“He who stops advertising to try and save money could just as easily stop his clock to save time”
Henry Ford (1863–1947)
Marketing is a fundamental discipline which can really maximise the value of your property. Most agents now advertise on Rightmove, Primelocation, Zoopla, Findaproperty, Globrix and many other websites and portals sometimes without even knowing, but this is only one element of a focussed marketing campaign. Its cost effective, though far from cheap.
How an agents website is promoted is an important issue. Our Search Engine Optimisation is highly targeted on specific searches in specific areas which is why we have an enviable number of pages viewed per user and a long period which customers spend on our site. We have a number of means by which this is achieved, but its safe to say, few similar sized agents can match our results. Content is a key issue. No longer is a website simply a place to list properties, portals do that so much better. It is more about providing a resource, a place where customer can find useful information in one place and learn about the company which is offering the services sought.
An increasing number of agents dismiss traditional, paper based advertising. Why? Because its expensive and they are simply trying to excuse this by claiming magazines and newspapers are ineffective. They are not. Just look at which agents use them; they can't all be wrong. We spend nearly half our advertising budget on magazines and newspapers and the response is immense. Its not just about selling or renting the specific property featured, its about raising awareness to potential customers that you deal with that type of property in a specific area.
Advertising is as much about promoting a company's brand as dealing with a specific market place as it is about promoting specific properties. This is not as self-serving as it sounds. Potential customers identify with agents who deal with a specific marketplace. Vendors are also potential buyers and paper based advertising has a huge impact on which agent a vendor selects.
To this end, we have looked carefully at quality, distribution and circulation of paper based media. Magazines such as South West, Canary, Westside, The Hill, The Green, Property Review to name but a few offer high quality readership and long shelf-life. Beware the agents which do not advertise yet charge the same rate as those which do.
Social media and social marketing have also become far more important, though the two are very different disciplines. Social media is about expressing opinions and what a company stands for, whilst social marketing is another way of advertising your products but also finding out what customers want.
Even with the advent of digital media, advertising costs have increased as it's a competitive market place and an agent can't afford to opt out of a potentially effective means of marketing. Likewise, as search results become more important and the exponential rise of mobile devices changes the way people search, agents must continue to invest or be left behind. Any agent who dismisses another's advertisement, web listing or promotion is being somewhat naive. No one wants to waste money and there will be good reason why they do what they do.
Today, you spend less time searching for properties and services, they will find you.