Vendors are the lifeline of an estate agency business. It’s no wonder then that so many estate agents cite their biggest challenge as securing more vendors. In this increasingly competitive property market, it is more vital than ever to up-skill on modern marketing techniques that enable you to attract more vendors so you can keep your lifeline flowing.
The first thing to say is that if there is a specific technique you are already using that is working, do more of it! One of the biggest property marketing fails of many businesses is simply not throwing more money and resources at strategies that have already shown success. Outside of that, we’ll be looking at these tactics in this blog:
All of these topics could be a book in themselves, but the information in this blog should be able to get you started on some of the effective techniques being used in estate agent marketing today.
Whatever marketing tactics you use, it’s important to think customer first. People want instant gratification – a reason to act now. Where possible, provide people with no brainer, can’t say no offers and reasons to take you up on whatever you’re offering. Giving someone an instant win significantly increases the chance of them taking action.
83% of people trust recommendations from their friends and family over any other form of marketing and advertising. For this reason, the best possible way for you to attract new vendors is to:
The formula for getting more referrals is simple.
Exceed their expectations and do an amazing job for them.
One of the primary reasons people make referrals is because it actually makes them feel good to help their friends. But you have to bear in mind, they don’t want to do their friends a disservice (or discredit themselves) by recommending poor services. By exceeding expectations and doing an amazing job for someone, you make it easy and even desirable for a person to refer you. Where vendors are concerned, the best way to please them is to sell their property at the price and in a time frame that they’re happy with. Beyond this, it’s about being likeable as an individual and as a business.
Tips for WOWing Your Customers
The secondary reason why people make referrals is because they are incentivised to do so. You probably know this for yourself, if someone pays you or gives you something for free to do something, you’re more likely to do it! It is worth considering how you can incentivise past clients to refer someone they know. Just don’t forget that if the client did not have a good experience, it is very unlikely they will make a referral, no matter how good the incentive.
Steps for Incentivising Referrals
In terms of which past vendors to ask, the ones who have interacted with most recently will be your “warmest” potential referrers. You could even create a warmer list by asking vendors if they’d be happy to refer you during your last meeting with them. If they say yes, they could be added to a separate list for “extra warm potential referrers”.
As with your vendors, the best way to increase the chances of someone coming back to you is to exceed their expectations and do an amazing job for them.
The main difference between dealing with past buyers and vendors is that you have no idea when the buyer will be ready to sell. For this reason, you want to periodically be reminding past buyers of your existence so that, when the time does come, you are first in their mind.
Example Strategy for Staying First in Mind
Outside of asking people you know, where do you think most people go when they want to find a service provider? The Internet.
In fact, 86% of people looking for a local business use a search engine to find one. With Google being the most popular search engine in the UK, it is vital that when vendors carry out a search for an estate agent, your name pops up.
The process of getting your business to appear high up in search results is called Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). What’s really exciting about Google search is that 50% of people who search for a business “near me” end up actually visiting that business. This makes Google one of the most powerful tools in your property marketing arsenal. The goal for driving vendors to your business via Google is for your website to appear as high up on page one of the search results as possible. The screenshot below shows example search results for the words “estate agent in Dublin”.
SEO is not for the faint hearted – it’s a science and something well worth investing in. There are some things you can do yourself to improve your SEO but it is certainly worth considering hiring an expert to help you.
In Dublin, for example, between 10-100 people are typing these words into Google every month. Granted, some of these may be people looking to buy, rent or even landlords. But some of them will be vendors. The numbers may sound small but if 50% of the people who search find you and visit/contact you, that would be an additional 5-50 potential clients through the door each month. The great thing about SEO – and being found in Google is that a lot of people who search for words like these are actively looking to take action. They are not casual browsers.
Your Google Business Profile
Another really important part of your SEO for estate agents strategy should be your Google Business profile.
You’ve probably seen this box before. It’s called Google Places. It’s a section that shows up high in the Google search page and gives the person looking a snapshot of a local offering plus that business’s Google reviews, a direct link to their website and, on mobile, the ability to call the business in one click. To appear in this box, you need to ensure your business has a Google Business Listing.
According to Google, listings with photos attract 35% more clicks from potential customers. Add as many appealing photos as possible. Use professional photography to ensure that the photos attract the eye (and the clicks) of as many people as possible.
Photos you can include in your Google Business Listing:
Today’s market is more competitive than ever. Simply being present on the high street is no longer enough to win vendor instructions.
It’s estimated that 75% of vendors carry out online research before instructing. They investigate your website, your portal listings, reviews and even your social media. Vendors do this research looking for the agent that stands out – looking for the agent who appears best placed to sell their property at the right price and in a short time.
Video is a powerful tool that not only stands out to buyers but is something that most of your competitors are probably not using. It’s reported that only 30% of agents use video in their marketing. Video could therefore give you the edge.
It’s no surprise than that 73% of vendors are more likely to list with an agent who uses video!
Outside of their appeal to vendors, video:
Vendors want to instruct an estate agent who they believe will be able to sell their property. It therefore makes sense to use video in a way that showcases important factors for potential buyers.
Point of Interest videos highlight important, attractive elements of the area a property is situated in. A Point of Interest video would show a property’s proximity to a train station or green space (features 28% and 17% (respectively) of buyers would pay more for).
Point of Interest videos can separate you from your competition and give vendors the strong impression they need to choose your agency over another.
99% of people check their email every day. For many estate agents, their database of emails is probably one of their most wasted assets. Email addresses offer FREE direct access to potential customers that they will probably see.
Most of the things we’ve already mentioned in this blog – referral requests, valuable information, free valuations etc – could and should be offered to potential vendors via email.
The most important thing to remember when email marketing anyone, including potential vendors, is the idea of the compelling offer.
Someone is much more likely to open an email where there’s a good reason to do so.
Tips for Your Email Marketing
In today’s world, the estate agent can no longer expect vendors to land in your lap because they were walking past the office.
Estate Agents need to use a variety of effective marketing tactics that encourage people to refer their services and that ensure they are visible to potential vendors in the places they are already looking.