Harsh, but true
Mr Estate or Mrs Letting Agent, let me tell you something about agency. Things change .. you change .. is that why you have spent £15k on your new website, even £3k on your new logo, better still, your new to let/for sale boards (muchos pound notes), or you might have changed what you do .. for example, you were an lettings only agent but now do sales .. or vickyversa .. the list goes on ... but no one really cares about those things
.. in fact .... no one really cares about your Estate Agency or Lettings Agency! It’s true. I’m sorry. .. but deep down you know as well.
It’s even worse for start up agents .... I know you care about it, as does your Mum (but she would proud if you were a shelf stacker at Morrisons). It’s important you care and it’s pretty useful for moving your new agency forward. However, all of us have witnessed many Estate Agency (and lettings) launches that ended in disappointment, and all that registered was another one bites the dust. (and be honest .. what stock can I nick?)
Back to the existing agents , with your fancy rebrands. What happened when you spent those huge monies changing the font and Pantone colour of your agency – did it change the world? Were you beating off the landlords and potential vendors with s**ty sticks? Nope ... and why would it? Changing your logo from Arial to Trebuchet or brand colour from Pantone Warm Olive 6 to Pantone Warm Olive 4 may indeed accentuate the compassion and caring/sharing side of your estate agency. Hey, I bet the ad agency even told you your new logo might make you more hip and trendy, yet professional and friendly. Utter tripe I say ... how does the colour/ new logo help a landlord or homeowner (potential house seller of the future) get to the end of each day, without shouting at the kids, the dog, paying the bills, paying the mortgage and maybe, just maybe, a nice glass of wine at the end of the night?
Why are estate agents (and letting agents) so inherently estate / letting agency focused. Your newspaper adverts, your flyers, your social media .. everything you say and do is all about yourself, whether you try to make it about something else or not. This is an awful strategy when the goal is to attract new landlords and new homeowners who want to sell or let their property.
Social media gurus talk about content and the value it provides is found in building an audience that trusts you for what you can do for them. The goal of any Estate or Lettings Agency is to create a beacon for your potential landlords or home sellers that differentiates you positively from your competitor agents… and talking about yourself doesn’t actually achieve this.
How many times have you gone to the pub for a glass of refreshing lemonade shandy (or two) to meet some mates, but once you got there, someone had brought someone else along. You get taking to the guy but after speaking with this ‘friend of a friend’, it turns out they can only create enough effort to tell you what THEY find interesting .. how dull would that be? Dull as dish water! Rather one dimension, very one sided and finally it would get so dull and draining, you couldn’t wait to lose this dull dull boring human being. On the other hand if someone cared enough to ask you a little about you, or had a discussion about something that you were both interested in you would probably hang around—you might even agree to meet up for another drink?
Its just the same in business (as in life)........
I’m not suggesting your rebrand /launch isn’t important, it just isn’t important by its self. Being an estate agency or lettings agency means changing the way you think about marketing. You can say everything you ever need to say about your lettings/estate agency, your agency’s fees, your agency’s services etc on a single page on your website. Heap that info, pile up the facts and figures on to your tinterwebsite for people to see.
When I ghost write for estate/ letting agents up and down the UK, these articles I write (about the local property market) I set out to create content , where the context is immediately apparent and real for LOCAL landlords and LOCAL homeowners. I write articles with woven with narrative elements (I would have put storytelling .. but people think storytelling means .. Once Upon A Time .. far from it, it means writing things like this but on behalf of my clients, “I was talking with a landlord the other day from ....”. Not only do I ghost write for agents, I can also teach agents the techniques of writing as well on two day courses, where I teach those agents to write in a journalistic and interesting style.
No one cares about you, your agency or the services you offer, Mr(s) Estate /Letting Agent . Trust me, it’s ok to talk about things other than yourselves and this means completely changing how you promote yourself and your agency. If you think your marketing dept just chucks out stuff which talks about your firm, your services, even yourselves .. they are wasting everyone’s time. The goal of any marketing is to sell more stuff .. but people don’t like to sold to. .. but people love to buy!
Instead of filling the newspaper adverts, flyers, social media , those endless tweets , hell everything you chuck out about even your listings, what you have sold this week, your services, your fees, what makes you so ace (ie yourselves) ...its not interesting to potential landlords and property sellers ... so why don’t you just seek out and understand what it is that your potential house sellers or landlords are interested in.
.. and here are the answers
FOR ESTATE AGENTS (who want more properties to sell)... Every home owner is interested in one thing .. how much is my house worth.
FOR LETTING AGENTS (who want more landlords) Every landlord is interested in either one or two things .. How much s my house worth (inc rent + yields etc) and possibly, where is the next great buy to let property I want to buy.
... and they are in action in Derby http://www.lettingssimon.blogspot.co.uk/ or Canterbury http://canterburyproperty.blogspot.co.uk/ or Chelmsford http://chelmsfordproperty.blogspot.co.uk/ or Bath http://www.intire.co.uk/blog/bath/ or east Dulwich (in that there London) http://www.fishneedwater.com/blog?tag_info=east-dulwich
If you want me to show you how to do it .. give me a call or email me if you want .. the choice is yours.