According to an article in the weekly paper: “Whatever you think about the internet, it does bring one great benefit to mankind — the gradual death of the old-fashioned estate agent.”
Although characteristically extreme, the sentiment forces us to confront that cringe-worthy image of estate agent marketing that makes use of out-of-date techniques: cold-calling, door-to-door selling, punting disingenuous descriptions of tatty property, sharing airbrushed faces on paper-wasting flyers. It was once the way to do it, to alert people to the fact that you were an agent and you had houses to sell, but boy, how things have changed.
The market has spoken... listen up
In this day and age, estate agent marketing is about giving customers what they really want. With the internet placing more power in the hands of customers, estate agent marketing has had to evolve to better service those clients’ needs. Online real estate platforms create a space where buyers can find the home that they want, at a good price, with minimal fuss. However, as the same article points out, currently only 5.5% of residential sales in the UK go through the “new, ultra-cheap, online estate agents”, however, this is expected to increase by 70% by 2020. We take a closer look at how estate agent marketing has evolved, and how those who want to keep up, should be changing too.
Why more and more buyers will move online
Current figures show that 90% of buyers may start their search online but the majority seal the deal with an agent on the High Street, but, so The Spectator argues, buyers would be better off completing the transaction online, with many new online agencies charging a reasonable flat rate rather than a percentage of the sale. Moreover, with the great quantity of knowledge widely available online, buyers have greater capacity to conduct their own research into the housing market — from the going rate in the area to exciting new locations offering comparable (or better) deals. As they point out, the shift online has happened in a number of industries: “think of the minicab apps that expose the overpriced, inefficient practices of black cabs… Airbnb, the American home rental company, has revealed how overpriced hotels are; we’d prefer to stay in each other’s houses than in a tiny, single-bedroom cell.”
So, what can you do to keep your clients engaged?
In the face of a rapidly changing industry, real estate professionals have to stay relevant and provide the sort of service people want. An article in the Financial Post addresses the issue and looks to Pauline Aunger, the president of the Canadian Real Estate Association, who says that estate agents “possess detailed knowledge of local markets.” According to Aunger, “the realtor’s value is interpreting the data.” Real estate agent Derek Ladouceur equates selling your own home to doing your own taxes, saying, “Yes, you save money doing it on your own, but there’s a good chance you might be audited because you skipped something.”
The article mentions a variety of extra services estate agents are offering, over and above the buying and selling of houses. From offering professional photography to tenanting services, estate agents are finding savvy ways to look after customers with more care than ever before. When it comes to your estate agent marketing, the key is providing what your customers want: quick, honest and efficient service that takes the hassle of finding the perfect home out of their hands and into your most capable ones. Despite the online shift, genuine service can’t be replaced. Buying a home is a big decision and if buyers know you have their interests at heart, you’re sure to continue to win them over.
For more articles about estate agent marketing tips, and information about our property in Calpe, get in touch wtih us. As leading real estate professionals in the region, we offer the largest portfolio of quality property in Calpe, as well as an in-house letting agency and a number of other value-adding services.