Marketing is an important element of any business, but doubly so for estate agents. Not only do you have to market your brand and services, you also have to market properties. The best estate agents are the ones that juggle both these marketing strategies and make it as easy as possible for customers to use their real estate service.
To help give you some structure to get your new estate agent marketing plan sorted, here are our top five lessons to help your property for sale business succeed.
1. Always Start with a Plan
Before you even start thinking about your advertisements and promotions, you’ll need a marketing plan. Here’s a brief overview of what kinds of things should go in your plan
Start by carrying out research into your target market. Ask:
- Who are your target customers?
- Where are they currently finding an estate agent service/who are your competitors?
- What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
- Do they offer something you could add to your service?
You can also complete a SWOT analysis for a more in-depth approach to market research. This allows you to identify yours and your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses and also any opportunities or threats your business might face in the future – so you can plan ahead for lots of different scenarios.
Objectives and Goals
What do you want your marketing to achieve? And how are you going to do this? For your estate agency, think about how you’re going to boost brand awareness in your local area, or whether or not you’re going to take your business online. Do you have a target of how quickly you want to sell property once it comes on the market?
The key thing to remember to make sure your goals are achievable. For more advice on setting realistic goals, check out our guide to SMART goals here.
Set a Budget
Every marketing plan needs a budget. Depending on how new your estate agent business is will depend on how much budget you should spend. Entrepreneur recommend between 12-20% of your gross revenue or projected revenue for new businesses and 6-12% for established businesses.
Measure the Success
Your marketing plan isn’t set in stone – if something isn’t working as well as you expected or you’re not getting any kind of return on investment, you can react to this and make changes all the time.
2. Make the Perfect First Impression
How your marketing looks is especially important for property selling businesses. However, there are a few easy things you can do to show customers that you’re a professional right from the get go.
Use Attractive, Professional Photography
Selling a house is largely dependent on how good it looks. If you’re sending out property brochures with unprofessional, dark images that aren’t take from the best angle possible, it will be difficult to sell those properties.
Make sure to take professional pictures for all property images, and marketing imagery in general.
Write Effective Sales Copy
The next most important thing for selling your business and selling properties is how good you can make them sound. For example, describing the location of the house as having ‘excellent transport links’ sounds a lot better than ‘situated on a busy main road’.
Estate agent leaflets and flyers that are advertising your services will need this same level of attention. Here’s a quick guide to writing effective sales copy for your future direct mail campaigns.
Create a Presentation Folder
Presentation folders are a necessary tool for estate agents. As well as making fantastic welcome packs, they’re great for sending out as marketing tool. Just pop in your property brochures, flyers and letters and you’re good to go – there’s even room for your business card so customers can always stay in contact.
They’re even useful for personal use. Keep your valuations and appraisals in one handy place.
3. Build an Online Presence with Internet Marketing
Many people look for properties for sale online. By not having an online website, or not utilising this in the best possible way, you could be putting off a huge number of potential customers.
Real Estate Website
Having a website to host all of your property listings gives customers the ability to browse houses for sale any time and place they want. And with ever-evolving technology, online estate agents are getting more and more advanced.
For example, you can now take virtual tours around houses, which gives customers a great taste for the property before they’ve even gone to view it in person.
Online listings also help customers narrow down their search results to find their dream home.
Go Mobile Friendly
80% of homebuyers search for houses online and the percentage of people using their mobiles to browse the internet is forever overtaking those who use desktop computers. So, making sure your site is mobile friendly is imperative.
From floor plans to videos, every feature that’s available on your desktop version of your website should also work just as efficiently on mobile.
Set up accounts for your real estate business on all the big social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Pinterest are all fantastic places to find your customers online.
Share your pictures, promote open houses and share good press – all of this helps to boost brand awareness and tempt customers into a quick property browse.
Emails are one of the most effective marketing methods – 76% (Constant Contact) of UK businesses describe is as ‘important’ or ‘very important’. Setting up an email list means you can send alerts out when new houses come on the market and make sure all your customers are in the loop.
4. Polish Your Customer Service Skills
Estate agents are powerful sales people, but their level of customer service skill must also be sharp.
The ability to be good with people and have excellent communication skills is necessary to providing a high level of service as you’re the one guiding this home buyer through an important milestone in their life. Details must be explained and discussed in a clear way, and you should always keep your customers up to date on any changes.
Similarly, negotiation skills must be well polished. You’ll be between the seller and buying, working towards an outcome that both parties benefit from and are happy with.
5. Measure Your Marketing Success
Remember those goals you set? To find out how successful your marketing efforts have been, you’ll need to look back at them.
Did you achieve your goal in the time you set? Did you hit targets? Or will you need to change a few things round to get the maximum effect?
Here are a few different things you could measure to test how successful you’ve been:
- Return on investment (ROI) – the ratio between profit and cost of the investment, e.g. did your flyers make back the money you spent on them, and if so, how much more?
- Cost per win – how much each sale cost
- Cost per lead – how much it cost on average to generate leads
- Conversion rate – the number of visitors who have converted into leads/customers
Marketing for an estate agent is just like marketing for any other businesses – but doubly impactful. Juggling priorities between service marketing and property marketing is no easy feat. But, with the right plan and goals to work against, you’ll find success.
You can find all the print marketing materials an estate agent needs here. Feel free to get in touch with our team and we’ll be happy to answer any of your print-related questions!