I previously posed the question: ‘Does your agent Tweet’ as a blog aimed at customers. The flip side to that blog is written for you, the estate agent.
Quite apart from leads which have landed us some very lucrative deals as a direct result of conversations on Facebook and Twitter (deals, we simply would NOT have even been aware of without being actively engaged with the these two sites), the statistics speak for themselves. If you are not using social media actively as a business then you are losing out.
I am, I confess, a self-taught social media user for business; I have never attended a seminar or event on the subject but, the principles of good customer service, estate agency and business in general are, it would seem, pretty much universal. Learning how to make the most of them is fun.
Since opening my business, I have always measured results and plotted trends. It’s not that I am an anorak particularly, it’s just that I know that by watching what works, what doesn’t and what might be behind those effects; I can achieve better results with less effort and deliver higher standards of service to my customers (I also enjoy my job more as a result – bonus!).
Our website www.pdq-estates.co.uk is no different in that, I have kept a close eye on how many people visit, from where, how often and what times of day are most/ least popular. By using this information, I have been able to target offers to the right people at the right time to generate the maximum response*. The advent of social media (Twitter and Facebook predominantly in my case) with a whole new range of information, adds a whole new dimension to the mix. Now, I can deliver useful, interesting and hopefully, occasionally, amusing property information to my existing customers and a whole raft more new ones. New customers that would have cost me thousands of pounds to generate by traditional means.
How do I know this is working? Just using the statistics from the beginning of this year to yesterday (16/06/2011), I can see that activity levels on our main website has risen by over 65%. I’m quite pleased with that, even allowing for the usually quiet start to the year, I can see that interest in my business has grown substantially. If I then add in HOW those visitors came to my site (were they referred by another site or search engine; did they come directly etc?) I can see that referrals from our Facebook page to our main website have increased by over 1,300% (yes, that’s one thousand, three hundred percent) since January. From this, I know that, in addition to providing a popular service to the public and my customers, my Facebook page is now creating hard bankable business.
Twitter, too, has driven some traffic to our main website but, I don’t expect Twitter to drive many customers to my estate agency and lettings business. For me, I have discovered, Twitter’s main effect has predominantly creating contacts and opportunities for my business to business arm of my company (as well as allowing me to chat and learn from some very interesting, kind, funny and knowledgeable people).
* I can use the information from Facebook to tell prospective Landlords, for example, that the vast majority of the thousands of page views we receive on a weekly basis are of the age groups who are most likely to provide tenants for their property. The same statistics, also tell me that the more mature users of the internet spend a fair bit of time reading what we have to say and I can, therefore, ensure that what I put on my pages, has a well targeted appeal for them; even at what time it is best to post that article. Better still, I know pretty quickly how popular an article was/ wasn’t and whether it sent more or less enquiries than usual to our website.
There are a myriad of Social Media experts out there who have far more detailed and extensive knowledge than I but, if you are an estate agent and would like to talk more about this subject with me; I am offering my estate agency consultancy service free for a short period. All I ask in return is that you make a fair donation for my time to www.swiftandbold.org My contact details are available via my consulting page on my main website. Regards Chris
I welcome feedback so please feel free to leave constructive criticisms or ask questions below. If you could also take a second to rate my blog and pass it on to others who you think may find it interesting that would be great. Thanks.
About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience. His business, PDQ Estates Ltd is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards forestate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on KloutLinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter and was a long-standing member of the Territorial Army. In 2010 he mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.
Please support the men and women in my unit, The 1st Battalion The Rifles, who become casualties in the line of service during their tour of Afghanistan by making a donation here www.swiftandbold.org