Published: 22/11/2021 By Mark Tew - Senior Website Consultant
With the world changing so much in the last year, there’s been some long lasting and considerable effects for estate agents. New challenges have emerged as well as old issues from the past cropping up, and so it’s vital that your business prepares and protects itself.
So, to help your estate agency identify which ones to look out for, we’ve rounded up our top four challenges of 2022 so that you can futureproof your business and build your resilience.
1. The Growing Demand For A More Exceptional Digital Experience
Arguably the most important challenge being faced by estate agents in 2022 and beyond, is the growing demand for an exceptional digital experience. According to Estate Agent Today, the need of an innovative customer experience on estate agent websites has never been more important, and those businesses that invest in innovative technology, will be the ones to attract, engage, and retain the 2021 consumer.
But where does this need come from? Well, much of this is down to the greater reliance on technology as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic. Whether that’s having to shop online in the last year or scanning a QR code for the test and trace app, consumers have had to adapt to the growing digital world at a very rapid rate.
As a result of this, a stronger confidence with technology is spanning across all age groups, and quite significantly, the older demographic, in particular gen X (40-55 year olds). In fact, GWI reports that 36% of baby boomers feel more confident using technology in Q1 2021, a notable increase of 10% on the Q2 of last year. This age cohort are also expanding their tech portfolio and investing in a greater range of tech products for the first time.
So, what does this mean for estate agents? Well, there’s simply no escaping technology now. Digital marketing for estate agents has become even more important, and there’s even more of a reason to have a website that provides an exceptional digital experience and is responsive for all types of devices and screens. Moreover, if estate agents don’t evolve with this trend, they may face being left behind and could lose instructions to their rivals. In summary, the time is now for estate agents to ride the technological wave…
In need of a website that can deliver an exceptional customer experience? Just click here to find out more about our award-winning estate agent websites.
2. The Rise In Cyber Crimes
However, despite consumers becoming much more tech-savvy in the last year, across the world, cyber criminals are taking note and planning their next cyber-attack. According to Interpol, cyber-attacks are growing at an alarming rate with cyber criminals exploiting the fear and uncertainty created by the Covid 19 pandemic. A whole range of crimes are increasing in activity with online scams, phishing, disruptive malware and malicious domains a few examples from a long and exhaustive list.
What’s more, cyber criminals are specifically targeting companies which have switched to remote working. According to Statista, of the companies that were victims of cyber-attacks in the last year, over a quarter of those that switched to remote working experienced a cyber security breach at least once a week – scary, right?
And unfortunately, estate agents are also becoming victims of these crimes too. Estate Agent Today reports that estate agents are becoming particularly vulnerable to cybercrimes, specifically remote-working and small independents, with much of this is down to a very obvious reason – a weaker IT system.
So, how can you protect your business?Well, firstly, make cyber security a top priority for your business; it’s vital that you acknowledge the threat cybercrimes face to your agency. Secondly, invest in a strong defensive cyber security system to help protect your business. SSL certification offers another line of defense, this authenticates a website’s identity and enables encrypted connection. In short, they’ll make your website safe and secure.
3. Impressing The Next Generation Of Buyers
The next big challenge estate agents must face in 2022 and beyond, is the need to impress the next generation of buyers. According to Estate Agent Today, it’s the younger generation that are driving the big changes across the property industry; in particular, what we spoke about already - the growing demand for an exceptional digital experience.
This of course makes perfect sense because, if you think about, this demographic is the only group to grow up with technology. From smart phones to laptops, gen z has only ever known technology in their lives and have formed an even greater relationship with it as a result of remote working and learning in the last year. That’s why your agency should seriously consider marketing to gen z. Quite simply, they’re the group who are going to be the future buyers, walking into your agency and asking for your expertise, so it’s vital for the future of your business that you understand this.
However, what you should also be aware of, is that this generation aren’t just tech-savvy, they’re money saving-savvy too. According to Forbes, 57% of gen z say they would rather save money then spend it immediately. What’s more, this generation make sure to check their bank balance at least once a day. So, take note estate agents, this generation will be ready to buy a property before you know it.
Want to find out more on how to impress the next generation of buyers? Just click here to read our blog.
4. The Rise Of Social Media For Estate Agents
And finally, social media is a very important issue estate agents must in 2022. According to Statista, the UK was home to 53 million active social media users in January 2021. In other words, 77.9% of the population. But that’s not all. Statista reports the UK is culturally a social media savvy nation sitting above the global average of 45% and placing it in 22nd position worldwide for social media usage.
So, how have estate agents responded to this? Well, with the pandemic restricting the activities of estate agency businesses in the last year, lots of agents resorted to social media instead to advertise their properties and experienced a great deal of success off the back of this. Gaining hundreds and thousands of views from their property tours and virtual viewings, many estate agencies have landed more leads as a result of their new social media strategies. The Negotiator has even hailed social media as an essential part of an estate agency’s marketing strategy, in particular Tiktok for estate agents.
So, why TikTok you ask? Well, only short clips can be uploaded to the platform making them more impactful and providing estate agencies with a greater degree of exposure. Property tour videos have grown immensely in popularity as well as advice and tips and tricks for prospective buyers which has resulted in millions of buyers watching, following, and liking estate agent videos. In fact, one estate agency exceeded over one million views of their property tours on the platform with their gen z marketing style.
But social media doesn’t appear to be a short-term trend either. With many more workers returning to the office environment, prospective buyers have had less time on their hands to go to in person viewings of properties, and as a result, have continued to view properties via social media. Subsequently, many agencies have decided to implement social media into their marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond.
Moreover, linking back to our earlier point of estate agents needing to impress the next generation of buyers, well, social media is one such way to do this. According to Statista, 88% of 16-24 year olds and 89% of 25-34 year old’s had a social media profile in 2020. What’s more, Statista also reports that 24% of 15 to 24 year olds used TikTok in 2020 - the largest age group to use the platform. Therefore, it’s even more important that your business recognises the power of social media for estate agents.
But after you’ve begun your social media strategy, how can you measure and analyse it? Well, with an integrated social media manager application, of course. Webdadi’s Social Media Manager will record and analyze how well your social media channels are performing whether that’s Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. It is extremely effective at examining your overall social media performance such as which posts are a hit, which need improving, as well as pinpointing the exact posts which are generating the most leads for your business. The planning and automated management of your social media strategy you can handle all in one place.
Interested in making social media work for your business? Just click here to book a meeting with us.
In summary, we hope your agency has a better understanding of the current issues facing your estate agency. Knowing what these issues are and how to prepare yourselves for them is vital for futureproofing your business and building your resilience.
Have a question about this blog? Or perhaps your property agency is looking to generate more quality inbound leads? The Webdadi team is on hand to help – just hit the link below to contact us today.