Focus… focus… focus

In this time of unprecedented fear - for citizens and businesses worldwide - the message to estate agents is to use your period of isolation wisely, says Nelly Berova.

Link to Marketing featureThere is some very real fear out there right now, and people are panicking. However… putting off your business growth in favour of waiting to see what happens is dangerous. Why?

Business will bounce back. When your customers are ready to start spending like they had been, they’ll do it with the agencies that stayed put during this time. No one can deny that the property sector has been in shock since March – transactions had already slowed down before the government urged people to rethink their moving plans. But as you logon from your home office, spare room or kitchen table, make sure you use this unexpected downtime to invest in your marketing assets.

Make sure you put out content that addresses the fears of landlords, tenants and buyers and sellers. Keep on top of the national picture!

Humans are social creatures, which makes social distancing harder. So, while it feels like we’re in a quarantine bubble, we have so much at our disposal that’s keeping us connected. From video calls to messaging; from social media to emails and even the good old-fashioned phone.

Nelly Berova image
Nelly Berova

I believe we can do it for as long as it takes and we can make some pretty inventive and sustainable additions to our business offerings and services. However bad things feel, don’t focus on the negative. There are many positive things you can do now to put your business on a solid footing when things improve.

So, if you’ve never hopped on FaceTime, never used video conferencing, never hosted a webinar, now is the time to get familiar with these platforms and connect with your circle… Or find other ways to stay as relevant and top-of-mind in your market as possible.

If you are wondering where to start, here are five things you should focus on now, so you are ready to scale your business when all this is over:

1 Review your website

Your website is one of the most important marketing assets you own. As such, you should ensure it’s the best it can possibly be. Give your entire site a full MOT, look at all your pages, ask whether they are current, accurate and well-written. Check your posts too and ensure that each has the best possible call to action.

If your website looks tired, now is an excellent time to commission a new one with developers available for work remotely and plenty of time to complete your migration from the old site.

2 Is your SEO up to scratch?

Make improving your search engine optimisation a priority. Go through all your content to make sure you rank local customers’ search phrases – so you can be found as soon as things pick up and people get browsing again. Make sure you target the right keywords in your content, including longtail search phrases – the questions people ask when they go online. Look critically to check that your content is well-written and relevant to searchers – and check that your Google My Business profile is bang up-to-date.

3 Critique your messages

Check that everything you put out reflects what is happening now, so have a detailed audit of all your channels including email marketing, blogs, newsletters, Facebook adverts and Instagram posts. Make sure that scheduled posts or mailings are checked for anything inappropriate, insensitive or irrelevant. It’s difficult to look ahead but be ready to change your messaging as things develop down the line.

4 Offer value

Make sure you are putting out content that addresses the real fears of landlords, tenants and buyers and sellers. Keep on top of the national picture and think of ways to target big announcements – on the three-month evictions ban and mortgage holidays, for example – to your local picture and your precise audience.

5 Do it online

At first many agents resisted sending staff home and become a virtual one. Those who got on top of video for viewings, valuations and customer contact were ahead of the game. Whether you use Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp or YouTube there are numerous tools to eliminate the need for face-to-face contact – and organisations are using them in a variety of inventive ways.

The impact of coronavirus is likely to be felt long-term – and could change the way we do business forever. As the situation eases and people start looking to move again, you will reap the benefits of having your marketing assets in place ready to help them.

In difficult times, my best advice is to try and stay positive, keep on top of the changing situation and remember that there is always something you can do to be ready when this dreadful period is behind us – in other words, keep calm, stay safe and carry on.

If you need help with any of the above, contact Nelly and her team at www.artdivision.co.uk


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