Throughout 2020, Estate Agents worldwide have experienced negative impacts on their Agencies, due the the unfortunate circumstances. This has led to many Agents changing and adapting the ways in which they provide certain services. Here at Property Webmasters, we have taken Estate Agents current feelings into account to produce an informative guide. Our guide explains how you can turn those negatives into positives, by reflecting on 2020 and using some of the techniques as brilliant opportunities in 2021, in order to thrive!
Over the past nine months, Estate Agents worldwide have experienced the closure of their agencies. As well as this, a drop in demand which has overall resulted in having to adapt and change the ways in which Agencies work to keep afloat, while still being able to provide their key services. For example, house viewings went virtual, meaning estate agents could still meet the demand of their services but do so in a way which adheres to the guidelines.
Despite 2020 being a difficult year for many, it has also provided people with a new outlook as well as plenty of brilliant opportunities. One benefit of this year for estate agents and property buyers is the ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’, this led to more houses being sold as a result of people being able to save up to £15,000 if they complete their purchase by March 31st. As well as this, more than ever people are looking into moving house or even buying a second property (holiday home) due to scouring the internet more than ever as a result of lockdown.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the ways in which you can hit the ground running in 2021 and bounce back as an agency to ensure you are ahead of the competition and ready for the new trends and challenges of the New Year!
Ways In Which Your Agency Can Bounce Back and Thrive
What Went Well?
Over the past year not only have you had to adapt to an ever-evolving global pandemic but you have also had to explore new ways in which you can meet the demand for your services in a way that matches the evolving guidelines and government advice.
One key way that you can hit the ground running in 2021 is by reflecting on the past year. Reviewing what strategies worked best for your agency, identify what changes you made in 2020 that you want to carry through to 2021 and which strategies that maybe didn’t positively influence your agency and those that can be changed/adapted. By reviewing what went well your not only setting your agency up for a fresh year but you are ensuring everything that you have in place is beneficial and not holding you back.
Define Your SMART Objectives
SMART objectives are realistic achievable goals that agents can set themselves, these objectives can be changed and reviewed over time meaning not only are they beneficial in the short term as they allow you to set focus on key areas for improvement, but they are also beneficial in the long term as they can be adapted and changed over time to meet the growth and current climate of your agency.
By setting SMART objectives, not only does it provide more clarity for your employees of the direction in which the business is heading, but it also ensures that they are engaged and motivated. This will provide long time staff retention and improvements within working relationships, after all it has been a tough year.
Consider your competition
Although your agency may have deployed some successful strategies during 2020, your competitor may be a step ahead. It is extremely important to track your agency’s data to ensure the strategies you put time and effort into creating are successful. Your data can be easily accessed via Google Analytics (View our blog which highlights how you can track your data via Google analytics here!). In an ideal world, your agency could gain access to your competition’s data in order to get specific figures. However, this can not be done. Studying the likes of your competitor’s social posts, blog content, emails, and campaigns could help your agency to gain or improve successful strategies.
When monitoring your competition, you want to pay close attention to what campaigns have been successful. Your agency could then take this idea, add to it, and even try to incorporate your brand’s aesthetic, making it more suitable to your agency and its identity. By doing this, you are creating potential techniques that could allow you to gain a wider audience or even take some of your competitor’s audience.
As well as studying your competition’s successful strategies, keeping up to date with their unsuccessful ones is a great way of indicating what may not work for your agency. Judging what future strategies you could avoid based on what their audience has seemed to dislike is great. This saves you time, money and overall unsuccess.
Implement New Techniques
Do you feel that your agency has been slightly set back as a result of 2020? There is no better way to start the new year than by implementing new techniques. By trying and testing new strategies you are able to not only find what suits your agency best but overall as a result you will undoubtedly grow your agency.
Let’s start with Facebook Ads, Facebook ads provide endless opportunities to not only direct your properties to the right audience but use your Facebook pixel to track and ensure your campaigns are directed to the right audience at the right moment. Through Dynamic Product Ads, Facebook allows you to tailor a campaign to someone based on their interests, whether or not they have visited your site before. You can also target past customers through retargeting campaigns as Facebook will pull that data through from your Facebook Pixel.
Over 80% of property buyers look around and do their research online before making the commitment to buy, this is why retargeting campaigns can prove extremely useful as if potential buyers see the properties they have viewed for the second time, they have a higher chance of viewing again or making the commitment to buy.
Another key benefit of Facebook Ads is the use of your Facebook Pixel, not only does it allow you to track the performance of your ad to ensure they are directed to the right audience at the right time, but it allows you to create audiences based on the traffic being generated to your site. Overall Facebook ads can prove to be extremely beneficial to your agency, especially as now more than ever it is essential to ensure your agency is established on social media.
Another key way in which your agency can implement new techniques in 2021 is through Google Ads. Google Ads is a key way for estate agents to receive traffic to your agency’s website as it promotes your site by showing it to the people who have searched for relevant key terms. This involves writing engaging and relevant ad content, selecting and including keywords you want to target, and choosing your daily budgets. By using daily budgets this allows you to work at a level that is comfortable for your agency whilst still drawing traffic to your site.
There are various ways you can use Google Ads to drive customers to your website or landing pages. Standard Search Ads allow you to create your own text to target new customers, while retargeting, display Ads are great for rekindling a previous user’s interest to draw them back onto your website. We have seen fantastic results using both forms of Ads and most importantly the cost of setting up a campaign is totally up to you, there is no minimum requirement, your agency could start with five pounds a day if that is all you’re comfortable spending.
Potential Trends of 2021
Throughout 2020 we have seen an unexpected amount of changes being made to the way in which we all work as well as how we provide our services. As a result of not being able to meet people face to face, businesses have had to adapt and find ways to combat this, one way they have done this successfully is through turning house viewings virtual. Not only has this been successful in the past few months of 2020 but due to the convenience of not having to travel to the property and being able to access it from the comfort of your own home, Virtual Viewings could potentially be the next big trend of 2021.
Being the year of surprises, 2020 has seen a mini-boom towards the end of the year largely impacted by the government cutting stamp duty, but what does this mean for 2021? Searches for property could potentially be on the rise, with house prices set to grow an average of 4% in 2021, the lockdown has resulted in people staying at home and higher internet usage, with many wishing they could potentially move properties or invest in a holiday home. It would be no surprise if due to the backlog of people wanting to invest in property there is an increase in people wanting to make the move!
By taking these potential trends on board you can prepare your agency for a successful year as well as ensuring that you are one step ahead, making sure you have everything in place to be able to offer your services in a way that resides with the current climate as well to the highest quality possible.
Plan for purpose
As you will know, there are certain times of the year where agencies have bigger peaks in terms of gaining leads, gaining enquiries, selling property, and so on. Tracking this data from your own agency could help you to determine when you are most likely to have these peaks and plan for those busy times. Seeking new property, making sure work is done efficiently and effectively, setting up advertisement campaigns and being consistent with social media posts are all excellent things you can do in order to plan for a busy period of time. You could even create an email campaign with featured properties and send it to people who have shown interest in your agency. This could persuade potential leads to make the next step.
There may be periods during the year where your agency is relatively quiet. You could turn this situation into a positive, by having the time to create new and improved campaigns, advertisements, blogs and more. The ultimate goal of this could be to gain interest and recognition. While creating campaigns for your agency, it is important to keep the content relevant and incorporate your company’s aesthetic meaning it can be easily recognised by those who know your business!
If you’re looking to action changes within your business and require some expert advice, talking to Property Webmasters can help give even more clarity upon what would be the best route to take for your business.