Industry Tips: Utilising Your Online Shop Window

7th January 2019

The statistics for Boxing Day online property traffic were astounding with tens of millions of people viewing property on the main portals Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market.  Online traffic is much greater than footfall passing your actual office window, so make sure that you give your online shop window as much thought and care as possible.


PROPERTY PORTALS

Make sure that you have made the most of your company listing on the portals you use.  Get your logo as large in the space allowed as you can, it may even be worthwhile considering a logo that is specifically designed for the portals, to the correct size and using the most ‘stand out’ colour that you have in your brand guidelines.  This is especially important if you have multiple listings, as you want your listing to stand out more than any other agent also advertising the same property. Get professional photos taken, there really is no excuse to use sub-standard photos, so if you insist on taking them yourself, get them the correct size, landscape, pick a nice day for the photo or add a virtual blue sky, remove cars and rubbish bins from driveways before you press the camera shutter!  You will probably have an area where you can write-up information about your agency, so fill it with interesting points and showcase your unique selling points! When you are writing your property descriptions, make sure they are correct, check the grammar and spelling, try to be succinct and pick the stand out points for each property. You can use capital letters to headline the property listing, and you can change the words and the photos regularly to keep the listing fresh and get the optimum views.

GOOGLE LISTING

Most people will search for your agency on Google at some point, so make sure that you have thoroughly completed your listing, that you have the correct map location, your opening hours, contact details, photos of your branches (you can add 360 degree videos) and that you have your Google Reviews showing on your listing.  Ask sellers and landlords to provide Google reviews for your business, most people are happy to leave feedback after a positive experience and seeing your customers have made the effort to go this extra mile for you will only enhance your brand when someone else searches for agents in their area.

REVIEW SITES

If you are asking clients for reviews, then you need to keep on top of these.  If someone leaves you a great review, say thank you, reply in a nice chatty way, showcase to others that your clients really do mean something to you and you know them by name, property or by mentioning something good that happened when they were transacting with you.  If you get a bad review, do not get into an argument, but do not just leave it. You need to respond in a very adult manner, explain you are sorry they are not happy, explain the basis of the situation (as we understand there are always 2 sides to a story and often you are piggy-in-the-middle between tenant and landlord, or seller and buyer) and try to take control by asking for a face to face meeting to discuss or correspondence off of the public platform.

Reviews are very good for your brand ranking on Google and search engines, so it is worthwhile asking for these at the optimum time – eg. when something good has happened; an instruction received, or a deal tied up, or a sale exchanged, or a move-in has gone smoothly – and, of course, using Google for your review platform will have the biggest impact on your SEO, but there are other platforms such as Facebook, Trust Pilot, Feefo, RaterAgent or All Agents, which you could utilise.

YOUR OWN WEBSITE

It is so important to keep on top of your own website, to make sure it is fully responsive for traffic from mobile phones or tablets, you can check this by opening your site on your desktop and pulling in the page from the top corner.  If the site is responsive you will see the page ‘chunk-down’ to how it looks on a mobile phone. If it just looks exactly the same but smaller, then your site needs an update, and quickly!  You can also use this website http://responsivedesignchecker.com/ to check how your site looks on different screens, even allowing you to select handset, tablet and screen size options to view. 

It’s important to regularly go through your website pages, read them and make sure that they are up to date, check there are no page errors, that the correct staff are listed, that your information is relevant and that you are using news articles or blogs to keep in touch with your clients and showcase your knowledge. Create web pages specifically for each patch you cover with places of interest or significance and keep it regularly updated with events, openings, news and if you can collate them, stats and figures.  

Google will constantly check the content of your site and will drop you down the rankings or move you up the rankings depending on how much your website content gets amended and is updated.

SOCIAL MEDIA

2019 is the year of social media, apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linkedin are almost essential for companies now.  They all have different styles and work in a variety of ways, we have written a blog about this previously, you can read it here.

Get your staff involved and have them set up Twitter accounts (some may not be comfortable using existing personal accounts, and the separation is probably better for consistent tone across your entire brand) and interact with your main account regularly.  Staff liking, retweeting and interacting with each other in a respectful but lighthearted manner will show the strength of your team relationships.  Twitter is a great place to show ‘behind the scenes’ style content and celebrate staff birthdays, work anniversaries, team activities, etc.

Make sure your staff have LinkedIn profiles all linked to your business as their place of work.  It’s quite common for your staff to have more connections than your business page has followers due to adding old colleagues, friends and family over time and when they like or share your business account content that will reach a wider audience organically.

 

 

 

 

 

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