Published: 15/03/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website ConsultantDespite Covid-19 playing havoc with everyone’s lives right now, the property market appears to be booming – with many industry insiders forecasting that the next 5 years in particular will see both house prices and transactions heading into the stratosphere.
This bold prediction means that for estate agents, the market is going to be more competitive than ever. There will undoubtedly be an influx of new buyers looking to take advantage of the Chancellor’s extension of the stamp duty holiday and, with interest rates looking on track to remain at their record lows, the housing market is certainly shaping up to be extremely lively!
This is of course great news for estate agents up and down the country; but, in order to fully take advantage of this new property boom, agents can’t afford to rest on their laurels and simply sit back in the expectation of customers walking through their (virtual) doors. Now’s the time to take business improvement seriously and make some simple changes that will maximise your lead generation activities and, most importantly, generate more successful sales leads for your agency.
The 5 things Estate Agents Need to Change to Improve their Business
1. Look to improve your lead conversion ratesThe average conversion rate for websites is globally around 2-5%; now this does of course depend on what constitutes a ‘conversion’ for you, but with the housing market going through its latest growth spurt, it’s time you really give some thought to how you categorise and convert those leads into paying customers effectively. Ask yourself: is your website really generating the leads you need for your business to flourish? Or is it just a ‘doing a job’?
Whilst your website may look great or get plenty of traffic, it’s how you capture, manage and nurture your leads that will really give your business solid and sustained growth. People will of course always need homes to live in; but savvy estate agents will use effective lead generation tactics to build their own brand awareness, nurture vendor and seller prospects, qualify their leads, and ultimately, generate sustained and significant long-term revenues.
If improving your conversion rates and lead gen are something you’re looking for some in-depth advice and guidance on, why not have a chat here with the team at Webdadi? We've been helping agents generate more leads and more valuation requests - in some cases, as much as 4-times the enquiries than Zoopla!
Just hit this link to arrange a conversation with one of our website consultants.
2. Reduce those missed opportunitiesWhen people make an enquiry via a website, it’s often the case that their intentions are fresh in their mind and they’re in the right mindset to start talking business. So, the longer you leave that person hanging, the more chance there is of that intention to diminish – or worse still, lead to a rival business. Remember, if you’re getting an enquiry from someone, they’ll most likely have sent a similar enquiry to a rival of yours, and research from InsideSales.com shows that 35–50% of sales often go to the business that responds to their leads first.
With housing sales on the rise, ask yourself: are potentially hot leads being lost in email inboxes or complicated by unintuitive enquiry forms? Do you make it easy for a customer to reach you when they’re ready to talk? Are you capturing lead information accurately so you can offer the best possible service to your client? And, do you have an enshrined process as to how you turn enquiries round to become genuine qualified leads?
Missed opportunities are perhaps the biggest growth killers a business can experience. If you’re working hard to generate good quality leads for your business, but are unable to respond to enquiries quickly and accurately, you’re potentially leaving money on the table…
3. Evaluate how you keep track of your team’s performancesWe know that in a busy sales-based environment, keeping track on your team’s performance can be difficult – and this can be made doubly difficult if you don’t have effective, dedicated estate agent software.
A decent customer relationship management system (or CRM for short) should make the business of managing all aspects of your business easy: including managing your team’s own performance. Your estate agent software should actively prompt you and your staff to take actions that boost your own business’s performance, whilst at the same time, give you the visibility of your negotiator's daily activities. This will mean you’re never in the dark about how things are really going!
This aspect of business improvement also links nicely back to improving your conversions, too. A truly effective estate agent CRM should allow you to view your conversion rates of both valuations to instructions, viewings offers and deals ratios, plus your average selling price compared to your market price, all across your branches and your individual negotiators. If your system doesn’t do this, it may be time for a rethink.
4. Assess your website’s visibility and Google rankingsAs a leading developer of estate agent websites, one of the most common questions we get asked is ‘How do we get onto page 1 of Google?’ And it’s a valid question!
As of January 2021, there are some 200+ ranking factors that can affect how a page ranks on Google: and whilst that may seem like a daunting number, many of the factors simply boil down to good practice and good content. The best part about this is, that improvement is not particularly difficult to achieve, either; you just need the right tools for the job, and a little persistence!
In order to start improving your search rankings, you need a website content management system (CMS) that allows you to update, add and evaluate content to your site easily and regularly. With the housing market becoming increasingly crowded, being readily visible on search engines has never been more critical – so, if your website’s CMS is unintuitive, difficult to use or not giving you vital user intel, perhaps it’s time to look at a more effective alternative.
5. Undertake better marketing analysisLastly, when was the last time you undertook some serious marketing analysis? Whilst this is commonplace for estate agents who are just getting started, it’s something that should be done on a regular basis as part of any ongoing business improvement strategy – ensuring you can formulate a long-term plan on how to run your business successfully and most importantly, not get left behind by your competitors.
With the housing market ramping up in 2021, it may be time for you to revisit your own company’s SWOT analysis – this will allow you to see if your original observations are still accurate, or if there are elements which may need to be addressed in order to fully realise your own business’s potential. In addition, give some thought to the following factors that may affect your company’s growth in 2021; including:
- Market size and growth rate in your area
- Trends in the market
- Market profitability
- Key factors to success with your business
- Your own distribution channels.