Published: 22/03/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website ConsultantGenerating new sale instructions is possibly one of the most labour-intensive and profitable aspects of running an estate agency. After all, new instructions means new business and vital income!
However, whilst agencies will undoubtedly plough a lot of time and effort into securing new sale instructions, it’s often the case that up to 50% of new sale instructions will sell through a second agent. That’s 50% of your hard work, nurturing, time and money all potentially lost to a near rival, and basically completely wasted. For any estate agency, this is bad news; but for start-up agents who are still finding their feet, this is potentially catastrophic.
There are of course a couple of obvious factors which may contribute to losing that new sale instruction which revolve around price; in particular, the over-valuation of the property by the original selling agent, or perhaps unrealistic expectations of the vendor. However, there are also a multitude of pain points which can lead to a vendor deciding to enlist a second agency – and they’re not all as obvious as you may think.
So, what can be done to reduce the chances of you losing vital new sale instructions to a second agent, improve your business and build genuine customer engagement that will lead to those vital sales?
Up Your Agency’s Marketing Game
When you talk about estate agent marketing, this isn’t just how you present and sell yourselves to your customers: it’s also about how you market your vendor’s homes, too. You have to give as much attention to their properties as you would your own marketing campaigns, otherwise, there will be a disconnect between how your brand, and your stock of properties.
- Are images of vendor’s homes created with a ‘that’ll do’ mentality? Or are they visually impactful, stylish and portray your vendor’s properties in the best possible light? If your answer is the former, then it might be time to change your approach.
- How impactful is your marketing content? When it comes to online marketing, words play a hugely important role in reaching and engaging with your audiences. Do your property listings blend factual and emotive language that highlight key selling points, and generates a lifestyle description for the reader? And do your listings match the tone and feel of your core company content? If not, it simply may not be generating that critical buyer engagement needed to sell properties effectively, or raise your own brand awareness.
- Is your website visible and intuitive? A great looking website is one thing; but is it easy for visitors to find what they need an engage with you accordingly? Whilst you may be promoting properties via portals like Rightmove, it’s easy to overlook your own site’s organic search visibility – if you can’t be found on search engines, it’s unlikely buyers will be able to see your marketed properties.
Build True Customer Engagement
Are your vendors regularly being updated as to property views on your website? Are you taking the time to make recommendations as to how they can increase their chances of selling in your position as property experts? Are you returning their calls or emails in a timely manner? All these aspects revolve around customer engagement and the bottom line is, is that if you’re failing to communicate with your vendors effectively, you’ll never build a trusting partnership that’ll ultimately help sell properties.
Be Active on Social Media Channels
Customers are savvy, and will have more than likely done their research on your agency before instructing you to sell their property. Part of this research will often involve checking out not just your website; but also your social media channels. In fact, social is usually the first touch point in which a consumer connects with a business, and it can have a significant impact on how your business is viewed and evaluated by both vendors and buyers.
For vendors, seeing their property being actively shared and promoted on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter will give them confidence and trust that you’re using every available channel with which to sell their home. If social doesn’t play a part in your estate agency marketing, it’s time to make a change…
Accurately Identify and Nurture Your Customer Base
How do you know there’s a market for the vendor’s property? Are you able to track the specific geographical areas people are searching in on your website? And are the leads you receive accurate, relevant and up-to-date? Many of these aspects will depend on what type of content management system (or CMS) or estate agent software you’re using, and if it’s able to give you crucial lead data on who’s viewing your website and properties.
As an example, the estate agent software we offer to our clients has features that allow agents to capture user postcode searches even if it’s not submitted into the property site search. This means you can get a true idea of what people are searching for, and if the properties you’re selling are really fitting their search criteria.
And Don’t Forget the Basics!
Covid-19 may have meant we’ve all spent more time at home, but that shouldn’t stop you from the real-world activities every vendor expects from a good estate agent! This includes putting up sale boards outside the vendor’s property, and also ensuring you’re updating your window or digital signage.
With the housing market on course for huge levels of growth over the next five years, there’ll undoubtedly be huge volumes of new vendors all keen to take their next steps up the property ladder – don’t lose them to your rivals!