Social media doesn’t work for Estate / Letting Agents

A Tweet will not get you a free valuation, a Facebook like will not get you the listing, a Linkedin post will not get you a landlord to give you his or her portfolio. Social media will not DIRECTLY get you one property- it never has done and never will – if you think it will get you more landlords to use your lettings agency or more vendors to ring you up for a free valuation .. sorry Mr(s) Agent – you are going to be sorely disappointed. Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin (or any social media) won’t even qualify your dream landlord or vendor (When I say qualify I mean it wont get you landlords/vendors motivation, the reason for selling, the address of the property that needs to be sold/lets, timescales or contact details etc).

 Social media will not directly get you one property to sell or let.

The truth is this – social media is really just a type of marketing.

The work you do using the social media is all about IDENTIFYING your potential landlords and potential vendors. It’s about LISTENING to your potential landlords and potential vendors. It’s about SHARING things that you think potential landlords and potential vendors believe are important…. TO THEM.

 So why won’t social media get you the properties?

We all know that the free valuation / market appraisal is the place to really to get to know the potential landlord or potential vendor, ask the right questions, discovering what is really important to the vendor/landlord, finding out what makes them tick and with an ends …to get the property and close the deal. You can’t use social media to do that discovery work. The thing that makes discovery work so powerful is that you are sitting eye to eye with your landlord/vendor, allowing them to see what you are about and letting them see you are really listening to them. It’s all about letting them get a ‘feel’ about you as an agent, allowing them to confirm you are ‘the man for the job’ .. building that trust. You see, you can’t replicate all that on social media. Your tweets, posts or any social media work doesn’t allow you to apply all those years of you being an agent, that insight and knowledge you have gained as man and boy, your ability to empathise with the potential landlord/vendors challenges and opportunities.

The High Priests of estate agency and lettings social media tell you not to sell but be helpful, share lots of fab content and never ever ask for the business. I am sorry, you aren’t here for fun .. you have bills to pay, mortgages to service, wages and rent to pay… but they are right. Selling is all about getting someone (in our case potential vendors or potential landlords) to buy our letting agency or estate agency services .. in essence the landlord / vendor needs to commit to you as an agent .. but no one, not one landlord or vendor will do that (commit to you) until THEY have committed their time to consider what you have to offer, committed to explore what your agency offers, committed thinking to weigh up the options between you and the other agents and only then, once there is mutual consensus, move forward with the deal .

 Bottom line time here fellow agents – You simply are not going to build consensus with a Tweet or LinkedIn post.

You aren’t going to really help the portfolio landlord resolve their concerns and fears with a tweet – even a really clever tweet. Social Media is not a deal closer – it’s just a marketing tool – a bl**dy good marketing tool for developing relationships, relationships that allow you to get face to face with that portfolio landlord or home owners that want to sell.

If I wanted 3,000 agents to read what I had to say, ten years ago, I would have had to pay £2,000 a month to one of the trade magazines such as ‘The Neg- BassDrum –Property Thingge’ Magazine to have those sort of eyeballs. I would have had to have paid £6,000 to have a 10 ft square stand at one of the Agent Shows (yes – that is how much they cost) – and even then most of you would have ignored me.

Now there is a thing called social media – it costs nothing and it can help you share your ideas and gain your dream landlord’s or vendor’s attention before they have met you. Social media is outstanding for setting out your stall – showing people how different you are – how and why you are different from the competition. If you do social media right, and I mean right, it creates engagement with your potential future client – that vendor, that landlord and from that engagement you can build relationships with these potential landlords and vendors .. potential landlords and vendors you haven’t even met.

When a potential client rings me up, one the first things they often say is, ‘Chris, I have been following your blog for months, watched your videos and I feel you are on my wave length’ . My blog is my social media ‘sales funnel’ .. but I don’t try and sell anything. I write stuff that my potential clients (letting and estate agents) find of interest. It takes months of blog posts to get a letting agent potential client to ring me so I can help them get more landlords for their lettings agency… and when you start writing articles about your local property market, it will take months and months before landlords (and potential vendors wanting free vals for sale) to make contact with you Mr Letting Agent and Mrs Estate Agent … but it’s so much easier when the potential clients come to you as opposed you to them.

If you are a fan of the sales funnel, all social media is, is an above the sales funnel activity. It doesn’t get you the deal but helps you with prospecting, the activity that you need to have a funnel in the first place. Letting and Estate Agents need to be better marketers, because by being better marketers, you can help yourself be a better agent. …. but before I go, remember, social media isn’t selling, it won’t get you more properties to sell or let – it’s just a fabulous marketing tool for you to IDENTIFY your potential landlords and potential vendors, to LISTEN to your potential landlords and potential vendors, to SHARE things that you think potential landlords and potential vendors believe are important….

…..really ,all social media is … is just clever marketing.

 

 

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 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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