In estate agency history, pre internet, mobile phones or social media it was the common view that if you wanted to expand your market into a different area, a few miles down the road, you would need to find a branch and have the costs associated in maintaining and staffing it. This worked well with corporate agencies with the cash to do so but since estate agency has started to move into the modern world of working, these practices are not necessarily required. Scaling up your business using this outdated formula can eat into your profits during expansion, whereas traditional costs associated to scale can be reduced with a few clever alternative options available to the property industry today.
Expanding your audience
With most searches for properties conducted online, people do not want to go to a local high street and visit every estate agency, pay for parking and spend hours walking around so therefore you do not need to have an office locally in your expanding area. With less traffic visiting offices, acquiring a valuation from a high street ‘walk-in’ is becoming less cost effective each year.
The new way to capture more people is the use of social media platforms and paying to advertise to your local market, with lead capturing tools such as an instant valuation ad or e-book guide. This way you can find the right people who are either looking for advice to sell or let their home or need an approximate price. Setting up adverts on these platforms, that connect to your own internal marketing platform, will enable you to nurture on mass, the people who have completed a lead capturing form, therefore still in the stage of research so are not looking for a visit or call but will read information you send to them about the local market or preparing their house for selling or letting. This can be completed on a mass scale but with hyper targeted ads depending on what people need from you.
You can be smart with how you scale and target new areas with these ads, which once set up, will run in the background and every time a new person enters their details, will automatically be added to your marketing system, without the member of your team needing to do this. They will then receive your regular content about their local market, house prices and information in the area whether that is via retargeting ad’s, email, SMS or in your monthly newsletter. All that is required is your standard marketing to be completed, with these audiences automatically filling up.
With modern technology, you do not need to send your fee or price back to the office, passing it onto an admin member to type and send a letter out, with a smart interconnected marketing system you will automatically have a pre-populated market appraisal presentation ready to use. After leaving a valuation, jumping onto your mobile, you can just enter your fee, price, and send the prepared presentation within minutes, impressing your potential vendors and ensuring you are working as efficiently as possible, all the while scaling your business. No need to rush back to the office to be the first agent to send out something. By using an alternative marketing platform, such as Lifesycle, you can ensure you are being the efficient, modern agent that most people are looking to use and expect in today’s world.
If you start to attend more market appraisals whilst focusing on expanding your area, how do you keep on track on reaching out to all those valuations which are not quite ready to put their property on the market with you yet? How do you make sure you keep in touch with them? One things for sure is that you do not need to have a dated 1-31 filing cabinet! Instead, in order to scale, you should be using modern technology to track your future clients movements on your website, social media content, email and newsletters, with an innovative marketing system that tells you who will be the best person to call, making your day more productive. This requires less people hours chasing through and leaving messages for potential clients who are not yet ready. When a client wants to proceed and instruct you, they can simply click a proceed button on their market appraisal presentation 24/7 and you will be automatically notified and can deal with it accordingly.
So, you have a client who wants to proceed and in the past you would need to prepare a contract, either drive out to visit them to sign it or post it to them and wait for it to be returned. The time and money wasted in this process alongside the urgency in getting this returned is now in the past thanks to the use of modern technology.
By ensuring you use a system which offers digital contracts to be sent out to a client from a mobile, after they have told you or clicked a proceed button on their web based market appraisal presentation, can be a quick, cost effective and efficient way to scale when busy. You do not need to go back to an office to create a contract, it can be completed anywhere from your mobile. At any point you can check which contracts are still outstanding and therefore need to be chased simply by the click of a button. Once the signed contract is received, it is pulled into your platform against your property profile so no more manual saving and scanning.
As you list more properties in your own area or new areas you have expanded into, a common problem used to be the time staff needed to respond to all new enquiries on newly listed properties, to manually ask them the same set of questions about what their requirements are, their buying or renting position and also to see if there are any other opportunities. With most people working longer hours than ever it is certainly harder in today’s world to get hold of these leads in order to qualify them. When your current staff are faced with a load of new leads at 9am to get through whilst doing other activities, this is when a new recruit would be needed and its great whilst busy but can be a painful expense for the business when quieter months happen.
A lead management section within a platform which responds to every person who enquires about your properties online, qualifies them and shows you key opportunities to speak to them about, is a much more cost effective way to manage incoming traffic to your agency. Whether you have 100 new enquires or 10 in one evening, an intelligent marketing platform should not be restricted in requesting further information for you. This allows you to arrive at work, ready to speak to pre-qualified people. No more chasing window shoppers, having to write out the same emails or asking the same questions on the phone. Having a system that can automatically ask Facebook to show these pre-qualified enquiries adverts based on if they have a property to sell, have a mortgage requirement or are a landlord allows you to work much smarter.
These are some simple insights that demonstrate how you can use modern technology such as Lifesycle, which will help you work more efficiently when scaling your business up or dealing with an increased amount of enquiries but with a similar amount of staff.