Former ARLA Propertymark president Sally Lawson, who now runs the Agent Rainmaker training service, has set out for Letting Agent Today readers a set of steps which she says will improve their marketing strategy.
Lawson established her own lettings agency aged just 18, growing a franchise network responsible for many thousands of properties across the UK before turning her attention to coaching and mentoring other agents.
Here she sets out how agents can improve leads through more active marketing.
Build it and they will come – a misquote of a motto which helped Kevin Costner, but not a successful way to grow your business.
Yet there are a very small proportion of letting agents who’ve implemented a systemised and consistent marketing strategy (around five to 10 per cent). And we’re also talking to many agents who only have four or five leads coming in each week.
It’s no coincidence that most of the letting agents bringing in more like 100 leads a week are in that small proportion who are actively reaching out to new prospects, and harnessing the power of marketing.
A whole new world - Word-of-mouth may bring you a few new landlords, but you have absolutely no way of controlling that process. It might have success bringing you some prospects, yet there are many other ways you can attract landlords – and there are always new options on the horizon, too.
I’ve talked to agents who believe having a website and a Facebook page counts as marketing. Sadly, they’re wrong. I’ll repeat what I said at the beginning – build it and they will come is not a marketing strategy.
Reel them in - Having a website and Facebook page and then not building a funnel to capture the attention (and then capture the data) of prospective landlords is like taking a fishing boat out and just watching the fish swimming past you.
Just like the fish aren’t going to jump into your boat, landlords need a reason to engage with you. This might be a downloadable guide explaining incoming legislation changes, a webinar sharing helpful tips, or even a competition or giveaway.
Now they know your agency’s name and you’ve given them something for nothing; in return you’ve captured their data and have a prime opportunity to bring them on board.
Five tips for an awesome marketing plan
Numerous marketing avatars – You need to devise distinct marketing plans for each of the landlord types (as a would-be investor landlord, for example, is going to be interested in very different things to landlords with a difficult tenant or bad agent).
Cover all angles – People like to consume in different ways (video, blogs, articles, Instagram stories, Tiktok, Facebook posts etc) so a complete marketing strategy will cover all angles, and repurposing your content in various ways will optimise its use.
Be consistent - Don’t stop and start, if people get used to you, they want to continue to consume your content. It’s important that you keep going and not let your audience down.
Stop the scroll – Using strong images, interesting facts, and something to make people stop to find out more are all essential. There’s so much content out there that anything boring will simply be scrolled past.
Automate – You can now automate the repurposing and posting of your content, your advertising schedules, and even the sales and conversion process. In my agency, we have four automated funnels operating at any one time – so we can reach four different landlord and vendor avatars at a time.