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Give homeowners exactly what they want

I saw a comment the other day on Linked In saying that a large corporate agent had conducted a survey among homeowners and discovered that people with property only care about themselves. Now, whether that’s the only thing homeowners care about is obviously a matter of conjecture, but we can certainly say that one thing they care about is themselves, so why not speak directly to their concerns when you write or post something?

Whose interests are you serving?

Question: how are local homeowners interests served by your marketing? Forget about yourself for a moment and think about your flyers, blogs, canvassing letters and social media posts. Are they a celebration of you, or are they a source of useful information for your potential clients?

Be brutally honest with yourself. Is an invitation to free valuation in a local homeowner’s interest, or yours? Seriously. Are homeowners sitting at work and hoping for the opportunity to ask an estate agent into their home?

Will a letter from you celebrating that you are the number one agent in town serve their interest, or yours? Are local homeowners spending their time wondering which agent has the largest percentage of property sales in their neighbourhood? Well, given that most homeowners in the UK don’t use their number one local agent, we can safely say it’s not a daily concern.

Does telling people you sold a property serve their interest, or yours? Are homeowners wondering if estate agents ever do something like selling a property? Is that a source of mystery for them?

Take a look at yourself

Think about what you are doing. Are you advertising yourself, or are you helping homeowners? Most estate agent blogs, flyers, letters and social media posts are ultimately self-promotional, and very often congratulate themselves for simply doing their job. “We sold a property; oh look, we took a property on; oh my, we sold another one.”

In the main, estate agents focus on what the success means about themselves, and rarely what the result means for the customer. That doesn’t make things interesting; it makes them sound like bragging (even if they’re not meant that way). And by constantly writing self-centred content, that doesn’t really send much of an inviting or inclusive message about caring for your clients.

Shift the emphasis

So, how can you create content that’s useful to every homeowner in your area at whatever stage they’re at? It doesn’t matter whether they’re one day or one year away from moving home; what would serve them now and turn them into loyal fans of your estate agency for later on?

Well, why would they follow an estate agent? What is it that you can help them with? In terms of their relationship to you, they care about the value of their home; how to maximise its worth; what local property prices are doing; how much activity there is; how much time properties are taking to sell; and how different streets and neighbourhoods are performing (in particular, their street and neighbourhood).

Think about the questions that sellers and landlords ask, either on valuations or later down the line. They are forever asking questions, and mostly the same questions! And if the ones you’ve already met are asking you the same things, you can bet the ones you don’t know yet have exactly the same interests.

Stories sell

In terms of your successes: start building those stories around the impact on the lives of the people who are moving. Can a family now send their children to a particular school? Does it mean a young couple can move into a house in time for their new baby, or that a high-flyer finally relocate abroad?

And how about the way you deal with marketing and offers? Do you have viewing days to minimise disruption to the owners? Does one of your listings get more viewings than all the others (and why)? How do you deal with multiple offers fairly and firmly?

If you take a good look at your day, you’ll find many riches in what you do that don’t all have to be about you. Giving people knowledge, insight and stories, alongside your results and successes, will make you far more engaging to follow. Not only that, but you’ll be far more interesting to read and much more likely to stick in the minds of local sellers and landlords as the agent they want to know.