As estate and letting agents, we often become inclined (as is our nature) to focus on minutiae of our agency’s marketing strategies. We love to the design of our agency’s A5 flyers, mull over the type of publication our ads go in, think about the best time of day to post on social media and how to grow our Facebook likes ..
All that is important, but I have learnt over the last few years talking to hundreds of estate and letting agents around the UK, all that thinking can make us overlook and neglect the more important things when it comes to attracting new landlords and vendors to our estate/letting agency
Let us start with the definition of a marketing campaign .. any estate or letting agency marketing campaign can be defined as “a methodical and organised course of assertive actions for some exact and precise purpose”. .. ie make some adverts, get them out there and get the punters to use our agency
Sounds good .. do A, then B, then C, then D, followed by either E or F, finish with G .. and get the new listings and instructions .. kerching!
Let me into a secret .. something you might not want to hear.. and believe me – this is tough to put into words .. because it isn’t the answer you are hoping or looking for.
There isn’t a ‘Step by Step, 25-point plan, 100% guaranteed marketing method to attract landlords and vendors to your estate and letting agency. Sorry
All of us want a 100% guaranteed method to get more landlords and vendors. The old school methods of dropping thousands of leaflets and taking pages in the local rag with messages like …
• Look at our Rightmove graph,
• Look at our Market share pie chart.
• We are an effin’ brilliant estate agent
Yes, they used to work well back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s .. but now every agent is doing it and we all sound and look the same .. and so they don’t work …. we are like ‘cookie-cutter-agents’, telling our stories like homogenous standardised one size fits all robots with our marketing .. we all look and feel the same … and so our marketing efforts aren’t actually connecting to our potential landlords and vendors.
All I am suggesting that instead of seeing your estate and letting marketing as a campaign or a series of processes; that are planned, designed, started, then finish on a set date … instead, you see of your agency’s marketing as an ongoing ‘love-letter’ that makes an emotive and expressive connection, stacked with emotion, towards your potential landlord and vendor.
You might think I am talking bo****ks .. that’s your prerogative .. but you have to agree humans buy on emotion.
We all know the punters always chose the agent they like the most .. ie emotion. All I am suggesting is that the marketing you do should be exactly what you would say face to face with your potential landlord or vendor.
Because would you really sit on sofa on the free val and say … “I want landlords, all landlords, any landlords, any vendors, we are the best agent in xyz town, look at our market share, impressive isn’t it?”. Of course not, but that is what your marketing is saying.. every agent’s marketing
All I am asking is .. what would you really want to say to your potential landlord/vendor if you were sat in front of them? What would you want to say to them to show that emotion, to show you are more empathic than the other estate/letting agents? What are you prepared to say and do that the competition are too scared to?
…and just say and do that in your marketing.
I believe there are a number of ways to do that.
One method is to be a big personality, like Bobby Singh in Birmingham – and he does well. One method to get the connection is to spend millions on TV adverts, like Purplebricks …and then there is a more subtle way, that doesn’t have to cost the earth (in fact it can be done for free)
The method I advocate is a system called ‘landlord farming’ (it should be called landlord and vendor farming as it works just as well for resi sales – especially the middle /top end market resi sales market) .. where you become the local property expert and leading authority of your town’s property market by writing and producing newsletters, blogs and videos about your local property market.
You can either write and produce them yourself or outsource the writing and video work to people like myself (as a ghostwriter and videographer)
Does it work .. hell yes .. at least 20% organic growth a year..
But it requires hardwork, patience and you going out your comfort zone. You are putting yourself on a pedestal, and yes, people will take pot shots at you. But I am here for you, to guide and support you. I have a blog with nearly 600 posts on the technique and a video channel with over 100 training and educational videos .. you don’t need to pay me a penny to do it .. and I will help and support you
You see, the reasons the corporates haven’t jumped on the ‘landlord farming ’technique is it cant be centralised. It cant be done to a manual. Every town and city is different, so each town requires a slightly different approach to the technique. It takes six to nine months for the results to start to come through .. and when they do, they are embryonic – the real growth hits in years two and three .. and most agents (people in fact) haven’t got that sort of patience.
Author: Christopher Watkin
I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business.
Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat.
So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them
Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it.
07950 147 572