This blog post was written by Kevin Williams of Servon Design, for Property Hive.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed the whole world in a matter of weeks. A few months ago, estate agents were looking forward to ramping up business in spring, optimistic about the start of 2020. No-one could’ve predicted what happened instead.
The UK is now in lockdown, with people being urged to not leave their homes. Recently, Michael Gove urged people to stay put and not move houses during the pandemic. Lenders have also stopped mortgage lending, throwing the housing market in chaos. If you are in this sector, you may feel that there is no hope for the property market, so what’s the point in continuing marketing?
Despite the slow economy, you can grow your influence online and put yourself in the best possible position to bounce back after this mayhem. A lot of people in the property sector will be giving up and reducing activity over the next few weeks/months. Yet, there are loads of things that you can do in this current situation so that you can emerge ahead of the rest.
A lot of your customers will be understandably anxious for the time being. Even if they aren’t struggling to make ends meet right now, they will be nervous about what the future has in store.
Now, is a perfect time to open up a dialogue with these people. Whether they are a recent renter or an old buyer, you should aim to build relationships with them to prove that your estate agency is there to help as much as possible during this pandemic.
Previous customers are likely to come back to you if you communicate with them and help them with their concerns. Aim to keep your customers loyal to you.
Stay positive! We all have to work to help each other now, and keeping people positive in darker times is a great way to do your bit. Answer questions and address concerns. By doing this you’re not only helping people out now, you are showing you can be a trustworthy figurehead in your industry. When the housing market starts to recover, you will be the agency people go to. People will remember you if you were helpful in a time of need.
Now, more than ever, people want answers to reassure themselves of all the uncertainties they’re facing at the minute. Jobs are on the line, and finances up in the air. People renting are nervous about getting evicted if they can’t afford rent once the 3 month ban on evictions that the UK Government introduced the other day is lifted. People who were trying to sell their house have no potential buyers anymore. You should use your expert knowledge in the housing market to provide valuable insight to try to reduce the panic that a lot of people are experiencing right now.
A good way to do this is to write articles and blogs and get them online. One of our estate agent clients has been writing 2 blog posts a week from home amidst this crisis. This is keeping them relevant in the industry, and providing a helpful insight on the housing market for the masses.
Stay on top of what you’re putting out there by creating a content plan. This is a fantastic way to remind you to keep posting content. You can also track what you’ve already posted so you can spice it up a bit. Maybe link to a third party every so often, or send out newsletter emails from time to time. Posting content in this slow economy is the easiest way to stay relevant.
Modernise your marketing
Reevaluate your current marketing tactics. Currently, we all have a lot more free time on our hands. Why not think about your current marketing strategies and how you can improve them before the housing market starts to recover? For example, you could start to implement video tours of all your properties with a presenter. This would allow people to have a clearer idea on the scaling of the houses and the presenter could explain the details of the property better and quicker than reading a chunk of text on your website. Aim to modernise in this time, so that when we’re over the COVID-19 pandemic you are ready for the future rather than stuck in traditional ways.
Learn more about digital marketing
Use your aforementioned free time to learn about boosting your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)! Make sure you’re the first estate agent to show up in a search after the pandemic subsides. See what kind of content search engines reward and do it.
Benefit from Google My Business. This is a free business profile that lets you connect with customers across Google Search and Maps. It’s the panel that shows up on Google when someone searches for your business. You can update this with information that a potential customer might need to know about you without them even having to visit your website. If you don’t already use this tool, you should! If you already do, check on it to see if you are providing enough information on it. Google My Business is also very helpful in boosting your SEO. Luckily for you there is a lot of helpful information online for you to check these digital marketing techniques out.
If you want to discuss your estate agency’s digital marketing strategies going forward in this uncertain time, please get in touch.
Written by Kevin Williams. As one of the founders of Servon Design, Kevin has more than two decades of web and digital marketing experience in the property sector. He focuses on helping Landlords, Property Managers and Letting Agents not only generate leads through digital marketing but also helps improve their online brand and presence.