Six Websites and Apps Estate Agents Should Check Out

I was asked the other day to recommend a few websites which estate agents might find useful.

It was a good question as it got me thinking about what makes for a useful website or as you’ll see below app.
So, here are six of the best (in my humble opinion) and why I think they’re worth a look.

Rev.com
If you’re not putting video into your estate agency’s marketing mix you’re missing a trick. An ever-increasing number of people are accessing information via videos.
And a very large chunk of these people are watching these videos when they’re somewhere that broadcasting to the World what they are looking at might not be appropriate (having a doss at work, being on a train, bus, waiting room etc).
Rev provide a value for money captioning service which does a good job of overlaying subtitles on your videos.

Pixabay.com and Unsplash.com

Don’t nick images off the internet. Taking photos off the net which you don’t have permission to use can land you with a costly bill. Rather than run that risk (plus, it’s not good form) simply look at Pixabay and / or Unsplash for a massive array of photos and images which you can use commercially for free with no copyright issues.
There’s an option to credit the photographer which I always aim to do but is not compulsory.

Scanner Pro
A nice app which turns your mobile phone into a scanner. Decent enough quality and is useful when out and about and needing to scan something quickly.

Headspace
What’s a meditation app doing on this list to help estate agents? Well, if you are good at what you do you’ll be so busy you’ll have countless thoughts racing around your head like kids at an indoor play centre after downing loads of sugar!

We live in an age where we are bombarded by messages, information, requests, demands etc.

And this app acts as a counter balance to that with guided meditations ranging from 60 seconds to 20 minutes. I use it first thing in the morning to give me a little more clarity and purpose about the day ahead.

Think about it. What’s the biggest asset you have?

For me, there’s absolutely no doubt it’s your health, both mental and physical.

Followed by time. Which leads me to the last website.

OneYearNoBeer.com

Yes, this is a left field one. But I know from a few chats I have had with agents / friends this is a site a lot of people can benefit from. I know I have.

Back in January I took on the One Year No Beer 365 Day challenge- that’s right a whole year with no alcohol.
They also offer 28 and 90-day challenges and support people via daily emails, forums, podcasts and Facebook posts.

For me the past six alcohol free months have seen my energy rocket, my mindset improve enormously, seven kilos in weight dropped and hundreds of extra pounds gained in my business account. And loads more time to do stuff.

Even the best ideas / techniques in the World get drowned out by the fog of a lingering hangover.

And as bonus site worth checking out if you’re struggling to find the time to create your own written content for your agency check out my other site – www.estateagentcontent.co.uk

Thanks for reading and I’d love to know which websites and apps you find useful for your agency and personally.

Jerry


Do Estate Agents Take Themselves too Seriously?

Is yours the best job in the World?

Do you bounce out of bed in the morning like Zebedee on Crystal Meth?

Do you absolutely love what you do?

I don’t.

Well at least I thought I didn’t until a video I posted on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago went viral (ish).
If you haven’t seen it a link to it is at the bottom of this article.

But stop right there please, as I have a serious point to make about the subject of estate agents taking themselves too seriously.

Certain professions take their roles in the World way too seriously.

Think of actors. Basically, they are people who pretend to be other people then think that entitles them to often be super pretentious.

And what is it with shop assistants who work in designer stores? The ‘I’m so grand’ attitude just seeps out of them, ‘I work in Gucci, therefore I must be taken seriously.’ Good luck with that, and the minimum wage they are most likely on.

I’ve met plenty of estate agents who also take themselves way too seriously. God forbid they showed a human side, a bit of humour or a glimpse of vulnerability.

At the end of the day you are salespeople. Just like the Gucci guys and gals but hopefully on a better take home.

And I’m just someone who taps words into a machine and hope it comes out half readable.

Doctors and nurses are important.

Especially on an emergency on a plane. Never in the history of people being in the skies has a stewardess urgently asked: “Is there an actor / estate agent / stuck up sales person on board. An overweight American in seats 32a ….and b and c is having a bad turn.”

My New Love

The video I made was just me and a mate mucking about basically and having fun. Guess what? It’s been viewed nearly 10,000 times, has led to two contracts to write scripts for estate agency videos and has shown me a side of my work that I love.

And where there is love there is energy and a desire to do better.

Anyway, enough of my council house philosophising.

My action point here is for agents to think about where they could inject some humour and personality into their marketing. Maybe a light-hearted video look at the stereotype of estate agents, or a Meet the Team that brought a smile to people’s faces.

It’s said that the shortest distance between people is laughter.

And maybe taking a lighter hearted look at how you market your agency might bridge the gap between yourselves and potential vendors and landlords.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Here’s the link to the video

PPS: Volume 4 of my Estate Agent Articles is out now. To find out more and see if your area has been taken just ping me an email.


Introducing the ‘Secret’ Estate Agency Marketing Tool

We all know about blogging.

More and more estate agents are also vlogging.

Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, direct mail, newsletters and community sponsorships are all staples of estate agency marketing to some degree.

But there’s is a seriously underused, almost to the point of it being a secret, marketing tool for agents and that is podcasting.

For those of you who don’t know (marketing rule #1 – Never Assume People Know What You’re Talking About) here’s a brief guide to podcasting.

Podcast: a digital audio file made available on the Internet for downloading to a computer or mobile device, typically available as a series, new instalments of which can be received by subscribers automatically.

People are on the move more than ever. Driving around in their cars, commuting on transporting, exercising, running and 101 other modes of getting about.

We’ve forgotten what it’s like to bored. Because our phones and tablets have opened a world of never ending entertainment and information.

And podcast provides an answer to capture the ears, literally, of potential clients and people in your local patch.

I love listening to podcasts – BBC5 Live Boxing, Sky Sports Toe to Toe, One Year No Beer (an alcohol-free challenge I’m on) and several personal development ones. They are brilliant for car journeys to clients or when I’m out running or pretending to do stuff in the garden.

Producing them is as simple as having a smart phone and a decent microphone (not expensive).

Here are four ideas I’ve had for agents to podcast about.

1) Monthly property marketing update for your patch.

2) Invite a local solicitor / mortgage broker in to discuss conveyancing / mortgages. This can be broadened out to include chats with local builders, interior designers, garden landscapers etc.

3) If you have the licences to my Estate Agent Articles you can use them as a springboard for your podcast material.

4) Create a fortnightly round up of local area news, share what’s been happening in your office but aim to make it personable, interesting and entertaining for your listeners.

James Ede, of Be Heard, is a podcasting expert and a good bloke. He has sent me several links to some useful information on why podcasts are brilliant marketing tools, how to set up a podcast (it’s a lot simpler than you think) and statistics that show huge growth in the popularity of podcasts.

If you want to look at what he’s sent send me an email saying for ‘Pod’s Sake’ and I’ll forward them to you.
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Volume 4 of my Estate Agent Articles launches on May 26th. They are my best work yet and include improvements to the SEO, free images and you can even turn them into vlogging scripts and Podcast material. Existing clients get first refusal and I’ll be letting you know more about this in the next fortnight. If you want to be first in line for a no obligation look ping me an email. Thanks.


Why are estate agents scared of being different?

Very quick blog this week as I’m double busy on a rake of projects.

My question is why are so many estate agents scared of being different?

So many agents I speak to are stuck in traditional ways of thinking about their marketing and content generation that they are not just standing still – they are falling off the back of the chasing pack.

And here’s why, by being unafraid to stand out from the crowd works in business, especially in estate agency.

Richard Reed, formerly the marketing genius behind Innocent (he is an Einstein when it comes to building an outstanding brand) and Seth Godin (a leading marketing thinker and massive advocate of standing out from the crowd) both bang the being different drums until the purple cows come home.

Their level of operator invented it.

Think of it like this.

Six estate agents are stuck in a room trying to catch the attention of a vendor who is standing on a stage looking down on them.

Five agents are jumping up and down saying ‘pick me’ ‘pick me’ all in the same style and tone of voice.

Then agent six waits for a gap in the noise and sings, Pavarotti like, ‘Piiiiiiiiiiiccccccccckkkkkkkkk Meeeeeeeeeeeeee.’

He’s saying the same thing (I want your business) but in a different, above the white noise, way. He gets noticed at the very least. And if he has a good follow up he / she will get instructed.

Below is an example of how using a new voice to sing an old tune turned a £60 spend into a £4500 fee within a fortnight.

I’ve written a three-phase canvassing letter bundle. Nothing new there. But the tone of voice and style of how they are written are as stand out as getting good service from BT (an unusual and rare experience).

An agent in Essex spent the £60 (plus vodka and tonic) to buy the letters and below is an email he kindly sent me.

“I wanted to drop you a line to say a massive thank you for your canvassing letters.

I sent the first batch out three weeks ago, I got a valuation that week, listed and sold it the week later at a fee of £4500. The seller said if I was that keen to promote my business why wouldn’t he want me to sell his house for him. I would totally recommend you to other agents.”

As with all my products I’m happy to share the content upfront (which is a different tactic) so that you can make an informed choice whether you want them or not – if your postcodes are still up for grabs.

If you want to have a look simply ping me an email with your postcodes and agency website address.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: I’d love to know what your agency is doing differently from your rivals. Or perhaps even more importantly doing stuff differently to that which you did last month or year.


The marketing platform most estate agents are rubbish at

I read an interesting article last week.
It contained a main message I have believed for ages.
It’s to do with a marketing myth.
Print marketing for estate agents is dead, apparently.
But this article by a chap called Oli Luke made a very good case that its death has been grossly exaggerated.
Every bright 20 something will tell you the only way is digital. If you want to get in front of more prospective vendors, you must be on Facebook.
And you must spend a wad on Google Ads, Pay Per Click and if you’re not down with Proptech you ain’t cool.
I have a problem with this.
I agree having a good presence on Facebook is very worthwhile for estate agents.
And at the very least you should have a good looking, updated Google My Business page.
And there’s little doubt that you’ll get left behind if you’re a totally Luddite (Google it if needs be).
But. And this is the point the article’s write makes.
What happens if Facebook does face a user backlash in the wake of the Cambridge Analytics data storm? (I think it’s unlikely, but you never know).
Or if Google changes it’s magical and mysterious algorithm and your agency somehow gets bumped down, off, kicked to the kerb?
The article made a great point about how printed marketing gives you more control. If you use the Royal Mail or a reputable distribution company your messages will get through the door (aside from the occasional angry Yorkshire Terriers with small dog syndrome ripping it to shreds).
Here are four simple tips to give your printed marketing efforts a better chance of being responded to.
These are based on my experience with clients using a range of 4 -16-page newsletters (not fliers!).
1) Localise. People are interested in what is happening in their town or neighbourhood. As a former local journalist, I was always genuinely taken aback by the level of interest people had in what was happening in their own neck of the woods. Keep it local and you’ll keep ‘em interested.
2) Avoid. Selling your agency’s services. The content of your newsletter should be 80 per cent about your local market and 20 per cent about your agency. Even then make the agency related content about people in your team, your community efforts or a delighted client’s story.
3) Content. Think about what interests you and your family. Local days out, events, success stories, garden advice, property maintenance tips, photos of well know local places and ideally people. And of course, this is an opportunity for a local property market update.
4) Repeat. There’s no point doing a print run of 5000 – 10000 newsletters once and then forgetting about. Quarterly seems to be the best in giving a good return over the year.
5) Track. It’s easy to gauge a response from printed marketing. Use a tracking telephone number and a dedicated email address for enquiries.
I must say I don’t think print marketing works in all areas, central London or big cities for example.
But if you are an agent serving a small town it is in my experience a good way of generating leads and raising profile.
Print isn’t dead but half-hearted fliers bragging about your agency are.
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.
Jerry
PS: If you have any questions whatsoever please feel free to pick my brains at: Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk


Is This Facebook Move a ‘Game Changer’ for Estate Agents?

I hate the phrase ‘game changer’. It started off, like a lot of things, in the USA.

It came from the world of sports reporting – a game changer was someone of extraordinary talent like a Lebron James or Kobe Bryant (tall fellas, good at basketball).

And it’s made its way to our shores.

So, not only is it over here being over used, it often means sweet fuck all when it’s plonked onto marketing copy for a new piece of software, legislation, app, etc.

In my humble opinion there are very, VERY few things that are true game changers.

An absolute total cure for all cancers is one of them.

Making Mars habitable for humans another.

Lionel Messi can also be reasonably included.

And the Google machine on the interweb.

I’ve lost count of the number of ‘game changing’ shiny new things to hit estate agency marketing since the turn of the year.

None of them have been. It’s simply lazy arsed copywriting or reporting.

But last week following on from my post about Estate Agents worth following on Facebook, two of them announced something which, if it’s what they are saying it is, could be a genuine ‘game changer’ (I’ve just whacked myself in the mouth with my hole puncher for saying that) for certain agencies.

Chris Kyriacou of EAanalytics and Perry Power of Power Bespoke estate agents have teamed up to create an online training course for agents which will show you how to, and I quote their spiel:

“Use the Marketing Superpower of Facebook to Generate Leads for Your Estate Agency.”

The reason why this piqued my interest was that over the past two or three months I’ve been doing a lot of scouting for my clients.

By this I mean I create reports on their rivals. What they are doing well? What they ain’t doing well? Where their weak spot is? And how we can capitalise on it?

Just like I did when I was involved in football and scouting rival teams ahead of our matches against them.

And the most glaring area most of their rivals (and indeed in some cases my own clients) are weak in is using Facebook to generate leads without throwing loads of money at boosted posts or adverts.

The likely lads promise their way will draw in quality leads for a fraction of the usual cost.

But the main reason I’ve signed up for this course is because what the pair are sharing isn’t hypothetical.

Chris came up with it and Perry has been using it to great effect in his agency. And if it works for his agency it’ll work for my clients I’m sure.

Follow the link for more information, including the early bird offer they’re running.

Online Learning for Estate Agents

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction, wherever it comes from.

Jerry

PS: I also f’ing hate that phrase ‘going forward’. Why couldn’t we have simply stuck with ‘in the future’?

PPS: If you are still using ‘solutions’ scattered around your marketing copy like flea powder on a raggedy old rug you are probably around 10 years, maybe 12, out of date.


Five Estate Agents to Follow on Facebook

Believe it or not some people aren’t on Facebook.

This rare breed of Homo Sapiens is probably feeling smug now as their personal data hasn’t been half-inched by a bunch of techie Arthur Daly’s intent on swaying elections.

But seriously, some people are only just joining Facebook. An estate agent client of mine has just joined the World’s biggest social media network.

He asked me a question which really got me thinking.

“Who should I be following on Facebook to improve my estate agency?”

I created a list of five people for him and he’s happy for me to share it below.

My pet hate with Facebook isn’t the selfie brigade, or the passive aggressive posse – it’s the business gurus.
There’s hundreds of them promising the earth and almost universally have about as much substance as a Made in Chelsea / Only Way is Essex character.

However, the people on the list below offer value and, in my opinion, are good people to follow if you want to improve your estate agency. Whether that relates to your marketing, sales, systems or software.

In no particular order.

1) Perry Power of Power Bespoke.
When I first became aware of Perry I made a snap judgement. Turns out it was wrong. His page uses video really well, he’s passionate about his business and indeed the estate agency business. And he gets that we’re now living in the sharing society when it comes to social media.

2) Mathew Wood of Orchards Estates.
He is a client of mine but that has nothing to do with me putting him on the Famous Five list. A hugely likable, honest chap his agency’s page features Ask the Experts videos, live updates from open houses and loads more. And by the way his agency was crowned Best Estate Agent in the UK at last year’s Best Estate Agents Guide event supported by Rightmove and the Property Academy. So, he knows his stuff.

3) Tom Panos.
An Australian trainer for the property industry. He comes across brash, a little forceful even. But hey he’s an Aussie but unlike some of his countrymen he doesn’t seem the type to tamper with your balls. I like his stuff, especially the short clips he posts that are insightful, interesting and he comes across as genuine. He’s got some excellent motivational videos on YouTube and interviews a lot of Oz’ leading agency owners.

4) Matt Giggs of Giggs and Co.
Again, scores highly in the likeability league table. And he’s got a really good story behind his successful brand. Aside from his agency’s page he also has the Matt Giggs Personal Power Group, which aside from the slightly ‘Awesome, be the best you’ sponsored by Anthony Robbins Inc sounding name is a very useful page for estate agents to build up their bank of knowledge. Uses video well, has a personality and shares behind the scenes at his agency.

5) Chris Kyriacou – Runs the SMART Strategies for Estate Agents Facebook Group. While I’m not sure Chris is still an estate agent he certainly has experience. And this is probably my favourite page for agents to air their concerns, ask for help, share useful tips and sometimes have a moan up.

All five are united by three things that are important for business success and good karma in the social media age we find ourselves in.

1) They all produce a ton of content, especially video – but not just shite content or Egos on Tour. It’s mostly useful content you can learn from and beats being pitched to by a guru promising easy millions by simply downloading his bundle of bollocks for $299 (with installment options as f’ing standard).

2) They show enough of their personality for you to buy them as people. I can’t do business with people I don’t like and imagine this is the case with a lot of (not all may I add) people.

3) They are generous. Gone are the days when we guard little things that improve our businesses. Sure, I get why KFC guards the Colonel’ Secret Recipe, but the sharing economy is here, and the world is all the better for it, most of the time. By sharing their knowledge, their story and experience these five pages / people are positioning themselves as experts and building their own personal brand which will benefit their agencies or respective businesses.

Notable others who are worth a look are Michelle Gallagher from JDG Estate Agents, Shaun Adams of Cooper Adams, Chris Watkin, Sam Ashdown and the guys at the Property Academy.

This is just my honest opinion and I know there are lots of other pages and groups out there worth a look.

And finally, in true Facebook fashion if you like this article please share it like it’s a video of a cat in a hat playing a guitar while being pulled along the street in a go kart by two cute little puppies to the Curb Your Enthusiasm soundtrack.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry


Is there a future for traditional estate agents?

If you are a traditional estate agent I’ve come across a survey and report, you must read.

I say ‘must’ in a pushy way as the report from Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP is in my opinion essential reading for estates agents who are worried about the threat from online only agents.

It could very well end up being the read that saves / secures your agency’s future.

It’s titled Can Traditional Estate Agents Continue to Thrive in the Brave New Digital World.

Granted it’s not the catchiest name for a report but trust me – it’s a good piece of work.

Now, I want to be crystal clear that I wasn’t involved in the writing of this report. I discovered it when reading my local chamber of commerce’s magazine.

And it’s not your usual 8 pages of fluff.

This is 64 pages of detailed analysis and advice and features a survey of 60 agencies in the south east of England.
It’s very good.

Topics covered include:

Why traditional agents need to clearly differentiate their offer to that of their online rivals. And how they can do it.

How traditional agents can use technology and innovation just as much as their online competitors.

Why traditional agents win hands down when it comes to the art of negotiation and sales progression and why this needs to be publicised more skillfully.

Alternative business models’ traditional agents could consider in the future.

And loads more useful information, ideas and insights, plus the responses from agents surveyed are interesting.
It’s a very useful piece of thought leadership and clever content marketing by Rix & Kay.

The proof is in the reading so if you want me to send over a copy just ping me an email at Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk – saying – ‘Yes please Jesmondo.’

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Please unsubscribe if you don’t find these articles useful – I won’t hold it against you and you’ll be doing me a favour ahead of the GDPR coming along on May 25. The unsubscribe button is below.


How to Avoid Being an Estate Agent Fool

The Holy Grail of social media marketing for many an estate agent is having a post go viral for the right reasons.

Now I’m not going to assume that you know what going viral means so here goes.

It’s when something gets shared so often on social media that it gets spread around like a virus. Charming eh?

I’ve had clients approach me saying they want their promotional tweet or Facebook video post to go ‘viral’. The bad news is 9.99999999999 times out of ten it is not going to happen.

But experience and analysis has shown me there is something that estate agents can do with their social media marketing which will get shared and reacted to a lot more than their usual offerings.

It’s April Fool’s pranks / stunts.

Good ones get shared a lot on the day and for a time afterwards. But perhaps more importantly it shows the agency doesn’t take itself too seriously, has a sense of fun and has a bit of personality which is often lacking in the property world.

Why do you think Virgin have used them for years? Or that a fast food giant spent loads on PR advertising its new left-handed burger? Or even the classic BBC prank that saw it report that Big Ben was going digital?

When you do them well they put smiles on people’s faces and make them feel that little bit friendlier to the brand or business that did it.

But what makes a shareable April Fool’s Day Estate Agent post?

1) It mustn’t be totally ridiculous. There needs to be a little bit of reality to it.
2) It must be playful.
3) It must be timed just right – April 1st between 7am and 12 noon. (the sharing of it, if it’s a good ‘un goes on beyond that and can capture press coverage). And you need to plan hence the timing of this email.

So, with my ever-beady eye on opportunity, I’ve written two April Fool Day articles that I’m syndicating to non-competing agents.

If you are interested in hearing a bit more about these drop me a line at: Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction,

Jerry