There are fewer properties for sale coming onto the market, while the number of agents operating in one area is higher than ever, making it very competitive. There are more properties to let available, but not enough tenants who can afford them, and budgets for marketing are tight.
Now more than ever, agents need to be clever in the way they go about their marketing in order to generate enquiries with minimal investment. And as we know, the most cost effective way to generate business is through selling more to existing clients who already know our brand.
Traditionally, agents would invest in a leafleting campaign in the hopes of a conversion, but these campaigns are not very cost-effective (unless you print them in-house and distribute them yourself) and they are hard to track. They are also time-consuming to put together, so agents do them sporadically rather than every month.
With Facebook campaigns you can experiment with different messages and see which works best.
There is email marketing, of course. However, the open rate of email campaigns has reduced drastically over the years as the email applications improved on their filtering algorithms, and as a result, many of the bulk emails end up in ‘junk’ or ‘clutter’ folders.
So how do you re-engage with your existing clients, with a smaller investment, higher engagement rate and a better tracking ability?
THE ANSWER IS FACEBOOK
Facebook is an incredibly powerful marketing tool, which allows businesses to engage with their customers and prospects in a much more efficient way.
And when it comes to engagement with your existing clients, Facebook ticks all our boxes.
One of Facebook’s clever features is allowing you to upload your email database of existing clients under your account, thereby creating an audience to engage with.
How does it work?
Let’s assume you want to engage with everyone who has bought a property through you. Every buyer is a potential seller, so if you are looking for more sales instructions, this is a great place to start.
Uploading your contacts is simple, as long as you have exported them in a CSV file. Originally, we were only able to upload email addresses, however Facebook recently upgraded this option and is now allowing us to add additional information for each contact, such as name, address and telephone number. This increases the chance of Facebook locating the profile of your contacts even if the email address you have does not match the one registered on Facebook. Once located, Facebook will add all your contacts in a group.
Unfortunately, even with this upgrade, not everyone on your list would have a Facebook account, but on average we expect around 50-70 per cent of any database to go through successfully.
So the larger the database, the larger the audience of existing clients you can target on Facebook.
AND THEN WHAT?
With sponsored ads, Facebook allows you to run all kinds of campaigns – awareness or conversion, to your newly created audience of existing clients. The campaign’s success is now down to your message and the calls to action on your website. Ask yourself, what would get an existing client to click on your ad and take action?
How many messages can I create?
What’s great about this approach, unlike the leafleting campaigns, is that you don’t have to rely on just one message to get you the conversions. You can experiment with several different messages and see which one converts the best.
What about the cost?
You are in complete control over how much you spend as you can limit this accordingly. You can either allocate a fixed budget for the duration of the campaign or you can allocate a daily budget, allowing you to cap your spend. In theory, the larger the database you have uploaded, the bigger the spend. However, you decide how much to spend, for how long, and how often.
There are several bidding options. Which one works best?
For this type of campaign, you can bid on conversions, clicks, and impressions. We prefer to bid on clicks, as this means we only pay when someone is interested in our message. However, if they don’t convert immediately we can still retarget them. However, depending on the message and goals, we advise clients to experiment with smaller budgets before taking the decision and focusing on what works best.
How do I know if it was successful?
Tracking your campaign is essential. First define what the goal is, for example a booking of a valuation. You should ensure you can track accurately how many people engaged with your campaign, and what was your conversion rate from that to a booking of a valuation. This includes tracking both your form submissions and phone calls.