95 per cent of estate agents didn’t even know about this

If I asked you why the 25th May 2018 will affect your agency’s business what would you say?

If like 95 per cent of the 25 agents I’ve asked that question to you’ll more than likely respond with a puzzled look a bit like that hungover looking furry cat doing the rounds on YouTube.

Well my estate agency amigos the date is super significant because that’s when the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR for short) comes into full, fine giving out effect.

It sounds boring, and certainly isn’t exciting but it’s essential businesses prepare for it because otherwise your agency could get hammered like an Anthony Joshua jab with heavy fines.

The majority of Estate agents are not alone in being ignorant of GDPR. Many businesses across the UK fall into two camps – 1) Have never heard of it. Or 2) Have heard of it but think that due to it being an EU ruling and because of Brexit we won’t be affected in the UK. Wrong.

GDPR affects any business in the World that deals with data on an EU subject.

It covers all activities involved in the collection, storage, use and / or other processing of that personal data.

So, for example all those details of people on your database, all those people registered with you and even your staff.

The definition of personal data starts at simply having a person’s name and email address.

The key thing that the GDPR wants to see is how your agency is taking appropriate measures to protect that data.

There’s many other aspects to it but it will make businesses have to think a lot more carefully about they access and handle personal data.

The existing data protection laws were created in 1998 – and it’s fair to say the world has changed enormously since then.

Data is a HUGE part of today’s world especially for estate agents who need to hold a lot of information to run their businesses successfully.

A lot of what the GDPR wants businesses to do is simply good practice anyway.

I’m ever the opportunist and see these changes as yet another way for good estate agents to stand out.

Once you’ve got everything in place to comply with GDPR – make it a point of dazzling difference and share with your market the lengths you go to respect and protect their data.

Bad agents will be too lazy or complacent to get GDPR right and that’ll put their reputation and certainly their bank balances at risk. Don’t put off learning about GDPR until it’s too late.

For more information on the GDPR visit: www.ico.org.uk – there’s a handy ‘Preparing for GDPR’ guide on there.
Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

PS: Estate agents up and down the UK are getting involved in a big bundle – to find out more simply email: “bundallllllll!!!”


Successful Estate Agencies Leave Clues

A quick one this week folks as I’m knackered after being a detective for the past couple of days (hopefully more Columbo than Inspector Clouseau).

Last Friday saw the EA Masters awards take place.

Three of my clients did very well at them.

Now, I know these awards and the way they were awarded weren’t everyone’s cup of tea but the three agencies I work with all deserve whatever success comes their ways. (The forum warriors who whinge and whine about awards and life in general would be a lot better off spending that time away from their PCs trying to win some more instructions.)

And success leaves clues as I’ve discovered while researching a future article on what makes some agencies do a lot better than others.

The three clients I’ve featured here are all at different levels in terms of size.

One is a single office agency, another has three offices following a rapid expansion, and the final agency has 15 offices spanning four counties and several property disciplines.

They all have very good market shares in their patches, which let’s face it is a lot more important than awards.

And they all do quite a lot of things better, or at least differently from their rivals.

Small examples include:

Single office agency – The first agency I saw using personalised email signatures with a smiling, approachable looking photo of the staff member. And great social media use.

Three office agency – Have a mantra of ‘How will this benefit our clients? The owner is obsessed by learning about anything which can propel his agency forward. And that’s rubbed off on his well-motivated team.

15 office agency – Invest thousands in staff training, getting involved in local community events and never missing a trick to get their brand out there.

And although the above examples are different, and the agencies individual, they are all united by three things.

1) They all have some sort of newsletter or regular method of staying in touch with precious (not a typo, work it out) clients who they have served in the past.

2) They pay their bills on time. (I can usually gauge an agency’s attitude to clients by how they treat suppliers).

3) The heads of all three companies are very decent, hardworking and honest people. Making a mockery of misconceptions about ‘dodgy agents’ which in my experience is a load of old bollocks anyway.

There are loads more things they do that make them great agencies but I’ve got to go now and solve the case of the missing bagel from my office (I really fancied it for lunch and some Herbert has nicked it).

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

Jerry

PS: The Earlybird offer on my new Letting Agent Articles (31 great articles to win some landlord love) ends tomorrow at 5pm. To find out more simply ping me your postcode so I can see if your area is still available and I’ll reply with the deal


Why Mickey Flanagan is right about estate agency

In couple of weeks’ time I’m off with Mrs L to see our favourite comedian Mickey Flanagan performing in Brighton.

There’s three main reasons I like him.

1) Like me he doesn’t speak propah but doesn’t give a monkey’s.

2) His comic descriptions of growing up in a working-class London family are scarily accurate. His line ‘My dad thought he was helping out around the house if he closed a cupboard door,’ could’ve been talking about my old man.

3) He understands the importance of the ‘long run up.’

And my estate agent amigos here’s the ‘fing’.

Mickey talks about taking the long run up approach to getting his wife’s permission for a lads’ night out.

He’s implying (rightly in my experience) that you can’t simply go ‘alright my lovely, I’m off out with the boys tonight.’

He highlights how you need to take your time, turn on the charm over a course of weeks / months, go out of your way to be helpful and then when the timing is right raise the subject.

It’s the same with estate agency marketing.

Asking for an instruction in your first blog / email campaign / newspaper advert is mental.

Expecting one is even crazier.

A massive decision like selling a home takes time to reach, so your approach should be that of the ‘long run up’.
Marketing isn’t an event it’s a regular process.

Turn on the charm, consistently with helpful blogs, original and interesting adverts and getting noticed locally for the right reasons.

And hopefully when the time is right you’ll be in the running when valuations are being requested and instructions up for grabs.

It’s at that point a long run up proves worth the wait.

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

Jerry

PS: And another fing – My Letting Agent Articles are being released on general sale for £349+VAT on October 2nd.

To get a sneak preview of all 31 articles, written to win the hearts and minds of landlords, ping me an email with your postcode and if that area hasn’t already been snapped up I will send you samples (no obligation to buy) and a special early bird price.


Estate Agents – It’s Time to Get Personal

The kids are back to school.

The heating is getting switched on again.

My flip flops are in the cupboard. My bike is in the garage.

This can only mean one thing – Christmas will be here before you can say: ‘Ropey Sir Cliff Richard tunes being piped through the local shopping centre.’

If you are going to make the most of the Season of Goodwill. Start planning now.

I had a client meeting on Monday and top of our agenda was a review of the summer marketing and then plans for Christmas.

I’ve asked for my client’s permission to share the following and he’s cool with it. He said something really interesting: ‘knowing something doesn’t mean you’ll actually do something, just look at gym memberships.’
Here’s the four-point plan we put together.

1) Tiered gifts. By that, and it might sound harsh but it’s true, some clients, contacts and suppliers are more valuable than others. So, we have three tiers of person / organisations we are going to give something to this Christmas – ranging from a card to a hamper to a donation to a charity of their choice.

2) Charity Donation. Sounds corny but it’s a tradition with this agency and they get good press from it and a heck of a lot of local goodwill. £500 has been allocated and the search for the most deserving charity is currently taking place.

3) A Christmas window display – A trick a lot of agents miss. A bit of Lidl tinsel wonkily blu-tacked to your window doesn’t qualify as a window display. This agent (ahem, with my advice) has plans in place to create a Disney themed window this year – because as any wise marketer will tell you – ‘when you get the kids’ attention, you’ll get the parents.’ (and in this case grandparents).

4) Make it Personal – If you are in the practice of getting cards printed up with your branding, great. If you then get each office member to sign them, super.

BUT if you’re not taking the 15 seconds it takes to write the recipient’s name and a little message then quite frankly you’re an example of bad PR.

People like the sound of their own name, they like seeing it in cards. Could you imagine getting a birthday card from someone who didn’t write your name in it? What would you think of that person?

The point is this. We live in an age of personalisation. So, putting a name on a card is the bare minimum you should be doing. It’s piss easy.

The best bit of Christmas marketing I ever did started in 2015 when I sent out more than 50 personalised calendars to key contact, clients and prospects.

It worked like a dream. Lots of conversations, a few new clients and a lot of good will gained.

Why did the calendars work?

Well as mentioned people like stuff with their name on. When that stuff is on their desk 365 days of the year with your branding subtly featured you’re getting personal with them on a very sub conscious level.

There are other options out there, loads, the key thing is to take the time to make it personal.

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

Jerry

PS: If you want the name of the company I used for the personalised calendars I mentioned ping me an email and I’ll send it to you.

PPS: My new Volume of 30 articles for letting agents and departments is being released on October 3rd. It’s called Letting Agent Articles and is aimed at getting landlords (as well as a few tenant themed articles) to love your agency. It’s a sure-fire winner.

It will be sold on a strictly postcode exclusive basis as usual, and is first come first served, so if you want a non- committal first look at them 48 hours before they are released (my usual try before you buy) let me know and I will put you on the list.


How to turn 15 minutes of fame into instructions

Awards.

If you have ever won one you’re within your rights to claim to be an award-winning agent.
Forever.

But as all good agents who look to the future know, the more recent your award is the better.
I like awards because they give my clients plenty of PR opportunities which if used properly often result in new instructions.

And I practice what I preach. I don’t just urge my clients to enter awards I throw my hat in the ring myself.
Yesterday I found out I’ve been shortlisted in The Negotiator magazine’s Supplier of the Year – Professional Support category.

I’ll find out the result when I head up to London on October 31. But the result doesn’t matter really.

And that’s because the countdown on my 15 minutes of fame has started.

Now I don’t expect to win. I’m a small fish against some very big fishes, but, and here is a key point, I’m the only PR fish in that pool.

In much the same way that two of my clients who have been shortlisted in categories are the only agents in their areas to have been so. It’s about creating a positive point of difference when promoting it.

And here is what I’m doing to ensure being shortlisted for this award will benefit me and bring in new business.

The five steps I’m going to layout below apply to estate agents who have been shortlisted for any award so it’s not just me bragging.

1) Social media the sh*t out of the news I’ve been shortlisted – Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and I’ll blog about it. This can be done until the awards ceremony giving you weeks of potential publicity material.

2) Send a news release to the local media – I’ve already done that this morning and will feature in next week’s Brighton Argus – ‘Local business in running for national award’.

3) Update my email signature with the Shortlisted logo I’ve just been sent by the good people at The Neg.
4) Send an email about the news to my database informing them – which I’ve done by you reading this.

5) The final step is that speaking from my own experience getting shortlisted gives you an extra spring in your step and is great for morale especially when you employ people. I’m buzzing today.

I’ve already had an enquiry off the back of a Linkedin post I put up yesterday and I’ve always gained business off the back of previous short listings.

And as you know I like to share I’m happy to send you my entry form so you can see the approach I took and, with a bit of creativity, how it can be adapted when your agency goes for golds.

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

Jerry

PS: If you want to be sent the entry which got me shortlisted just ping me an email with: ‘14 minutes left’ – in the subject line.


Was it A Con Job and Why the Secret is out for Estate Agents

Just over four years ago there was a young trainee plumber in Dublin.

He was skint, hated his job, drove a clapped out old banger and his career prospects were to use how own words, ‘pretty shite’.

But he had a vision (literally as it turns out) and strange things happen.

On Saturday 26 August 2017 that young man took part in the richest fight in combat sports history.

The Notorious Conor McGregor took on and ultimately lost to Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather.

It’s said McGregor will eventually bank around $100m from the fight – and that’s a conservative guess.

A lot of people hate him. They saw the fight as a farce. A con job with the punters being treated as suckers. An ugly orgy of excess and egos.

But there’s something we can ALL learn, especially estate agents, from how McGregor has achieved his meteoric rise.
I must admit that before his tangle with Mayweather I knew very little about Mr McGregor.

I knew he was Irish and flashy but that was about it.

But I got sucked into the hype. I started reading more about McGregor and his rapid ascent to becoming a world-famous millionaire was intriguing.

If you dig deeper and look beyond the trash talk and bling McGregor is a very intelligent man, with a genius for self-promotion and branding and, say it quietly, a decent bloke by most accounts.

Here’s five reasons why I think estate agents can learn from McGregor and how he’s achieved in four years more than 99.99999999 per cent of Planet Earth’s population will ever do.

1) The Secret is out – McGregor said that a best-selling book about positive thinking and something called the law of attraction changed his life. It was called The Secret. Now I’m not suggesting you run out and buy it (I watched the film on Amazon Prime) but it highlights one aspect of success in any field – You must believe in yourself. I’ve met plenty of agents who are negative about pretty much everything and, low and behold, are still struggling their arses off.

2) You never lose – of course we know by now that McGregor was comprehensively beaten by one of the greatest boxers ever in Mayweather. But McGregor describes all his losses and ‘failures’ as learning. It’s a great approach to take with marketing campaigns – if it didn’t work, learn from it and do something different based on those learnings. If it did work to win instructions do more of it – but look to improve it.

3) Obsession – He admits to being so obsessed with his fighting career that he is a little insane about it. The best agents I work with, or have worked with, are genuinely passionate about what they do. And my definition of passion is something you’d do for free because you love it so much.

4) Hard work – since his early days McGregor training (both mental and physical) regimes have been brutal. Nothing worth achieving is ever easy. You can visualise all you want but you need to put in the shifts to be a success.

5) Give it a go – McGregor, as mentioned in point 2 is always learning. Added to that he’s not afraid to give something new a shot as he proved with his bout against Mayweather. Too often I see agents dismiss marketing ideas out of hand without trying it or having any useful evidence to argue against other than ‘it’ll never work.’

Imagine if Mr McGregor had listened to all of those who told him a few years back that his vision ‘would never work.’

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

Jerry


Is Your Agency Missing out on Instructions Right Under Your Noses?

I met with an agent recently who was charm personified.

His agency is award winning, successful and expanding his office has very comfortable chairs and a proper espresso machine.

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 guys 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 definitely 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.

There’s also something absolutely devilishly brilliant about producing weekly engagement emails that will 100 per cent, guaranteed, without doubt, cast iron, no questions, make you and your agency stand out head and toes from your rivals.

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

Jerry

PS: I practice what I preach and send out a weekly email to estate agents and over the course of a year it’s worth on average £1200 a month to me.

For an agency this approach would be even more valuable. Drop me an email – Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk and I’ll tell you about a great way of making email marketing a lot, lot easier and more affordable


Getting instruction winning articles and Save £549

Regular readers of my blog will know that I like to practice what I preach and stay in touch with you guys.

I do that through these weekly emails. You should, if you are not already, be doing the same and keeping in the mind’s eye of your audience.

Also, I hope you feel my regular emails offer enough advice, tips and value, that the very occasional sales message isn’t an intrusion on your valuable time.

And talking of time I’ve got something that can save you time and money.

The weather this summer hasn’t been the best has it? So, I thought I’d try and cheer people up with a special offer.

I’m having a flash 48-hour sale (ends Friday 2pm) where for just £250 (+ VAT) you can receive all 60 of my pre-written, instruction winning articles to send to your database.

The BIG bundle is usually charged at £799+VAT so you’ll be saving £549 if you act quickly.

How long would it take you or a team member to write articles? This way you’re getting an award-winning journalist to do it for you for a tiny fee?

Why so cheap?

I could say it’s an end of line offer, or a scratch and dent sale – but frankly that’d be poppycock. I’ve got a VAT bill looming and have spent too much money on bicycle stuff. Hence the sale. Needs must etc.

But still it’s incredible value and is quality content which is fully guaranteed. It works out at just over £4.15 an article – madness.

Why EA Articles are worth it?

The packs contain 60 professionally written and copyrighted articles all on subjects your potential clients find interesting. If you were to run one article a week you’d be sorted for more than 14 months!

Also, it’s postcode exclusive it – when you buy it – your rivals can’t. Guaranteed.

If you want to have a look before you decide on whether to buy simply send me an email at:

Jerry@propertyprexpert.co.uk with your agency’s postcodes (so I can check it’s not already gone to a rival).

I’ll then send you a Dropbox link giving you access to all the articles so you can see if they are for you.
Thanks for reading and this offer will really help you win more instructions.

Jerry

PS: Kyle Clark from Daniels Estate Agents in NW10 has said this about the EA Articles: “We have invested in an email marketing system covering all our branches but didn’t have regular content to share. Jerry’s articles are the perfect way to do it and it’s incredibly affordable when compared to alternatives. And our rivals don’t have access to it.”


The ONE thing that your estate agency’s marketing MUST have now

I’ve just come back from the wilderness.

Well our first family camping trip to a very well-equipped campsite in Dorset.

It was less painful than I thought it would be to be fair.

But more expensive than I had originally planned.

However, the whole outdoor experience cemented in my mind the one thing estate agents should be bringing to the top of their marketing mix.

Let me explain.

A month ago we needed a new tent. And my knowledge of camping, tents, inflatable sofas etc was zero.
I was the proverbial blank canvas looking for temporary family accommodation.

Like many ‘house hunters’ we looked online first.

So, we fired up the Google machine on the inter web and tapped in ‘Family tent for six’ (there’s only three of us but Mrs L wanted extra space).

There was loads of companies offering loads of different options.

But the ones that caught our eyes offered videos explaining the differences in the types of tents.

The best example was a company called Go Outdoors which obviously has video marketing at the forefront of its marketing efforts. Clever.

They have lots of videos covering the many different aspects of camping and outdoor holidaying.

Not just videos explaining about tents but plenty of how to mini films.

How to put one up. How to take one down. Top tips for people new to camping. What to bring and even how to make a kid friendly camp set up.

Go Outdoors were offering me not just products but much needed help and showing off their expertise.

This sealed the deal and we bought a package from them – even though it wasn’t the cheapest advertised.

So why pay more?

Isn’t that the big question online agents are asking the public about traditional agencies?

We paid more for our portable abode because Go Outdoors had establish the value of their company in our mind. Their videos included staff members who seemed nice and knowledgeable.

They showed why buying from them was worth that little bit extra. It felt like a safe bet.

I’m hoping you can see the parallels with estate agency.

But if not, here they are.

Video is THE best tool to win the attention of modern homeowners.

And not only to market homes you’ve been instructed to sell or rent.

For many buying and selling home is stressful and confusing.

Video is THE best way of showing your agency knows its stuff and alleviate that stress and win homeowner confidence.

I advised a client recently and helped script and film videos for a range of ‘How to’ short films (two to three minutes long).

Subjects included:

How to present your home for sale – How to declutter – What to look for in a good estate agent – Conveyancing – What a good estate agent does.

These will help the agency stand out from the crowd and establish their value in punters’ minds.

So, whether it’s six berth tents or three bed terraced houses you’re selling using marketing and helpful videos is THE thing you should be adding to your marketing mix and including in your advertising budgets.

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

Jerry

PS: Now’s a good time to buy a tent as it’s nearing the end of season. And now’s a great time to buy my Email Article Bundle – 60 articles written by me for agencies to use to entertain, inform and educate their audiences. Clearance price £399+VAT – Ping me an email with your postcode to see if your patch is still available.


How would Usain Bolt react to losing out on an instruction?

The curtain has drawn on the individual career of the greatest sprinter of all time.

Usain Bolt lost out to in Saturday’s 100m race at the London World Athletic Championships.

Bolt may have tasted a very rare defeat but he showed us another side of his brilliant personality and attitude.

Just seconds after losing he embraced the winner (I’m sorry I can’t bring myself to name here as he’s a double dope cheat -get caught once? Ok you’re human you make mistakes – twice? Really?).

Bolt offered words of congratulations to the winner.

And in his post-race interview was gracious, honest and left us all in no doubt that not only is he an incredibly gifted sportsman but he knows how to handle something that for him is a rarity – losing.

So, let’s use our imagination and put Bolt in a suit, give him a nice leather looking folder full of comparable property prices and marketing stuff, and send him out on a valuation.

And let’s say he tries his best but finds out he didn’t get the instruction. And to make matters worse his rival across the road who overvalues won it.

How do you think he would handle it?

I don’t think he’d throw a strop.

I can’t see someone of his calibre calling the vendor’s decision into doubt.

However, I could imagine him wishing the vendor luck and thanking them for the opportunity.

And in that last sentence my instruction winning friends is this week’s blog’s main message.

What’s your policy and procedure for when you lose out on a valuation?

Do you send a letter thanking the vendor for their time, consideration and the opportunity to value their property?

Do you offer them help with ‘any advice you need or questions you may have in the future’ to keep the door open?

This shows class. A professional approach. A lasting positive memory.

In ‘defeat’ you may just make the vendor question their decision and put you in the running should things change.

So, farewell and thank you to Usain Bolt – I’m sure we won’t see his like for a very long time.

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

Jerry