5 Missed opportunities for estate agents

Steve TraskBy Steve Trask in Marketing

Most estate agents don’t realise they are sitting on missed opportunities, hot leads, with people wanting to sell their properties. But what are these missed opportunities? In this piece we look at some of the ways you might just get the edge on the competition, or avoid their gaining an advantage over you.

Say hello again

Assuming you capture people’s details as soon as you have contact with them (if not that should be your number one on the list) most agencies add these to a CRM database and they go into a general mailing list. Why not setup an automated response to go out a day after they were added this could be tailored to them and what sort of prospective customer they are; buying, selling, lettings, or services. It could have a profile pic and contact details of a member of staff that would be a point of contact and some other interesting content to loop them back into your website.

The reason this works is it helps to stay front of mind and helps to prevent people forgetting who they’re dealing with. There’s a good chance your email will end up on their phone, leaving you only a click away from a call.

Have a takeaway to hand anywhere you go

This should also already be the case but you would be surprised how many agents don’t do it. Have something about your business on you at all times. This will be the primary bit of content to represent your business that a potential vendor might have in their office or home about you. Ideally it should be more than a business card, a leaflet or something less traditional such as an introduction letter about you and the company or a team photo which could be more personal and people can easily relate to.

You will never know when you need it and may be surprised how many daily opportunities you have. If you have it to hand ready to go it gives you a professional impression from that moment on and you won’t get that moment back again.

First impressions are a big deal

Okay this is a slight cliche but it is very true in the services sector. Most people will know the agents they might want to use already, they will quickly form a list of the agents they want, or don’t want, to invite into their home. What’s going to help propel you to the top of that list? Would you choose the person that’s immediately flustered, scrambling around to jot down their details on the back of an envelope, or the one who is well prepared with an information pack, ready to answer any question you have on the market? These things matter to customers and reflects how you are perceived as a business.

Customer service is key, so how can you go above the normal expectations what extra mile can you deliver to show you are a knowledgeable, professional business? Some business’ set simple targets such answer the phone in three rings, speak to everyone who comes into the office straight away don’t let them hang around and wait. Give them extra information above what they require, set out what the next steps are so they feel re-assured and most importantly connect with them as a person.

Capture as much as possible

Most agents do this but do you capture ALL the information you can? Not only should you take down all the contact details of potential clients for buyers, sellers, landlords and renters. Yes, renters, a lot of agents discard renters as easy come easy go leads but you should grab as many of them as you can. This is because they might be buying (and selling) in the near future and also make up a large part of the community. What estate agency would they recommend to their parents who are selling their home?

You could even run a promotion to renters ‘recommend your estate agency and get a weeks free rent’. Because of the apparent abundance of renters on databases the reach would be very large, obviously terms and conditions would need to applied 😉

Another point is the information you capture, do you know how many dependants clients have? This might be used to see when they will want buy or sell, a family of 5 in a 3 bed home – that is an opportunity. Two older parents with a son of 30 in a 5 bed house, that is another opportunity.

Be very active in staying in touch with your previous vendors

This is something that very few if any estate agents do, have you sent any marketing to people who bought through you a year ago? If not then you’d better hope the agent down the road hasn’t.

This is a massive opportunity to maintain a relationship rather than let it fade away, you want to be at the top of the list when they start thinking of selling. You worked so hard to win the business in the first place, you could make your life a lot easier when the time comes for next move by staying in touch in the interim.

Send them an email, offer them a property market valuation on a yearly basis, you could even send them a property market update so they feel you are keeping them informed. This gives the relationship a perception of value, something they will not want to lose and also raise you above your competitors when they try to market to them.

You can not expect marketing opportunities to come to you

As you can see there are opportunities that you may already be sitting on and not doing, so what are you waiting for grab some local market property research and get going!

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