Investing in an estate agency franchise is a pretty safe bet. With so many people looking to rent, buy and sell, you can make a good income by acting as the go-between. But for your business to really take off, you need to put an effective marketing strategy in place.
When done right, effective advertising strategies can guarantee high returns for a real estate franchise. These days, online software gathers data and makes it easier than ever to pinpoint potential customers and introduce them to your properties. If you want to attract potential renters, landlords, buyers and sellers, you’ll need to take advantage of the tools on offer to put your business in the spotlight.
6 estate agency franchise marketing strategies
1. Use data gathering software
If you advertise your properties or carry out sales online, you have the opportunity to collect valuable information on the way people behave and interact with your website content. Once you’ve reviewed the data and discovered noticeable trends, you’ll know how to respond and improve your services.
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At a basic level, you should try to find out how certain property adverts are performing compared to others. If you can find clear patterns showing the features shared by popular listings, you should be able to drive up property ‘views’ by incorporating them across the board.
2. Harness the power of targeted ads
In our digital world, social media promotion should be an integral part of your marketing strategy - and if you haven’t yet set up profiles on the major sites, you’re missing a trick. With the help of advertising tools, you can target specific groups of people, from university students chasing a cheap let to professional couples looking for a property upgrade. By paying for online promotion, you can direct people to your website and property listings.
Before you get started, make sure you can clearly define your target audience, budget and goal. Then, you’ll be able to choose the best advertising platform and set up your promotional campaign quickly and effectively.
3. Don’t overlook email marketing
People don’t like to be spammed with messages cluttering up their inbox, but the odd email could go a long way. Although some people might view the medium as a tad outdated, it’s still a great way of catching your audience’s attention. Use your emails wisely to update customers and clients on the progress of their transaction and alert them to your estate agency franchise’s news and any industry trends.
The most important factor to consider in any email marketing campaign is your subject line. If you don’t want your emails to be immediately thrown in the trash folder, you’ll need to come up with an eye-catching opener to persuade readers to open the message.
4. Up your SEO game
SEO - or search engine optimisation - is the process of taking steps to improve your ranking on sites like Google. If you want to appear at the top of people’s searches, having an SEO strategy is vital. By researching keywords for your sector and using them in your online content and marketing posts - think ‘London student lets’ or ‘Yorkshire properties for sale’ – you can get ahead.
Incorporate relevant words and phrases into your promotional material to catch the attention of potential customers. Google has replaced newspaper back pages as the first port of call for those engaging with the property market, so making sure you’re up to speed with SEO techniques is vital.
5. Use client reviews
Once you’ve got potential customers on to your website, you need to give them a reason to stay. Displaying client testimonials is a great way to back up your claims and build trust. Real-life reviews are incredibly helpful when it comes to selling products and services online. Potential estate agency franchise customers will want to know whether other people have had positive experiences with your brand. They are much more likely to use your business if you can prove you offer a high-quality service.
If you want to add even more authenticity to your estate agency, add a photo to each review. Whenever you complete a transaction, ask your client if they’d be willing to pose for a portrait or if they’d be happy for you to upload a photo of their new home.
6. Make the move towards virtual viewings
The Covid-19 pandemic created all sorts of challenges for estate agency businesses, most notably continuing with property viewings during regional and national lockdowns. As a result, many franchises have taken the process online, introducing ‘virtual viewings’ for those hoping to rent or buy.
The move towards online property tours was inevitable, but it’s been accelerated this year, with a variety of new technologies cropping up. There are a number of options for estate agency franchises to explore; here are just a few:
- Organise live tours. This option is a relatively simple way to take your viewings online; just switch your face-to-face tour with a video call. Arrange a time with the prospective renter or buyer, and landlord or seller, and ask the property owner to walk through the space. Either they or the estate agent can provide a walking commentary to give extra details.
- Create a virtual tour. Complementing photos with a tour video or even just an interactive, panoramic pictures can give property hunters a feel for a building without having to visit it in person. According to industry research, listings with virtual tours achieve 87 percent higher viewing figures than those with photos or no visuals at all. What’s more, 54 percent of potential buyers will ignore properties without a virtual tour (Realtor.com).
- Use drone footage. Drones might seem to be the preserve of the tech whizz, but they could help you significantly boost your estate agency franchise’s performance. Within a few minutes, you can capture aerial footage of a property’s exterior and the surrounding area, giving the viewer a better sense of its context.
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Become an estate agent with a franchise
There is a wide variety of estate agency franchises looking for investors to launch new company branches in a range of locations. If you’d like to set up a business with a high chance of success, becoming a franchisee could be a wise move. Take a look at the franchisors currently advertising partnership agreements to get the process started.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©