The world of estate agency is changing and digital is becoming more prevalent than ever before. In this post we'll look at how to become a digital-savvy agent
The world of estate agency is changing.
Everyone is telling you to go digital. Be on social media. Run Facebook ads. Create live videos. Send more Instagram stories.
But make sure you still prospect in the traditional way. By picking up the phone within 24 hours otherwise, you’ll lose the lead.
It all becomes very confusing.
Then there's all the ‘buy my course to learn these secret skills’. But you know you can learn it all for free online right? Well if you don’t, now you do.
For today's estate agent, digital is an absolute minefield. Many of you have already been let down by external marketing agencies because they didn’t get the urgency needed to sell a house.
Most of you will have set up your Facebook page, asked your friends and family to like the page and given it a good go only to find no one really liked your posts and it didn’t get you any leads.
That doesn’t mean to say other agents are having the same experience. Oh no. Some have thousands of interactions within their local community online from a £10 boosted post.
Agents who have an instant valuation get leads every day, throughout the night too! But how do you get started when you’ve spent 15 years with the foot to the pavement I hear you say?
Enter hybrid marketing.
Hybrid marketing is, you’ve guessed it, a mixture of traditional marketing alongside digital.
Its a balance of the two to maximise your efforts.
When used effectively it brings you in leads 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It allows you to turn up and have a list of potentials ready and waiting for you to do what you do best. Be an estate agent and sell the damn house.
Want to get started? You have three options: you either learn digital yourself, get one of your team to learn it or you can outsource it.
Let's get you learning the tricks of the digital trade. It ensures that no one who may leave your agency will take the knowledge with them and it also saves so much money when you learn yourself.
Now before you get overwhelmed, being digital-savvy does not mean being an ‘expert’. Actively avoid trying to be a digital expert. People like authenticity, they like people. Anything too slick and they feel like they are being tricked into a sale and we’re all really good a spotting a fake these days.
You will be different. You will be as authentic online as you are in person.
And your vendors are going to LOVE you for it! So let's get started.
Make a plan, then stick to it.
Abraham Lincoln said one of my favourite quotes of all time: ‘If you ask me to chop down a tree in six hours, I’ll spend the first four sharpening my axe’.
So set yourself some goals. Don’t just post randomness to Facebook, or throw a ton of money at Facebook ads and hope for a lead.
If you are an independent agent you want all your digital marketing to be promoting your listings so all that money you spend to have an account on property sites get utilised to the max. You also want brand awareness, for your local community to know: who you are, where you are and what type of property you are selling or letting.
Then niche yourself - whats your average house sale? £500k? Go find people that can afford to pay that. Or people that can buy a second house that they rent and you manage it for them.
Do you mainly sell new builds? If so, that's demographically going to have more families so sponsor the local school football team or scouts. Have a stall at every school fete with a charity raffle. Share home decor posts specifically related to new build design (don’t share top 5 tips for renovating your listed property for example).
Maybe you sell more country homes, then go find all the farmers markets. All the farm shops. The hipster coffee shops and the affluent magazine that Archant manage https://www.archanthub.co.uk/magazines
You get the picture. If you don’t maybe you need to hire a freelance marketer for a couple of days to build a marketing strategy.
It’s about you as much as it is your agency
Don’t you just love American real estate?
Its all about an agent's personal brand. Think town bench with your face on it.
Ok, so don’t ACTUALLY do that but what is the digital equivalent? When you look at your channels do you see any people’s faces or is it just bricks and mortar?
Have you made it clear that when a potential vendor calls up, who is going to speak to them first? Does your page give the vibe that you're friendly or have you tried to be too professional that you come across unapproachable?
No matter how many ads you run on social media, remember that it is social.
You personally engaging in a conversation is 10x more effective than an ad with a limited time offer.
Its all about the listings
Your digital collateral is your listings. Your bread and butter.
I want you to make sure you post about your new properties the SECOND it goes lives on Rightmove, your website, or Facebook marketplace.
Got aerial photography of the property? Make that another post! Boost it for a tenner to anyone in the local area who is interested in ‘property’ or ‘Rightmove’.
Come to Friday and not sure what to post? Oh, but you have 28 houses for sale. So do a post ‘Top 7 houses with a statement hallway you can buy today’.
Around 90% of potential vendors will like your page because they want to see the listings in their home feed so they don’t have to check the Rightmove app.
Why? Because it's effort going to-and-from apps. So make sure you get those listings in your potential vendors home feeds, by any way possible (you only really have two: organic and paid…)
Learn to copy and paste
No, I'm so serious. If you learn to copy and paste, you can literally flood your social media with relevant content.
Don’t be the person, sitting, waiting for the right moment to write something unique about the property market.
Be the one that’s made google alerts (here's how to do it - https://www.google.co.uk/alerts) of your local area so you know exactly when someone blogs about relevant content that makes potential vendors see you as a ‘local property expert’.
Share the latest interior design trends and depending on the demographics of your audience for example: if they’re more likely to shop in John Lewis or B&M share what is relevant to them.
Help them find a house, then help them make a home.
Content like that is gold, and you’ll have people liking and engaging with your content (that's not really your content, you just shared it) in no time.
Call in the Millennials
Time is money.
I’m all for doing it yourself and giving it your best shot, but if you've tried your hardest and the page isn’t getting new likes, engagement or you're not able to post consistently on a weekly basis then move over.
Don’t let your business suffer because you haven’t had time/patience/want to learn the skills.
Find someone who does have it, ask them to help out.
Note: it doesn’t actually need to be a millennial, they’re just known for being ‘digital natives’.
Tell them you need the following:
Social media management is around £250 - £500 PCM for an independent agent with one or two branches. Anything lower than that and I’d be cautious. Anything higher and I’d expect to see clear ROI (return on investment) from them, niche industry experience in digital marketing for property and for you to have a plan how you're going to grow so you don’t go off track.
The technical bit, you know, actually doing the grunt work
When you want to learn how to create your page, run an ad, set up your business ad manager then go learn from the people who made the software.
So if you want to learn something that's on Facebook - google it and click the link from facebook. Go to the source. (all Facebook learning is via Facebook Blueprint here - https://www.facebook.com/business/learn)
It means when something is updated, generally, the developers will create a new how-to first. Not some blogger who is giving you a SECRET GUIDE that you have to sign up for. (We do have pdf guides too btw, and yes, we do make you sign up because we want your email address so we can say hello and tell you how amazing our product is but you already knew that, right?)
Do you want to know who learns for free? Marketers. You know, the ones you eventually end up paying because you’re too busy. They learn their skills from Google, Facebook, Hubspot, MailChimp etc. For free, they just give their time up to learn it.
Then they try out their new knowledge. Make mistakes. Learn. Do it again. Make different mistakes. Note it down and learn from it, until they can do it quicker, more efficiently and better than the person who hasn’t tested it as much as them.
So why shouldn’t you?