To run a successful estate agency you must be willing to invest into marketing. You cannot rely on only organic visitors and major property portals have been used by almost every estate agent but are they worth it? I’d say that when used correctly they can provide great results but, you cannot solely rely on a third-party to generate leads and sales, you can and should do this yourself.
When it comes to property portals, there are two major players:
Rightmove – The UK’s number one property portal, Rightmove brings with it the most engaged property audience and the most extensive inventory of properties all under one roof.
Zoopla – Zoopla doesn’t generate as much traffic as Rightmove but it’s still the second largest property portal on the market.
Property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla have established themselves as essential platforms for estate agents in order to sell their properties. There is no doubt that these portals can and have provided estate agents with results, but at what cost? Are you getting a good return on investment? Can you even track what return you are getting? Some portals charge extortionate pricing and can even charge you per property listing. With all the other agencies on there, you are a small fish in a big pond.
When Rightmove was first introduced they completely revolutionised the Estate Agency Industry. For the first time, buyers were able to see properties in their chosen area and price band in one place. It meant that when you were selling your home you knew that your property would be in front of a wide audience and not just reliant on your estate agents database of registered buyers and buyers being inspired enough to go out and visit a high-street estate agent branch.
It’s fair to say that the market-leading portals have been taking traffic from estate agents websites for a while now but the tide is shifting. Without agents, portals would not exist and this is one thing portals need to embrace. There are a growing number of agents happy to reduce spending or completely leave portals all-together. Portals and agents should be working together to improve the customer journey, instead they cross over and make the journey difficult.
As often the case, we find there are lots of estate agents that are not investing enough into their own marketing campaigns. Ask yourself this, How many leads are you generating directly from yourself? If it is not through your paid marketing campaigns and is through reputation or referrals, you are not investing enough or even worse not investing anything at all. If you rely on reputation or referrals, this is not a stable or reliable business strategy. This cannot be tracked and results are not consistent. In order to keep new business coming in, you need to be investing in your own campaigns.
David Adnerson, The Agency Director of Rightmove says: ‘On average there are 139 million visits to Rightmove and people spend over 1.1 billion minutes on the portal, each month.’ These numbers cannot be overlooked but how many of those minutes are spent by users viewing your properties? You have no idea.
We’ve discussed that portals can provide a great amount of potential value when used correctly, but creating, optimising and monitoring your own campaigns for your agency can provide unparalleled levels of ROI. The best part about running your own campaigns on social media for example is that you can see great results from an investment you’re comfortable with, then you can scale your campaigns from there on. If you need more information, take a look at some of our tried and tested marketing ideas.
Ideally, keeping a presence on property portals and setting up your own campaigns can help increase your brands visibility, social media presence and most importantly, traffic and leads. Prepare to fail if you fail to invest. The influence of social media continues to grow, with more consumers using huge platforms like Facebook as a marketplace, property is no different.
What we’re trying to do is inform agents that rely on one channel for the source of their leads, to consider expanding to multiple solutions; if that one revenue stream slows down or takes a hit your agency could be in big trouble.
Our most successful clients are marketing their website through multiple channels…
As mentioned above, property portals have fantastic potential when used correctly and if the price is right. It is important to be mindful of the investment you’re making and to constantly be questioning if the price is worth paying.
Social Media Marketing is a great way to market your properties due to a number of factors. One being that leads can be generated directly from Facebook or Instagram without a user having to set foot on your website, this is great for agents who may not have the most up to date website. With more and more people searching for a home on their phone, social media is a great way to reach out to them. Social media for estate agents is a lot more than just reach, it’s all about brand awareness, engagement, traffic and leads!
Pay-Per-Click adverts can be found at the top of Google’s search results page. When done correctly, your website can be found above the major portals and other agents listings for a specific search term on Google! This is huge, how many times do you go past page one of google to look for a result? Rarely…
Estate agents can’t turn their back on SEO. It’s clear that with a well-thought-out SEO strategy, you’re able to improve your business. If you’re not optimising your website but your competitors are, they’ll overshadow you online. SEO can help your website rank at the top of Google’s search results without paying anything in ad-spend.
Email marketing displays another reason why property portals are not enough, pushing your own website can allow you to build up a list of emails from people who have enquired on your website, therefore allowing you to send emails out to them displaying promotions, properties and more.
In conclusion, we hope you now understand the importance of marketing your brand online in multiple ways, it is clear that portals are an effective way to sell your property but this method of sales should not be the one and only way to get leads for your business. Constantly evolve and monitor the way you’re getting your leads and traffic for your website. If you’d like to learn more about how you can do this, get in touch with one of our marketing experts today.