Estate agency is one of the most cut-throat, active industries in the world. Agents and agencies battle for turf by working ungodly hours and wearing metaphorical suits of armour as they branch out into other agencies territories. Along with the stress of fighting for the #1 spot in a specific postcode (area code), also comes the second-hand stress felt by buyers and sellers, as they potentially hand over thousands of pounds or their most valuable asset. Estate agency isn’t an industry for the soft-skinned and light-hearted.
I’ve worked in estate agency for a little while now as a content marketer and coming from a tech background, the first thing I did was research. What do the leading agents do? What do they post on social media? How are they conversing with potential clients? I spent about 7 hours scrolling through blogs, clicking onto the 10th page of Google search results and reading some LinkedIn #estateagencymotivation posts, eventually coming to the conclusion. No one actually knows how to market an estate agency. Every blog kept repeating the same thing. Reviews. Pictures. Competitions — really scraping the barrel of what marketing should be. How is estate agency such a fast, diverse industry and yet the marketing is stuck in the late 2000s?
I did experience a brief flutter of hope as personalisation was discussed but it was wasted energy. Apparently, personalisation in the estate agency world simply means posting a black and white photo of the agent. Boring. Disassociative. Pointless.
Ok so what next?
There is such a huge scope within the estate agent world to market and market well. People don’t just buy or sell a house, they exchange lifestyles, open up renovation possibilities and create a whole new way of living — from their local pub to the school their children will grow up in. There is so much content to market. So the big question is: What’s stopping them?
Much like the hard sale tech guys I used to work with, estate agency managers have the same type of approach towards the market e.g SELL SELL SELL. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate how important sale success stories are when establishing creditability, but constant tone-deaf selling more often than not turns into digital yelling. And if a sale goes wrong, you can bet that your ‘selling success story’ is going to be butchered as a disgruntled client vents their frustrations online. This unfortunately is where many estate agencies fall down. Focusing too much on the company and not the people.
you’re selling a lifestyle, not a house
Firstly for estate agents, personalisation should mean giving your agents a voice — not static photoshopped black and white pictures. Let them talk freely on camera about their areas, the current market and even their own hobbies. If an agent is a keen biker, what routes do they recommend? Why do this? Again because you’re selling a lifestyle, not a house. That little personalised nugget of information could be what changes an opportunity into a sealed deal.
Secondly, let the community talk. What shops, businesses and restaurants are loved in your area? Finding these golden tokens are a great way to integrate yourself into the community without the hard sell approach. By doing this you’re increasing your brand's recognisability, establishing trust even if they saw your logo from that one Instagram reel you posted about your favourite fish&chip shop.
Finally, mix it up. If you don’t listen to any of this advice and continue on with the hard-sell approach, mix up your designs/layouts. Repetitive posts become invisible to the audience, so keep it lively and fresh.
There’s a long way to go in the estate agency world from a marketing point of view and by leading the way with bright, fresh ideas you lead the market.
Thinking of reinventing your estate agency marketing? Email me at email@example.com.