! However, by building a real online community, you can start to develop a trusted brand in your location. And yes, I do mean your location. Each branch in an ideal word should have it's own page - even if a lot of content is duplicated. And don't just post your own news either. Of course, you should make use of the content types mentioned above, but think about what matters to your audience. Tips from other sources (not competitors) such as home decor, local news, solicitors advice can make up a great deal of your social posting.
You can even go one step further and build a group around what matters to your audience. For example, a landlords of Lambeth page could build an excellent platform on which people can share their experiences, and you can share yours.
Using AdWords as an Estate Agency
Here's the deal. PPC on Google can be pricey, and unless you have the budget to carry it off, bidding on property terms can be very expensive. However, you should not give up on Adwords completely. Things like retargeting campaigns (those creepy ads which follow you everywhere) can be really useful for estate agents. You can also look at bidding on lower volume but less competitive search terms to help you to win at Adwords. My word of caution if you don't know what you are doing, start small, and if you can, enlist an expert - like us!
5. Get Chatting
Don't have live chat yet? You really should. There are a great range of live chat plug ins that can be added to almost any website - and the best thing is that many offer free packages. Live chat is a great way to very quickly convert a browser into a customer, and also allows you to qualify a lead far quicker than you can over an email exchange. While we all love the telephone, many potential customers will prefer written communication in the early stages, and you can easily take them offline to a call if you wish.
Use Google Analytics To Attract More Estate Agency Customers
Ok this one is a bit radical, but hear me out. When you purchase say advertising space on another website you get a full 'press pack' letting you know the exact reasons why you should choose their website to advertise your estate agency or available properties. They will tell you who visits the site in terms of age and demographics, how often, and how many of those click ads. You can do exactly the same for your clients - the info is all at your fingertips with Google analytics. While Google Analytics can seem daunting to the uninitiated, some of this simple info can be found on your dashboard.
Get in touch with us
At the Small Biz Expert, we offer a completely free initial 30 minute consultation where we can talk through all of the options that you can employ for your property business to get found online. We won’t try to sell you anything (that’s your job), we won’t talk jargon, but we will offer good, sensible advice.