How does your business, your estate agency, your letting agency, stand in Google searches? What are you doing about this?
What are your monthly outgoings as estate agents on marketing? I bet you roughly know?
Let me guess:
Rightmove – £1100 per month?
Zoopla – £700 per month?
And social media marketing – £0 per month as Tom and Tina do it for nothing.
I will make your estate agents outstanding (and stand out) on social media.
Read on …
Research on estate agents
I was looking last night, as you do, at estate agents, their SEO rankings within a town, city or postcode and their social media offerings.
It’s become my niche and my passion.
What did I see?
There are some outstanding estate agents and letting agents who are prominent in Lincoln, Leeds and Liverpool (couldn’t resist the alliteration).
What do I mean by outstanding estate agents?
These outstanding estate agents are on page one of Google searches and lo and behold their social media marketing is spot on:
Their Twitter feeds are updated 10 times a day, Facebook daily and their Instagram and Pinterest accounts are fun and engaging.
The bad ones have faceless tweets, where a new property is listed with no commentary, no hashtags, no attempt to engage anyone.
And you know what?
I didn’t click those anodyne links.
“New on the market: ow.ly/223526”
Same with Pinterest and Facebook – the links are live from their website but the content is dull or comatose since July 2015.
I kid you not.
Why are estate agents ignoring social media?
Most estate agents know that they have to pay £1800 a month to get on portals to sell or let their properties, but house sellers and landlords don’t generally go on RM and Zoopla to find an agent.
Well I don’t.
You and I go online.
Now, if we were to sell our new Persimmon home in the near future, this is how I’d operate as a home seller:
- Load up Safari, hit Google and start a search for “Estate Agents Great Yarmouth”.
- Look at the listings on page 1 and if I’m feeling charitable, page 2.
- Ignore PPC ads (as most people do apparently).
- Look at the top websites.
- Consider hybrid and online too, versus local.
- Look at their social media icons.
- Click their social media pages and make a value judgement.
Okay, that’s my 7 step process as a savvy consumer and I’d expect many others to be like-minded.
The eighth factor
But there’s an eighth point that arguably top trumps those 7 steps:
I’m flicking through apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for some banter and I’m stopped by an estate agent’s tweet, update or photo. I pause, read and store this snippet in my brain and when I come to sell 11 Colby Drive, that snippet may make me choose that agent.
In 6 months’ time, when I decide on an actual valuation, flicking through apps, I see the same agent with an engaging social media post.
I act upon it.
Now I don’t think, given that 2 billion of the world are on social media and 80% of those are on mobile devices, that I’m unusual.
It’s normal consumer behaviour now and your business, whether that’s a café, car dealer or estate agent needs to be seen by the right people and make the right impression.
In other words, the point I’m making is this: the bread and butter, the meal ticket of estate agencies is getting listings, then selling them.
Social media puts you in front of 2 billion people.
The getting listings part is the hardest task of all – I know.
I’ve worked in estate agency and can well remember the delight when a vendor picks you.
Once you’ve got the listing, the selling is the easiest part generally, providing the property has been priced accurately to sell and not hit a head office listing target.
It’s getting the listing that matters and this is where social media has a vital role to play.
- 80% of internet browsing is on mobile devices, smartphones and tablets. The days of unwinding a cable, waiting for dial-up are gone. The days of firing up a desktop and going on Internet Explorer are going. People browse whilst out and about or on tablets and phones in the home. They flick through social media apps and not through websites.
- 1.6 billion people have Facebook accounts.
- Twitter has 360,000 active monthly users.
- Instagram has 400 million users with 90% of the world’s top 100 brands using it.
- Pinterest has 100 million active users.
All are expanding too.
The estate agent who sold the most properties in a certain city last year has the most active social media accounts.
Is that coincidence?
Or is it strategic that this independent firm has recognised how important social media marketing and has invested in it?
No estate agent would sever ties with the portals – I know the duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla was briefly threatened – but no agent would put on their website “We don’t use portals” yet they do have nice social media icons that when clicked are actually detrimental.
I have social media marketing packages to suit your budgets, whether you’re a car dealer, an estate agent, or a debut novelist (I work for all three).
By this I mean, boring, outdated and with no customer engagement.
What do estate agents spend on portals?
Estate agents pay around £24,000 a year to be on portals, but forget that millions of consumers are not hooked on Rightmove and Zoopla, but spend time every day flicking through their social media apps on their iPhones, Galaxy S7s or iPads.
2 billion people globally do this.
There was news last week saying that in the future, websites will become as obsolete as Betamax? Apps, social media apps, will become the norm.
So after splurging 24k annually on portals, many estate and letting agents leave social media marketing to a Publish and Pray method.
Tom and Tina, who oversee lettings, sales and property maintenance, are expected to run successful social media campaigns on the side, perhaps without training or strategy.
If I want my bathroom tiling, I don’t attempt it myself, my hair cutting I go to an expert, my car servicing I go to a dealership.
I use experts in their fields, not Tom or Tina who have 10 minutes.
If you’re serious about being picked to list the most prized asset in someone’s life, you need to pay someone, an expert, to set up and run your social media marketing, just as you pay portals to market your listings.
- You need to find someone who is energetic and social media savvy.
- Someone who you can trust too with public updates that impact your brand and company values.
- Someone who when getting a Twitter message about a valuation will respond immediately and pass it on to the office for action.
- Someone who will not action messages from marketing vultures, circling round your revitalised pages.
- Someone who will respond to retweets, likes and direct messages, a comment and like on a pin board or Instagram post, a message on Facebook – not in an hour, not tomorrow, but almost instantly.
- You need someone who is freelance, professional and reliable to promote your brand and values.
It’s time-consuming for someone to do that, to create content that will be loved and shared, but you will see returns.
Not in a month.
Maybe not even in six months.
That’s why yesterday I was appointed as a social media and content marketer for a large estate agency for one year.
Tina and Tom can breathe a sigh of relief, because their social media is now being outsourced to a capable professional.
My aim is to make that company soar to number one of page one of Google searches for estate agents in that city.
I’ve also said to this company: I won’t take on business from other estate agencies in this locale.
I’m focused on making their business grow through blogging and social media strategic marketing, because they’ve committed to paying me a retainer for one year.
That leaves many other cities in England, Scotland and Wales where I can work for other estate agencies, including Bath, Barnsley and Bedford (sorry, again).
Or even abroad, in English-speaking countries.
Not me being empire-minded, just aware that my linguistic talents amount to my native tongue.
I do it all from home, you see, and still have some capacity left.
So: call to action.
Instead of looking out of the window for snow today, look critically instead at your website and social media offerings.
Study Twitter; when you last tweeted, what you tweeted and how much engagement there was. A tweet has a shelf life of one hour, that’s why you need 10 a day, every day. I can make your Twitter come to life.
Do the same with Facebook – what was your reach? Did you boost posts? What was that impact? Which audience did you define? Was it based on location and interests? How many clickthroughs did you achieve? Do you like other pages and comment as your page? Is this making your eyes glaze over?
Look at your Pinterest account – is it organised and easy to view in terms of layout? Do the URLs work to direct pinners back to your website and brand?
What’s your website’s bounce rate? Do you even know what that is?
Is Instagram driving traffic or a long forgotten fad? Are your hashtags on photos relevant to the audience you want? Is it linked to your Facebook for sponsored posts? Are you liking and commenting on other Instaphotos to raise your profile?
Have you got a personal and company Linkedin page? Is that being properly managed? Does a company one exist? Is it being followed and updated?
This is the point about social media marketing – it’s not to get likes and follows from people who won’t buy, it’s to capture a targeted audience, engage them and show by the way you respond on their public forums that you are trustworthy, likeable and utterly committed to communication.
If you’re a director, a CEO, a branch manager of an estate agency who has evaluated your social media offerings just and muttered, “Bad”, or words to that effect and cast glances at Tom and Tina, we need to talk.
I can get your estate agency up Google page rankings, I can create energy and buzz with social media posts and blogs, and make you likeable and trustworthy by running your social media marketing, a million times better, in fact, than Tom and Tina, for a fraction of your portal costs.
Ring me anytime on 01493 445737 or 07462923476 and trust me to work magic on marketing.
PS. have a look at the five icons I display in both the header and footer of this website and judge for yourselves whether I practise what I preach on social media.
PPS. 9 companies are trusting me already.
PPPS. 2 are estate agencies in different areas.
PPPPS. I think we need to talk.