With Covid restrictions slowly easing, stamp duty holidays coming to an end and the property market looking a little more stable, now is the time to consider what to take forward from the past twelve months to continue to grow your estate agency.
One of the biggest learnings, for example, may be the fundamental changes to how customers interact with your business.
Changes that were perhaps initially borne out of necessity can now be continued and built upon to enhance lead generation and business reputation far into the future.
The lockdown effect
Customer expectations and how they communicate, like many things, changed beyond recognition over lockdown. With rules changing so frequently, different estate agents taking different approaches and regional variations, customers could no longer trust information on websites and Google listings to still be accurate.
Instead, they started to use direct contact methods more, where they could ask their questions to real people. Our figures show that the number of leads captured via website live chat services, for example, was 80% higher in April 2021 than April 2020.
Figures from Zoopla found similar, that most sales leads on their portal come between 8pm and 9pm. Perhaps unsurprising with property purchases generally being a joint decision with buyers and sellers making enquiries when they are together at home, out of office hours, but worth noting nonetheless.
Reacting to potential enquiries whatever time they are received, therefore, is more important than ever and can really set an estate agency apart from its competitors in 2021.
Previously, a potential customer might not expect a reply until the following morning when making an enquiry out of hours. But with newer technology such as booking platforms, website live chat and out of hours call services becoming more common, it can be a case of whichever agent responds the fastest wins the instruction.
Another significant change for estate agents is the sheer volume of ways that potential customers can get in touch. Social media platforms have become a go-to for people to get in touch with those who provide the services they want, not just their friends.
Facebook Messenger is the second most downloaded app (after Facebook itself), and people are increasingly expecting brands to respond to them using it. For estate agents, this can seem like yet another burden to manage. However, by opting to monitor and promote Facebook messaging as a contact point, you’re making things easier for your target audience and differentiating yourself from your competitors. Plus using Messenger can actually be easier to manage than email/phone, especially out of hours.
never lose an estate agency lead
The key to estate agency success in this ‘new normal’ is ensuring that every potential lead is contacted, qualified and nurtured All AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. The difference between winning a new instruction or missing out to a competitor can be as simple as responding to them whilst selling is front of mind, i.e. as they send the enquiry to you.
Installing our live chat on your website that’s available 24 hours a day and manned by our real people (as opposed to automatic robotic responses) is one way to guarantee a response to prospects WITHIN 8 SECONDS and YOU WON’T EVEN HAVE TO MONITOR IT UNLIKE FACEBOOK MESSENGER. Simply return to work the following day to continue the conversation or with a new market appraisal booked directly into your diary.
If you haven't yet looked into a 24/7 managed live chat service, or you'd just like to know more about the options available to you, don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to chat.