Categories
Email Marketing General Lead Funnels

Estate agents. Why your approach to cold leads could be costing you money

In a busy estate agency, the number one commodity is time. You’ve got vendor calls to make, viewings to follow up, enquiries to reply to.

So, when it comes to talking to potential vendors who are clearly not serious about selling, what do you do? How many of these cold leads make it on to your call list? And even if they do how often do they get called in favour of your hotter leads?

It makes sense that when your time is at a premium to focus energy on the leads that will provide the best results. What is interesting is that whilst many estate agents talk to us about lead generation, many overlook this long-term potential source of income. Even worse some are trying but get their approach wrong, damaging the chances of a future conversion.

You may well be spending money on expensive lead generation when you have a potential source of long-term leads right in front of you.

Cold leads can be a challenge to convert

One of the challenges is that a high number of leads won’t convert. This can leave you feeling tired and frustrated. However, to maximise this opportunity we must overcome this feeling and turn it into a positive. Let’s for a moment, think about the consumer at the time of their initial enquiry.

In the scenario of an instant online valuation quite often they were just curious about the value of their home. The majority will not be ready to sell and simply looking to get a rough guide on price.

Now, thinking about an applicant who registers with you. When they registered with you their main goal was to be notified of the best properties that suit their needs. Of course, as part of your qualification, you should get to know their circumstances and identify if there is an instruction opportunity. But again, many will tell you they are fine or not ready because you have not yet earned their trust.

How to improve your results

There are however two key areas that you can focus on to improve your results. Some of the leading UK estate agents are taking action and in return growing more rewarding and profitable businesses as a result.

There are many reasons for their success but we have identified two in particular:

1. Ensuring their staff are well trained professional and happy

They have happy staff who have mastered the art of listening as well as selling to deliver great customer service. Industry trainers like Julian O’dell and Matt Giggs can have an amazing impact on both your team’s happiness and motivation. Not only that, but they can transform how staff speak to potential clients. To get more valuable information but in a way that builds a relationship and trust.

Look to build a solid foundation for your business. This will increase not only your success with these cold leads, but also referral opportunities, repeat business and your ability to get social proof for your future marketing.

2. Understanding that they can’t speak to everyone 24/7

Becuase dealing with so many leads and conversations presents a real challenge, they complement their personal service by adding technology which can help them nurture these relationships and identify timely opportunities for action. In particular, introducing email nurturing can be one of the lowest cost ways to achieve this.

Create an effective follow-up plan which combines email, SMS and phone calls to build a trusting relationship over time. It must be geared towards their unique situation, not simply full of self promotional messages. Allowing you to stand out as the local experts and estate agent of choice.

 

Need Help?

What about GDPR?

With GDPR and changes to e-privacy coming very soon, following up cold leads will become increasingly challenging. Establishing a strong relationship, coupled with creating a relevant nurture program could help you convince potential leads to let you keep in touch. In comparison, your competition will become trapped, unable to contact recent leads, because they failed to get consent.

Conclusion

Smart estate agents ensure their teams are well trained, that they continue to be engaging with a high level of customer empathy. When they ask the question about keeping in touch they are able to clearly communicate the benefits to the client. Ensuring the client opts-in to continue to receive their message. They often look for ways automate this to deliver the same high standards even when they get busy. Maximising their long-term opportunity from cold leads and boosting profits.

If you are interested in implementing a nurture program for your leads, check out our software or get in touch.

Categories
Lead Funnels Online Valuation Tools

How to generate more valuation leads using Facebook, instant online valuation tools and email marketing

Discover how you can attract and convert more valuation leads, using Facebook, instant online valuation tools and email marketing. We share with you a proven strategy used by successful estate agents to attract valuation leads in their town.

Generating and converting valuation leads

Facing increasing levels of competition, it’s no surprise that the number one priority for many UK estate agents is instruction winning lead generation.

But, with new PropTech ideas springing up all the time it can be difficult to pin down,  amongst all the noise, what really works and what does not.

There is, however, a standout solution – instant online valuation tools. Addressing both the need for lead generation and the increasingly digital consumer, these online valuation tools will help you convert your website visitors into leads, by simply exchanging their contact details for an instant valuation of their property.

ValPal Instant Online Valuation

The rise of instant online valuation tools

In recent years, online valuation tools have been widely adopted, with ValPal reporting over 4,000 branches using its tools.

For potential vendors and landlords already familiar with your brand and visiting your website, these valuation tools will be successfully converting them into leads.

However, visitor numbers to independent estate agent websites are relatively low in comparison to Rightmove or Zoopla for example; so how do you drive more visitors to your website to engage them with your valuation tool and convert them into tangible leads?

Using social media to drive instant online valuations

This is where harnessing the power of social media can help. If you have a large, established social media following, then you can create targeted posts to engage your followers and direct them to get an instant valuation.

Instant online valuation ad example Facebook

For those of you with a smaller following, this activity on its own will only increase the number of instant online valuations you receive by a small amount; so, what else can you do to drive visitors to your website?

Facebook advertising

Adopting a paid strategy using Facebook ads will increase the number of top of funnel leads you can attract, more quickly and successfully than relying on organic posts. (See our article on lead funnels for estate agency marketing if you are unsure about funnel strategies).

Facebook boasts incredible stats with a claimed 1 billion DAILY active users. See this article for more impressive stats. Not only does this mean that they are likely to have a significant number of users who you would want to attract, but a large number of them are interacting with Facebook every day!

Realistically, however, your estate agency probably only wants to attract vendors and landlords in your area, and this is where using the Facebook ad manager will help.

You can set up your Facebook ads so that they will only be shown to an audience that meets your requirements. You can choose their gender, their age range, income level, even their interests.

Facebook Audience Targeting

Once you have your audience set up, then you can focus on creating an advertisement that will encourage them to visit the instant valuation tool on your website. You may need to test a few different styles of the ad, and vary your audience requirements to see what gets the best results.

One of the benefits of Facebook advertising is that once you have worked out what ad and audience combinations gets the most visitors to your website, the cost of getting each lead reduces.

 

Need Help?

 

Beyond basic Facebook ads – remarketing

Have you ever been browsing Facebook and an ad has appeared from a site you were browsing recently? It’s not a coincidence, it’s remarketing.

Facebook allows you to include a tracking code on your website, so it can see who is visiting your website. All you have to do is set up your Facebook ad audience, to target people who have recently visited your website, and they will receive your targeted ads automatically.

Following an instant valuation

Many agents will call their instant valuation leads, to further qualify them and convert them into real life valuations. Tools like ValPal also have a booking form at the last step to encourage conversions.

However, this approach will largely only be successful with the bottom of funnel leads, i.e. those thinking about moving. How do you go about converting all the other leads?

Use email to keep in touch

As many of the instant valuations won’t convert initially, you will need to encourage these leads to stay in touch with your estate agency. Email marketing offers a cost-effective way of keeping in touch over and above other marketing channels.

Ideally, you want your leads to join your newsletter or email series so that you can deliver and maintain regular communications with them. Explore our email marketing software for estate agents for an easy cost effective way to send email marketing.

Some estate agents set up a dedicated nurture program, which focuses on sending relevant, helpful and well thought out emails to vendors and landlords thinking of selling their properties. This allows them to demonstrate their local knowledge and expertise, as well as including the important calls to action.

Nurturing prospective clients in this way will often put you front of mind when they are ready to book a valuation or require further information. Again, if you need help with this get in touch.

Integrating your approach

Attracting and converting new valuation leads is greatly encouraged with a clear, streamlined strategy. Using Facebook, instant online valuation tools, and targeted email as an integrated approach, as opposed to standalone activities, will always deliver the best results.

Getting started will take some time and effort, but once in place, it is simply a case of managing the process, evaluating and then refining your approach based on your results.

For your agency, the outcome will be a proven, reliable, measurable and effective approach to attracting and converting new instruction leads.

 

Check out our next article which is a guide to implementing a Facebook instant online valuation funnel.

Get in touch to talk about our installation and managed Facebook instant online valuation services.

Categories
Email Marketing Lead Funnels

How to convert more estate agent website visitors using property selling tips

As your audience grows often people will be engaged with your social media and familiar with your brand. However, you have still not managed to convert them to a lead and capture their email address.

The property selling tips funnel is designed to help you capture more leads. In return, potential vendors get a useful professional looking series of selling tips. In this example, it is delivered through a sequence of emails sent over several weeks. Alternatively, it can also be an ebook download if you prefer. The benefit of the email series is it gives you several ongoing chances to impress them.

In this help series, we will refer to marketing funnels as the main way to drive engagement. If you are unfamiliar with funnels read our article lead funnels for estate agency marketing.

The Basic Funnel Stages

The funnel starts after you have an engaged audience who are familiar with your brand and visiting your content regularly, either via your blog, website or existing social media audience. The tips should be promoted by various call to action (CTA) banners on your website.

To gain additional signups you should create a paid Facebook retargeting ad specifically to your engaged audience. Clicking the ad will take them to a dedicated landing page explaining more about the selling tips and what they will get if they sign up.

In addition to delivering the selling tips sequence through a series of emails, you should offer them the chance to subscribe to your newsletter. This will allow you to keep engaging them even after the series is complete.

The Funnel
Property Selling Tips FunnelThe main stages explained

1. Create an interesting series of property selling tips. 

The aim of the selling tips is to help potential vendors have the best possible experience when selling their home. By the end of the series, they should be confident you are the local property experts. Create a series of around 4-6 selling tips. Then use an email software for estate agents like Propology to deliver the sequence automatically to people over several weeks after they sign up.

Tip: Ideally keep the tips engaging and catered towards your typical audience. Consider linking to additional content on your website and also video content to make it more interesting.

2. Create banners to promote your selling tips. 

Cross promoting your selling tips on your existing channels is the best way to get free sign-ups. This could include banners on your website and property blog. Also any other vendor related pages.

3. Create a dedicated landing page to allow people to subscribe to your selling tips

You should have a dedicated landing page which is solely for them to sign up for your selling tips. It should explain the benefits and entice them to sign up.

Tip: GDPR is coming. Ensure you are clear and the lead agrees to your terms and conditions by affirmative action. Consider an additional tick box on the form to sign up for your newsletter.

4. Create a Facebook audience to retarget those who view your blog and selling pages but don’t sign up for your tips series.

If someone showed interest in your blog then they are closer to converting than someone who did not. Also, people who visit your selling page might be thinking of selling but not ready to sell yet. By targeting this group you can increase the chance of sign up for your tips series. Create a dedicated audience on Facebook for people who visited these pages. You can then can use this audience to run different ads to learn which one works best.

5. Create a Facebook audience to retarget those who view your sign-up page but don’t sign up. 

Again, a high percentage of people who view your sign-up page will leave without completing the form. You can create a Facebook audience and a sponsored ad to target this group and try to convince them to come back and sign up.

Tip: Keep this audience time sensitive to avoid overexposing someone to your ad.

6. Ensure those people who sign up are added to your tips series and tagged properly

Completing the form should automatically trigger a Thank You email and the first tip. It should be followed by the sequence of other tips either several days later or after they read each tip.

Tip: Properly recording who signed up, from what source and capturing their permission for GDPR purposes will allow you to properly manage this list into the future.

7. Cross promote your newsletter

Ensure your emails are at least 80% focused on useful tips. Towards the end consider adding a banner or message. It can either be to request a valuation or about joining your newsletter. If you manage to get them to join your newsletter then you can continue to market to them after the series has completed. By using a software like Propology you can make this content only show to people who have not previously registered.

Tip: Always make this a secondary priority otherwise you will cause them to unsubscribe or worse report you for abuse. The primary goal is to get them to learn about your brand and expertise through sharing helpful advice.

Conclusion

As you can see, the property selling tips is a great way to showcase your local knowledge and property expertise. Once set up it needs very little management, which is great news for those with less time.

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Categories
Lead Funnels

How to attract more estate agency leads using a local property news blog

When it comes to attracting the interest of cold leads in estate agency it can be hard. A large number of people online are becoming conditioned to ignore traditional advertising messages. To combat this one of the best things you can do to improve your estate agencies online engagement is to invest in forms of inbound marketing, where leads come to you because your website and brand talk about things that matter to them.

The local property market blog aims to give your audience useful relevant content which they can read to learn about your town and how property matters are changing. Over time as you build this audience you will become increasingly familiar with them as local experts.

In this help series, we will refer to marketing funnels as the main way to drive engagement. If you are unfamiliar with funnels read our article lead funnels for estate agency marketing.

The Basic Funnel Stages

The funnel starts by promoting your articles on social media, your website and other marketing. Once you have captured the attention it uses Facebook remarketing to target directly those people who enjoyed reading your articles.

From there the aim is to get them to sign up for your newsletter so they can receive your latest articles for free without you paying expensive advertising fees. Long term the aim is to continue to demonstrate that your estate agency is filled with local experts and guide them to use your services when they come to sell or rent their property.

The Funnel
Local Property Market Blog Funnel

The main stages explained

1. Create interesting articles about the local property market.

Today we are constantly advertised to and conditioned to ignore adverts. With a cold audience, the aim is to simply get them to read and enjoy your content and become aware of your brand. For estate agents, local property related articles are a good way of engaging with this audience. Try to write at least 1 article a month and then build up from there once you start to see results.

Tip: Craft articles that your audience would find informative and interesting when thinking about property in your local area. It’s not about selling them something it is about giving away valuable insights. Use local property market data and other local stories of interest to engage with a broad audience. Show you are the local property experts.

2. Create a Facebook sponsored ad for your blog posts.

Having a great blog alone is unlikely to generate huge amounts of traffic. That’s why you will need to promote your blog articles on social media and on website banners. Creating a sponsored ad allows you to target new potential clients who are unfamiliar with your brand.

Tip: Ensure you have an interesting image in the post. Experiment and learn what works. You can also promote it on your website and on other social media channels for free.

3. On your blog ensure you have multiple ways for people to sign up to join your newsletter.

Once you have caught their interest you need a way to keep in touch. This is where adding banners and ads to sign up for your newsletter can help you capture their email address.

4. Create a Facebook audience to retarget those who view your blog but don’t sign up.

If someone showed interest in your blog then they are closer to converting than someone who did not. By targeting this group with another article or a newsletter signup you can keep them engaged.

5. Create a dedicated blog sign-up page giving info on the news and local info they will receive.

We all are sceptical when it comes to giving away our email address. To increase conversions, create a dedicated landing page which is clear and simply describes what they will get (and not get) if they sign up for your newsletter.

Tip: GDPR is coming. Make sure you get them to acknowledge your terms and record their consent correctly.

6. Create a Facebook audience to retarget those who view your sign-up page but don’t sign up.

Again, a high percentage of people who view your sign-up page will leave. You can create a Facebook ad to target this group and convince them it is worthwhile.

7. Ensure everyone who signs up is added to your newsletter mailing list and tagged accordingly.

Ideally, automatically have their details recorded in your estate agency email software. Properly record who signed up, from what source and capturing their consent for GDPR purposes. This will allow you to properly manage this list into the future.

8. Cross promote your other content in your newsletters

If you are sending them content they agreed to receive in your newsletter then you will keep your clients happy. You can now start adding additional banners and links at the end of your emails to cross-promote your other marketing and services to them, for example, instant valuations and eBooks.

Tip: Always make this a secondary priority otherwise you will cause them to unsubscribe

Conclusion

The local property news blog funnel takes more effort than other funnels. However, we hope you can see that there are many benefits that will help you stand out.

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Categories
Lead Funnels

How to implement an instant online valuation funnel using Facebook and email marketing

When it comes to boosting your estate agency instant valuation leads it is hard to look past Facebook as a major marketing channel. In this article, we show you how to implement an instant online valuation funnel with Facebook and email marketing, and how to use it capture more valuation leads for your estate agency.

In this help series, we will refer to marketing funnels as the main way to drive engagement. If you are unfamiliar with funnels read our article lead funnels for estate agency marketing.

Not sure if using Facebook and instant valuations is for you? Check out our article How to generate more valuation leads using Facebook, instant online valuation tools and email marketing to learn more.

Overview

This funnel aims to attract new leads who may not be familiar with your brand and get them to engage. Once you have captured their interest the funnel uses a combination of re-marketing ads and a dedicated landing page to increase conversion rates.

After the lead signs up the funnel uses an email nurture series to continue to deliver valuable content to the lead, with the aim of putting your brand in the first place when they come to decide which agent to ask out for a valuation.

The Funnel
Facebook Instant Valuation Funnel

The main stages explained

1. Create a Facebook sponsored ad for your instant valuation tool. 

Your valuation tool alone probably won’t generate enough leads to grow your estate agency. In order to capture a wider audience, you need to promote it on your social media accounts to increase awareness and engagement. Start by creating a paid ad in your Facebook account that is aimed at sending people to your instant valuation tool to help you capture more leads.

Tip: Try to keep the ad simple and to the point. Ideally, add a local element to it, for example, the image. Experiment with multiple ads and audiences until you find what works best. You can also promote it on your website and on other social media channels for free.

2. Create a dedicated landing page for your valuation tool. 

Your instant valuation tool may already do this step for you. You need a dedicated landing page for them to get their instant valuation.

Tip: By having a dedicated page, you can increase the chance of conversion over using a busy page with many options. Study’s have shown people’s attention is typically seconds before they bounce back to Facebook.

3. Create a Facebook audience to retarget those who view your landing page but don’t convert

Not everyone who visits your landing page will convert. This is why you need a way to target these people directly. Using Facebook audiences allows us to target those people who visited pages on our site but did not convert.

Tip: With this specific group, you can use a more personal and relevant follow-up ad. This will require you to install your Facebook pixel on your website or instant valuation page. Speak to us if you need help.

4. Create a Facebook audience for those who convert

The aim of the next stage is securing a proper face to face valuation. We want to target those people who actually requested an instant valuation. You will need to create a specific advert tailored to this group.

Tip: Again, you can do this by either using the Facebook pixel or by uploading an email list. Create a custom audience for those people who received an instant valuation but have not yet converted.

5. Create an email nurture sequence and deliver a series of emails to keep them engaged and continue to demonstrate your value

Most people probably won’t go beyond requesting an instant valuation from you at this stage. That is why you need a way of keeping them engaged over time. Using an email sequence of helpful tips or relevant local market news you can keep them engaged and demonstrate further value and expertise. Explore our email marketing software for estate agents for a simple way to nuture your online valuation leads.

Tip: GDPR is coming. To make sure you remain compliant you will need to make it clear this is what will happen and be able to prove they agreed to it. To increase those who consent you will need to provide a compelling reason for them to give you permission.

6. Add promotional banners and other references to your email templates to direct them to your valuation booking page

Whilst the aim of your follow up emails should be to continue to provide value to them there is no harm adding your own banners and self-promotion as well to direct them to your valuation page and other services.

Tip: Try to think of the 80/20 rule as a minimum. So 80% of the content should be helpful and relevant. Leaving you the last 20% for a banner or Call To Action.

7. Remove any conversions from your Facebook audiences

To save money and avoid annoying your existing clients remember to remove any converted clients from each audience.

Conclusion

You should now be ready to start creating your own Facebook instant valuation funnel. Contact us today to receive more helpful tips and guidance on this and our other estate agency marketing funnels.

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