Imagine. You’re all set up with a great Estate Agency business. Everything is in place. Your shop is smart and welcoming … and it’s in the perfect location. You’ve recruited a superb team – energetic, enthusiastic, and with all the drive it takes to push through sale after sale. Your website and the technology to support it? Those are looking good to go. Yes – you have every vital ingredient in place for an archetypal Estate Agency success story.
There’s just one thing missing. A single element without which your business has zero chance of leaving your expensively assembled launch pad. Leads, customers, prospects. Call them what you like. Without them, you’ll be going nowhere.
In this article, we’re going to highlight for you 21 ways to overcome this challenge – 21 lead generation ideas that range from old-school to hi-tech, but they all have two things in common - not only are they statistically proven to work, but they cost almost nothing upfront to put into action. If you are a letting agent or are focusing on targeting landlords, you may also be interested in our 40 ways to find landlords in the UK.
Never underestimate the value of your strongest network of all – friends and family. These are people who, for years, have known you and are aware of your skills qualities. Of course, when you bump into them at social events, you’ll want to keep them up-to-date with how business is going. But you can do much more. Try being proactive. Let’s say you have a client looking for a property near to where one of your friends or family members lives. Why not pick up the phone and ask if they know of anyone in the locality who might be looking to sell? You never know – you could strike lucky. It’s surely worth a phone call.
Business networking can be one of the most fruitful and enjoyable forms of low-cost lead generation. There are now more ways to network effectively than ever before:
A few networking tips:
To find your local networking groups, simply do a Google search. To give you an idea of annual UK property events and exhibitions, here’s a sample list:
As you’d expect, during the coronavirus pandemic, the Open House concept took a hit. But don’t believe that these events are a thing of the past. On the contrary, they’re very much on the way back. Although some people are understandably hesitant, a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors showed that 65% of people who attended an open house within the last year would do so again.
Here are ways to make sure that your Open House events are as successful as they can be:
As Open House viewings declined with the advent of the pandemic, so Virtual Viewings surged in popularity. Although they might not be a complete substitute for a live tour of a property, virtual viewings can still be valuable. No longer as expensive and time-consuming as they once were, this form of lead generation is now a fast and cost-effective way for you to gain a competitive advantage.
The benefits of virtual tours:
A recent survey confirms one of the longest-held truisms in business - a referred customer costs much less to acquire and has a higher potential for retention and loyalty. Just as impressive - these referred customers cost almost little to nothing to acquire — a win-win.
But some of us are naturally apprehensive about approaching current clients to ask them for help. How do you go about asking them to approach their network on your behalf without coming across as awkward or pushy?
Many Estate Agents are scornful of the idea of generating leads by Door-to-Door knocking. For them, in the age of IT and social media, this technique went out with the dinosaurs. However, they’re wrong … and there are stats to prove it.
Key Door-to-Door tips
Social media community sites and forums can be excellent for networking, learning and generating leads. You need to work both sides of the platforms. In other words, get active in both providing answers to forum questions and asking questions yourself.
There are numerous platforms and communities for you to involve yourself in:
No development in the world of Estate Agency has had a greater impact on the sector than the advent of Social Media. The major platforms are not so much there to help you ‘sell’ but to enable you to ‘connect’ with potential customers. They are all about building trust. When a customer feels connected with your brand, 68% will recommend you to a friend, and 76% will buy from you over a competitor.
The success you achieve through your social media activity will not be instant. Like networking, it’s a ‘slow burn’. But with pro-active, consistent involvement and diligence, success will come your way.
In fact, 78% of salespeople engaged in social media are outselling those who aren’t.
Here are the key platforms:
This platform, with its massive social, non-commercial reach, has the largest audience of all - 51.34 million users in 2021. 32% of Facebook users engage with brands regularly.
93% of people plan to purchase a product or service from a business they follow on Twitter.
Instagram enjoys a massive advertising reach of 1.393 billion users, with 70% of marketers looking to video.
With careful planning, social media paid-for or sponsored posts can be hugely beneficial for lead generation. Their great advantage over many other forms of advertising is that they enable you to be highly focused with your targeting – allowing you to focus on specific demographics – age, career profiles, location, interests etc. They also make it easy to track your ROI. Social Media PPC ads are quick and easy to prepare, enabling you to get your message out quickly.
To make the most of the opportunity, you need to keep two factors at the forefront of your mind:
People really want to see the property you are advertising in that Facebook ad of yours.
Consider investing in professional photography to end up with high-quality images that fit right inside your carousel to make your advertised property look like a buyer’s dream come true!
Make it happen with high-quality visuals in the form of carousels and maybe even a video tour. 86% of video marketers say video has been effective in generating leads.
Do you want your video ads to stand out ahead of all the rest? Hire a drone and shoot some professional videos. Push them as a Facebook video ad and watch prospects come flocking over.
Now long-established as a successful way to generate leads online, there are many reasons to consider Paid Ads. As with social media PPC, you can set a clear objective and a budget. It’s also easy to track your ROI. They are also a proven way to increase your brand awareness. There’s plenty of statistical evidence to support claims of PPC success:
There are plenty of sources for your Estate Agency to buy property leads. To find the best option, you need to be clear about:
It’s important to research your lead generation sources carefully and check out the track record of each one to make sure that your ROI is satisfactory.
So you think cold calling is dead? You couldn’t be more wrong.
Organisations that don’t bother with cold calling experience 42% less growth than businesses that do.
You need to be brave. You need to be disciplined. And, to coin a phrase you may have heard before, you need to ‘just do it’!
Pick up the phone and call your leads.
Cold calling has always been, and will continue to be, a staple for the property sector.
What kind of prospects should you be calling?
Items you are likely to need before you make that first cold call:
As a marketing channel, email has been around for well over two decades. With the explosion in social media, webinars and video, it would be easy to assume that the days of email marketing are numbered.
However, all the evidence shows that email’s reputation as an effective lead-generation tool is as strong as ever - 78% of marketers in 2020 said email is vital to their company's success. Furthermore, email shows on average a staggering ROI of 4,200%, with segmented campaigns producing as much as a 760% increase in revenue.
Key points to remember when developing your email campaign:
Be sure to check out the number of email marketing tools out there, such as Mailchimp. It helps you automate the process and keep all your campaigns and client relations organised.
The idea may seem ‘old school’, but there’s no substitute for the old-fashioned, personal approach. Set aside an hour a week to call previous customers. Use the opportunity to find out about how they’re getting on in their home. Even if they moved in two or three years ago, they might be more than happy to talk about changes they’ve made to the property, extensions they’ve added and plans they have for the future. These people will be impressed that you’ve been in touch. There’s no better way to make sure you stay at the top of their minds when they’re talking to their own contact about house moving.
It’s a common misconception to assume that the days of print advertising for Estate Agents have passed. All the evidence points toward the fact that combining print ads with digital ads will make online campaigns 400 % more effective. Here are more stats in support of the use of print ads.
Of course, you will understand the value of producing a website for your Estate Agency. However, with competition in the sector so intense, it’s worth the extra investment to make your website stand out head and shoulders above the others.
Your website needs to attract the right customers and present itself in a way that makes your Estate Agent irresistible. It needs to
Your website may be beautifully designed and functional. But – if no one can find it, then it will hardly be fit for purpose.
In your earliest discussions with your web designer, you need to make it clear that you require your site to be optimised for SEO. Here are four fundamental SEO techniques:
If you need inspiration, check out some of the best Estate Agent and property websites.
There are three great reasons to use a carefully researched blogging strategy to generate new leads:
Maintaining your presence on online directories is a simple yet fundamental tactic to d=support your lead generation efforts and is key to SEO success. In fact, the top online business directories attract 17.5 million searches monthly.
The Top 10 directories for Estate Agents are:
Stating the obvious? Maybe – but of all the tips we’ve listed, none of them will have as effective ROI as how you are with people.
After all, an average of 61% of small businesses declare that more than half their revenue comes from repeat business. The most effective way to get that repeat business is to make yourself and your Estate Agency service memorable … for all the right reasons.
The late author, actress, and activist Maya Angelou famously stated -
“People may forget what you said.
They may forget what you did.
But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Our marketing journey outlines the benefits of a hyper-targeted marketing campaign which beats competitors