Marketing continues to change, and change at a fairly mind-blowing rate. Just 10 years ago, Mark Zuckerberg was attempting to get his new idea launched called Facebook, YouTube was merely an infant, and less than 10% of properties were listed for sale by Rightmove.
If you fast forward to the present who would have predicted live streaming, pay-per-click and social media dominating the scene? When you were first launching your agency, were you aware of the effect that one day it would be more important to be a marketer than actually selling houses?
Over the past thirteen years that I have worked with independent agents to assist them with building their businesses, it has been very challenging to attempt to keep up with all of the changes, new ideas, and innovation, however, I have always tried my best to do so.
The following are my five key estate agent marketing predictions for 2019:
Prediction 1: Agents will be measuring the ROI on all of their marketing activities more closely.
In the past, many agents would claim that their goal in numerous marketing campaigns was ‘brand awareness.’ However, they are starting to realise that only marketing was a response is elicited can measure return on investment. Whether that response is attending an event or opting into an email list, it allows the agent to associate a value with the response in order to determine whether or not the campaigns have been successful.
Prediction 2: Property marketing will increasingly more experiential, and feature a virtual reality, drone footage and higher quality video.
Over the past five years, property marketing has witnessed a complete revolution, with 360-degree tours and professional photography become the standard for a majority of premium properties. An increasing number of agents are turning to property marketing and lease plans in order to demonstrate to potential clients their superior marketing abilities and differentiation. Additional services such as drone footage, twilight photography, and home staging allow agents to either justify charging an upfront marketing fee or charging higher commissions. Virtual Reality will continue to become increasingly more affordable and allow agents to market their properties to buyers overseas or out of the area.
Prediction 3: Brand marketing will be overtaken by personality marketing
People buy people, and this is particularly true in the estate agency industry, where the key factors are confidence and trust when it comes to deciding on which agent to work with. Agents will come to accept that fact that there is an erosion of trust in large brands, and small independent agents will be able to capitalise on this by using their personalities in order to promote the fact that they are independent. Social profile photos will be showing the individual, and not the brand, with updates becoming more interesting and personal, with a move away from industry figures and fats, and towards content that is more community-focused and takes people ‘behind the scenes.’
Prediction 4: Digital technology will allow agents to systemise lead generation efforts and automate more of their marketing activities
With competition driving fees down and margins tight, agents are beginning to realise how beneficial it is to automate and systemise their marketing efforts. With all steps in a marketing funnel are automated it means that leads get generated by an efficient machine that runs in the agency’s background, so that the owner of the company doesn’t need to hustle trying to get new leads on a daily basis, and can instead focus on providing his current clients with the best service. An increasing number of agents will be looking to outside services to assist them with getting this right, including marketing coaches and agencies.
Prediction 5: Agents will be embracing live-streaming, with an essential aspect of content strategy being the use of Facebook Live
The new currency in business is attention. Gaining and keeping a person’s attention online is getting hard and harder to do. Your content is only a mouse click away from being ignored and irrelevant, with 50% of all mobile data usage being mobile video, with predictions of 74% of all Internet traffic expecting to be video in 2017, according to Invodo. So video may be the answer that letting and independent sales agents have been searching for.