In a rapidly changing and fiercely competitive property market, being innovative is not only necessary but becomes a prerequisite if you want to remain profitable and grow your property portfolio business. The traditional landscape of the high street estate agent is constantly being challenged both by a savvy general public, Do-It-Yourself (DIY) portals and the seemingly none stoppable digital revolution. With such challenges we have to stay ahead of the game and our approach has been to focus on marketing innovation which embraces all routes to market and not just the old above and below the line marketing strategies. We have listened to our customers and introduced new services and in corroboration with our employees produced a targeted training and development plan to ensure we have the right quality people in place to deliver the customer service that is required in today’s market place.
In light of this assault from numerous online and corporate estate agency brands in Brighton & Hove, providing value added service to customers has become even more paramount. Conceptually we are moving away from simply listing properties to providing a consultancy service. This service includes trying to source required properties for people who want to live by a particular school or who require rental yield information when considering buying a buy-to-let. We can also help would-be home buyers with decorating their new homes when they move in, and provide in-depth knowledge of what it’s like living in the local area in terms of amenities, restaurants and bars and the typical social-economic groups that frequent the neighbourhood. This integrated package offers more than the simple transactional model of making the sale.
Bespoke Marketing – Media Plan
Property marketing has also come under the spotlight and in response to feedback from our clients we have created a pick and mix of marketing options that our vendors can select to market their property. After an initial consultation with our marketing consultants who advise on preparing your property for sale, identification of target markets a tailored marketing plan is created. The agreed strategy is then executed for an agreed period of time and then a scheduled review takes place. Monitoring and evaluation takes place throughout the Campaign and the effectiveness of each marketing initiative independently assessed against enquiries, viewings and offers. The strength of this initiative is the partnership element between agent and vendor. Budgets and timescales are agreed in advance, success is measured by the impartiality of data and if required corrected measures again agreed in consultation with the client are put in place.
Paramount to good client relations is communication and so we provide forums to engage with our stakeholder groups on a regular basis. We have reviewed all of our communication and touch points with our customer base to make sure we are providing required information both in the specified time frame and using the client selected media. Using proprietary software “Brief your Market” we engage with our customers at predefined points throughout the buying/service life cycle. As a result of data derived from these sources we have fine-tuned the development, execution and evaluation of our communication plan. The scope of this work includes letters, thank-you cards, birthday/anniversary triggers, email marketing, and post sales and service customer service questionnaires. Newsletters are sent out to the customer base on a monthly basis keeping them up to date on legal changes, marketing initiatives, and news on what is happening at branch level. We also keep in contact via direct mail, email marketing, SMS, adverts and PR.
New Services & Initiatives
The online marketing environment has grown significantly over the past year. We have put a lot of effort into site navigation as we have tried to enhance our “web user experience” when visitors come to the site. We list more information about the property for sale or rent, and provide floor plans. We have fully embraced social media in the last year devising campaigns on both Facebook and Twitter. Our Facebook campaign has focused around quirky copy about the properties we have available or what it’s like to live in Brighton & Hove and other areas. This material has been interspersed with lifestyle, gardening and interior design copy. This we believe provides added value and gets our friends hooked and our likes growing, promoting brand awareness. We have used twitter as a tool to promote our brand and services. We have written industry related blogs which we are able to tweet to our followers and devised lists of twitter followers into segmented group.
Callaways Estate & Lettings Agency is committed to the continuous training and development of its individual employees, our greatest assets, both in the area of job related skills training and lifelong learning for personal development, growth and achievements. Managers are encouraged to adopt and promote continuous training and development of self and with team members both inthe area of job related skills, training for professional qualifications and lifelong learning for personal development, and growth. All training practices and procedures endeavor to support individuals to strive to achieve these goals. To ensure that training activities support both the individual’s and company’s objectives and are cost-effective all training activity is planned and monitored. Our Training Development Strategy is focused on creating a motivated workforce which is capable of meeting new challenges, is skilled and competent in all aspects and will tie in with our objectives both short and long-term. This approach stimulates out of the box thinking, and as a company we have benefited from this philosophy enormously in the past year. The most notable achievements being the successful attainment by the Hove branch manager being shortlisted in a national competition for exceptional customer service and managerial prowess.