You’re struggling to make your estate agent business stand out from your competitors, but enhancing the performance is much easier than you may think. It’s all about understanding your market, building a successful online presence and owning the offline market.
1. Bettering your brand
2. Website design
3. Search Engine Optimisation
4. Driving brand awareness
1. Building your brand
To better your brand you need to have a good understanding of your audience. When it comes to looking to buy or rent a house, you can expect a clientele of all ages to be interested in your services.
Buying or renting a house is a big investment for many, that’s why your brand should be trustworthy and reliable. Create a logo and strapline for your business that emphasises this by not being too playful or informal but highlights your unique selling points. Of course, there may be some exceptions. If you’re specialising in student lettings for example, you might want to adapt your tone of voice to appeal to a younger clientele. Remember that your logo is something that everyone will be looking at when you start placing your estate agent boards.
Before you start content for your website, social media or any printed marketing materials, you should create some brand guidelines. This could be a document that outlines your tone of voice, and things to avoid when talking on behalf of your brand. You could also mention colours. Often, customers can recognise a brand name or logo just by the colours that are used and it’s important to have shades that people can associate with your brand too. Colours can evoke certain feelings too and this is something that you can play on. As an estate agent, you might choose to use blue as this evokes trust. Also, as part of this document, create some audience personas, these can be used again to tailor content and marketing strategies for your brand.
This ensures that existing and new staff who work on your brand are aware of how to market the company. The key to building a brand that someone can recognise and connect with is consistency.
2. Website design
Once you’ve decided on a website host and domain name, you can start designing your website. This might be something that you outsource to an agency or do in-house if you have the resources and expertise.
When building your website, you should keep user experience in mind. This is an umbrella term for the graphics, layout, text and any interactive elements on your site.
One important consideration is whether your website is mobile and tablet friendly. In the UK, 1,100,490 people searched for terms related to “homes for sale near me”, 742,432 of which searched from their mobile. If your website doesn’t load as well on a mobile as it does on a desktop, this can cause frustration with customers and potentially affect leads and revenue.
Carefully consider the navigation on your site too, this assists with the user journey and can direct customers to the right page. As we discussed earlier, estate agents have a wide clientele. A good recommendation could be to have a section of the site for each of these segments, this may include students, first time buyers and those looking to invest in property.
Conversion Rate Optimisation, or CRO is something else you must consider when designing your website. It may involve changes in design, content or site structure. You can take advice from a CRO specialist before you build your website, or you may bring one in to analyse insights from your website if you’re looking to improve your conversion rate. CRO works by carrying out different A/B tests on your website and seeing which generates the best conversion rate. On an estate agent’s site, this may be displaying 360° videos instead of still images to generate more interest in a property.
Consult your brand guidelines again for the tone of voice that you use for on-site content. You should also aim to upload content that’s optimised for SEO which will be discussed in the next section.
3. Search engine optimisation
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) involves the process of creating or improving a website organically (without paying to be there) so that it ranks higher on a search engine. With online searches more prevalent than ever, this is important for a lot of business and it should be a major consideration.
By carrying out keyword research, with Google Ad’s keyword planner for example, you can discover what people are searching for in your target area. You can then create pages and content to match these queries and increase your chances of appearing on page one of a search engine. With estate agents, a lot of your business will come from local searches — “houses for sale in Liverpool” for instance. Therefore, you need to let the search engine know that this is what your website is displaying. Having detailed content on there about the area that you are based, including landmarks and street names, can help with this.
Your SEO value can also be improved by generating valuable back links to your website. You may need to consult a digital marketing agency to help with this, but you can start by making sure that any high authoritative websites who mention you on their website (e.g. a local newspaper) link back to your site. Not only does this increase the chances of people visiting your page, but it also sends signals to the search engine that you’re a trusted site.
4. Driving brand awareness
There are many ways to drive more traffic to your website, and it’s not just via digital channels. Offline marketing and promotion play a huge part in how many people get to hear about your business, visit your office and check out your website.
If you’re a local estate agent with properties in just one area, one effective way to reach your target market is with an extensive offline campaign.
Attend local exhibition and trade shows related to your market where competitors and other industry players will be too. It’s likely that you could gain free publicity off the back of this and ensure that your brand talked about in the area. Make your station stand out from the rest withexhibition stands andlife size cutouts. People will feel obliged to interact with you and your business.
Direct mail campaigns remain effective and can stand out from the abundance of digital adverts that consumers see today. Look intoleaflet printing and create a flyerthat explains who you are, where you are based and what your unique selling points are and distribute these around your area. Again, refer to your brand guidelines and personas to see how to best target your demographics.
Leaflets are one way to connect your offline campaign with online conversions. Add a trackable QR code to your leaflets and readers can scan this with their smartphone to load your website or a certain site destination of your choice. Use this technique to gather insights about your visitors such as online behaviours and conversion rates, something that you can use to improve your overall marketing strategy.
Business cards are another way to get your brand seen, give these out to local businesses or at any events that you attend to spread the word. Make your business card stand out from the rest with special finishing options such as rounded corners and luxury printing.
As well as SEO, there are other ways to maximise your online presence.
One way is through paid marketing, or PPC, which allows businesses to pay and bid against competitors to occupy a space at the top of the search engine. Paid marketing also allows you to pay for social media ads, allowing you to target a specific demographic and encouraging them to see page.
You can also organically improve your social media by creating shareable content, perhaps about the local area, to encourage users to engage with you. This could be one way to push your premium listings and entice people to comment and share your post. As well as this, you could use a selfie frame designer to encourage more user generated content — meaning that your brand is constantly being talked about!
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