Starting your own business is always a daunting prospect, and your mind is likely to entertain fears and doubts. Hopefully, the expectations of earning a significant income, providing genuine value to your customers and being your own boss are enticing enough to quell any anxieties and give you the impetus to move forward with passion. As the saying goes, “home is where the heart is”, and with a bit of hard work and careful planning, you’ll soon be providing a long list of happy customers with new places to enjoy their lives, as well as earning a great income for you and your family. So without further ado, here are some of the ways you can maximise your promotional endeavours when opening an estate agency.
Pick the right office
Setting up the right office space is paramount to the success of an estate agency. A gloomy or uninviting office, particularly in an uninviting part of town, spells doom for any property sales. You want your office to be a bustling hub of activity, so it pays to acquire a location on a busy street even if it’s slightly more expensive – you will reap the rewards in the long-run. Ensure that the office is bright and inviting, has plenty of great window display photographs, and features your company’s branding in the decoration and/or promotional materials.
Hiring a team of professional and jovial people is crucial to creating a positive atmosphere for clients. Not only should your employees be well informed about your local area, but they must also have great communication skills and a warm demeanour. Smiling at guests when they enter, holding eye contact and striving to match their requests will go a long way in establishing a positive reputation in the local community. Customer facing personnel should be well presented, and if there is a way to include your branding in your employee’s work attire this can also be beneficial. A clothing item as simple as a company tie can make a significant difference in how clients see your staff.
Meet and greet
In a previous article on this blog, we discussed the importance of joining local business communities and making yourself known amongst trade associations. Beyond this, a launch event complete with drinks and nibbles can go a long way in fostering a positive atmosphere and building relationships. It is also advisable to put out a press release to advertise this launch party and also begin to gather contact details for the start of a newsletter when your guests arrive. A direct mail campaign can also be used to promote this event.
Depending on the amount of resources available, an advertising campaign can be used to improve brand recognition and drive business. For instance, Marsh & Parsons chose to advertise their brand in the obvious places such as Rightmove and Zoopla, but also on taxi cabs and on the London underground.
Have an excellent business site
As we covered in a previous article, having an aesthetically pleasing and functional site is necessary for any business, and this is no different in the field of real estate. It’s important to have a good shop window online, where people can scroll through your listings easily and see all the wonderful property pictures that are on offer. The website should also be optimised for mobile devices and an effective SEO campaign should be started in order to get your site to the top of the Google search rankings for relevant keywords which pertain to your geographical location.
Design a useful app
As we have discussed previously, with the increase in smartphone usage, designing an easy to use feature-rich app can be a great way to improve brand awareness and provide genuine value to your clients. For an estate agency, a great app may provide users with a step by step guide of what to do when they are looking to buy or sell a property, with specific answers depending on the user’s input.
To sum it all up
While the monetary success of an estate agency is ultimately going to come from signing up quality properties and selling them to buyers, this is only achievable if some fundamentals are already in place, such as: running successful PR and advertising campaigns, fostering relationships within the local community, maintaining a welcoming office environment and employing personnel who not only know how to make a sale, but know how to make clients feel valued too!