I was chatting to a friend of mine in lettings and estate agency game in Manchester. He is one of these sort of guys that is into the latest fad of social media.. he has a facebook account, twitter account, PIN interest (I thought that was club for people who like wall hanging implements).. Ask.fm etc etc .
I asked him what business he got from it .. the ROI (return on investment – management techno speak) .. he couldn’t answer. As a fellow agent, that has helped some letting agents with knowledge of the dark arts of social media, I can see it from both sides. This is what I told my Manchester letting agent friend …
Social media doesnt sell or let more property, but what it does do is get you contact with more vendors and landlords. Its what you say that makes a ‘potential’ client turn into ‘actual’ client … by making attractive and appealing to read news and views, that answers the issues of your potential client. The question is, who are you clients, where can they be found and what do they want answering?
Landlord’s dont walk through your door anymore, unless they arenarked off with their existing agent, which tends to be the landlords that have been on the market for 5 or 6 weeks (tenant moved out a few weeks back) and no rent is coming in. Yes, these are great, but the stuff that takes 5 or 6 weeks to let is either overpriced or not very nicely presented… do you really want those kind of properties?
You want the landlords of that lovely 3 bed semi or modern 2 bed apartment block … but you will never get them, why, because they dont take half a day off work to check out the new agents every few months .. they have better things to do with their life.
You see with the right marketing techniques and attitude, you can attract, neigh farm landlords, make them come to you before the tenant hands their notice in. If you can do that, because people buy from people, you will get the business when the tenant hands in their notice in, in a few months time .. and you might ask why, well because you have built a relationship up with that landlord over the preceding months, any person will always do business with someone they like…. people buy from people .
So what do you need to do? Using 50 year old marketing techniques .. let’s not reinvent the wheel … you need AIDA ..hold on tight for your GCSE marketing course (exam at the end kids!)
A – Attention / Awareness : attract the attention of the landlord. What grabs the attention of the landlord .. Landlords wanted and half price fees is advertising… no one likes advertising. Does it grab a landlords attention, does it make them sit up and find out more. Landlords wanted and half price fees doesn’t. Every landlord knows they are wanted. And cheap fees .. no landlord will swap half way through an tenancy, as they will ahve to pay twice (your fees and the exit fees from the other agent)….. But what if you said ‘Rubbish council housing estate’s property market in Slough has outperformed the really nice housing estate in Slough .. now that’s caught my attention (if i live in Slough .. but thats the point.. most of your landlords do live local to you). House prises in Swindon have gone up by 8% in the last year but only by 4.5% in Cirencester even more interesting to the people of Swindon. But don’t think top 10 tips for landlords cuts the mustard .. its the same tips that everyone uses.. just in a different order each time
I – Interest: raise landlords interest by focusing on and demonstrating knowledge, thus giving advantages and benefits to the landlord reading a piece of information (instead of focusing on features, (such as free epcs, landlords top 10 tips, half price management fees as in traditional advertising). Why has the rubbish housing estate done better? Why has Swindon done better than Cirencester? Tell the people of Swindon and Slough and they will be interested if your office is in Swindon or Slough
D – Decide / Desire: convince landlords that they want and desire to talk to you as talking to you will satisfy their needs. If you can be the fount of all knowledge, in a subject they (the landlord) is passionate about, they will want (desire) to come and speak to you
A – Action: lead landlords towards taking action (want to talk with you)
Here is a 90 second video about the AIDA principle .. the guy is a full on American and a bit ‘salesy’.. but please see through that … as he puts the principle across better than I ever could …
Remember, like I told my friend ….
People buy people … you cant sell yourself or service if you cant speak to the potential client in the first place
You will never get a landlords’s interest until you get their attention and you will never get a landlord to take action until they make a decision
* Christopher Watkin is the writer of the ‘how to get more landlords to use your lettings agency blog’ and helps letting agents get more landlords and rental properties for their lettings agency