Would you walk into a car dealership, armed with no prior knowledge, and allow the first sales person you saw to completely guide your decision?
Of course you wouldn’t. That’s because in today’s world, big purchases are painstakingly researched before a decision is made. This is certainly true for moving house; a process which often takes weeks of searching and comparison, the majority of which is done online.
It is surprising to discover that, in spite of there being fewer bigger life choices than choosing a somewhere to live, few landlords have got to grips with how to effectively market themselves and their properties online.
Are you an old fashion landlord that’s bemused by the internet? If so, you’re not alone. You are in the majority of landlords who have no idea what they could be doing online. Fear not though, read these top tips and you will soon be standing out from the crowd for all the right reasons.
Improve your online presence
Too many landlords are so reliant on real estate portals that they neglect to build their own online presence. If you are working with a relatively small portfolio, you may not feel the need for your own website; however, building a brand around yourself is a valuable way to promote your properties.
Are you making an effort to do the following online?
- Maintain active, vibrant and personable profiles on social media
- Create content showcasing your local knowledge and property expertise
- Showcase each of your properties to their full potential
- Build and project your brand identity
- Embrace video content
- Track how visitors use your blog or website using analytics software, such as Google Analytics
If not, it may be time to seek professional guidance.
Utilise social media
Social media is a largely untapped resource by landlords, but could be a valuable tool in improving business. From keeping in touch with tech-savvy tenants to becoming a go-to design guru, there are numerous social channels that landlords could be utilising better.
People use Twitter to speak their minds. If your tenants are badmouthing you on Twitter, responding quickly and publicly could help you to limit any damage they might do to your reputation. Twitter is also a great place to share relevant news, tips and your own content, and network with other property professionals.
With over one billion active users, Facebook is all about personality. Create a brand around yourself and your business, and share that with your followers. If you’re sharing good content – your own and that of reputable industry names – you’ll be able to improve awareness of your brand and build a name for yourself as a forward-thinking, up-to-date landlord.
Full of aspirations, Pinterest is the place to target people who are in the research phase. Sharing creative DIY projects, design trends and local knowledge here will connect you with people wanting more from their homes, and put you in a position to give it to them.
Become a local authority
Demonstrating superb local knowledge builds a trusting relationship between you and the people looking for property in your area. If you set up a blog proving that you are a bona fide expert on the area’s parks, schools, nightlife and restaurants, people will be more inclined to trust you.
That’s how content marketing works.
Additionally, there are clear SEO benefits to being recognised as a local expert. Whilst it may prove difficult to rank for search terms such as ‘houses for sale in YOUR AREA’ due to the strength of the property portal websites, you can generate excellent traffic by being a local aficionado.
Make it your mission to be visible for any search terms relating to your catchment area. By creating blogs with topics such as ‘Best things to do with kids in YOUR AREA’ or ‘Upcoming price predictions in YOUR AREA’, you can expect an increase in queries about your properties, as more people will see you as a go-to expert on the area.
Embrace visual marketing
Did you know that behind Google, YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world? Bizarrely, property professionals seem highly reluctant to tap into the rich treasures YouTube marketing affords them.
Amazingly, a study by Postling found that 45% of people looking for property have done a ‘walkthrough’ of the home they settle on; however, only 12% of estate agents have a YouTube account.
This means you can’t necessarily rely on your letting agent to take the reins when it comes to video. If you were house hunting and a listing included a video walkthrough, even if just filmed on an iPhone, you would be more likely to investigate further, wouldn’t you?
If you’re not confident producing videos that will do justice to your properties, don’t worry, because there are people out there who can create eye-catching content which will draw in prospective clients far more effectively than text alone.
360° images and videos are now viewable on Facebook. To really stand out above your competitors, download a 360° photo app such as Google Street View so you can really showcase your property’s full potential.
Stand out with digital marketing
It is estimated that around 92% of UK adults are internet users. This number is growing, year-on-year, making it essential for business owners to get online. Not only will an online presence help you to build trust in your brand, but it will help you to find your audience.
Developing an online presence requires persistence and personality, but now is the time to embrace digital marketing and reach prospective tenants, give business a boost, and stand out ahead of your competitors.
Sophie Chadwick is an account director at award-winning marketing agency Peppermint Soda.