Property Boom or Bust?

By joanne | 4th November | Marketing Skills, Marketing Strategy

If you’re in an industry that is suffering, should you just sit back and bemoan the difficult times, or could you be slightly more proactive and work smarter to beat the odds?

I remember a great example someone shared with me a while ago about a realtor (estate agent) in the United States who attended an industry conference in the midst of the recession.  Whilst his colleagues were lamenting the terrible situation, he was telling everyone he’d had a great year and asking what they were complaining about.  The other attendees couldn’t believe it and some questioned him about how he was enjoying success when everyone else was struggling.  He told them that he was finding it tough too, but that noone wanted to know that.  People buy from successful, enthusiastic people, so that’s what he was – and it was working.

There are some estate agents who have been enjoying success even in the past twelve months, with property prices falling, whilst vast amounts of the market have been cutting staff and reeling in costs.  So, what makes the difference?  Why are some really busy and others terribly quiet?  Why are some still making lots of money, even in a downturn?  It’s not a different industry, different geographic areas, or a vastly different model.  So, if it’s not the model, is it the business owner?

We had a recent example ourselves of how great marketing, backed up with fabulous customer service can generate property sales.  A few months ago, a property developer customer of ours launched the first phase of their development; just nine properties.  Because of the way it was marketed, over 300 people attended the launch weekend.  Two people turned up with cash deposits and fought over one of the plots and, a few months down the line, eight of those nine properties are sold and seven more have been sold off plan for the next phase of the development.

(I should add that this company has three local competitors, all offering lower priced new properties within a few miles.)  So why were they so successful?

Of course, I can’t tell you exactly what we did, because they paid a lot of money for that strategic help, but it shows it can be done.  The top tips were:

  • Focus on your audience – understand who you want and target them specifically
  • Do something different – every estate agent advertises in the property pages and on Right Move.  How can you make people stop and think, and take notice of you?
  • Offer people something for free – the power of free champagne cannot be understated!  (In fact, the competitor up the road announced a champagne open weekend the day before this particular launch – I love it when competitors copy you – it shows you’ve had a great idea!)
  • Create a fear of loss – with so many people at the launch, prospects wanted to make sure they got the property they wanted, so they committed on the day and put down sizeable deposits to reassure the developer of their serious intent.
  • Have some fun – I cannot tell you how much fun this project was.  We worked alongside a graphic designer, a web designer and a copywriter.  To have the luxury of a creative team meant the customer benefited from four creative brains – and it definitely paid off.

Give it a go – what have you got to lose?

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