The UK estate agency industry is perhaps one of the most competitive sectors to operate in at the moment. We have years of experience in working in both the UK and US sales and lettings markets, so we understand first hand the difficulties clients often have in generating an acceptable volume of new, quality instructions.
To be frank, this endeavour can sometimes feel savage in its competitiveness. But, we also see firsthand the benefits of succeeding in this sector.
Firstly there is the local and regional bricks-and-mortar competition, but there is also a secondary (and potentially more serious) challenge to consider – there is significant disruption in the marketplace now, with companies like Purplebricks and Zopa taking the industry online at cutthroat prices.
Then, there’s the fact that the industry waxes-and-wanes more than most sectors (and let’s not even get started on Brexit).
Finally, repeat business isn’t as predicable as it is in some industries, so estate agencies rely on a constant flow of new business and word-of-mouth referrals in order to stay afloat and grow.
So, I think we can all agree that the UK sales and lettings sector is a tough place to trade in sometimes.
But, the level of competition mentioned above is indicative of the fact that the industry is also very lucrative.
Every new instruction can be extremely profitable, which is why most estate agencies (whether online or offline) do everything they can to ensure that a steady stream of sales leads is coming through the door at all times.
So, in order to facilitate that, the rest of this article is around how Marketing Automation can help your agency:
- Improve its sales pipeline by 80%, and;
- Generate 50% more sales leads than your competitors who don’t use marketing automation
(These figures are based on various research studies from Forrester, Yankee Group and Eloqua. They are achievable if your process is set up and managed correctly.)
How Marketing Automation Can Assist
There are many ways that marketing automation can help your estate agency generate a growing stream of quality instructions.
Here’s 5 of our favourites.
1 – Optimal Conversion Rates (Lead > Instruction)
There’s just no doubt about it – an effective marketing automation process will make sure that you are turning the maximum possible number of leads into new instructions.
Study after study has shown that without a marketing automation process in place, up to 80% of sales leads are wasted or lost due to poor lead management (Yankee Group, HubSpot).
Just think about that for a second – your sales pipeline could grow by 80% just by implementing one scalable and reliable process.
What would your agency look like if you had 80% more leads every month?
2 – 1-to-1 Customer Journey (Hand Holding)
As mentioned above, one of the biggest challenges faced by a local/regional estate agency is the rise of the online, discount agent.
However, areas that will always be best taken care of by bricks-and-mortar agents are:
- The level of personalised, 1-to-1 service they can offer their customers, and;
- Their knowledge and experience, particularly of the regional market
Marketing automation can help both areas by:
- Helping your agency deliver timely, relevant and useful information (via email, SMS or even social channels) to each lead
- Bolstering the fact that your agency is trusted, reliable and expert in the field
Both of these actions will ultimately result in more leads being converted to instructions, as per the point above.
3 – Up-Selling and Cross-Selling
If you have other products or services that you can offer to a new instruction – or if you partner with a mortgage broker or Conveyancing expert for example – a properly designed marketing automation funnel will help you upsell and cross-sell as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
Past and real-time behaviours can be analysed and acted upon to ensure that your new customers receive such offers in a manner that is both timely and optimal from a conversion point of view.
Another way to understand this would be to think of your marketing automation process as being a full time, intelligent sales person – one that works 24/7 in the background, constantly analysing your database and delivering relevant offers at the perfect time.
4 – Optimised Referral Generation
As mentioned above, word of mouth referrals are a very important source of new business for estate agents.
This is another area that is handled well by Marketing automation automations because of the fact that they can be relied upon to prompt for a referral at the perfect time in every case.
For example, your system could be set up to automatically ask for a referral at the point where a property was marked as ‘Live’ or ‘SSTC’ in your system, whichever would make more sense for your business (or both).
That way, you can rest assured knowing that your referral engine is largely placed on autopilot now (although sales reps and account managers will still play their part too).
5 – Behaviour Based Sales Intelligence
Finally, an effective marketing automation process can also greatly assist your sales reps, too. For example, if you have 50 leads in your system it would be great if your sales reps knew which ones were the most sales ready at that time.
The great news is that marketing automation can do this – it can use past behaviour to show your sales reps who the most engaged leads have been, and therefore who are the most likely to instruct.
That way, your sales team can focus their efforts on converting sales leads who are actually ready to convert – they can then circle back to the others when they are ready, too.
In an industry as competitive as the UK estate agency sector, knowledge, timing and meaningful action can make the difference between a great quarter and a terrible one.
Marketing automation can help on all fronts – making your agency better at converting leads into instructions and ultimately becoming more profitable.
If you’d like to hear more about how we can help your business succeed with marketing automation from only £149 per month, please contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.