Social Media Executive surveyed 200 Estate and Letting Agents about their lead generation strategies and methods for new business. The survey focused on all clients types: Vendors, Buyers, Landlords, and Renters, using our Survey Platform.
Their question; ‘What methods do you use to get new business?’
The results of the survey are shown as a main percentage of marketing methods used by Letting and Estate Agents.
Local Sponsorship 9% (Of 200 Surveyed)
Local Sponsorship gives a great opportunity to promote your brand in your community, but is not the easiest way to generate leads and but very good branding campaigns.
One the common strategy used is to a sponsor a local boy or girls football team. In the case of football team sponsorship – any parent with children in the football team will see the active promotion; sports kit, ground sponsorship, banner ads, free coffees with branded cups, branded emails, and so on! Essentially it is low cost, but an activity that can be time intensive.
Talk to your team and brainstorm for local sponsorship; Tea Parties, a Charity Run, Helping the Elderly, and so on. We will focus on a case study with Red Houses and Lettings in June 2015 – they have run some fantastic, low cost, sponsorships.
The benefits are not only promoting your brand, but also helping the community.
I have seen some great ways of using the marketing assets of local sponsorship in blogs, articles, and news worthy stories. Even getting sponsored for a charity event can engage your clients; London Marathon, Iron-Man Challenge, a Sky Dive, the list is endless.
Google Ad-words 21 %
Pay per click, or PPC, is a very direct channel and can drive results quickly. The vendor, buyer, tenant, or landlord can be directed to a ‘Landing Page. The landing page is crafted around the key word used, this is a must as Google optimises and delivers your advert on Ad Rank (This is calculated using your bid amount and Quality Score).
Then ensure the landing page has a strong ‘Call To Action’ and that there is a web-form that integrates into your CRM system, so as to never to lose a lead! Obviously it goes without saying – YOUR Telephone Number!
Finally…and I know you don’t do this – ensure your ads go to landing pages dedicated to the keywords used. The number of times leads are driven to a home page would amaze you! This only leads to a web user to look for what they originally typed into Google and when there is no ‘call to action’ on the home page, they leave. (Tools that you should refer to regularly is Google Analytics – particularly the Goal Conversion Funnels and Bounce Rate).
The use of Long Tail Keywords, Bid Management Tools, Keyword Research Tools, Broad Search, Exact Phrase, and Phrase Searches, Advert Creation need to be understood – as you could end up paying a lot of money per lead.
The use of a Facebook Fan Page with retargeting adverts can be highly effective, particularly within Facebook Groups. Learn more here.
Get an account with Keywordspy.com, and Ubersuggest.org – some other alternatives click here..
Newsletters or magazines are a must for a business. It needs great effort, regular, and engaging content. Your newsletter must have a compelling reason for the reader to click ‘More information’ or a link to further content. A reciprocal exchange takes place in the form of their email and your offering; be it your service, information, or product. Ensure you have a mechanism to capture the information. This can easily be set up at Mailchimp, Aweber, or Constant Contact campaign with the auto-responder.
The preferred option (for me) is as magazine. Print should be part of your arsenal – as most people that want to catch up with industry news will view it more credible – ideally in physical glossy print! However, Magazine PDF’s can be a great opportunity to educate, and many people do print them off to read – depending how valuable the information is and how they will incorporate it in their own worlds.
My preference would be for physical publications with the right local editorial content, however if budget is an issue, then digital magazines can work equally well.
I know of many Agents that start newsletters and fail to maintain consistency. The enthusiasm wanes and stops after two or three newsletters. So ensure you have a champion in the office that will do it and offer an incentive that gets newsletters out – maybe with a commission for every lead generated. There is a reason why companies do them.
Prior to the internet, local and some national newspapers were the # No1 medium for marketing. These were crammed with agent adverts for property sales and lettings – many of the newspapers have suffered from the transition of advertisers from paper to online.
There may be regional differences but there are numerous tactics that can be deployed; just ensure you are educating the local residents about relevant property topics that will position you as the ‘go to agent’ in your area. But it is a Dinosaur, don’t waste your money, unless your target market reads those papers.
Direct Mail 42%
42% of agents generate leads from direct mail, but it does come with a price:
- Crafting of Marketing – Property Brochures, Letting Packs, etc
- Direct Mail Service cost (If using third parties , including postage)
- Postage (if doing it yourself – and of course the fulfilment; Someone has to stuff the envelopes and send them)
Done correctly, you can be more creative and engaging in the delivery of marketing messages using this form of marketing – Door Leaflets (Similar to those used when staying at a hotel), Car Magnets and Fridge Magnets. (One I use is the Keyclub.co.uk Fobs as part of a direct marketing campaign).
Winworth Barnet’a door drop campaign delivered a 151% year on increase in business. Please click here for more information.
The traditional ‘word of mouth’ has always created the best customers. The potential client *has will face less resistance to your service offerings, as you have ‘Customer Champions’* that will recommend your service. Again, time and time, I see agencies not asking their customers or even new potential customers who else is seeking your services astounds me!
A simple question asked by agents and their staff is:
‘Do you know anyone else that could use our service?’
They can only say no! But if they say ‘Yes’ – Don’t forget to follow it up with ‘Who else do you know?’ And it won’t cost a penny!
Getting more recommendations is the very best client acquisition strategy as family and friends will give testimony to how good your service and professional levels are. This engenders trust and gives you the confidence to push your service levels higher.
Always ask for a testimonial to add to your website and promotional materials.
What you need to consider is how you can orchestrate referrals in a systematised fashion.
One great way is to conduct client surveys during the delivery of your service, at the end or, even at the beginning.
You really don’t want be dealing with the consequences of a complaint. Below is a failure by an Agent to identify a problem early.
I make my point!
Please see an example; click or scan the QR Code. Surveys should be a reality check on your service!.
House Database 50%
Generating quality leads from an internal database must be a fundamental marketing activity to be done regularly.
These should be the ‘heart beat’ of your business. Most businesses we surveyed didn’t use email as regularly as they should. They usually sit on a list in a CRM system or those not using Letting or Estate Agent software on an email list. Many surveyed didn’t understand nor implement content strategies that get engagement and drive new sales leads.
Database marketing can be done via phone calls, emails and text to maximise opportunities very cost effectively. However, I find many companies do not automate this process and lose out on opportune moments when traffic can be driven to sales conversions.
Social Media 68%
Agents are beginning to embrace social media as a way to engage with new and existing clients with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, being seen as the popular platforms.
These are strategies that do work when implemented properly – however, I have seen many digital ‘social grave yards’ that do more damage than good! A post from a year ago, a twitter question unanswered…
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Rightmove and Zoopla are the markets property duopoly, controlling the market buyers, sellers, landlords, Tenants, Letting and Estate Agents. These two sites get a staggering 100 million hits a month. They have such market control that they can dictate prices charged to Letting and Estate Agents. The portal price increases is driving many to focus on new business strategies – as listed in this article.
It needn’t be said or emphasised enough – New technologies and sales strategies will lead competitors to gain ground. The ever encroachment of displacing agents by websites such as Tepilo and Upad, that teach users to manage the sales and lettings of property. This DIY market will only grow – which will inevitably lead to fierce competition and revenue losses.
Hence, the importance of truly serving a customer is vital to your business success. The more touch points you have in your business to interact with your customer, the greater the loyalty, and the subsequent maintenance and success of your business.