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Have you got the guts to open your own estate/lettings agency?

Is it the branding, or the support, or the office network, or the ESTA’s or Sunday Times Awards you have won ... or is it because of you Mr(s) Estate or Letting Agent ... are the best esate/letting agent in town? Does your reputation precede you? Do people ring you, recommend you, tell their friend to use you (not necessarily the agency you work for ... but you ??) ... If so, you know the power of a good reputation.

You see in the coming years, not in the short term, but in five, ten or even twenty years time, I believe we as a Country will change the way we use estate agents and letting agents. It has already started, it started to change ten years ago. I am not talking about the online vs hybrid vs high street argument , as I believe that is totally irrelevant where you trade from .

I believe, as with all types of business, that we will return to a more Victorian outlook to doing business, where people do business with people, where one’s reputation is seen as the ultimate standard. At the moment, there are large companies, middle companies and small companies. In the future, there will still be the huge massive brands like Apple, Virgin, Nike, Google etc, who will go from strength to strength as will the high specialised uber local small businesses. However, the middle ground will become a wilderness.

 

To succeed, you will have to be global or you will have to be uber local .. the middle ground will die.

 

Now I’m not suggesting we have Your Move’s in Hong Kong, Haarts in San Francisco, Connells in Delhi or Bairstow Eves in Rio... far from it! I think the big boys will get bigger and the small independents who know their micro market will succeed. So, as a Neg, Valuer, or even the Boss man or Lady, I think you have a decision to make soon. 

Not in the next few weeks or months, but in the coming years as to where you want to take your career or business. You either throw your hat in and join the big corporates; the Your Move’s, Countrywide’s and Connells Sequence groups of this world, keep your head down and come out with a half decent pension and Gold plated watch at 65 ... or start your own agency in your town.

... and that is where reputations are made. If you haven’t got one .. you better start getting one.

 

So where do you start? Start with the people that already know you, your friends and your clients. Firstly, you need to have a direct connection between you and those friends/clients. Secondly, that group of people you know needs to get bigger. If you build these connections, and more importantly, these 20 or 200 or 2,000 or 20,000 who want to hear from you, you will be on your way to building a reputation.

Ok, so social media is the way forward?

If I sent you, on the hour every hour, a faxed newspaper article from the Daily Telegraph or Times about Bank rates, Mortgage rates, top 10 houses with Swimming Pools, Hugh Grants new pad in LA, the pink gloop press releases from Rightmove or Zoopla (although some are pretty good!) .. how long before you switched off the fax machine?   So why do you do that with sharing stuff on Twitter or other social media streams?



It’s all very good re-tweeting stuff, you almost become a mini broadcasting machine. Everyone can have their own television or radio show, or the equivalent online, it’s really easy to decide to become the invisible no personality conduit, because that is all you are doing if you think hitting share twenty times a day will NOT increase your reputation .. in fact, just like the fax machine, it will do you harm.

The problem with that is those people aren’t really adding any value in the world because the reader already knows where to find info on bank rates, mortgage rates and I’m sure they don’t want to know about Hugh Grant’s new pad. If all you do is re-tweet stuff or empty your listings out onto Facebook or Twitter every hour, 24/7, then I say you haven’t got the guts to say, “I have a point of view. I have something to say, something to say that I think will be interest you.”

The future of estate and lettings agency isn’t that we don’t need more re-tweeting.

What landlords and potential home sellers (the life blood of industry) need (and want) are more agents who actually have a point of view and are worth following for themselves.Talking about stuff that interests them. How do you do that? Well, start off with the 20 people who know you and start talking about something they would be interested in. You need to get that message out to them .. so you are going to use social media. If we look at Twitter conversion versus email conversion, if we send out a link, email is nearly twenty times better. Nearly twenty times as many people will click on a link in an email than click on a link in a Twitter tweet.... before you dismiss that ... when was the last time you clicked on someone else’s twitter hyperlink? So emails are better. How do you get emails of landlords? Well that’s dead easy if you know how

On my courses in landlord farming, I teach my clients how to obtain, 100% legally, the email addresses of most of the landlords in your town.

 

Now, 20 can become 2,000 within a month. But even if you have these email addresses, it’s what you do with them and what you say that counts.

If you think the open rate on an email is good, what about an envelope? Nearly 100%! Homeowners live in the house they are interested about. Local home owners are interested in one thing .. the value of their property. They aren't interested in the following ...
  • your company,
  • what your comapny offers,
  • your services of your company,
  • the awards you have won,
  • what you have listed or sold this week
Hey guess what, what do you landlords are also interested in... the same! The value of their property .... money, pound notes, wonga ... they dont give two hoots about you Mr(s) Estate/ Letting Agent, your services, your fees etc etc

Therefore, talk about the local property market and email to most of the landlords in your town newsletters .. here are some examples ..
(using the method I will teach you to get those landlord’s email addresses) and for the estate agency department, just talk about the housing estate’s property market the home owner lives on, and pop it through their door .. simples! 

So, you are a letting agent or estate agent. If you have the balls to open your own agency in a few years time,start building your reputation today.

 

You don’t need your boss’s permission to do it and doesn’t need to cost you one penny to do. How do you increase your reputation?Talk about the local property market and get it out there .. if it’s any good, people will read it and share it. Give the people of your town YOUR point of view on the property market, your point of view why prices haven’t risen as quick in your town as opposed to the next town..

Does it work? Of course it works. I guarantee it works if you do it well.

Look what Paul from Essex emailed me last week ....
“Hi Christopher.
Had a really busy Monday but just wanted to drop you a quick email on the property blog.
We have had 725 visits via the featured agent link from Rightmove (in three weeks). Sold our first property to a new client/landlord who had found us through the property blog.
Best of all, I have had four new client/landlords contact me as they were impressed by the property blog and that they want us to source new investment properties for them.
Mr Paul Tobias-Gibbins BA (Hons) MA FNAEA FARLA CRLM DEA Dip M&P Estates Ltd (in South Ockendon Essex)”
.. and there are 40+ testimonials on the system ... Now if you are planning to start your own agency in the future, you have a choice to make ... you can either dismiss the techniques or you can read what over 40 agents have said about the system .... CLICK ON THE LINK (its a Google Doc with a PDF with all the comments from other agents http://goo.gl/QVfVyE

How many landlords would be impressed with your leaflet about your services to get the amount of business Paul did in such a small amount of time.. 

Choice is yours Mr(s) Letting / Estate Agent... Carry on with the Groundhog Day marketing techniques that you know dont work and become your town's property guru, enhance your reputation .. have loads of people coming to your blogs, blogs like these .. 
Do it for yourself, start the blog, write the meaty articles, email them out. You dont need to come on my course to do that.. I guarantee it works.

PS .. as always, if you liked this, there are over 100 similar articles about letting agents / estate agents and the need for more landlords and vendors, more market appraisals and free vals just here ... all published by Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/102567620

PPS .. if you did want to learn the techniques of writing the articles and how exactly to post them to get maximum results, we do run 'landlord farming' courses once a month .. here is feedback from a recent course  http://how-to-grow-your-lettings-agency.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/post-match-analysis-from-landlord.html   and if you need more info, email me on christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk . I have a couple of spaces left for the 23rd/24th April 2015 course if you are interested
 

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