There can be little doubt about the fact that marketing is transforming at warp speed. Just a decade ago, Rightmove contained only 1 in 10 property listings, Facebook was still in its infancy and YouTube was still a mystery to many.
Nowadays, activity in numerous sectors is dominated by streaming services, pay-per-click advertising and social media traffic. It is likely that back when you started your career as an agent, you had no idea how important marketing functions would be to your ability to sell properties.
During the time I have spent assisting independent estate agents with their marketing endeavours, staying abreast of the latest trends has been difficult, but I continuously strive to do just that.
The following are my top prognostications in the world of estate agency marketing for 2019:
1) Estate agents will pay far more attention to marketing ROI.
Whereas in the past, agents tended to consider increased brand awareness to be conclusive evidence of marketing success, nowadays most are of the belief that ROI can only truly be measured by efforts that yield actual responses from prospective buyers. Such a response could be an email sign-up or an RSVP to an event, but in any case, an agent will be able to assign real value to such a response and use it to assess the marketing campaign that brought it about.
2) Facebook Live and other streaming options will take centre stage as key components of agents’ overall strategy.
Obtaining and holding a prospect’s attention is the key to doing business these days. However, with all of the distractions of modern life, this is no small feat. With users able to instantly click away from an agent’s content onto something else, video content is more important than ever before. Mobile-friendly video now represents roughly half of all mobile data users and this clearly signals a new era of influence for agents able to take advantage of the trend. With projections suggesting that the upward trend in the influence of mobile video, this is an area to which independent agents need to devote real resources. Use of live streaming features mean agents will be able to reach potential foreign buyers too, for example, agents will be able to show potential investors properties for sale in Menorca!
3) Estate agency marketing is set to be experiential, using high-quality video productions and innovative tactics.
The past few years have witnessed some amazing transformations in terms of the marketing tactics used. Detailed photography and high-tech video footage are now the norms for premium-level listings. In increasing numbers, agents are making heavy use of these techniques to differentiate themselves from the competition and garner the attention of prospective buyers. Drone video footage, professional staging and the like are helping agents justify higher commissions and/or the marketing fees they charge. As virtual reality technology becomes even more prevalent and accessible, agents will have the flexibility needed to expand their marketing efforts to buyers located abroad.
4) Marketing focus will shift from brand to personality.
Personality is everything in the world of sales, and estate agency work is no exception. Rapport, confidence and trustworthiness are critical components in convincing a buyer to strike a deal, and agents understand this. Buyers are putting less and less faith in large corporate names and are increasingly willing to give smaller, independent agencies a chance. The key is to showcase personality and highlight independence. Social media can facilitate this type of strategy by personalising the agent and their presence in the local community.
5) Agents will turn to digital technology in an effort to achieve automation of their lead development and marketing initiatives.
As competition reduces fees and margins grow ever tighter, agents everywhere are discovering the perks of using automation as they tackle their marketing endeavours. Developing a marketing funnel in this way helps the sales engine keep running behind the scenes while the agent can attend to other important customer service tasks. Agents who lack expertise in getting the most out of automation in this context will likely turn to external providers such as marketing gurus and others.