Although good estate agents don’t just rely on digital marketing (and equally buyers shouldn’t rely solely on digital channels when searching to buy), quite a bit of the advice given to sellers still pertains to more traditional methods. You’ll see why below but this topic came up in an office discussion recently so we thought we’d share three digital tips for sellers as we move into the winter season and start to look forward to 2019;
Watch your tracks
Before the dawn of the internet age, properties were primarily marketed via newspaper ads, boards and agents window displays. These mediums had a remarkable and often overlooked advantage over modern forms of advertising – they left no easily traceable marketing or sales history (a digital footprint). With newspapers, an owner could dip their toe in to test the waters. If they didn’t like the result, they could take the property off the market or reduce the price. Without a digital footprint, there was very little long-term harm to the value of the property as the marketplace quickly forgot. Conversely, the internet remembers everything and forgets nothing. A digital footprint intensifies the danger posed by an extended marketing period as it creates a wealth of knowledge provided at the click of a mouse and, in negotiation, knowledge is power.
Brace yourself for various versions of the same Rightmove statistics being wheeled out in the run up to Christmas to justify clients instructing agents to sell their house during the festivities. The usual script is that there is a “seasonal surge in activity” that clients “really need to make the most of“. The real truth is the Christmas holidays are the absolute lowest autumn/winter point for activity on Rightmove. Yes, millions of people are on Rightmove over Christmas but its a fraction of their usual traffic. Any “seasonal surge” is really just the public getting back to normal patterns and it happens after New Year not Christmas. Whilst I admire the creativity of thinking and the sheer chutzpah of some agents marketing departments to spin a narrow selection of statistics to their own advantage, the truth is you’re better off waiting until mid January to launch your property to the market.
Rightmove, Zoopla and the like may be the go to websites at the moment for property buyers but I doubt this will be the same for long! Times are changing again. Both Zoopla and On the Market have recently announced they will be uploading their properties for rent to Facebook Marketplace. I can’t imagine properties for sale will be far behind. Good agents have already spent the past few years building local connections and communities on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – our experience shows these can be used very effectively to enhance the marketing of your property (and in many cases faster or more locally than the main property portals).
Lastly, a little extra digital tip – we’d never have thought of this until it happened to us!
If you’ve got a smart speaker (Alexa/Google Home or the like) in your property, you might want to advise your agent or make sure its switched off before viewings. It can be a little disconcerting to all involved if the speaker picks up and reacts to conversations between agent and viewer – my colleague Mandy and her viewers had a bit of a shock when Alexa piped up in the middle of a viewing last week!