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Ways to increase business

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  • Ways to increase business

    For Estate Agents. Advice from other Agents or anyone else for that matter, I dont mind a bit of outside the box thinking here!

    So, business is slow and I need more of it. How?

    Basically I have an office in a small part of south wales and its part of a bigger chain, we have a presence on Rightmove but not my office, but do advertise locally in the press and have a nice office in a decent situation in the main street. We do pride ourselves on great customer service and 99% of the time we meet the high standards set by me. We have experienced an increase in lower end sales but its dead at over 150k. Our sales pipeline is now looking bleak. We are not going to close as we are profitable but what im after here is ideas which I can try out in order to generate more business. A brainstorming session with others if you will, so brainstorm away!

    Im thinking a Facebook page, some sort of video link to YouTube (is this allowed by YouTube?) something to maybe access the younger buyers.
    Any ideas welcomed...............

  • #2
    Obvious question, but never mind facebook etc just now - have you got a website? Your own website?


    • #3
      Yes, its a good website so thats fairly low on my list of things to change, only last year we over hauled it and the feedback is pretty good.


      • #4
        Feedback is one thing - what do you analytics tell you?


        • #5
          That the problem isnt with the website.
          What im after here is/was new ideas to increase trade, best practise tips, things people have liked about their agents over their past few sales/purchases, that sort of thing.
          Probably not enough traffic here though....


          • #6
            Search Engine Optimisation for the website?

            Google Adwords (Sponsored Listings) to drive more traffic to the website?

            You mentioned that a long-established agent close to you had closed whilst a Remax office, also close, was surviving or thriving despite your low assessment of service quality on their part.

            What are they doing that's different to you? How long have they been up and running compared to you?

            Are there any others in your area, and what are they doing to get business that you're not?

            Who IS getting the £150k+ business in your area, if anyone?


            • #7
              I asked 6 questions, only 2 of which were related to his/her web exposure.

              This isn't "harping on about the internet". This is a line of enquiry to find out more about what the OP is currently doing or not doing.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Homeseller
                On a more serious note, the fact that you see the internet as a major way of marketing to buyers and sellers is refreshing.
                So glad you approve. Not.

                It's not the be-all and end-all, it's still only PART of the process. Maybe 2/5ths of it.


                • #9
                  ha ha cheers lads, appreciate the genuine feedback, not so much the girly in fighting ;-D

                  I will sit & meditate on your wise words o masters.

                  But seriously thanks.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Darth Marty View Post
                    ha ha cheers lads, appreciate the genuine feedback, not so much the girly in fighting ;-D

                    I will sit & meditate on your wise words o masters.

                    But seriously thanks.
                    I go away for 2 weeks and come back to find these 2 bickering like children !

                    Re your problem Darth. I know exactly where you are coming from so some suggestions. Some have worked for me and others not but the more ideas the better. Forgive me if some of them are ones you have tried.

                    Do you contact valuations you have been out to and asked why they used another agent ?

                    Held a brainstorming with your own staff and other offices in your chain?

                    You advertise in the Press so have you done filler ads saying you have demand for properties in certain price brackets?

                    Emphasised in your ads the extent of experience and expertise you have? I know how Remax works and most (not all) of their associates have little or no experience. That doesn't make them bad but we are in a buyers market and this is where your experience and good service should come to the fore.

                    Do you provide escorted viewings ? If not then do so. Thats where you really get a chance to speak to the buyers with properties to sell.

                    Try something new in your window. I used to have a window with a deep sill and put in a colourful dolls house. People did stop and look and remembered the name.

                    If you get on well with other local shops see if they will take cards or leaflets for you and return the favour.

                    Try to persuade your Head Office to add you to Right Move but if not see if they can get you on some of the free sites - there are loads to choose from. Some are better than others but nothing to lose.

                    Hope this is of some interest.


                    • #11
                      Now we are talking, yeah the brainstorming session took place a few weeks bacj and we had a few good ideas/best practise which we are going to implement shortly, we always try to accompany viewings for the reasons you said, if im honest its the customer service side im wanting to concentrate on as some bad habits have slipped through un noticed, time to get back to offering a quality service. Window presentation and overall branch presentation is always excellent but I agree that simply by changing it up sometimes it gets results!
                      Thanks for the ideas.


                      • #12
                        Darth -- is your face a usable asset?

                        By that I mean are you lucky enough to have a face and a smile that might actually be worth featuring in adverts - as a means of differentiating your advert from the faceless ones and making it more personal in its appeal.

                        And do you manage to obtain a presence in the editorial parts of the local papers - away from the property sections? Participating in community events in a way that gets you recognised and remembered - eg at charity events, or via low level sponsorship of individual kids.
                        Last edited by Slow Rambler; 20-07-2009, 08:37 AM.
                        Renovation opportunity, 3b det., Carmarthenshire


                        • #13
                          The community aspect is something we have in the past missed out on, thats all due to change shortly with a sponsorship of a local football team and generally trying to get our brand name out there in ways in which we wouldnt have necessarily thought of in the past.
                          I am definitely a usable asset and have actually featured in a leading building societys advert in the past! ha ha I hated it though so if i can help it that wont be happening again!!


                          • #14
                            Just before I post my thoughts I just want to say that I'm not an agent, however I'm certainly interested in the property business and have an online startup in development. Won't go into that because I'm not here to advertise etc.

                            Anyhow I and my partner will be moving to London in the next couple of months and I want to explain to you the thought process that we have gone through when looking for flats in London.

                            Firstly we are both mid 20's and neither of us have the time too walk the streets of an area and look into estate agent windows. Instead we have been spending a couple of hours a night looking through the main property portals and scanning avaiable properties.

                            If we find something we like online we then go to the office and ask to see that property and also ask for leaflets on any other available property within our budget.

                            Although traditional advertising will always be around I really believe that there will be many estate agents that we will not visit because they don't advertise on at least one portal ie. we never find them.

                            I'm a professional web developer in Cambridge and my experience with Facebook is mixed. Facebook has become flooded with younger and younger members and I can image these won’t be the targeted audience.

                            I suggest that if you want to target a more professional audience that can afford the £150 + I would look at starting a group on sites like LinkedIn.

                            Just my thoughts but it might be something to consider. I would definitely push to be on at least one property portal; also consider making the property photos in the window big. The agents that I remember visiting all had large high quality property photos in the window.
                            Last edited by IHaveADream; 22-07-2009, 03:15 PM.


                            • #15
                              Do you stick to the same portals all the time, or do you go via search engines and follow their lead, possibly ending up at an agent's own website?