The Covid-19 situation in the UK created a unique set of circumstances never before witnessed in our lifetimes. For around 8 weeks our industry was locked in a room (Facebook), together to discuss ideas and talk about what is and is not needed in our industry.
From these conversations, new ways of working have been born. Social Distancing Valuation Tools, New portals, the experience of how to run an estate or letting agency via home working and if you actually need an office but are any of these actually new ideas?
One thing that has most certainly hit home during these times is that the majority of Estate and Letting Agencies don’t really have a structured marketing strategy in place for their business. This became apparent when lockdown put an end to sending generic leaflets and letters, as it left most agencies with no way of continuing to do marketing.
Content marketing is not a new idea, but it has still not been adopted by the masses in Estate Agency, although that may now be set to change. However, even of those that are doing content marketing only a tiny percentage are actually running a full marketing eco system that powers up their content and places the right things in front of the right people but why? Why, when the rest of the world understands how this kind of marketing works, when personalisation surrounds us in every part of our lives, do estate agents still not feel like they need to do marketing in the same way in order to attract more vendors and landlords?
The two main reasons we hear, are that one; whilst there are companies out there like Hubspot, Infusionsoft or Pardot, these systems are not built for estate or letting agencies and as such they are not only very confusing to set up and use but at an average monthly cost of £3000 they are expensive before you even customise it, and two; the owner of that agency perhaps feels that they do not have the technical knowledge to run an intelligent cutting edge marketing system.
With the Lifesycle platform both of these problems have been addressed, since the system has been built specifically for estate and letting agents and so the functions and the terminology is simple to understand and in terms of not feeling technical enough, we have a very specific proven process of moving an agent through the system so that they not only understand it but can immediately be excited by the power of it.
In terms of cost, at an average cost of £999 per month it is certainly not the cheapest tool in the box but if you look at the fact that Lifesycle combines over 17 different marketing tools, contains automation for many tasks, provides free content and helps you to actually generate more revenue, then it is fair to say that it is probably the most valuable tool in the toolbox for many agents.
This was proven on a recent interview done by Christopher Watkin with Lifesycle users where they unanimously told him that if it came to a straight choice between Rightmove or Lifesycle, they would keep Lifesycle. They also unanimously told him that if it came to a straight choice between a member of staff and Lifesycle, they would choose Lifesycle! Suddenly making the 12k per year for up to 10 branches look like a bargain!
This new age of Estate Agency is maybe not so much a new age, as an evolution. Many agents have been working the Lifesycle way for some time, there are just now more waking up to the idea that this might be important. Many have already moved away from their high street offices or even changed their choice of portals.
We see all of the above as a great thing, not for everyone but for some specific businesses, as for too long Estate and Letting Agency has been the same across the board. Personalisation is back. You are free to choose how you work and what service you deliver and Lifesycle is also allowing those agents to personalise their marketing to a micro level too.
In the early days of lockdown we all feared the worst but could it just be possible the Covid-19 crisis might just save our industry?