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Ways to increase business

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  • Darth Marty
    started a topic Ways to increase business

    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...............

  • omostra06
    replied
    We operate an agency in central Portugal, we have clients localy and from various countries around the world, we use a combination of portals and websites, our company has 3 websites,
    one directed at the locals, (in portuguese with several translate options)
    another directed at English speakers around the world.
    a third that promotes the region we are in, with listings for our properties along with around 700 pages of info on moving abroad, buying system, planning etc, etc, all the info people moving abroad may need,

    we use about 10 property portals, with varying results, also we use right move, and sometime magazines, place in the sun etc.

    a lot of buyers use the internet as the main way to find overseas property, the local buyers not so much they normaly come into our offices.

    Leave a comment:


  • Laz88
    replied
    Hello,

    I agree, You have to compare Your Internet site with the competitors'.

    You should define your site's week points and change them.

    Depending on the pagerank, you can see the positive changes in approx. a week

    Best Regards, Laz

    Leave a comment:


  • IHaveADream
    replied
    It depends on who is at the keyboard at the time really. For example If its me, I tend to go to the houshold property portals i.e. rightmove, hotproperty and search using their own searches.

    If its my partner she tends to type the terms "property in area name" (or something similar) into google. Now the main property portals tend to appear top here as well because alot of the independent property websites arn't developed to compete with the big portals on search engine results.

    To compete in search results you need to focus on a few things. I have listed a few standards we use in every day development.

    Firstly focus on SEO on the pages. Forget about "keywords" because they died out a long long time ago. Instead make sure the title tag and description tag is descriptive for your area

    Example
    Somone searching for London properties to buy may type in "Properties in London". So we would talor the title tags to say.

    "Properties For Sale London - BigHouse Properties"
    "Properties For Sale In North London - BigHouse Properties"
    "Properties For Sale South London - BigHouse Properties"
    "Properties For Sale and Rent In London - BigHouse Properties"

    The second reason behind why the portals appear at the top is because of "link power" i.e. When Google ranks a site it takes a look at how many sites within the same industry link through to your site. So the more sites that are willing to link to you increases your chance of appearing higher up the rankings. Be careful here though because if Google suddenly see's alot of unrelated sites linking to you it may damage your chances because it thinks you are spamming.

    Also consider adding a blog to your site and write articles answering the sort of questions that people in your area might be asking about properties, Google enjoys pages that have alot of text rich content. Thats why when you type in a question into Google it is mainly blogs that appear in the results. I.e. A blog title may be "When Is it A Good Time To Buy Property In Wales?"

    Usually we dont click through to an agents website until we want to organise a viewing on a property.
    Last edited by IHaveADream; 23-07-2009, 09:53 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • googler
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • IHaveADream
    replied
    Hi
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darth Marty
    replied
    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!!

    Leave a comment:


  • Slow Rambler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darth Marty
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • drhouse
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Darth Marty
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • googler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • googler
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • googler
    replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • Darth Marty
    replied
    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....

    Leave a comment:

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