“Does everyone have a copy of the property newspaper by their desk?” was the standard question at 3pm on a Thursday, why? Well at 4pm the newspapers were going to be available to pick up or dropped through Peoples doors and then the phones would light up and you had to be ready. That very same newspaper would increase the foot flow into the office over the weekend and generate more applicants which meant more sales.
In the good old days of ’91, we relied on newspaper advertising to drive the traffic to our phones and to get traffic in through our office doors. I remember Saturdays when the phone was constantly ringing away and there were 20 to 30 people in the branch waiting to be looked after.
It has all changed now, with the internet pushing properties 24/7 there is no need for the newspaper rush and customers are no longer standing outside your office at opening time to get the latest set of details on a new instruction – but one thing still remains the same, you all still need the TRAFFIC.
Every agent has their own website now, I equate it to your single or double page spread in the local newspaper, its your opportunity to showcase who you are – after all, all your boards say about you is For Sale, Sold, To Let or Let By and your shop frontage is just your company name and logo.
Your website is your new front door, this is the area where you want all your Traffic to go and it doesn’t matter if you have spent £25,000 on a site or £10.97 and a bag of Wine Gums for one, if you’re not sure how to get traffic to it you might have just wasted your money.
We are all aware that the internet has changed the way the industry works and that the property portals will feed us with vendors, applicants and sales, but on these portals your are just one of many and just how many potential clients feed back to your website from there? Only your analytics will tell you that and at that point you can tell yourself if you are happy with the traffic that you are getting.
So many agents websites are just a replica of the properties that they have on the portals, so when a potential client clicks through to your website and sees nothing but a repeat of those properties, an about page and a meet the staff page (which is normally out of date!) then their visit is done, no need to come back – or as any police show would say “Nothing to see here, Move on please”
Your TRAFFIC needs a reason to stay and a reason to keep coming back for more and that reason is the content that you put together to showcase your business.
Of course you will have your ‘about’ page, everyone does and it usually says a quick paragraph about the fact you are the best and sell homes and let properties etc.. But, and I want to shock you here – It will be in the top 3 pages that get visited by clients and customers – so maybe it is time to revisit that page and put some real thought into it!
Now it’s time to think about what would bring people back to your site or recommend that others visit:
#1 – A Local Area Guide – Shops, Bars, Restaurants etc.
#2 – Local School Guides – Add links directly to the schools websites.
#3 – Current State Of The Local Market Place – Show the world that you have your finger on the pulse of your market place.
#4 – Tips For Selling A Home.
#5 – Tips For Renting A Property.
#6 – Tips For Buying A First or Second Home.
#7 – Getting A Mortgage
#8 – How The Conveyancing Process Works
The list is endless and I am sure that you have already thought of another 10 -15 articles that would interest your local community without straining too hard.
What you have created is a shop that clients and customers can come in and look around, spend some time and hopefully with the end result of using your company.
TIME TO GET SOCIAL
If you sling your website doors open and no one comes to browse around then it can feel as though you have wasted so much time for no reason at all, so it is time for a little ‘leaflet dropping’ internet style and show the world you are open for business.
Social Media sites will send a ton of traffic your towards your website and each one works in a different way and whilst I am sure that you have heard of many of them, some may not have even crossed your mind to use, so lets take a look at some.
Hold onto your hats, you’re about to hit 88 mph ! Twitter is fast paced and what was in front of your eyes 10 seconds ago has now vanished off the page !
You can post all your new material here, all your evergreen material, retweet local content and retweet other Peoples work to do with the industry and because peoples feeds move so quickly you can post content 20 times a day without spamming anyone (although i wouldn’t do it that often – but see what works best for you).
Using a program like TweetDeck you can line up all your content to post when you want it to, leaving you time to interact with others.
Be careful when tweeting from a property portal as it generally advertises them instead of you and your property – don’t just advertise your new properties either!
Strangely this is not really considered by Estate Agents, I think it may have something to do with the fact you can only upload from a mobile, although you can do everything else from a desktop.
Always include a link to your website in your bio and with every picture you post (again it doesn’t have to be properties) invite the viewer to click that link.
You can post interesting pictures of your local area and events that are taking place in the towns and villages located nearby.
Every one and their pet has a Facebook account, well nearly everyone and it is a great place for you to share your content and when I say content I don’t mean your latest instructions – that is what your website is for!
Find your local community pages and ask if you can share your helpful guides on them, in return you can help market their fêtes, festivals and events on all of your social media sites and website.
Although Facebook is equally as global as Instagram and Twitter it can be used more locally and so many agents tend to ignore it – of course you are not going to get a huge increase of business within 2 minutes of posting on the community page, but it will send traffic towards your website and the more they come back, the higher the chance of capturing their business.
There are so many different social marketing tools available to you that it can be hard to decide which ones to use. I don’t recommend that you try them all because you have a business to run, but do some research and see which ones you might like to try and just give it a go.
Whilst your website will contain your own work, there is nothing wrong with sharing others content, retweeting and sharing is fine as the original author gets the credit and their site gets hits and you look good for posting content that matters to your readers.
Some of my blog posts have ended up being shared in places such as the U.S.A, Australia and Cambodia in various online industry papers which is a long way from the UK’s Estate Agents, Vendors and Purchasers I had set this up to help.
ANYTHING ELSE TO THINK ABOUT?
One of the main things I use on my social media feeds are url shortners, these will reduce the size of the clickable link to your page from many words to just a few letters, keeping your post looking fresh and not cluttered. Google has its very own shortner called ‘goo.gl’ which is very easy to use.
S.E.O – Search Engine Optimization – My blog page is not monitized and I do not charge any fees, so I do not have any need to make my page the top page when you search on a chosen engine. Yours however is a business and once you have read up on S.E.O you will find that A) Its complicated and B) It can be a full time job dealing with it. – I recommend finding someone in that field and employing them to deal with it for you – yes it will cost a fee, but it can bring in thousands more!