Table of Contents
- Utilizing Your Existing Customers
- SEO for Estate Agents
- Video Marketing for Real Estate
- Effective Email Marketing for Estate Agents
Vendors are the lifeline of an estate agency business. It’s no wonder then that so many estate agents cite their biggest challenge as securing more vendors. In this increasingly competitive property market, it is more vital than ever to up-skill on modern marketing techniques that enable you to attract more vendors, so you can keep your lifeline flowing.
The first thing to say is that if there is a specific technique you are already using that is working, do more of it! One of the biggest property marketing fails of many businesses is simply not throwing more money and resources at strategies that have already shown success. Outside of that, we’ll be looking at these tactics in this blog:
- Utilizing your existing customers
- SEO for Estate Agents
- Video marketing for real estate
- Effective email marketing for Estate Agents
All of these topics could be a book in themselves, but the information in this blog should be able to get you started on some effective techniques being used in estate agent marketing today.
Whatever marketing tactics you use, it’s important to think customer first. People want instant gratification – a reason to act now. Where possible, provide people with no-brainer, can’t-say-no offers and reasons to take you up on whatever you’re offering. Giving someone an instant win significantly increases the chance of them taking action.
Utilizing Your Existing Customers
83% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family over any other form of marketing and advertising. For this reason, the best possible way for you to attract new vendors is to:
- Get past vendors referring you to their peers.
- Ensure that past buyers come back to you when they’re ready to sell.
Getting More Referrals From Past Vendors
The formula for getting more referrals is simple.
Exceed their expectations and do an amazing job for them.
One of the primary reasons people make referrals is because it actually makes them feel good to help their friends. But you have to bear in mind, they don’t want to do their friends a disservice (or discredit themselves) by recommending poor services. By exceeding expectations and doing an amazing job for someone, you make it easy and even desirable for a person to refer you. Where vendors are concerned, the best way to please them is to sell their property at the price and in a time frame that they’re happy with. Beyond this, it’s about being likeable as an individual and as a business.
Tips for Wowing Your Customers
- Be likeable. Use their names and show an interest in their needs.
- Use superior property photography and listings that attract buyers and sell properties faster.
- Do what you say you will and keep a good flow of communication at all times.
- Handle any issues that do arise with a customer first approach.
The secondary reason why people make referrals is that they are incentivized to do so. You probably know this for yourself, if someone pays you or gives you something for free to do something, you’re more likely to do it! It is worth considering how you can incentivize past clients to refer someone they know. Just don’t forget that if the client did not have a good experience, it is very unlikely they will make a referral, no matter how good the incentive.
Steps for Incentivizing Referrals
- Create a list of past vendors you can reach out to. Remove any unhappy clients from this list.
- Clearly communicate the incentive to the referrer by email, text, phone etc.
- The benefit & terms should be made clear to the referrer.
- Make it easy for them to make the referral – connect them to a page where they can provide someone’s details, or include a template/link that they can easily forward.
- Make sure you are able to track any referrals so that you can issue any incentives.
In terms of which past vendors to ask, the ones who have interacted with most recently will be your “warmest” potential referrers. You could even create a warmer list by asking vendors if they’d be happy to refer you during your last meeting with them. If they say yes, they could be added to a separate list for “extra warm potential referrers”.
Ensuring Past Buyers Come Back to You
As with your vendors, the best way to increase the chances of someone coming back to you is to exceed their expectations and do an amazing job for them.
The main difference between dealing with past buyers and vendors is that you have no idea when the buyer will be ready to sell. For this reason, you want to periodically be reminding past buyers of your existence so that, when the time does come, you are first in their mind.
Example Strategy for Staying First in Mind
- Add buyers to a specific email or other correspondence list.
- Reach out to that list at specific intervals with something that adds value to them. Examples of this could be local news or events or tips for homeowners.
- Be an open channel and make buyers aware that they can contact you if they need anything.
- At intervals, include a call to action (a request that they take some action). A call to action in this case might be offering a free valuation, asking for a call if they are considering selling, or it could even be offering an incentive for a referral!
Outside of asking people you know, where do you think most people go when they want to find a service provider? The Internet.
In fact, 86% of people looking for a local business use a search engine to find one. With Google being the most popular search engine in Ireland, it is vital that when vendors carry out a search for an estate agent, your name pops up.
The process of getting your business to appear high up in search results is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). What’s really exciting about Google search is that 50% of people who search for a business “near me” end up actually visiting that business. This makes Google one of the most powerful tools in your property marketing arsenal. The goal for driving vendors to your business via Google is for your website to appear as high up on page one of the search results as possible. The screenshot below shows example search results for the words “estate agent in Dublin”.
SEO is not for the faint-hearted – it’s a science and something well worth investing in. There are some things you can do yourself to improve your SEO, but it is certainly worth considering hiring an expert to help you.
In Dublin, for example, between 10-100 people are typing these words into Google every month. Granted, some of these may be people looking to buy, rent or even landlords. But some of them will be vendors. The numbers may sound small, but if 50% of the people who search find you and visit/contact you, that would be an additional 5-50 potential clients through the door each month. The great thing about SEO – and being found in Google, is that a lot of people who search for words like these are actively looking to take action. They are not casual browsers.
Your Google Business Profile
Another really important part of your SEO for estate agents strategy should be your Google Business profile.
You’ve probably seen this box before. It’s called Google Places. It’s a section that shows up high in the Google search page and gives the person looking a snapshot of a local offering plus that business’s Google reviews, a direct link to their website and, on mobile, the ability to call the business in one click. To appear in this box, you need to ensure your business has a Google Business Listing.
How To Create a Google Business Listing:
- Visit Google My Business, where you will either be able to create or gain access to an existing business listing.
- Once you’ve created a new (or gained access to an existing) listing, complete all the profile information and go through the verification process.
- Once completed, you’ll need to optimize your listing to maximize its position in search and the chances of someone clicking it once they find it.
- To optimize, make sure all the information is filled out, add high quality photos and start requesting more Google reviews.
Adding Professional Photography to Your Google Business Listing
According to Google, listings with photos attract 35% more clicks from potential customers. Add as many appealing photos as possible. Use professional photography to ensure that the photos attract the eye (and the clicks) of as many people as possible.
Photos you can include in your Google Business Listing:
- Exterior and Interior property photos of your business premises
- You and your team
- Some of the properties you sell
- Related items such as marketing materials
Video Marketing for Real Estate
Today’s market is more competitive than ever. Simply being present on the high street is no longer enough to win vendor instructions.
It’s estimated that 75% of vendors carry out online research before instructing. They investigate your website, your portal listings, reviews, and even your social media. Vendors do this research looking for the agent that stands out – looking for the agent who appears best placed to sell their property at the right price and in a short time.
Video is a powerful tool that not only stands out to buyers, but is something that most of your competitors are probably not using. It’s reported that only 30% of agents use video in their marketing. Video could therefore give you the edge.
It’s no surprise then that 73% of vendors are more likely to list with an agent who uses video!
Major Reasons You Should Be Using Video
Outside their appeal to vendors, video:
- Increase your position in Google (and other search) meaning more vendors (and buyers) are more likely to come across your website in the first place.
- Video tends to increase the amount of time spent on a website. This is not only good for helping your position in search, but also your conversion rates.
- Video tends to generate more leads!
How To Use Video In Your Marketing
Vendors want to instruct an estate agent who they believe will be able to sell their property. It therefore makes sense to use video in a way that showcases important factors for potential buyers.
Point of Interest videos highlight important, attractive elements of the area a property is situated in. A Point of Interest video would show a property’s proximity to a train station or green space (features 28% and 17% (respectively) of buyers would pay more for).
Point of Interest videos can separate you from your competition and give vendors the strong impression they need to choose your agency over another.
Other Use of Video
- Client Testimonials
- Agency Profile explaining “why you”
- Property Walk-Throughs
- 360 Virtual Tours
Effective Email Marketing for Estate Agents
99% of people check their email every day. For many estate agents, their database of emails is probably one of their most wasted assets. Email addresses offer FREE direct access to potential customers that they will probably see.
Most of the things we’ve already mentioned in this blog – referral requests, valuable information, free valuations etc – could and should be offered to potential vendors via email.
The most important thing to remember when email marketing anyone, including potential vendors, is the idea of the compelling offer.
Someone is much more likely to open an email where there’s a good reason to do so.
Tips for Your Email Marketing
- Use software that automates the process. You can use email marketing software that will automatically email specific people at specific times. This means you could set up something like a weekly newsletter to automatically go to specific people at the same time every week.
- Add value! Don’t just ask for something. Give the person you’re sending the email to a compelling reason to open and take action on the email. Great emails will typically educate, entertain or inspire.
- Send frequent emails. Don’t just send emails when you want something! Add value on a regular basis. This builds trust with the people you’re emailing and increases the chances of them taking action when you do ask for something.
- Occasionally email something that only someone interested in selling their property would want. This could be a download such as “10 Things To Do To Prepare Your Home For A Quick Sale”. By tracking the people who download something like this, you are filtering out the people who are most likely to engage your services as a vendor.
In today’s world, the estate agent can no longer expect vendors to land in your lap because they were walking past the office.
Estate Agents need to use a variety of effective marketing tactics that encourage people to refer their services and that ensure they are visible to potential vendors in the places they are already looking.