It has been widely reported that Estates Agents either do not say what they mean, or mean something different to what it is that they say.
“Deceptively Spacious” = Not spacious.
“Cosy” = Really not spacious.
“Perfectly sized” = Humans cannot fit in this.
“Compact” = Cats cannot fit in this.
“Charming” = Doesn’t have stairs.
“Quaint” = Doesn’t have windows.
“Rustic” = Doesn’t have a roof!
All of the above pales into insignificance though when it comes to how Estate Agents answer the question of how they intend to market a prospective vendors farming, sporting or leisure estate.
It is at this stage that the Estate Agent will make a vendor feel as though they will be disadvantaged if they do not benefit from what is described as being “their sizeable mailing list”. But what do they actually mean when they say “their sizeable mailing list”?
It would be fair to expect a prospective vendor to believe that the agent concerned means that they have a vast array of contacts in high places, that will be desperate to learn of the potential opportunity that the offering provides and furthermore, that such contacts introduced will have been vetted and are “good” for the potential purchase.
Unfortunately it is more likely that any reference to a “mailing list” probably refers to an outdated concept of a scattergun approach to marketing which resembles sending as many people as the Estate Agents know details of a potential sale opportunity that provides little by way of advancing the needs of the vendor, and more about advancing the needs of an Estate Agent in the next pitch when seeking to attract other prospective vendors by showboating “size” as opposed to “quality”.
It is not what should happen, but unfortunately the estate agency fraternity appears to have been tarred with the same brush and it has stuck.
The question is, what can the Estate agency fraternity do about it?
This age – it should be “quality” rather than “quantity” that counts. The RICS recently published a news comment for discussion on how Estate Agents can stay relevant in the digital age. The news comment concluded that;
- The Estate Agents website should load up quickly.
- The Estate Agents should have a fully responsive website with a significant social media presence.
- The website content (text, graphic or video) should be designed for search engine optimisation, and it should matter to the Estate Agency how well that content (and the Estate agency practice themselves) is received by its audience, which can be measured by the reach and the number of clicks and shares.
Prospective vendors would be well advised to be less concerned about the size of the Estate Agency practice and “their mailing lists”, and more about some of the things that Baileys and Partners Agency team consider is core to the service, namely a combination of the old fashioned qualities of “in house” (as opposed to contracted out) expertise in photography, marketing, local knowledge and complimentary professional services; and the specific digital marketing expertise enabled by a modern and optimised website, with in depth knowledge of new digital marketing channels and social media, designed to ensure maximum exposure of the property to all relevant markets.
First and foremost the needs of our clients should always come first. That way the Estate Agency fraternity, of which we are part, may begin to remove the tar.