Do Estate Agents really sell houses?

Written by Christopher Watkin on - Marketing -
The transactional estate agents do …. but the successful ones do something different. Those Estate Agents instead sell the idea of somebody moving to the next chapter of their life in their new home.
They sell the ‘stories’ about their new home, and what it will do for new owners life with summer nights on the patio, the local Bistro down the road that you can pop down to on a Saturday morning with the family, pick up the fresh bread from the Deli, the Country pub, the freedom of having ones front door.
You are going to say .. “that’s all Bo**ocks Chris” .. of course it is .. I agree with you .. yet this Bo**ocks works (and no, I’m talking about having flowery brochure descriptions here either)
There are substantially more people interested in the idea of moving home, the decoration, the location, the lifestyle etc etc than there are people who own a house and want to sell it.
Yet, if you are an Estate Agent you might say well yes Watkin, sure, sounds good, but most of the people who are interested in the idea of moving home, the decoration, the location, the deli, the local pub, the lifestyle etc etc are a set of people that cant/don’t want to buy my estate agency services. Most of them will never buy a house in the next 10 years, let alone 5 years or the next 12 months and my commission structure is tied to exchange income now … I need something that will get me listings now.
But you have been in estate agency for years .. you know the old techniques to get stock don’t work as well as they used to unless you are prepared to knock on doors (and let’s be frank – that isn’t pretty and you are going after shopsoiled goods – as there is a reason the property hasn’t sold with the first agent)
So I have advocated a technique called ‘content marketing’ for the last 5 years .. creating a story that everyone in your town can relate to, empathise with, relate to, enjoy and be interested in…. the best bit – it works so well – but the worst bit is .. its takes a long time to kick in
That’s the issue with content marketing – it does take a long time to see the results and making the contention of writing a piece of content (or filming a video as that is content) to a listing is difficult. Massively difficult.
Yet the need to directly link content you produce to listing misses the point. If you’re getting into content marketing to make some quick wins (listings etc), you’re doing it incorrectly and for the wrong reasons.
The point of a content marketing strategy is not to get listings by selling your agency’s services. Instead, the point of a content marketing strategy is to get the attention by selling an idea adjacent to your agency’s services.
You see, by getting attention with ideas, think about it, you possess that idea. By possessing the idea, you own the audience, and so by owning the audience you can tell the audience what to pay attention to, and therefore set the boundaries of your town’s housing market.
Its sounds fanciful doesn’t it .. well you scoff my friend. Because agents are doing this now… and winning big
One agent in Eastern England has been producing a show on Facebook Live for the last 4 or 5 months .. it lasts between 20 minutes and 30 minutes long and the population of the town is 17,500 … without any boosting or paid for Facebook ads … within 24 hours of the show going live, he gets between 3,500 and 4,500 views (without spending a penny on Boosting it) with an average view time of 18 minutes .. yes eighteen minutes. The estate agent doesn’t talk about themselves or their services .. they talk about things the town is interested in
… and yes, that is a long-term game.
However, that is the power of an awesome content marketing strategy, and consequently the power of good content.
To succeed, you just need to stop talking about yourself, your agency and your agency’s services…and start talking about what your audience already cares about. .. them and their hopes, dreams, passions and interests.
PS you are going to ask how that agency is doing in Eastern England .. smashing it

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.

Christopher Watkin
07950 147 572
[email protected]

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