Your online marketing matters more than your shop

It no longer matters which estate agent has the best high street office. Today it’s the agent with the best marketing and online presence who will reach new clients first.

As the rise of internet and hybrid agents has proved, a fancy shop in the middle of town is no longer the instruction winner it was. Most estate agents now report minimal levels of walk-in trade as the Internet, smartphones, tablets and laptops take over. It’s no longer necessary to leave the house to stare in estate agents’ windows. And so estate agents’ marketing has shifted: from the physical world, to the digital one.

This could benefit smaller independent estate agents the most. Now that you’re freed from competing against the big shiny offices of big corporate companies, you can concentrate on your online presence. And you can tailor it entirely to your neighbourhood and marketplace, which is something the corporates simply cannot do. I suspect those networks of expensive high street premises are soon to become a bind.

There are two main areas of marketing for estate agents: property, and community. You can choose whether you try to woo one or both.

If you work in a particular part of the market, or you have interesting neighbourhoods, why not create area and property guides? The more you write, the more Google will love you and the more you’ll get noticed by local homeowners.

Or how about an online community page where you publicise local businesses? Show off your neighbourhood and generate serious amounts of goodwill in return. Again, more content from you means more love from Google and Bing.

The key is to be useful. Do not start rambling on about how amazing you are! Provide content that isn’t already on your website. Your text that must be helpful, engaging and a true insight into the world you are promoting. As a local estate agent you have a lot more to say than you realise. So have a really good think about the knowledge you can impart.

Remember: the better your writing, the greater your reward and up the search result you’ll go. On the other hand, bad grammar and spelling mistakes will do you no favours. Instead, you’ll be punished by the search engines and relegated to the outer reaches of civilisation, aka “Page 2 and lower on Google”.

But done well, you have the opportunity to reach an entirely new marketplace. And better still, you can plant yourself in the minds of many more potential clients.