As a market leader within the digital space for the real estate industry, here at Property Webmasters, we believe that agents are becoming increasingly aware of the power online marketing holds. Relying solely on portals is not going to breed too much success, rather than agents asking us ‘why should I spend money on marketing?’ we’re seeing more agencies ready to spend money, they just need advice upon which channels to focus on.
Another question we also get a lot is, we have £1000 ready to spend on marketing, which channel should we invest this spend in to get the best results? We will do our best to answer that pragmatically for you.
Aside from that, one thing’s certain, if your agency does not spend budget effectively, competitors can take advantage of this, ranking above you, bidding on your most relevant keywords, providing a better user experience on their website, remarketing to your target audience and more. It’s not uncommon for others in your position to be wary of spending money, many agencies have had a bad experience in the past or lack experience. On the contrary, at Property Webmasters we have seen fantastic results for our clients around the world, providing a return on investment through our marketing campaigns.
Within this guide, we will discuss the digital opportunities your agency can take advantage of as well as other options that agencies need to invest in. This comprehensive guide will, without a doubt, shine a light on which channels would work best for your agency. At Property Webmasters we have over 50 years of experience in the property industry, working with startups, break-away agents and the leading real estate companies from around the world.
Before we break down the marketing channels, we must first discuss the objectives of your agency. What are you looking to achieve? Is it, attracting buyers? Attracting Sellers? Brand Awareness? International Audiences? Remarketing? Before we start a conversation about what we can do to help your agency, we need to have a goal in mind so we can provide you with a solution. Property Webmasters focus on solving real problems that are hindering the performance of your agency.
It is important to keep your goals in mind, Property Webmasters is a one-stop solution for all your marketing and website needs, even so, we focus on providing a solution that achieves tangible results, relative to the goals in mind!
Now, with the goals and objectives identified, let’s discuss the digital options you have at your disposal to crush them!
Having worked in the industry now for over 50 years and tried and tested hundreds of different channels and strategies we KNOW that Direct Website Leads are the strongest leads you can get, FACT!
When a user finds your website organically before enquiring about one of your properties, it says a lot. The user was not involved in a remarketing funnel, no advertising was used, no portal was relied upon.
This sums up the importance of having your own website as a presence online. Portals aside, make no mistake about it, your agency is missing out if you do not have an up-to-date website that is visually appealing and easy to use! Put it this way, every single one of your clients will have some interaction with your website, only a percentage of clients would have interaction with your other marketing channels.
That’s why we position this as priority number one!
Your marketing efforts become instantly less effective if you’re driving users to a website that is slow, outdated and/or poorly designed. Be upfront and honest, you’ve got to think to yourself, ‘why would you use the services of your agency?’. What separates your agency from the big competition in your area? Get hold of a website that you can be proud of!
The four things to focus upon for your website would be:
Success agents who have used Property Webmasters for their website design and development get the benefit of industry-leading key features including a simple property search facility for users, members log in for engagement and tracking, tight CRM integration, engaging on-page content to improve a users experience and tried and tested call-to-actions and data capture forms that actually work!
Until your website is up-to-scratch you’re limited. We focus on providing tools for agencies in order to help them reach their full potential, for the digital space, it all starts with a website.
Now we have discussed exactly why your website is so important we can now take a look at how to market it in the correct way, getting relevant users in front of your properties and services.
We will discuss why each channel is important, how you can use each channel to transform your business and if each channel is worth your time and/or money!
Social media marketing is one of the fastest-growing channels that estate agencies can take advantage of. I think you’ll agree with me when I say that now more than ever, social media is at the forefront of our lives, even if you don’t post frequently, that does not stop you from browsing and engaging with friends and business.
Currently, there are 3.78 billion social media users – which equates to about 48% of the population. – Statista
It is easy to relate social media to just interacting with friends and family, that is truly not the case. Brands and businesses are riding the wave, with 73% of marketers believing their efforts through social media marketing have been effective, we would suggest that as time goes on this percentage will only increase.
At Property Webmasters, we use the power of paid social media advertising to generate enquiries and sell property for our clients.
How many times have you felt like the internet is listening into your conversations? That is remarketing, working it’s somewhat controversial, but effective magic. Pixel tracking allows you to trace all website visitors so that you can remarket to them directly on Facebook. Not only can you track who has been on to your website, you can track the actions they took whilst navigating, such as the specific pages they visited and how long they spent on a page.
We can then set up ads to display the exact properties a user viewed upon your website, upon their facebook and instagram pages. This draws the attention of the user, bringing them back to your website, landing page or a lead form on Facebook or Instagram.
What more could you desire from a funnel perspective?!
Pay Per Click advertising through Google Ads can also be very effective for agents who are looking to get users in front of their property pages or valuation tools! Allowing campaigns to be set up and targeted based upon a user’s search into google creates an opportunity for agents to target exactly who they would consider their audience to be. One of the best aspects of Google Ads, is you are only charged if someone engages and clicks on your campaign, meaning you can be as cost-efficient as possible while still generating good results.
Google houses around 92% of all search engines activity. PPC allows you to be at the top of the listings, above the competition. You can set up a Google Ads account within minutes with a Gmail address, the more tricky part comes when writing the Ad Copy and setting up the tracking. It’s important that if you run these campaigns yourself, you do your research. Experience of running campaigns before is a big advantage.
Why is PPC effective for estate agents? Well, the answer is simple, no matter what your goal is, whether it be to generate leads for a development, generate valuations, drive traffic to your website, it is all easily achieved with PPC. It is also easy to track leads and where they come from so you are on top of what is working and what is not!
Similarly to social media marketing, Google Ads can allow your agency to take advantage of remarketing via the Google Display Network. We have seen great success for our clients via Google Display Ads.
To do this, we can create an audience of users in Google Analytics. This audience would be segmented by property type, for example, users who have been on the Spanish villas section of a clients website. We would import this audience into Google Ads and distribute our well-designed, eye-catching banners that are advertising the Spanish Villas they have previously looked at!
Customers are 70% more likely to purchase a product when a company utilizes retargeting – Tech Jury, 2020
Our clients have seen great results thanks to our Google Ads strategy. Is that something you’d like for your business?
Let’s take a moment to discuss the recurring theme from the last two paragraphs, remarketing.
We would recommend that all agents set up a funnel for their specific developments. Combining social media marketing and PPC allows you to attract users from the two biggest platforms online, Facebook and Google. Users are drawn in by the prospecting ads or search ads and once they have entered your website, they will be remarketed to on Facebook and Google, allowing your brand to stay at the front of their mind!
Remarketing is a fool-proof way of improving your brand awareness while attracting new and old customers to your website!
Now, let’s continue…
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 from multiple agents.
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.
59% of agents use portals as their primary marketing tool; suggesting the other 41% do not – Zoopla
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.
We want to make it clear that portals ARE effective for agencies but relying on them is extremely short-sighted!
There are a growing number of agents happy to reduce spending or completely leave portals altogether. Portals and agents should be working together to improve the customer journey, instead, they cross over and make the journey difficult.
Depending upon the goals you have for your business it may not be the correct time to consider a portal. Portals do not allow you to attract sellers or landlords, it all boils down to what you’re looking to achieve!
A good estate agency website will have multiple forms around the website in order to make sure a user is always reminded about signing up to a newsletter. As your database grows, you need to make sure that you are making the most of all this data. If not, you are missing out on gaining that competitive advantage as well as the opportunity to grow your relationship with potential clients!
Your brand and website has done the job of drawing the enquiry, now it would be time to nurture and then do everything you can to engage the users via newsletters.
The average expected ROI is $42 for every $1 you spend on email marketing – Oberlo, 2021
This is one of the cheaper ways of marketing to your audience and when done correctly, it can yield cost-effective results for agencies with a medium to large database (750 users upwards). We produce emails for our clients in order to generate leads and drive traffic from users who have previously enquired on the website!
As an estate agent, it is crucial that you fully utilise SEO. Whether you are looking to attract vendors, tenants, buyers or landlords, your website is a key tool that can be used to generate traffic. With no website optimisation, you simply won’t be seen online or show up in search results.
SEO can change that! Search Engine Optimisation provides an abundance of benefits to your agency including gaining an established online presence, ranking highly in search engines, capturing high-quality leads, bypassing competition and much more.
Rankings are determined by Google bots who crawl, index and then rank your website. Rankings are ultimately based on the relevance of the content on the page as well as a few other signals including page load speed, domain authority and backlinks.
SEO is crucial for building a reputable estate agency and generating more leads without paying for advertising. Ranking above competition organically can lead to significant results! An effective SEO strategy will cover everything, from the technical aspects of your website right through to the meta descriptions, tags and keywords built into your content.
Paid advertising can be seen as ‘renting’ the top spot in Google’s search engine, while SEO is having a mortgage upon the top spot within Google.
If you want to improve the productivity of your agency, a great way to start is by implementing a fully automated CRM. If you do not have a CRM, Property Webmasters can take care of that, we can feed your properties to the major portals without an issue.
CRM automation refers to the CRM’s ability to automate the repetitive tasks that your agents will face daily. The whole point of a CRM is to encompass a range of functions across sales, marketing etc.
We have recently been spending lots of time working with Propertybase for clients who are running with their real estate marketing software. This has involved both incoming and outgoing feed development to ensure that our shared client’s listings are distributed effectively.
With Propertybase being one of the leading Property CRM software companies, we expect to work with them long into the future to offer website development solutions to mutual clients. We are very proud of the work we have done with Propertybase website integration.
As we have alluded to throughout the article, each service has its pros. So.. which Marketing Channel should you invest in the most as an Estate Agent? The answer is simple, your website takes priority before anything else. You MUST have a website that is set up to perform before considering other marketing channels.
It is extremely simple to understand if you put yourself in the user’s shoes. If you want to research a company where is the first place you look? A website gives users the first impression of your brand, you want to make that first impression fast, responsive and memorable! The best websites for agencies make it easy for a user to enquire, display credibility and are fast and easy-to-navigate. In an extremely competitive industry, real estate agents must invest in their website in order to see off competition and generate solid leads. Start with your website and the rest can follow.
If you would like to find out exactly what trends we are seeing within the industry right now, take a look at this interview hosted by Alfredo Bloy-Dawson who is chatting with our CEO, Jamie Arthur. This video will give valuable insights and advice that will be useful to new agencies, existing agencies looking to expand or change strategy and agents who are thinking about breaking away and setting up their own agency!