Residential People, the free to list property portal, has revealed the results of marketing research which shows how little agents are doing to promote their own websites.
The market research was carried out internally just before the launch of the Residential People platform, to see if its offering could help support and add value for estate agents.
Residential People looked into some of the online techniques currently being used by agents to promote their own websites.
The research looked at over 3,000 agency websites and found that seven out of 10 estate agencies do not use video and do not promote a corporate YouTube channel on their sites.
Residential People Co-Founder and Director, Christopher May, believes that the popular video-sharing network YouTube is arguably ‘one of the best’ social media platforms for increasing an online presence.
“Our research highlighted that commercial agencies were the worst offenders, with only one in 10 using YouTube to promote their brand and their properties to let and for sale,” says May.
Further results from Residential People’s research also highlighted that out of the agencies that have a YouTube channel added to their websites, many of them had only one or two videos listed.
May said, “This leads us to believe agents do not put enough emphasis on this type of marketing.
“As we evolve as a portal, we want to introduce agents to more features that they can use to get a better online presence with easy-to-use tools that can help reduce their advertising costs.”
Residential People’s research established that portals exist for many reasons and serve multiple purposes for both consumers and providers. However, much of their strength comes from SEO techniques, which are in the main kept a secret by SEO agencies and website developers, who are earning a fortune taking advantage of the lack of knowledge in the marketplace.
Seeing a gap in the market, Residential and Commercial People decided to target video as a key marketing platform, and as such, the firms’ automated video generator is the crown jewel in a stellar marketing suite.
One of the early adopters of Residential People’s marketing tools was Belvoir Leicester Central, an agency which has been impressed by the disrupting portal since joining at the end of March.
“We have had our eyes opened by the residential team who are well-trained and the advice we got from them was second-to-none,” says Branch Owner of Belvoir Leicester Central, Sharanjit Gill.
“Residential People impressed us initially with its free service, and when it came to rethinking our marketing and SEO strategy going forward, the portal’s marketing tools helped us tremendously.”
“Residential People’s toolset allowed us to deliver a more compelling offering and appeal to more potential customers and clients,” says Gill.
“I think a lot of agents are realising that if you want to charge for your service, you need to offer the customer a lot more than just putting then property on a portal.”
Estate agency to follow in finance sector footsteps
Just a cursory glance at the finance sector and the rapidly rising FinTech can tell you all you need to know about how technology can radically change an established industry in a short time.
“The real estate industry is going through the unprecedented change,” continues May.
“Following the implementation of the tenant fee ban, the government is now looking to regulate estate agents more stringently than ever before.”
“If we look at how mortgage brokers are now regulated and the additional cost that this entails, it’s not a stretch to believe that the same will happen to the estate agency business as well,” he says.
“While these costs can be considered a good thing – in the sense that it will differentiate the professionals from the agents that shouldn’t be in the industry – the costs of running a governing body similar to the Financial Conduct Authority will inevitably be passed down to agents.”
May added, “To minimise the risk to your business, it is crucial that you cut your cloth accordingly, and most importantly, try and win new instructions and become more profitable.”
“Profitability can come from several avenues, but one of the simplest ways to achieve this is by offering your customers excellent service and increasing your online presence.”