Published: 09/04/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website ConsultantAs we’re all too painfully aware, the past 12 months have been like no other: lockdowns, distancing, endless zoom calls and a distinct lack of toilet roll for some reason… But, despite all this upheaval, the property market has remained buoyant and as the economy begins to thaw from its deep freeze, estate agents now have a huge opportunity to capitalise.
Back in May last year, we wrote about the post-lockdown challenges facing estate agencies and that last year, there were still a huge number of factors potentially holding back a full-on boom in the property market. However, with the country now seemingly approaching the light at the end of its pandemic tunnel, everyone is now gearing up for a summer like no other – and the property market is expected to really hot up!
It’s predicted that 2021 will see the property prices soaring and that this boom is expected to last around five years. Driven primarily by the relaxation of the Stamp Duty, the market is expecting to see an influx of new house buyers eager to jump on the housing ladder, and vendors all equally eager to take advantage of rising house prices. For estate agents, the immediate future looks bright; but this surge in activity should come with a warning…
Get The Easy Stuff Right First Time, Every Time!
For those Estate Agents who’ve weathered the past 12 months, now’s the chance to make hay whilst the sun shines; but it’s also a time when you should focus on improving your business, and this is where it’s utterly crucial to not forget the easy stuff. But, what are the small, easy things an estate agency might be overlooking that could be damaging their lead generation activities?
- Striking Whilst the Iron is Hot
We’re sorry to tell you this, but if you’re still relying on a pen and paper to capture critical lead information, or just a simple email inbox to capture enquiries, you’re really missing a trick. Ask yourself: How are leads into your estate agency captured? Do they go to a singular lead generation inbox? Do you have an auto response acknowledging their enquiry?
Those issues may only seem like little things, but that initial email, call or form fill is a critical moment in your marketing funnel. At that point, your lead is good to go – they’re in the right mindset to talk business with you! The longer you leave that lead hanging, the quicker the cooling off process can set in - undermining any positive pre-conceptions and quickly damaging your chances of getting a vital instruction!
When a new lead is generated by your agency, you need to ensure that your lead management software captures all relevant information about the lead, and that you’re able to easily nurture them with a mix of targeted and timely sales and marketing content. You need to ensure that your software gives you the tools to not only see your latest leads and where they’ve come from, but also action your response instantly – all whilst tracking and managing your contact history.
If your lead management software doesn’t do all this, you really could start lagging behind your competitors…
- Enshrine a Set Call-back Process for Enquiries
A call-back isn’t just the act of calling potential customers back on their phone. It’s intrinsically linked to the customer experience; and the better overall customer experience your estate agency offers, the better the chance you’ll have of creating a brand advocate who’ll be more willing to use you again and recommend you to others. No pressure then!
If you offer a call-back service, ensure that the process for completing them is set in stone at your agency. Remember: that one of the most important attributes of good customer service is a fast response time – in fact, research has shown that 88% of customers expect a call-back within 60-minutes of their enquiry. Anything more, and you could be letting that hot lead cool off or, worse still, speak to a competitor!
- Ensure Your Marketing Comms are Personalised
No one likes receiving spam – be it through their letterbox, their email inbox or in their dealings with businesses! People want to be seen as individuals, with their own unique requirements and needs; so sending personalised emails and following up on past messages can build crucial customer engagement at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Plus, there are also some fantastic benefits of offering personalised communications, including:
- They can help you stand out within your target audience’s inbox with content tailored around their needs, requirements and pain points
- Build trust! Remember, the expected property boom is expected to see an influx of new buyers and sellers, and being seen as trustworthy can give you the edge over your competitors
- Your emails will be more likely to be opened and clicked-through if the content engages with your audience. Plus, it can also be beneficial to your own website’s SEO performance
- Improve the customer experience and awareness of your brand – especially if your content is sent to the right people at the right time.
This part also links nicely back to how you interact with your leads – if your lead generation software doesn’t have the facility to create and implement personalised comms to your customers, you may never build true customer engagement.
- Make Sure Your Website SEO is on Point
Finally, a prime factor in good website SEO is the use of content and wording on your website. Basically, the content on your site is what a search engine ‘reads’ when a user types a search phrase into its search function. Based on what is written on your site, it’ll be ranked according to relevance of the search, the number of instances of the phrase being used on the site, and its popularity with users visiting the site when typing in similar or identical key phrases or search terms.
Now, at this point, you may be saying to yourself ‘but I publish lots of content thanks to our sales listings!’ And to an extent, you’d be right; however, these listings tend to be list-based content (so not search-term driven) and removed from websites once properties are sold – meaning they’re only visible to search engines for a potentially short amount of time.
Good quality SEO-supporting content should be evergreen in nature and based on the subjects and search terms your prospects are actively looking for. This way, you stand a better chance of being visible on search engine results for the audiences you want to reach.