The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way real estate agencies market their available rental and sales stock. With rental payment performance dipping and property vacancies on the rise, estate agencies have had to leverage digital marketing to successfully promote and present their rental/sales properties to the correct target audience. As with all aspects of daily life, buying, selling, and renting property has entered a “new normal”.
Print circulation declined gradually over the last few years, with property portals like Private Property and Property24 monopolising marketing platforms. This setup, albeit highly saturated and competitive, was sufficient for many real estate companies until the pandemic significantly reduced face-to-face interaction between agencies and prospective clients – what many real estate agents considered the heart and soul of their business. Given the sheer number of marketable properties available online, real estate professionals chose to adapt their business strategies in order to secure deals in the best interest of their clients. This required building new connections and effectively sustaining lasting relationships with clients remotely. At their core, the most successful estate agents are people-oriented, and this has not changed, even if the way they meet clients’ needs has.
What are our Agents Doing Differently?
In addition to possessing extensive market knowledge and experience, comprehensive in-house and field training, and access to a strong network of potential buyers/renters, our agents have remained committed to electronically engaging with our clients on an ongoing basis - responding to queries timeously, providing relevant feedback on rental/sales progress, and supporting clients in their renting/buying/selling process. Our dedicated staff compliment continued to provide exceptional service in supporting our agents and clients, willingly going the extra mile.
When lockdown restrictions limited face-to-face interaction, our agents sought to remotely provide sellers with an accurate virtual valuation of the property based on their specialised area knowledge and market-related data on comparative sales/rentals. Our agents continued to counsel clients in setting a competitive sales/rental price to secure the best price for their property in the shortest amount of time, despite limited contact. As industry experts, Etchells & Young understood that competitively priced and well-marketed properties remained on the market far shorter than the alternative, and that any advantage to our clients in the current market was one worth pursuing. The virtual home inspections enabled agents to proactively support clients in exceptionally challenging circumstances.
Our focus is, and always has been, to provide our clients with exceptional service in the rental management and sales industry, and maintain a professional standard of work across all spheres.
“We’re not just another Agency, you’re not just another Client.”
How has E&Y Approached Digital Marketing?
The challenge was implementing a property marketing strategy that successfully attracted clients and secured their business, benefiting both listing clients and potential buyers. In the last 15 months, Etchells & Young has implemented several digital marketing tools that strategically place the clients and their needs first. Over and above the extensive online marketing infrastructure already in place pre-pandemic (for example, utilising various technologies to ensure the E&Y name is a recognised forerunner and trusted industry professional), Etchells & Young has mobilised our agents in their respective areas and communities and provided online platforms, such as personal, area-specific Facebook business pages. Our specialised agents employ these powerful platforms to engage meaningfully with prospective clients and forge genuine relationships built on trust and transparency. Moreover, these tools provide a means to effectively advertise properties for rent and for sale - to maximise each property’s visibility and increase its online presence. The more visible the property is, the great the number of potential tenants/buyers it reaches, and the higher the likelihood that it rents/sells in the shortest time possible.
Virtual Tours & Video Walkthroughs
Virtual tours became a necessity during Covid-19 lockdowns. Although not a new concept, restrictions on travel and gatherings, as well as improved technology and growing technological awareness, drove the need for competitive marketing strategies. Research shows that leads generated from video walkthroughs are significantly higher than those produced by text and images alone. These statistics reveal that both client engagement and response rate is higher with video footage. Etchells & Young offers its clients a free HD Media Package when they sign a sole mandate. These video walkthroughs are posted to the Etchells & Young website and affiliated property portal heavyweights, as well as social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. As videos are considered content-dense, property marketing platforms rank listings with a video walkthrough higher than those without - ensuring maximum exposure to the correct target audience. Our specialised 3D virtual tour uses a state-of-the-art 360˚camera and high-end rendering equipment to realistically capture the heart of each home and showcase its most appealing features, enabling prospective buyers to explore each room before arranging a viewing. First impressions are crucial to the successful sale of a property, whether in-person or online, and our video software showcases the home “in its best light”. Our digital marketing reflects our value system, in that we uphold the highest levels of transparency and honesty by eliminating deliberate manipulation of camera angles and false editing techniques.
Our Commitment to Effective Marketing Strategies
Moreover, Etchells & Young has a dedicated marketing team who work tirelessly to apply the most effective digital marketing tools and tactics to all aspects of the client’s advertising campaign and company’s marketing strategy - tailoring marketing solutions to suit the client, agent, area, and target market. Our marketing professionals utilise a combination of industry experience and market knowledge to source and implement the latest and most effective digital marketing strategies. Etchells & Young maintains a strong social media presence and employs various digital marketing tactics to attract and engage with potential tenants and buyers daily. Each post is deliberately designed to capture the attention and interest of serious buyers and renters, and to attract new sellers and expand the property we have on offer, so that we continue to meet the unique needs of each and every one of our clients.
Is it any wonder our clients continue to entrust their business to us?