Local Property Experts or LPEs have become synonymous with online estate agencies in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they’re local and have some insights into the property market locally. It’s a curious term, because the traditional high street estate agents with MNAE and RICs behind their titles don’t resort to using any of the three words. Presumably, because they own a chunk of high street real estate, people assume they have knowledge and expertise in what they do.
Instead of arguing over semantics though, estate agents, to compete, would be better off not racing to the bottom with fees to match the online agents who don’t have so many running costs, but with providing content that showcases their expertise.
I’m going to look now at an unnamed small town (not city) which I’ve researched and see if there’s a correlation between number of listings and their content marketing strategy – bear with me, it shouldn’t be as dull as it sounds.
Let’s call the town, Cressley (the fictional setting of Stan Barstow’s “Joby” which I used to love teaching, back in the day).
Cressley has just nine estate agents.
The first page of Google search has the usual AdWord suspects but ignoring those estate agents who’ve chosen steroid PPC and not organic growth who is top?
- A big well-known franchise, which appears in most towns and cities and, unsurprisingly perhaps, has a corporate blog tab but one that is only updated once a month. It’s very generalised and has no relevance to Cressley. But it’s number one and it has a Google Plus review strategy which is very positive about this corporate giant. It has Live Chat too.
- A local independent estate agency with four regional branches, dotted around Cressley. Blogging is focused on the property market locally, breaking news and great information for buyers, sellers and landlords. It’s a minnow of an agency compared with others on Google page one, but it is getting regular listings for sale and rent – when there’s better known estate agencies and the online gang surrounding it locally and online.
- Another independent in third place and a newbie, only recently launched, but they have a top notch social media strategy, a beautiful website and, you guessed, a fortnightly blog post. It has plenty of let and sold properties showcased – highlighting a key facet of traditional – the motivation to see a sale through to exchange and completion.
- Fourth is another independent estate agency, with a blog and social media strategy in place, but both are comatose. I bet they used to be top of page one but have taken their eye of the ball, allowing the newcomer, local franchise and newbie to leapfrog them.
- Fifth is On the Market, various portals and other firms – I kid you not and sitting on page 2 are the other five estate agencies. All are without social media, a decent website or a blogging strategy. One estate agency even has a one page website built on Wix, with adverts popping up constantly. Would I choose them to market my home? No.
My point then is this.
If you want people to find you on Google and make a decision to ring or email you – you must be found on the top pages, your website must be user-friendly and content rich, social media should be active and fun, you should have a news tab.
We can breathe life into your social media pages and blogs.
We can get you seen online and picked to sell your property – in Cressley, Carlisle, Chester or Chelmsford.
Call me now to find out more.