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Caring in Estate Agency

In this 21stCentury internet world we increasingly see choices to choose the quick digital shortcut over a handcrafted, individual personal reply. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cut and paste email message on Facebook .. but could it  bee seen as just that? When we communicate on autopilot instead of individually, thoughtfully and with humanity .. what will we become? Robotic? I have learnt there is not shortcut for caring. No alternative for connection that is meaningful and deep. If you want to get more landlords and more home owners to use your agency, you have to do it one by one, you have to do the work of being the kind of person who makes the effort to build the relationships that matter .. if want to create the future you want to see.  We are not in the property business moving people .. we are in the people business helping them move home.   … And if you believe that .. then surely, as we are all individual human beings  .. surely our communication must be on a one to one basis…

Desperate for Listings

Desperate for more listings, desperate for more valuation leads, desperate for more house sellers and more landlords  … Many agents are looking for the shortcut to success – trust me – there is no shortcut. If you want to eradicate those problems I mentioned in the first sentence, there is a solution.  This is a remarkable truth in this world, and here it is – there’s a distinct remarkable form of influence, its being perceived as a someone. Being perceived as a someone, the leader, the authority, those who possess it have power. Think of all the people you look upto .. your boss, celebrities, powerful business people, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson .. the list goes on It’s a basic human trait .. look to those in authority to lead us, guide us, protect us. So, here is the meaning of authority, then you can tell me if authority runs widespread in estate agency?  Authority is defined as the power or the right to guide, give orders, lead, make decisions and enforce conformity. Sounds rather s…

Attracting new vendors / house sellers using social media

Every Estate and Letting Agent wants to attract new vendors and landlords using social media, email marketing and websites these days. Difficulty is, not many agents know how to do it correctly. Lobbing up a website, getting on FB, LinkedIn, Twitter etc and going on unceasingly about yourself, your agency or your agency’s services won’t work.
Instead, you need to talk ABOUT the landlords and potential house sellers and also, you need to talk WITH them as well
Try not to play it safe either.. don’t fear a bit of left field controversy or wary talking about the hard-hitting topics. Grow a robust and sturdy personality around your morals and ethics — a distinctive and individual brand voice that your prospective landlords and potential house sellers can communicate with and relate to.
Ultimately, be an authority, an authority of your local property market, because by doing so, you will appeal to authoritative clients as well as getting the results you deserve

Estate Agents – When do you give up chasing your lost listings?

We all hate losing a listing to the competition … cheap fees, overvaluing, silver tongued BS merchant that over promises etc .. the same reasons I lost listings 25 years ago are the same reasons today … and let’s be honest, sometimes it is wise to walk away on overvaluing or cheap fees .. BUT .. what strategy have you got to get them back?

This is so important with the market tempering in many locations in the UK
The vast majority of listers reading this might make a diary note to call the week before the last of the sole agency (and if we are being honest) .. might ring once (if we are lucky) .. twice if its  a slow week … only to see it swap agents to another BS agent a few weeks later.
So what I am suggesting?
Ring them up .. constantly and get them to ultimately say no for a second time
Getting your ‘lost listing vendors’ to say no a second time, is critical to improving your overall level of new instructions. 
Too often Valuers / Listers say no on behalf of that lost vendor and it cost…

How Russell Quirk (CEO of eMoov) could teach us High St Estate Agents to be so much better

Anything on the news about the Property market and guess who has a microphone in front of him .. Russell Quirk from eMoov. In the last 12 months a regular on the national radio station Talk Radio and Radio 5 Live, seems to be on BBC TV more often than EastEnders, a Sky News property market pundit, he has in the Sunday Times ‘Top 100 British Innovators’,and appears to have more column inches than Brexit in The Times, Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard combined .. its like he has become the de facto spokesperson for the UK Estate Agency industry
Looking the exposure that Russell gets, you would think eMoov was the biggest estate agency player in town if you looked at media .. and even though you might not agree with Russell, his estate Agency model or what he stands for … I want to scientifically look at what I believe Russell is actually doing, his intent and the context he is doing it in and how you as a High Street Estate / Letting agent in your town or city that you operate in …

The Story of House Sellers

The vast majority of time, people buy from people they trust .. not companies they trust … people they trust
Yes, there are the ‘super-brand’ league status of the likes of Marks and Spencer, Apple, John Lewis or Waitrose … where people trust the companies blindly … but no estate agency – not even Savills are in that league
So, it intrigues why most estate agents are trying to force their ‘agency’s message’ on potential house sellers when those potential house sellers much more prone to be convinced by their fellow house seller? 
Why the hell do you think Purplebricks put so much on their Trustpilot scores in their marketing.
Still dont believe me? You based spending half a month’s salary on the words of a complete stranger after looking at TripAdvisor
Yet, I believe people are starting to disbelieve some review sites. Some say they are made up… and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
I agree.
So, I thought, there has to be another way. Another way to get that review, that testimonial, acro…

The reason estate agency social media doesnt get you the stock/listings/free vals

When the average Brit clicks on their Facebook or LinkedIn icon on their phone-they are going to their social media to find stuff online that they can connect with, engage with, engross themselves in, have a laugh with and even learn stuff- from people and companies they trust. 
They haven’t gone on to find out how many houses you have sold/let this month, you are no.1 for market share (and have a Rightmove pie chart to prove it) to read about your charisma-less dull vanilla estate agency. 
You might be interested in market share or the fact you have smashed your listings targets-but nobody else is (apart from your Mum or Boss- and they don’t count)
If you are looking to boost your engagement on social medial and generate more freeval leads, ask yourself this; How can you, as an agent, provide content that’s going to ring true with the values of the potential landlord/house seller instead of your listing targets? 
What can you give them that is going to instantaneously interest them, intr…

Do Estate Agents sell houses?

The transactional estate agents do …. but the successful ones do something different. Those Estate Agents instead sell the idea of somebody moving to the next chapter of their life in their new home.
They sell the ‘stories’ about their new home, and what it will do for new owners life with summer nights on the patio, the local Bistro down the road that you can pop down to on a Saturday morning with the family, pick up the fresh bread from the Deli, the Country pub, the freedom of  having ones front door.
You are going to say .. “that’s all Bo**ocks Chris” .. of course it is .. I agree with you .. yet this Bo**ocks works  (and no, I’m talking about having flowery brochure descriptions here either)
There are substantially more people interested in the idea of moving home, the decoration, the location, the lifestyle etc etc than there are people who own a house and want to sell it.

Yet, if you are an Estate Agent you might say well yes Watkin, sure, sounds good, but most of the people who ar…

Estate Agencies are Selfish

Estate Agencies are selfish, self-interested and self-centred beings as they are an entity, a singular company, a thing created as a notion and idea about itself. An estate agents marketing just talks about itself and it sells its agency services only talking about itself.  (don’t believe me – look at you website or free val vendor pack .. if its all We and Us – then you do do that) .. and so as estate agents, most of us spend loads of money on our marketing .. spending £2k a month Rightmove Optimiser packages, hundreds of pounds on S.E.O a month, hundreds of pounds on targeted banner ads on Facebook and press releases about ourselves… and yet it’s all about us Meaning Estate Agents aren’t good at telling stories beyond themselves. Yet, ask most estate agents, and they want potential clients (ie vendors and landlords) to seek out and desire THEIR estate agency. To an estate agency, their estate agency service’s is the client’s goal. But let’s be frank with each other, human beings don’t a…
Back in the 1990's you just had to open your lettings and estate agency and they would come... because the house seller or landlord had few choices of agent, estate/letting agents didn’t need to give them a reason to use them .. in fact they were the new boys (or girls) in town .. so everyone tried them .. the honeymoon period .. because they were new It's now 2018 and agents up and down the Country are mourning the death of the old ways of estate and letting agency, and only some are now realising that fact High Street or Online, Indy or Corporate ... it doesnt matter. Back then, they might have only been a handful of agents in your town, now there are 52 ... and your new agency is just the 53rd agent .. and next week the 54th agent will open.. and next month 55th .. and so on and so forth. You need to give people a reason to listen to you and what your agency offers. Its just people ignore advertising and don't like to sold to... but that is what we are doing with our est…

Estate/Letting Agents - Comparing Ourselves against the Competition

Looking at other people’s clothes, cars, watches etc .. their lives must be better than my life - I wish I was them. The human trait of envy .. comparing ourselves to others is really a disheartening waste of time, efforts, mind space, thoughts and positive energy- and this is where we as agents compare ourselves with our competitor agents
Don’t get me wrong, it’s essential to know what your competition is doing in the Estate/Letting Agency game in your town, because that is called market research
Yet there is a thin line to be drawn between the awareness of your competition and it turning into some kind of obsession. Awareness makes you communicate and express your agency’s value and bring your thoughts and notions to the people in your distinctive and matchless way, whilst my intuition tells me - go too far into awareness and it turns into obsession, which results in irrational anxiety, insecurity, misgiving and ultimately … paralysis.
Most of you reading this have allowed yourself to …

Nobody Cares your are an Estate / Letting Agent

Your Town doesn’t need another estate agencyYour City unquestionably doesn’t need another letting agencyYour Patch most certainly doesn’t need another local property [expert/professional/specialist]Your Manor doesn’t give a f**k about your “a couple years ago, I thought that had to be a different way to sell houses…” sales pitch.
Why?
Because people are trying to sort their own $h*t out
Their world is in various states of turmoil
Everyone’s perception is that are being shafted by their family, friends, neighbours, employers, or some or all of them.
They don’t get paid enough, they work too many hours, they don’t get the recognition, they are under too much stress, don’t get enough sleep, unappreciated, miserable, victimised, abused and left screwed down by their very reality.
So, sorry .. just because you are just one of twenty three estate agency’s in your town, and you have lovely Rightmove Pie Charts saying you are No.1 in sales or you have won this award or that award … NO BODY CARES be…

Which Social media channels should Estate / Letting Agents use?

Some Estate + Letting Agents don't even get started on social media because they’re overwhelmed with trying to be on every social media channel .. all at the same time.
Let me give you a huge tip .. Start with Facebook - everyone is on that from the age 30 upwards .. which is the demographic of house owners.
Next, Linkedin .. as that is business people (demographic of landlords) .. after that .. you can do others - but not at the expense of the first two

The future winners in Estate Agency

Estate Agency in the future will be simpler, quicker and more affordable, powered by data driven tech that eliminates the difficulty and friction of today’s obdurate processes. Those agents that recognise that and see their job as not transactional, as just ‘selling another house to hit the numbers, but sees their role as a guide, a trusted professional who appreciates and supports each and every client, as the homeowner goes from one part of their life to another, working to diminish their stress and squeeze maximum value of the move for all parties (not just themselves) .. those will be the winners

Estate Agents - How many agents dont get Social Media

Many estate and letting agents habitually make the oversight of jumping feet first into social media without having a defined and clear-cut definition of their agency’s brand and their intent for starting social media.
..and when I say “the brand”,  I don’t mean the pantone colour schemes of your agency, the swanky logos, the choice of font, lifestyle pictures and polished black and white headshots.
When I say brand, I mean you, the agent…. And from that and the brand is how a customer feels about your agency. Your brand is what a one human being tells another human being about what it is to do business with you.
You brand are things like .. Do you keep your promises? Do you care? Do you give or are you a taker? Are you always trying to get or give? How are you trying to get business? Are you the agent that is always available? Those virtues will guide and support every choice you make on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc  from the content you produce and share, the Facebook ads you run an…

Should Estate/Letting Agents have separate personal and professional social media accounts?

By dividing your personal and professional social media accounts, you can constantly post professional content on your business social media account while posting personal stuff on your personal accounts.
If, however, you decide to combine both personal and professional posts to one profile, you’ll undoubtedly will end up having to make sacrifices to some degree. Conversely, if the posts and content you are delivering is interesting, eloquent, has meaning, engaging and gives value, your audience, friends or professional associates, will probably enjoy and like it.
Bottom line, if you decide to mix your personal and professional social media streams, you will get healthier results when you enroll your friends and followers as cheer-leaders rather than unenthusiastic subjects for your sales pitch.
And that’s the point. Don’t post something that your friends wouldn’t like. Instead of trying to sell, tell instead. Tell a story by sharing your know-how and achievements with them and thank the…

How important are leads in Estate/Letting Agency?

Leads are the life blood of Estate and Lettings Agency, yet there is something about the use of the word ‘lead’ that always makes me uneasy. A ‘lead’ by definition is a potential source of money for you and your agency. 

Now, there is nothing wrong with that, we are in a capitalist society and we are in business to make money …. no money, no business. 
Yet this point of view of seeing potential clients as ‘wallets on legs’ is another thing completely.
I believe most estate agents see these leads, not as humans, but potential transactions that are there to service their need for money, commission and profit.   … and if that is you … my intuition tells me you are being very short sighted and myopic and in fact .. missing out on a huge opportunity.
The Estate and lettings agency services you want to sell will not succeed in this 21st century society if you don’t tackle head on the emotional wants of ‘real-life people’.

Your Estate (and Lettings) Agency needs to see past the tags and pige…

Brand Awareness Marketing in Estate Agency

ESTATE AGENTS .. My intuition tells me (and it does you) that just because somebody is aware of a product or service … any product or service … its doesn’t mean they will buy it.
If I asked you to name the main Banks, Car Manufacturers or Supermarkets – you could tell me a long list of them – but you don’t use/buy them, yet think of all the millions wasted by the banks and others telling us about themselves.
Yet when it comes to marketing OUR estate/letting agency services, we focus our attention on gaining brand awareness all the time just like the banks and supermarkets. Reason goes out the window. We, as agents, persuade (and fool) ourselves into believing that attention and awareness inexorably lead to action. We spends loads of money on brand awareness marketing on Rightmove banners, Googles Ads and a5 flyers… hoping to make people choose our agency
You agents are fooling yourselves, because yes, you can buy attention .. but attention or awareness doesn’t make people use your agency…

Facebook Funnels for Estate Agents (Part 1 of 6)

Paul Long - Estate Agent by Day - Facebook Ad Guru by night  (Part 1 of 6)
Paul Long, Director of Estate Agency Drewery and Drewery in Sidcup, was fed up of wasting money on facebook advertising with his estate agency in Sidcup in Kent .. this is Part 1 (of 6) where he shares so much information on what he has learnt. In these series of six videos (which will be released throughout July 2018) - he will share with you lots of valuable information that you can take away and adopt straight away in your estate and lettings agency


80 Podcasts on attracting landlords to your lettings agency

80 Podcasts on attracting landlords to your lettings agency and house sellers to your estate agency
https://soundcloud.com/christopher-watkin

4min video on content marketing for estate agents

I chatted with Jerry Lyons about the topic of content marketing in estate agency 


4 elements to getting more free vals and listings

Estate and Letting Agency marketing that is successful (and when I say 'successful', I mean marketing that gets you the free vals, the new listings, the landlords and the managed properties to let) has four elements: 1. Attention 2. Engagement 3. Trust and finally, 4. Consent However, 95% of estate agency marketing, agents just worry about the first one… Attention We are the best agent, We have had such an awesome few months we are slashing our fees to X, Look at our Rightmove market share graph  Its all noise .. its all “look how big my willy is” .. trying for quick hit and win, the shortcut to estate agency success  … yet failing You see attention on its own wont get you the listings you deserve (and need) –  Deep down – you know that ..think of all the failed 10,000 leaflet drops or you spending £000’s on SEO etc .. and they didn’t work. Its because the marketing lacked engagement Engagement means that your audience wants to go where you are going. .. and from engagement comes trust an…

5 Steps to Awesome Estate Agency Marketing

Since the dawn of time, people telling stories to each other (ie story-telling) has set the way we work and operate as human beings
Our society, principles, culture, learning, knowledge have past down from father to son, grandfather to grandson, mother to daughter to a point where it has become the bedrock of human society and the only true way humans have understood the world around us.
The importance of stories is rooted in the way humans think, act, work, live, communicate, interact and enjoy ourselves, so it’s no surprise that story-telling keeps returning to the marketing limelight.
Cracking the code to story-telling has the potential to allow you to generate something that is more notable, remarkable (ie to remark about) and memorable than anything your fellow competitor agents are doing.
Yet, how do estate and letting agents even begin to tell “The Awesome Story of Your Estate / Letting Agency Brand”?.. a story that people want to listen to and ultimately get you the vendors and l…