… when winning the instruction is everything!

If there’s ever a greater truism in the property world, it is that agents are never entirely happy with their stock levels! There’s always room for more valuations, more instructions. It’s especially true in these lean times, when for many agents, stock levels are low and market appraisals are thin on the ground. Like many, you probably spend many a waking hour thinking of ways to grow your existing market share whilst grabbing more from your competitors.

Some of the ideas you may have no doubt require serious investment – but there are other very economic and affordable things you can do, right now, which can transform your conversion rates and help to drive more vendors to you – without breaking the bank.

The Best ROI?

Given that we’re constantly told that over 90% of homebuyers begin their search online, and that many of these are also potential vendors, it makes sense to demonstrate  the lengths to which your agency will go to find a buyer. Taking Rightmove as an example, no doubt you’ll be familiar with the two little tabs underneath the images  that are both free to use and ready to exploit, but which many agents don’t seem to take full advantage of. I am of course talking about floorplans and virtual tours.

Offering more – to win more?

Floorplans are more or less ubiquitous nowadays . They are expected and desired by vendors, Most agents provide one as standard, so you’ve already (hopefully) got that covered. Are you using the other, equally effective tab  – for virtual tours?

Virtual tours, by comparison are still considered by many to be a luxury addon. Crucially however, that doesn’t mean that they need to be expensive to provide. The key here, as the corporate agency world has known for some time, is that by offering them, business can be won. Vendors like them and ergo they win instructions. Look at the agents in your town who are already offering them to their clients? They probably have a better market share and are certainly getting better fees.  All these facts are not unconnected!

High impact!

Of course, the term virtual tour covers a wide range of products (and prices) – with everything from a lengthy full HD walkaround tour to the ‘spinning’ room tours of yesteryear. By far the most popular however , and the ones favoured by the majority of agents as an instruction winning tool – are the audio tour variety, which use existing images coupled with a professional voiceover.  These types generally provide the best ROI for an agent. They are high impact yet relatively low cost, can be paid for in house without having to ask the bank manager’s permission, and will assist the core aim of any valuer – to win a client’s instruction.

And before you shout at your screen and yell ‘ yes but all this costs a fortune’and they’re just a gimmick, let me stop you there! – Amazingly, these types of tours can be even cheaper and quicker to produce than a floorplan. For example, online services are now available that allow agents to create outstanding tours with pro voice-overs at  low cost and for any property. Unbelievably, often these types  can be ready in minutes, ready to distribute across all  marketing platforms. Many of these online services often come with a free trial  – so there’s no risk to trying them out.

The figures

According to Zoopla, and I would imagine a similar story with Rightmove, listings with virtual tours get a better click through rate than those without. Which is something any potential vendor wants to hear from their agent!

Of course, as we know, floorplans and virtual tours don’t in themselves help to sell any property. But that is missing the point entirely. Vendors expect their chosen agents to be ‘seen’ to be doing more to sell their property,. Any agent that can demonstrate that they are doing more than the competition can but only benefit. Agents who embrace enhanced marketing generally find that converting more valuations becomes easier, they win more and it’s also reflected in fee levels.

So, if you’re wondering where the next instruction is coming from, or you constantly feel that you simply don’t have the budget to compete with the marketing devices that larger agencies employ, then think again.

The ability to put floorplans and virtual tours on a portal listing is there for a reason, not least because vendors like them and they win business. Look into it today.

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