The Importance of Great Marketing for Estate Agents

All estate agents face marketing challenges, and in the current market conditions great marketing has never been more important. It’s a hugely competitive industry, and everyone has to work hard to stand out from the crowd. But with the right approach, a bit of guidance and the right amount of support, it’s more than possible to turn marketing into the driving force behind your successful business.

In this blog, we share our top tips and a bit of a step-by-step guide to help you get your marketing in shape.

Who are YOU talking to?!

The first, and possibly most important task, is to decide who your target audience is. You may be aiming to move more upmarket; you might want to specialise in affordable family houses; or you could be targeting student lets. Whatever it is, think about the people you want to hear your messages, and take the time you need to be really clear about it.

This is sometimes harder than it may seem, as it necessarily means you will be choosing who not to focus on, something which feels a bit counterintuitive when you are trying to build a business. But take it from us, being crystal clear about your target market and making sure your messaging and activity is always relevant will have a massive impact on the success of your marketing.  No more spray and pray – what you need is targeted marketing activity, and you can’t hit a target if you don’t first know what it looks like.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Next on your list should be building a marketing strategy and a marketing activity plan. Once you have the foundation of knowing who your target audience is, the key things to include in the plan are specific objectives and clear timelines. When you have this, you will find that just a little time spent each month planning your content for the next four weeks will make implementing your plan so much easier and more impactful.

In your monthly planning session you should tie down your key messages you want to share which will be the thread running through the next month, along with events, news and so on.

A good mix of sales and letting messages is often crucial for estate agencies. Unless you are a niche agent, it is likely that you’ll have multiple income streams, all of which you want to support and drive through your marketing activities. But whether the messages are about sales, lettings, financial services or other products, one thing should always be front of mind – always, always, always think and talk first about the needs of your target audience and the benefits to them of what you’re offering, rather than talking about yourselves. Your audience needs to know that you are thinking about them first, always!

There’s so many marketing channels!

So, you know your target audience, you’ve got your plan, and you’ve thought carefully about your messaging. Now you need to get that message out to all those people who need to hear what you have to offer. Being the 21st century there are any number of ways you can do this. Just think of all the digital and social media routes you now have, on top of the more traditional printed media, PR, advertising, and so on…..there really is a lot of choice.

And while this is great, there is also the risk that the choice (and novelty) can become a distraction.

While it might be fun spending a day playing on Snapchat in the hope you might find your customers there, in truth you could probably use your time more wisely. And that is where the plan comes in (again!). First of all, give some thought to where your target audience is most likely to see (and share) your messages. And then use all the relevant channels (sorry Snapchat!) consistently based on your monthly plan. This is likely to cover new content, website updates (with a focus on SEO – search engine optimisation, which helps improve the chances of your audience finding you first), social media, email marketing, PR, and brand building activity. As unexciting as it sounds, planning and consistency will pay dividends here.

Use well planned campaigns

To get an extra boost for your marketing impact it is worth planning and implementing a calendar of campaigns across the year. The content of the campaigns will depend on the specifics of your business and your target audience. Crucially they should focus on the things which make you stand out from your competitors, things you are really proud of and want to shout about. Start with a list of these things and where they fit across the year. Then for each campaign think about and plan in the assets which will support the activity. Assets might include boosted social media activity, printed collateral, targeted emails and extra blog content. Campaigns take more work and more preparation, but done well they can lift delivery across your business significantly.

Shine a light on your people

Selling, buying or letting property is all about trust and relationships – which in turn is all about people. So a lot of your messaging should be centred around your people, giving clients and potential clients plenty of ways to get to know them and to want to build relationships with them, often virtually to start with. Profiles of your staff, and even customer reviews which mention how well they were looked after by a particular member of the team are great ways to showcase your team.

Standing out from the crowd

Throughout your messaging and your content, it makes a big difference if you can be crystal clear about what makes you unique when compared to other estate agents? Make sure that your uniqueness is something which really matters to your target customers and benefits them, and then consistently remind people through your brand and your messaging what it is that sets you apart from the competition, and what you stand for.

Are you shouting about free photography for your property marketing as a key USP? Yawn! So is everyone else!

Love them, or loathe them, you need Portals

Finally, a significant part of the marketing budget for estate agencies is almost certainly going to be spent on portals. Therefore, getting the most out of this spend by constant updates, responding to leads which come through immediately, and making sure you are aware of the package you have and use it to its fullest extent is crucial. If you pay for ads, keep them up to date and keep your listings updated.

In conclusion, effective marketing makes a massive difference in a crowded market place and done well can turbo charge your business. Choose your target audience carefully; plan (and keep planning) your approach; make your messages consistent and relevant; think about where and how to best reach your audience; plan in your campaigns across the year; let your people shine through in everything you do; and be proud to stand for something unique.

And if this all feels a bit overwhelming or you just don’t have the bodies to cover it all, you know where we are! Get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.