Businesses have always been able to control the narrative of their brand. By following brand guidelines, tone of language, marketing campaign activity and so on, a brand was able to heavily influence the opinions of the consumer, and estate agencies were no different. In today’s world, however, this is not as effective.
Customers are much more feedback-focused, often going so far as to not trust the marketing activity of a brand when compared to the feedback of their peers. In the ‘Feedback Economy’, the role of a business is simply to assist the customer; they’ll find their own way and with the right strategy in place, you can be at the end of this road.
A massive 84% of millennials value user-generated content over traditional marketing activity. This includes the reviews people are leaving about your brand on Google, Facebook, allAgents etc., the posts on social media, your business listing accuracy and so on. In fact, this feedback by people they may not even know has the same level of influence as a personal recommendation from a family member or close friend. Brand marketing is becoming much more C2C – consumer to consumer – people are trusting brands less and less to provide information which is impartial, and instead are looking for the experiences of people in a similar position to themselves.
How Do You Look Online?
The trick is to make your feedback work for you, let it attract new clients to your agency. Do a simple Google search for one of your agency’s locations, what do you see? Across both the paid-for and organic search results, maps data, business listings information and more, you need this information accurate and positive enough that your brand is represented as best it can be.
Your potential clients are willing to spend likely hundreds of thousands of pounds through your agency, of course they’re going to do their research before they visit your branch or give you a call. Having a good online reputation from your past customers’ experience will be the differentiator between getting their business, or them going to the competition. Often, real estate organisations struggle to close the gap between the actual customers’ satisfaction and their online reputation, without the right strategy and technology in place.
Climbing the Local Search Ladder
Let’s think about this first step, which is typically a Google search. Within Google’s local search algorithm, Google My Business accounts for a massive 25% of influence, and reviews – which are found in your GMB listing – count for 15%, so the information in each of your branches listings is absolutely essential if you want to be seen. Remember, a simple ‘estate agent near me’ search is non-brand-specific, placing even more emphasis on this information.
Now, let’s say they’re happy with what they see, and they want to get in touch… great! Hopefully your address information, opening hours, email addresses, telephone numbers are correct. If they’re not, you’ll need to make the changes quickly, but for larger agencies in particular, it can be unrealistic to catch these inaccuracies on a daily basis before they become a problem.
After business is done, and the deal is signed, complete the circle by asking your client to leave a review for you. This could be on Google, Facebook, allAgents or anywhere else you like, so that this feedback works for you to attract new clients. Handily, Reputation.com’s platform integrates with over 200 different platforms so that we help you be seen everywhere you need to be.
Reputation.com and the Property Sector
Reputation.com offer the only full-turnkey Online Reputation Management platform in the world. Our users are able to manage their entire brand within a single dashboard; from reviews to social media, business listings to surveys, case management to Search Accelerator and more, everything is here.
We work with some of the largest names in the UK property industry, including Belvoir!, Spicerhaart, Northwood, Newton Fallowell, Leaders Romans Group and more, respectively. We understand your sector and your customers, and we know what success looks like for you. You can read a case study with Belvoir! here to understand more about the work we do together. Belvoir! use the patented Reputation Score as a KPI for each of their 170 agencies to stay on top of how each location is looking online.
Contact Reputation.com for a discussion about why ORM is the current focus for estate agency digital marketing strategies.
Email [email protected] or call 0800 066 4781 today quoting ‘The Negotiator’.