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


Estate Agents, Facebook and Cowboys

I’ve been doing a lot of work this week on Facebook marketing with a couple of clients.

Nothing ground breaking there, as all agents need to be thinking about making the most of Zuckerberg’s social media giant.

But it did mean I spent the best part of a day looking at dozens of different Facebook pages from estate agencies across the UK.

There was a real Clint Eastwood mix of pages too.

Some good, many bad, several ugly.

There were some excellent ones but the Excellent, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly just doesn’t have a sequel selling ring to it.

So, here’s some of the stuff I marked down as excellent when looking at an agency Facebook page.

1) Basics done well – Properly sized photos, accurate opening times, use of maps, plenty of reviews. Easy on the eye and importantly they all included a photo of the agency’s team.

2) Varied content – not just a stream of listings or boasts but helpful articles such as the condenser pipe boiler fix videos doing the rounds in this cold snap, mortgage advice, how to blogs and for me the big one even good agencies miss out – the promotion of local news and events.

3) Personality – Not that they shared their holiday snaps or selfies at festivals, but these excellent pages left you with a positive feeling towards the agencies.

4) Videos – This was the consistent feature on all the excellent pages.

The agencies which fell into the good category did most of the above, with the odd gap here and there.

The thing I felt made a difference between good and excellent was the content and use of video.

The excellent agencies mixed it up and were posting at least daily.

Now for the bad and the ugly because they fell in the same bucket during these reviews.

1) Poorly set up pages – I was seeking quotes from companies that set up pages professionally and I wouldn’t say I was shocked by their prices, I was f’ing angered. £300 to do something that anyone with a semblance of intelligence could do easily in an hour or so.

But, these bad agency pages were sloppy, missing key details like opening times, odd looking cover photos and the negative reviews tended to back up my theory.

2) Inconsistently posted content. An article posted, then a three-week gap. Another listing posted, then a two-week gap. Three weeks later another listing. That inconsistency sends out a message to the page’s visitor. And it ain’t a good one.

3) Crap content – some pages I ranked as bad fell into the category because all they did, literally was list property for sale or let – and even that felt half-hearted.

That’s a shame because there’s so much more to Facebook marketing for estate agents than sell, sell, sell.

Try share, share, share instead. Share useful information – like the boiler tip, share local news – like which roads have been closed off due to the snow, share what makes your agency great – your reviews, testimonials – those examples of you doing more than your job description.

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

Jerry

PS: I’m working on my next volume of articles and interested to know what kind of topics or subjects you guys think readers would find useful and interesting. Please drop me a line at Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk if you have any ideas for articles I should be considering.


Why Estate Agents NEED to be Con Men and Women

There’s a new type of con man and woman in town.

And thankfully this emerging breed of con artists has zero to do with being smart talking, shiny suited charlatans tricking decent people out of their money.

For con people in 2018 replace confidence (as in con man / woman) with content.

Because folks if you’re in the estate agency business and not sharing content with your local market you will end up losing market share to a rival who is – if you haven’t already.

Here’s a personal example of why sharing content across all your marketing platforms is really important.
The Lyons clan is currently looking to book our summer family holiday.

The hotels / travel agents on our shortlist all have websites and social media which feature a professionally produced video, a blog section about life at the hotel and holiday advice in their region – what to do, where to eat, what to bring, that kind of thing.

These companies are already showing they are happy to help, that they know their stuff and they are all distinguishing themselves from cheaper rivals (and some more expensive ones).

So, if people like me are finding good content a deal maker with a decision like booking a holiday what do you think people in your area will think of an agency sharing useful content about the biggest buying decision they’ll make in their lifetime?

It’ll give them a sense of confidence and trust in your agency.

Some estate agents are already brilliant con people. These are the agents who consistently share useful content across all marketing platforms.

By content I’m talking about blogs that solve problems, videos that showcase why choosing experience over expense pays homeowners handsomely and being much more about the genuine tell than the hard sell.

Google loves fresh content on your website. Your email marketing is naked without problem solving content and your social media nothing more than a stream of listed properties.

I’ve come up with this 2 question, 10 second test below, which will highlight where you are a ‘good’ con man / woman in the agency world.

Do you have content you share?

Simple question. Yes or no? If it’s yes, please proceed to the PIE test below. If it’s a no, seriously? It’s 2018. If you are the expert in your field start proving it by sharing your experience, expertise and personality.

Does the content you share pass the PIE test?

The PIE test is something I’ve come up with that’s simple and doesn’t involving baking.

If you’ve produced or bought content that you’re sharing which isn’t Personable, Informative and Entertaining then it’s the equivalent of my last baking effort – a catastrophe of a Victoria sponge that was as flat as an old flip-flop and tasted only marginally better.

Yes – I’ve a vested interest in this subject because I’m now more of a content producer than PR man.

But that last statement alone is proof enough that sharing useful content is now more important than column inches in the local paper. Content is the new King and Queen.

The times have changed. And just like ‘gin’ the association attached to con men and women is changing for the better.

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

Jerry

PS: Special flash sale until Wednesday 21 Feb – 5pm on my Letting Agent 30 Articles Volume 1 – Save £199+VAT off the usual price of £399+VAT.

Interested in learning more? Drop me a line with your postcode as 60 per cent of licences to use in the UK have already been snapped up.


Be more than ‘just’ an estate agency

I’ve spent a good bit of time this week working on award entries for a fantastic family run agency on the south coast.

Their doing so many things right that it’s absolutely no surprise they are number one on their patch (according to Rightmove, not just some plucked from the air chest thump).

One of the things that stands out about them, and indeed will help their entries massively, are the dozens of testimonials they’ve diligently collected from delighted clients.

And they are proactive about getting them – which is something I don’t come across with every agent.

For me asking for a testimonial or a review from a client when you’ve successfully helped them should be as automatic as raising an invoice to get paid for work you’ve done.

But here’s the thing that really sparked an idea in my head.

Several of the testimonials among the dozens of others were from suppliers or from businesses that this agency recommends and works with.

That tells me two things about this company.

Firstly, they are good people to deal with. I always think you can judge a business by the way it treats its suppliers as much as its clients – in my experience agencies that are late payers usually have other areas we’re they are sloppy or simply have a culture problem.

And secondly, and this is the entire why behind writing this blog – this agency has a network of different trusted suppliers from carpet fitters, window installers to the usual mortgage brokers, solicitors and valuers.

They don’t ask for commission from suppliers – they simply want to know that if they refer a business then their clients will be well looked after. And from what I’ve seen putting these entries together that’s 100 per cent the case.

In that respect they have become more than ‘just’ an estate agency. By referring good suppliers, they are now in the ‘very handy to know’ category and have become go to guys when local people are looking for new flooring, windows, a gardener etc.

When I lived in London I created a series of mini guides that acted as a perfect way for agents to gather together their trusted suppliers and promote them to their clients and prospects.

And I’m now intending to start these up again at some point soon.

So, the question is do you have a referral system in place where you show the local community that your agency is respected, connected and cares enough to share their experience for the benefit of clients (and indeed prospective clients)?

If you would like to see a sample of what I produced as a guide, please drop me an email.

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

Jerry


Turning estate agency data into instructions

I met with an estate agent last year who is charm personified.

His estate agency is award winning, successful and expanding his office has very comfortable trendy chairs and a proper espresso machine. And his staff are really pleasant.

He has a system in place for pretty much everything.

Everything except for making the most out of his database – which came as a surprise to me as this guy is good.
His agency has more than 3000 names on its database built over five years. That’s a bloody big bundle of potential clients.

Sure there’s a percentage of duds but trust me (he did) there’s money in that list.

To cut to the chase we agreed on a way of making the most of his database in a systemised and thoughtful way.

Here’s how I advise my clients on how to turn a list of email addresses into a steady stream of enquiries, valuations and ultimately instructions.

1) Have a compelling reason for someone to part with their email address. ‘Sign up for regular updates’ is a little lame. Offer a useful guide of some sort. For example – How to get your home ready for a successful sale and / or A landlord’s guide to lettings without the pain.

2) Once you’ve earned their email address, respect it. By that I mean don’t bombard them with sales info. Which leads me on to the next point – and it is a very important point.

3) Have a plan to send a weekly email that does a lot more telling than selling. Think of what problems you can solve for the reader and how you can share your expertise with them to make their lives easier. Once a month simply ain’t enough – once a quarter – forget about it.

4) Stick to that weekly plan and have a set time when the email will be sent out. For those of you who have signed up to Peter Knight’s excellent emails on agency excellence you’ll know that when you open up your emails after 7am on a Monday his thoughts / ideas for the week await you.

5) It takes time. Don’t expect instant miracles. But I’ve seen with EVERY client that has an email marketing system that it pays big, inexpensive dividends.

6) End every email with a call to action – offer to help the reader with any property related questions. Be seen to be helpful.

7) And don’t worry about people unsubscribing from your emails – it happens all the time for a myriad of reasons. Think of useful email updates you’re signed up for – if they help you and entertain do you unsubscribe?

For me this kind of marketing is the best value for money over the course of 6-12 months and is also highly trackable.

I follow an agent along the south coast, let’s call him SA (he reads these emails, he’ll know who he is).

He sends out weekly emails filled with interesting, useful and handy information and property news.

If I lived in his patch and I was selling he’d be on my list to call in for a valuation as, although I’ve never met him I feel like I know, like and trust him from his email updates.

That gives him a huge head start in the battle for the instructions. Because as I’ve mentioned in my last article – Familiarity breeds Trust.

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

Jerry


One Thing Which Can Help Estate Agents

I spent most of yesterday up in Milton Keynes – the home of a hundred roundabouts.

My day was spent at a marketing conference held at the MK Dons Football Stadium.

Some of the great and good of marketing were there, proper experts (and a boring bloke who delivered one of the dullest presentations I’ve endured in ages).

As with all these events I go seeking one new thing.

My rule of thumb is if I go away with just one thing that I can implement in my business and share with the readers of my blogs and articles I’ll be happy.

I got that one thing I was after.

Ironically it was something I’ve known for a long time, and have shared with clients and readers, but yesterday it was put to me in a very succinct way.

It’s so relevant for good estate agents that it could’ve been written as a mantra by good estate agents.
The gist of it is this.

Consumer trust in business is at an all-time low.

That’s a real issue for agents who often start pretty lowdown in the public’s trustometer (undeservedly in my opinion).

One of the experts presenting yesterday nailed it right on the kisser.

Familiarity breeds ………………TRUST.

Worth saying again – Familiarity breeds trust.

That’s why we trust Amazon to deliver.

That’s why we trust John Lewis’s stuff to be quality.

That’s why we trust Ant and Dec.

We’re familiar with them, because we see them so frequently with the same consistent message.

We deliver properly. We only sell quality. We are decent down to earth lads.

So, the questions for estate agents who care are these.

What are you doing to be seen frequently by your local market?

What’s that consistent message you’re sending out to potential vendors and landlords?

How are you maintaining rapport with people on your patch?

Think about it. Even if it’s the one thing you consider about your PR and marketing this week.

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

Jerry

PS: I’m currently working like an eager beaver on speed, piecing together something top secret that will be launched soon to really help estate agents get all of the above sorted. Watch this space folks.


4 Estate Agency Marketing Tips for 2018

Here’s a video on the four marketing must have’s estate agents need for 2018.

I also unearth the phrase that makes me punch myself in the face when I hear it.

The link to it is below.

Thanks for watching.

Jerry