Gone are the days when having a shopfront was enough to attract vendors and win their instructions. Home owners, like most others, are more digital savvy than ever before and rely more on what they see online than what they walk past on the street.
Blogs You Should See:
It’s reported that 86% of people use Google as their first point of call when they are looking for a local business. Before calling an estate agent, the majority of people carry out online research using not only Google but also looking at an agent’s property listings, websites and social media.
A solid online presence is imperative to a successful estate agent business today.
However, for most estate agents, the marketing skills needed to achieve this are - frankly - not in their arsenal. And understandably so. Digital marketing is a broad and complex subject and estate agents are busy enough without having to master it!
Enter...The Property Marketing Agency.
What Is A Property Marketing Agency
Typically, a Property Marketing agency is a full service who can help property sector businesses in all marketing related areas from SEO to Social Media. However, in some instances, it’s a better plan to go with a specialist service whose expertise is in one or two specific areas. The things to look for in this blog therefore apply in both instances.
Whichever type of service, a property marketing agency's primary objective is to understand (or work out) where your ideal customer focuses their attention and get your brand, product or service in front of them there.
As Estate Agents, a estate agent marketing agency might be helpful in optimising your property portal listings or estate agent website, improving your position in Google search or engaging your email list & social media.
Areas Where A Property Marketing Agency Might Help Estate Agents:
Examples of areas include:
- Photography & Other Visual Content
- Your property portal listings
- Your web design
- Social Media
- Paid Ads
- Traditional Marketing
Before You Approach An Agency
Once you’ve decided that it’s better to work with an agency rather than hiring in-house (often preferential to estate agents and other smaller businesses), there are two things to establish before approaching an agency about marketing solutions:
- Who do we need to target?
- What do we need to improve?
The clearer you are on the answer to these questions, the more you can get out of your initial conversations with an agency. It’s much harder for you to get great marketing results if you don’t know who or what you want to achieve.
This is where single focus can be beneficial. For example, if you know you’re not appearing on Page 1 of Google you may want to work with an agency to solely focus on improving that because right now, how many followers you have on Instagram isn’t the priority.
Similarly, if you know that property photography is your weak point and you’re losing vendors to your competitors because yours isn’t up to scratch, this might need to be your focus.
Either way, some clarity up front will help you better establish which agency can actually help you with your specific business objectives.
The 5 Things To Look For
Once you’re clear on what you need out of a property marketing campaign, there are 5 things you must get out of the agencies you speak to:
- What’s Their Promise
- How Do They Run Their Own Business
- What Are Their KPIs?
- What’s Their Track Record?
- How’s Their Communication?
1. What’s Their Promise?
Once they know who you want to target and what you want to focus on, what results have they promised?
This may be where you think you want to hear an agency promise you a million new leads but beware! Marketing agencies who promise or guarantee results like these can be risky.
Leads - sales - paying customers are what’s called Bottom of The Funnel (BoFu) results. They are the final outcome. The problem with agencies who promise a tonne of BoFu results out of the gate is that they’re often unfounded as the agency doesn’t yet understand enough about your close rates, conversion rates etc.
At first, it can be better to work with an agency who clearly understands this and therefore focuses on Top of The Funnel (ToFu) results such as increasing your traffic, views etc.
Over time, a good marketing effort will be able to convert more of those ToFu results in BoFu ones!
To learn more about the Marketing Funnel, click here. And don’t forget that you can download our free Marketing Jargon Buster for Estate Agents here to decipher any technical terms!
2. How Do They Run Their Own Business?
Chances are you don’t have the same target customer as the agency you’ll work with so this point isn’t conclusive but it could be a good sign.
If you’re looking for a website revamp, have a browse of theirs to see how effective it is. If you want to improve your visual content, how is theirs?
Your businesses are not the same but it’s always a good idea to carry out a small investigation into how your potential agency is managing their own business.
3. What Are Their KPIs?
KPIs are key performance indicators. Essentially, this is where you ask the agency how they will measure success.
The thing to beware of here - Vanity Metrics.
Vanity Metrics: Results that look good on paper but don’t actually help your business in an actionable or real way.
Examples of vanity metrics could be likes on a social media post. It’s the kind of thing that might look nice but doesn’t result in sales, leads or data you can use to improve your business or marketing.
You want to hear an agency talk about useful metrics such as:
- Website traffic if the goal is SEO based.
- Clicks if the goal is based on better visual content.
4. What’s Their Track Record?
In the same way vendors are even more likely to instruct you if they’ve had a personal recommendation or seen a bunch of positive reviews, these are factors you want to look for in choosing an agency.
Find and read their impartial reviews (Google, TrustPilot), ask them for their own case studies and the results they’ve achieved with previous clients. In some instances, it may even be worth reaching out to their previous clients to get real feedback.
5. How’s Their Communication?
This agency is going to be your marketing partner - someone you have to be able to work with. It’s important to have confidence in their ability to communicate on a clear and timely basis.
You may want to be wary of agencies who respond slowly or who use a lot of jargon when talking to you. You want to work with a team or person who is approachable, enjoyable and easy where communication is concerned.
But What About Price?
Notice we didn’t focus on price as one of the things to look out for. Obviously, you have to work within a budget but property marketing is definitely an area where you get what you pay for. If someone is exceptionally cheap, there’s probably a reason for that. Don’t make price the leading factor if you want great results.