If you are a letting agent, you need do something that will make landlords initially aware of you and what your company offers .. but awareness and attention won’t get the landlord to pick up the phone. Why? Well just like everyone one is aware of all the other banks on the High Street but indifferent to their own bank .. people still don’t swap banks. Just like landlords, obviously not your landlords Mr (s) letting agent, but the landlords of other agents who offer indifferent/rubbish service, those landlords are aware of the other letting agents (including you) on the High Street, but still those landlords don’t swap from those agents.
Awareness is one thing, but if you are not interesting, you don’t stand a chance. Now when I say interesting, I mean interesting to the landlord, not YOU Mr(s) Letting Agent. ‘Property of the Week’ is as interesting as watching paint dry to a landlord, every landlord knows they are wanted, so why keep banging on about it. I have a degree in Surveying .. do you care ..of course you don’t .. so why would a landlord care you are ARLA qualified. Landlords do not care about you Mr (s) letting agent .. they don’t care how many offices you have or how long you have been open ... they only care about one thing ....THEMSELVES! (it’s human nature!).
Give them something that helps THEM, solves THEIR problems or helps THEM with THEIR opportunities and you will be the most interesting person in the world, because creating something of value to the landlord, you are creating an asset... an asset that has value which gives you direct access to building an audience of local landlords. You won’t have to rely on paying for Google Adwords or expensive magazine advertising. Do this ‘landlord farming’ right and to reach those landlords (your customers), you as a letting agent won’t have to pay each time if you want to reach your customers... they will come to you.
Think about your favourite newspaper. Why do they give away so much valuable content for next to nothing? They do it to build a loyal base of people who subscribe to their newspaper by buying it each day. They want to build an asset that people willingly come back to each day by buying the newspaper. They are then able to turn that attention into pound notes by people buying the newspaper and other companies advertising in the newspaper.. That’s why so many companies spend billions of pounds on newspaper advertising each year. They’re paying for your attention.
But here is the game changer, now we have the tinterweb. The same is true online, and it’s why content is an essential component of letting agency marketing. It also scales better than newspaper advertising, so you are able to grow larger and faster, for less over time. That’s why creating content is essential, but not just any content. You need exceptional content that gets your target audience’s attention, and keeps them interested (ie local landlords attention and interest because 60% to 70% of landlords are local to you). So, how do you do that? By wholly understanding your customers. You need to ask these questions ...Who are they? What makes them tick? What keeps them up at night?
Who are they? ..Landlords tend to be 40 to 70 year old middle to senior management middle class people, or they might be business owners. What makes them tick? The really interesting stuff, they are a homeowner, just with a couple of homes (one they live in and the other(s) they rent out.) Like all the British, they are obsessed about the value of their property, what’s it’s worth, what’s happening to the local property market to affect their property. Where is the next BTL property deal? What’s worth buying?
What keeps them up at night? Voids, tenants trashing the place, non payment of rent ... but that’s the nasty stuff they pay you for .. (and let’s be honest no one likes to think any of these).
Until you understand these things, you won’t be able to create content that speaks to landlords and compels them to take action. Most businesses have several different customer segments .. but you have one .. LANDLORDS (tenants take care of themselves .. that is what RM and Zoopla is for). The average man and woman in the street all have different motivations, so it is hard to create content for a vague vast general audience, but you aren’t talking to the massed public .. you are talking to landlords, and landlords are different.
The first thing you have to do is to narrow your focus and go deep. Yes its true you have one type of customer .. the landlord. So if content marketing starts with a specific audience’s opportunities and problems, then it can be difficult to create content for different types of landlords from different age groups and interests. They are all going to respond to different things.
You can in fact categorise and put landlords in subsets. Some landlords are accidental, some are new landlords, some want to become landlords and some are small portfolio landlords whilst others make it full time job. So by narrowing your focus on one specific landlord segment, you can create and design everything for their unique characteristics.
I coach my client agents to look at these subsets of landlords differently. By focusing on each type of landlord subset and built out a deep, content rich site that caters to this market’s unique needs and desires, you will be on to a winner. Sounds complicated .. but with me coaching you, it isn’t. There are clearly defined things you as an agent I can coach you to do, things that you should be doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis ... so by giving this level of attention to detail, you are of interest to a landlord .. they will consider you are the ‘Local Property Market Guru’.
But there’s one more thing you will never find in my agents blogs, newsletters and newspaper editorial. You won’t find many articles on the blogs, newsletters and newspaper about their company, or their letting agency services in particular. The most common excuse for not blogging is, “Landlords don’t want to read anything” You’re right… no one wants to read about you or your lettings firm. But they would read about their own opportunities or issues (we mentioned those above). Instead of being topic focused be landlord focused. Yes the topics will change or evolve depending on what your audience cares about but all landlord’s care about is what is happening to the local property market to MY PROPERTY and if they are a portfolio landlords - where is the next BTL property I want to buy?
There is nothing so boring s.8 vs s.21 notices. Many landlords could not care less about tenancy law. Think about how your letting agency’s service helps other landlords. How does it take away their pain? What is the solution they get? For example, no one wants to read about your lettings agency, no one wants to read what YOU have sold or let this week, nor what YOUR property of the week is, nor what Award YOUR agency has won, nor how many landlords choose YOU to let their property..... but they would read about how you have helped other landlords on THEIR quest to find out what is happening to the property market, how you have helped other landlords to find THEIR next buy to let property to buy.
Savvy letting agents know that they’re in the people business, not property business. You can’t sell anything without first getting your customer’s (ie landlords) attention, but content is a commodity. Millions of blog posts go up each day, so good content just doesn’t cut it anymore. You’ll just get lost in a sea of mediocrity. If you want content to drive landlords to your door, then it needs to be exceptional.
You are in a industry that the British are obsessed about .. PROPERTY. By understanding your audience, and translating the benefits you provide by writing fab content about your local property market, (example here .. look at this website and the 30+ articles about the Derby property market .. http://www.lettingssimon.blogspot.co.uk/ ... this man is the Derby Property Guru) you see people (and thus landlords) consume that content and share it with their friends on a daily basis. Last year, Twitter sent 230 million Tweets with links per day, and Facebook 30 billion pieces of content shared in a month. If landlords aren’t commenting, sharing, liking or tweeting your posts, it’s not because that audience doesn’t like them... it’s because your content doesn’t move them.