The Great Estate Agent Experiment and What’s in it for you.

Last week I sent out an email via an industry media company to thousands of estate agents across the UK.

It was entitled Are you a Rat or a Hamster? An Open Letter to Independent Estate Agents.

I also posted it on Estate Agent Networking and on my blog.

My goal was simply to raise the profile of the services I offer.

It worked. Big time.

A hundred downloads of my E-Guide to Property PR, 11 enquiries and three new signed up clients.

The good folks at the company I worked with to send the email told me it ranked as one of the most opened and reacted to emails they have ever sent out for another party.

There’s a reason why I’m telling you guys this. It’s not just me having a boast up. There’s something in this for you.

Certain things I did, which worked very well, can be applied to your agency’s communications, PR and marketing.

Let me explain.

I wanted to do something different from what I’d seen advertised on estate agency industry sites before. I could have went with a straight ‘this is what I do and why you should choose me’ approach.

I could have. I didn’t despite being warned by others that my open letter approach was risky.

It was too long they said. It might alienate agents by comparing them to rats (actually the rodent reference was from a former colleague of mine).

But I decided to follow my gut, rely on what I’ve learned over the years and take a punt. I was experimenting and as the results were so positive I’m declaring it a success but not packing away my test tubes and Bunsen burner away just yet.

Here’s why the experiment worked and how you can use similar techniques to communicate well with your market.

These communication ideas work well across all types of media. Your website, newsletters, brochures, fliers.

The Email Subject Line or Headline

Are you a Rat or a Hamster? An Open Letter to Independent Estate Agents.

A good email subject line / Headline arouses curiosity, you want people to think ‘What’s this all about?’ and open your email or read the article.

Ways you could do this for your agency include – The secrets to selling your home for the best price in the shortest amount of time (The content in the email then goes onto share your insider industry knowledge etc).

Or How not to lose thousands when selling your home (The content in this one can cover why it’s so important to instruct an agent with local knowledge who won’t overprice / underprice your property).

Use a Conversational Tone

Avoid jargon and pretentiousness like you would a room full of drunks when you’re stone cold sober. Whenever you’re communicating with your market think of how you’d speak with a friend over a pint or a cup of coffee.

That’s the kind of tone you are after.

An easy tip to make your writing more readable is to use short sentences. No more than 25-30 words per sentence. Helps the reader follow your train of thought.

Try Something Different

The open letter was a new approach for me. It worked thirty times better than straight up advertising.

I’m often depressed how crap a lot of estate agents marketing and communications is. It’s the same old, same old.

Readers get fatigued by fliers telling them; ‘We have 1001 buyers looking for properties just like yours.’

It doesn’t stand out. Neither do adverts in the local paper featuring nothing but photos and details of properties for buy / let.

Be brave. Try writing articles that will interest the reader.

I’ve clients who use newsletters, blogs and social media to continually show their market why they are THE agents to trust in their areas.

I’m currently working on a comic strip for a client. That will definitely capture people’s attention and get this agency talked about.

There’s a great quote from a long dead PR and Advertising icon called Howard Luck Gossage: “People read what interests them, and sometimes that’s an advert.”

Tell Them What to Do Next

With my Rat and Hamster email I didn’t overtly try to sell anything (well, not blatantly).

But I did ask people to take action once they read it. My call to action was to download my E-Guide.

This added names to my database who I can communicate with in the future.

I’d urge you guys to do the same. Whatever kind of marketing or communications you do always know what you want the reader to do having read it.

Every website should have some kind of download offer that will entice the reader to leave their email details in return.

For example we’ve created a lot of Essential Moving Tips, What to Think about when Selling Your House and even How to Avoid ‘Dodgy’ Estate Agents downloads for clients

Offer them as free downloads and build your future client database.

Show Some Personality

Don’t fill your communications with bland content riddled with clichés. Do inject a little humour and a personal touch.

You’re in the trust business so show people why they should have no doubts in instructing you to look after their most valuable asset.

Have fun and here’s to your next instruction.


PS: Our Blog in a Box package is smashing it off the back of that email. If you know you need a blog but don’t have time to do it yourself this could be the answer. It’s sold on a postcode exclusive basis. See if your area is still available by visiting:






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