Adios PR – I’m becoming an Estate Agent!

My friends and clients who work in estate agency all do very nicely by the look of things. Nice cars, smartly dressed, exotic holidays and often with a mini (or midi in some cases) property portfolio to keep them company during the slower months.
I want some of that.
I’ve had enough of the world of PR. So I’m jacking it in.
I’m dropping it like a bad habit (thanks to Apollo Creed for that line) and becoming an estate agent.
I’m not just joining an established agency on a nice salary, plus company car and healthy sales commission.
No, no, no.
I’m going to start practicing what I preach by starting my very own independent estate agency.
From scratch, a clean sheet of canvas, a blank disc, probably in a closed down clothes shop in a High Street full of other agents.
Live the dream
A bit like my dreams of scoring a 35 yard overhead kick winner in the 93rd minute of the north London derby all of the above is a fantasy. (Well maybe not the bit about most of my clients – but they work hard and are smart so good luck to them).
But if I did set about opening my own agency armed with my PR and marketing knowledge here’s what I’d do.
There’s plenty about estate agency that I know sod all about so I’ll stick to what I know below.
Office Location and Look: I’d get one in a main shopping area if possible and wouldn’t scrimp on the fit out. How we perceive things is often different from the reality. An office which has stylish furniture, feels more coffee house than estate agency is the way forward in my humble opinion.
Business Cards: Make it personal. Have photos of every member of the team on their cards and on the reverse give the recipient of the card a reason to visit our website i.e. for your free discount card to local services visit www.jerrysagency.co.uk

Website: The website would need to feature video staff profiles and testimonials from delighted clients. The tone of the copy would be friendly, think how you’d have a chat with a friend over a coffee or a pint, that kind of feel.

It would also have a weekly updated blog. This is my platform to show my local market how much of an expert I am by helping them with knowledge rather than hyping my agency.

All Marketing Materials: Big on infographics and images. Client testimonials to go on everything that gets designed. Aim to show the vendors / landlords how good we are not just simply telling them we’re great.

Invest in the best designer my budget could stretch to. Your image is often a perception and a good designer can work wonders in this area.

Give Back: One idea that I think is interesting but perhaps a non starter due to the numbers involved is an independent agency which donated 10 per cent of its profits back into the community it served.

From a PR perspective this would be a more nailed on winner than Usain Bolt in the Dads’ Dash at his kid’s sports day (when he has them that is).

You could fund entire local sports clubs, keep the local youth centre from closing down for good etc etc – But I get that it might not add up financially.

Don’t be estate agenty:  A big chunk of the population would prefer being stuck in a room with a sex crazed polar bear than to mix with an estate agent.

That’s an unfair perception in my experience. Horny polar bears are cool.

I’m kidding, I think the vast majority of agents are decent, hard working and honest.

But my point is when you write something for your agency (you could always get me in to do it) think; ‘how can I make sure I sound nothing at all like your average polished patter agent?’

People ‘buy’ people, which is a cliché, but it’s so true.

If they don’t like or trust you that sure ain’t going to want to give you any business. Don’t be scared to show your personality.

Make a promise: Think of a mission statement but less corporate bollocky.

Simply draw up a few things that you promise your clients that they’ll always get from you backed with a guarantee.

It could be ‘we promise to give you feedback on every viewing within 12 / 24 hours.’

And / or ‘we promise that ALL of our sales team will visit your property once we are asked to sell it so that they can familiarise themselves with it.’

These promises can be turned into something to be placed on your office wall, a page on your website, a central pillar of your marketing and something which will guide your team and show them what your agency stands for.

Trust me it’s a really important thing to get thinking about.

Never Again

I had a bash at being an agent back at the start of this year for a feature I was writing for a client’s newsletter.

It was knackering, a really long day (It was a day in the life type piece), some over demanding members of the public and I was crap at keeping my tie straight.

I’m better at PR and marketing stuff.

But I love working with estate agents, and I know a lot of agents who love what they do and all you need is love …and instructions.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: I’ve now added landlord canvassing letters to my postcode exclusive bundle of off the shelf estate agent content. As my wise old Irish Uncle Tighe used to say about preparation ‘tis better to be looking at it than for it.’

If you’re interested in finding out more send me an email saying ‘ah go on then, I’ll have a gander’.

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