A successful marketing strategy is arguably an estate agent's most potent weapon. Getting the word out about your agency is key to driving more leads and increasing brand awareness. For many agents, however, finding the marketing sweet spot is time-consuming and, if we're being honest, a little confusing due to all the different strategies available.
Many estate agents, especially independents, don't have the budget for a marketing team. Whether you're a big agency with multiple branches or a smaller setup, marketing is key, and it needn't be a burden. Here, we've got you covered with marketing tips for estate agents, including some advice from pros themselves.
Don’t overcomplicate it
First things first, don't overthink marketing. Yes, there is a vast array of options, but you don't need to do all the marketing. Instead, start slowly and choose one or two avenues that you think might interest your target audience (more on them shortly).
If you think they enjoy reading, it might be worth writing some blog posts. If they’re into consuming content through video, perhaps you can shoot some YouTube shorts. Or if they’re on social media, create posts to engage with them.
Ultimately, marketing only works if the audience finds it interesting, and they probably aren’t consuming every type of content available anyway. Plus, there will always be an element of trial and error in the beginning. Try different methods, see what works and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get it right on the first go. Most companies don’t.
How do you sound?
Tone of voice plays a huge part in successful marketing. When your brand talks, whether it’s in articles, responding to customers on social media or picking up the phone at the agency, how does it sound?
You want your voice to echo the same tone, no matter the communication type. That’s not to say you can’t adapt it for different outputs – sales copy on your website might sound different from a social media post, but there should always be synergy.
A tone of voice sets the, you guessed it, tone. It's the heart and soul of your agency and, along with your brand colours, is how people will come to recognise you. A consistent tone of voice brings familiarity and a sense of order. These aspects will sit well with an audience about to trust you with the largest financial transaction of their lives.
Think about your target audience
There’s no point trying different marketing activities just for the sake of it. You need to understand what your audience desires. Who are they? What do they do for fun? What interests them? These are all questions you probably have the answers to already, especially as estate agent marketing is hyper-localised to your local property market.
You don't need to appeal to a large demographic, and that actually makes things a little easier. It’s about finding ways to connect with the right people, whether that’s a young family thinking of selling their property and upsizing or a landlord who’s just completed a buy-to-let purchase and wants to get it on the rental market.
Build a profile of your ideal customer base, including what motivates them to sell, let, rent and buy. Those last two are important – while vendors and landlords bring in the business, you still need a list of buyers and renters to match with those instructing you with their properties. Don’t rely only on the property portals to attract people looking to buy or rent a property.
Put a strategy together
Marketing strategies are worth their weight in gold. Without them, you're essentially throwing mud at a wall and hoping something will stick without any clear insight over what works and what doesn't. Putting a strategy together allows you to track your efforts and make changes as you gain more insights into your actions.
There's no need to overdo it with a strategy: include information about your target audience, the type of marketing activities you'll use to attract new business and when and how you'll do it. That should be enough to get started.
With your strategy, you can keep track of the marketing your estate agency produces and have more oversight. There is plenty of creativity involved with successful marketing, but it’s also an analytics game that requires you to measure and track everything. A strategy is the foundation of your marketing efforts.
Focus on organic and paid growth
Nowadays, a big part of marketing involves appearing on search engines for the right keywords. People search for everything online, including the estate agents they should use. There are two primary ways to appear in search engines: organic growth and paid search.
Ideally, you'll create loads of content and rank on the first page of Google. Everyone sees your agency's blogs and videos, clicks on the website and gives you a call about their property. In reality, you'll unlikely rank for organic content right away. That's not to say you shouldn't create content on the keywords you'd like to rank for, but don't expect overnight success. In fact, you should give it about six months to start ranking, and that's assuming you're hitting the right keywords.
Meanwhile, use paid search to give your agency a boost. Using tools like Google Adwords and SEMrush lets you compete for keywords that you might not necessarily rank for with organic content immediately. If for example, you're an estate agent in Colchester, you might set a budget to appear at the top of Google's search engine for 'estate agents in Colchester'. This can draw more people to your agency who are looking online, which, let's face it, everybody does now.
Don’t discard traditional methods
Most of today's marketing takes place online, but that's not to say you should discard more traditional methods. Again, estate agents are local and work in specific patches of neighbourhoods. If the budget is available, create canvassing cards, print materials you can use during valuations, and look to feature in public press articles.
Most importantly, be bold if you want to differentiate yourself from other agents doing similar marketing. Provide insight to people and show that you’re a thought leader on the property market in the neighbourhood.
Instead of using a canvassing card with only your contact details, tell a story about a vendor whose home you helped sell or use an actual case study. Give people statistics regarding property prices and sales volumes in the area. Use traditional marketing methods by all means, but do them with a twist, so people take note.
Equip yourself with the right tools
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools you can rely on to help boost your marketing efforts. Whether it's a social media manager or an offer button you can use on your website for people to make direct offers so you get your time back, technology-led tools have the power to improve your service and increase the time you have to focus on marketing.
Familiarise yourself with blog platforms like WordPress and HubSpot, use workflow management systems like Monday.com, Trello and Asana to keep track of projects and create your content in Google Suite, so everything aligns.
Having the right tools at your disposal increases your overall marketing output, which, in turn, will likely increase the results you see. It's always good to have some help when marketing, and the right tools can significantly impact your output for the better.
Pay attention to the data
While it’s harder than ever to keep an audiences’ attention, it has never been easier to measure your return on investment and use insightful data to make smarter decisions. Everything is a data point in marketing, from the number of people reading your blog to the engagement on social media.
The good news is that you can use all of these metrics to make choices about how to move forward with your marketing strategy. Does your blog post on how to sell during the autumn get more traction than the one about house price history? If so, create more seasonal content.
Do people watch more videos or read your articles? How many click-throughs do you get on emails? Even if you’re not getting the results you want, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily stop. Instead, it gives you cold, hard answers about how people interact with your content, meaning you can adapt based on real-time insights and not wild guesses.
What the pros say
Don’t just take our word for it. Here’s what some estate agents say about marketing at their agency and what works best for them.
Chris Watkin, Real Estate Influencer
“Estate Agents love talking about themselves (look at our listings, what we have sold and market share). Yet just like the person who talks about themselves at the party, no one cares. The art of estate agency marketing is to talk about what your potential customer is interested in first. Stuff like what is happening to house prices in your town"
Elena Feliu, Property Manager at Northview in Finchley, London
“Local relationships are really important, and we don’t just think of marketing as finding a new instruction as soon as possible. Sometimes it involves building connections with people who perhaps aren’t quite ready to sell, but when they do, they think of us because we’ve maintained a relationship with relevant content through email communications and direct mail”
Eve Kyriakides, Head of Property Management at Tatlers in Muswell Hill, London
“There are many actions you can take to get in front of vendors and landlords, as well as renters and buyers. I find that email marketing is a helpful way for keeping in people’s thoughts. Whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, sending out a regular newsletter allows us to share news, direct them to content we’ve written and stay relevant.”
“Property ownership is the biggest investment the vast majority of humans will ever make. Truth and transparency should be at the epicentre of marketing for every agent from day one of the process. Accurate data, deep local knowledge and buyer profiling will be key factors in selling higher and faster every property. “
Going to market with some marketing
Marketing isn't easy; it takes a consistent approach and plenty of patience. But it does pay off if you keep doing it and always learn about how it performs. Stick with it, and you'll begin seeing results. With these tips, you can create a successful strategy that increases brand awareness and brings in more business.