The festive period has long been associated with lack of activity within the property market and many people think that trying to move house over Christmas and New Year is a mistake, this stigma is quickly breaking, and waiting until the festivities are over could mean you are missing out on BIG opportunities for your business!
Last year Rightmove released data showing property searches doubling over Christmas and New Year, although page visits were low on Christmas day, their traffic increased after that, indicating that the festive season is fast becoming one of the busiest periods for online viewings by UK home buyers!
New year, new beginnings and all that…
The property search trend increasing most likely exists because once Christmas is over and done with moving house is the next big thing on people’s list. As an estate agent, you should think of this period as an ‘initial engagement’ and ‘acquisition’ stage.
Time is of the essence
Although people are more than likely going to be rushed off their feet Christmas shopping, spending time with family, wrapping preparations and getting sorted for the big day, many people have more time off work over the Christmas period using their leftover holidays, meaning it can be easier for them to find the time to view a property.
The technology today allows buyers to engage with and preview properties from a variety of estate agents, this increased accessibility has made the stress often associated with house-hunting a thing of the past. Websites and social media aren’t just making the process of searching easier, they are changing the way we go about it, with a strong online and social media presence customers are more likely to engage with your estate agency and contact you as they can do it whenever and wherever they please!
Less is more
In general, there are fewer houses on the market at this time of year and most buyers looking are serious about securing a home, so they will not only be willing to pay a bit more but will also want the process to move quickly, this gives you a chance to showcase the excellent service your business offers, so go above and beyond!
To secure successful sales over Christmas and customer referrals in the future, you can make the house-hunting process simple and effective for your customers. Here is our guide to making the most of your Christmas traffic and successfully selling properties.
Utilise your online resources!
Use Rightmove’s data to your advantage, more people are looking for houses online during this period, meaning your online presence should be at its peak! In today’s technology-driven world, more and more property buyers are looking on the internet, a successful online marketing strategy for the festive months will maximise your exposure, help you to develop a strong trustworthy brand online and make you stand out against competitors. Paid advertising is a commendable way to gain leads that will help you with all of the above. Facebook allows you to create paid adverts that are designed specifically to reach your target audience, generating leads, increasing likes and boosting engagement to your website. It is one of the most powerful tools in an estate agents digital marketing inventory and you can use as much budget as you want!
Easing the customer’s experience
Utilising your online resources is one way of easing the experience for your customers, so think, is there anything else you could do to make it even easier for them during this busy time? Video house viewings, presenting each room so they get a feel for the actual size, going live on social media showcasing house viewings, this saves the customers time and effort and allows them to get more of a feel for their potential house without having to go view it immediately. This will also help with your social media presence and following, building strong brand awareness. Extending viewing hours, allowing customers to have viewings later than usual, offering a ‘chauffeur’ service when viewing multiple properties are additional ways of easing and enhancing the customer experience.
Be contactable; live chats, emails, social messengers…
The real estate world is hugely customer focussed, and with users wanting a response quicker than ever before, the best way to quickly communicate is to have a live chat facility. Utilise your social media, set the option for Facebook chat to pop up to your customers first and include in all your social bio’s you are available to be contacted any time of the day (make sure you have someone there to answer it)! Also including a live chat on your website or an easily discoverable email with a quick response rate could be incredibly valuable for your business. We recommend to do a cut-off point e.g. 11 pm during the Christmas period to show customers you are catering for them, rather than just after closing hours, you may only get one customer but, they could be valuable to your business! If a customer is waiting for a long time for a reply, there is a high possibility they will be spending that time looking elsewhere.
Offer incentives, without actually discounting
This will show customers you care, building brand trust and will help with future recommendations! Allowing them more time to pay the estate agency fees is an excellent incentive, you will be helping them during an already expensive time of year however but you won’t be leaving yourselves out of pocket!
To find out how well your marketing doing during this busy period, get in touch today for your FREE marketing review! Here at Property Webmasters, we have helped many estate agencies around the world increase their performance and grow considerably by optimising their websites and bringing in more relevant leads and additional exposure during the busy Christmas season and every other season of the year! To find out more or to simply discuss your needs do not hesitate to get in contact with us today, we would be happy to help!