All businesses aspire to grow, and estate agents are no different. Of course, not all of them will have the same growth strategy. Some may be looking to expand into another city while others may have smaller targets, to oversee more properties within a set time frame for example. Either way, growth and expansion objectives are good to have!
To successfully grow, you need to expand your reach and brand awareness outside of your current market. One way to do this is through using your existing tenants and connections as a marketing mascot. Read on as we tell you how it’s done.
1. Driving your online presence.
2. An offline push.
3. Building an integrated campaign.
4. Downloadable help tool.
Driving your online presence
You’ve probably already considered setting up social media accounts and this is a great idea. But, remember that it’s something all of your competitors are using too, so how can you stay ahead of the game?
It’s important to understand your industry when you’re marketing on social media. You’re operating in a market where trust and reliability are two major factors in whether a person will choose to buy or sell a property with you; it’s a big investment at the end of the day. This can play both against you and in your favour when it comes to an online presence, especially when we consider the phenomenon that is user-generated content.
First of all, to assist with growth, you want to encourage online reviews. Before somebody decides to choose you as their agent, they’ll go searching for reviews to know that you can do your job well. This may be on social media, your own website or an external user-generated website. But, it just takes a few clicks of the keyboard from an angry customer where your reputation could be tarnished forever. Don’t let this happen! Of course, we’d advise that you treat customers as fairly as possible, but you can’t please everyone. Instead of ignoring the review and letting it fester into something potentially dangerous, respond to them. Apologise for their experience, explain why you think it’s happened and offer them something to try and rectify the situation. This approach makes you appear more ‘human’ to onlookers, everyone makes mistakes after all.
The same goes for positive reviews. Thank them for their kind comments and let them know that you’d be happy to work with them again in the future, you could even offer them a referral code, so they can benefit from anyone that they encourage to work with you. It’s likely that this sort of public response will encourage others to do the same.
An offline push
Investing in your offline marketing is an important part of your overall campaign as it can drive positive feedback and increase brand awareness.
If you haven’t already, you’ll probably discover that word-of-mouth advertising will be a significant factor in generating new customers offline. Again, it’s all about customers trusting you and choosing to do business with a company that they know will do a good job and has their best interests at heart.
One way to encourage positive word-of-mouth is by giving customers something extra. After you’ve handed over the keys to a rented or bought property, you could surprise them. Leave them a branded welcome brochure that gives them advice on energy suppliers, some interesting facts about the property such as market value over time, and top tips about the area such as schools and local amenities.
You could also leave your tenants business cards of important contacts. This could be your own business card for the after-sales team and local handymen or services. These extra touches are likely to remove some of the moving stress and may be appreciated by many, generating positive word-of-mouth to others.
As an estate agents, you can also use tenants’ properties as a marketing platform when they’re selling or renting their property with your services. This is with a well-designed estate agent board. By using branded estate agent boards in your local area, you can put your company at the forefront of people’s minds when they consider buying or selling in the future.
Building an integrated campaign
Although digital is key for estate agents, relationship building and an impressive offline presence is just as important. Often, it can be part of a wider, integrated campaign that you can benefit from.
Footfall is a major way to gain customers in this market — how many times do you notice people checking out the lettings in the window of an agents around town? Therefore, you must make sure that your office is appealing to passers-by, and your tenants can help with this. You could display positive customer reviews that people have left online in the window so that people can read about the good work you’ve done for others.
Another way to take advantage of an integrated campaign is with branded selfie frames. Target social-savvy students with a selfie frame that has a comment such as “I’ve just rented a house with [name of agency]”. Share it on your own social media and encourage those in the photo to do the same. You could even offer incentives to those who share the image such as entry into a competition to win a discounted month’s rent for example. This sort of online activity can generate a buzz around your brand and connects the customer’s online and offline experiences.
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