There is no doubt that estate agency is about people, however, in today’s technology driven world, much of peoples’ engagement with brands is in a digital space where everything is fighting for their attention. This is according to Damon Bullimore, CTO of nurtur.group, who adds that if agents want to break through the noise and be seen, they require the right tools and an understanding of how these tools can be used to put them in front of their target audience.
“There was a time when having a website and online presence was seen as being progressive, now it is the bare minimum for businesses. Having a website and hoping it will draw attention of potential customers is not enough. A business’s online presence needs to be more, it needs to be working for the business to produce leads, which can be converted into revenue. The website needs to be optimised for search, ensuring that an agent is on page one of Google. Statistically, 30% of customers choose an agent who is within the first three positions on Google search. The number one position generates a Click Through Rate (CTR) as high as 28%, the second position gets around 15%, while dropping to tenth position gets about 7% traffic only,” says Bullimore.
He notes that in addition to optimisation, once a potential lead has clicked on the website, they need to be taken along a pathway to ensure the lead is not lost. Lead generation isn’t simply a moment, but rather a journey. “Around 55% of leads received don’t actually make it into an agent’s CRM, which highlights the importance of having a process in place to nurture leads and take them along the right path. This should include various touchpoints and forms of communication that support the journey such as Live Chat and Social Media Advertising, along with nurturing and developing relationships through email marketing. All of these proptech elements fall under the nurtur.group ‘ecosystem’ and all platforms work in tandem to maximise an agent’s opportunities within the market,” Bullimore comments.
He adds that the process should ideally be strategically supported by proptech automations that create efficiency and that do not leave any lead unanswered. “Given that the property market in 2023 looks to be more challenging, maximising potential lead conversation should be a priority for agents. Automation saves time and the need for agents to generate and manage leads themselves, it also allows teams to focus on priority appointments. Valuation bookings can be received and actioned, logged for agents in their CRM system through Yomdel Live Chat for example,” says Bullimore.
He notes that automated email series marketing and newsletters, keep leads engaged, in turn maintaining that relationship for conversion. “Moreover, with automations – especially those supported by products such as LeadPro, estate agents can avoid annoying consumers with spam and only target them with segmented emailing,” Bullimore adds. “Based on data gathered from many popular email marketing platforms analysing over 100-billion emails, in 2021 the property industry experienced an open rate of 21.7%. With the property industry experiencing a surge in 2021, the category of ‘Real Estate, Design & Construction’ had a click-to-open rate of 17.2%, making it the highest when compared to other industries. This shows that email marketing is an impactful tool for agents to use when engaging with their target audience.”
According to Bullimore, estate agents of all sizes, whether a single branch, multiple branches or a franchisee will have data lists of varying sizes. Within these data lists there will be active contacts, who are currently in the market and looking at property with a certain level of interest. The much larger portion of a data list will be archived, however. These are contacts that aren’t active and because of this are often forgotten about. There is a lot of value in these archived contacts.
“By reaching out to these contacts and sending them regular, up-to-date communications, agents will keep their brand top of mind and could pique homeowners’ interest and bring them to market. This is what a strong advocate of a brand would do, and this can be achieved through strong a marketing presence,” says Bullimore. “Proptech is often seen as a nice-to-have, but in reality, if used correctly it can create efficiency and make a business revenue – a must in the changing economic climate,” he concludes.