Instant gratification is nothing new. It’s been around for millennia. It’s an in-built survival instinct for humans – that want, that need, that urge to experience pleasure, satisfaction or fulfilment without delay or interruption.
Now, more than ever, this need to have it all and to have it now is met in a number of different ways – fast food, superfast internet, 24/7 news, social media, all-in-one-boxsets, takeaways, etc. And it’s something that has also found its way into the world of marketing and property.
As an agency owner, your main target audience should always be sellers and landlords. That’s where you make your money, that’s where the instructions come from that help to grow your business. So the obvious question is: how can you lure them in? How can you provide them with the instant gratification they are looking for?
Well, what is one of our most popular topics of conversation around the dinner table and at parties? House prices and property, of course. An Englishman’s home is his castle, after all.
In the UK we have a special relationship with property and, more specifically, home ownership. We want an asset, we want something to show off, and we want that security of owning our own piece of land.
We also like to know what our home is worth – is it worth more than the homes of our neighbours, our friends, our siblings? It’s a source of pride, an ego-enhancer.
For sellers, of course, knowing how much a home could be worth serves a more humdrum, practical purpose. It gives them an idea of where they should be setting their asking price.
For landlords, meanwhile, the main question is: how much rental income can I generate from a home I let out? If rental income is good, strong rental yields are much more likely.
So, in both these cases, the need to know how much a property is worth or how much it could be charging in rent is there – that need for instant gratification is there.
How, though, do you tap into it? And how can you get more of those all-important vendor and landlord leads?
It’s nothing I’ve not said before, but an instant online valuation tool is the best way of doing this, converting the website traffic you receive into leads and instructions. See ValPal for more details.
The next logical step, once you’ve got the traffic and converted it, is to get on the phone and organise market appraisals. The more you do, the more properties you list, the more instructions you receive, the more homes you get under offer and the more completions you make. That’s what we want ValPal to be there for, to help bring you more market appraisals.
We want to get our agents in more front rooms, doing what you do best. As Superman might say, we’re increasing the number of market appraisals, one front room at a time!
Here’s my (hastily drawn) infographic on the journey to completion. This is the path you need to be following.
Talking of market appraisals, we know that a three-phase approach works best. PHASE 1 – increase quantity of leads (through ValPal, of course). PHASE 2 – increase the quality of those leads. This involves qualifying the leads using “lead scoring”, to work out which leads are hottest (more on this in a later Natter).
Finally, PHASE 3 – increase your fees. Because you’ve been proactive and have more properties to market, your local (and maybe even national) presence naturally goes up. You become more of a name and you can therefore subsequently justify an increase in the fees you charge.
In other news…here are a few other things I’ve seen on my recent travels.
The growing strength of Fixflo
I came across this great little infographic showing the growth of Fixflo, a leading PropTech company, over its first three years.
Fixflo, founded by Rajeev Nayyar and Duncan Careless and launched in May 2013, helps letting agents to take the pain out of repair management for their managed portfolios, in turn boosting their service levels to landlords.
As you may know, Angels Media (owner of the TODAY sites and also ValPal) launched Fixflo in the UK market and has helped with the launch of its new system Letflo, which is helping lettings agencies in England to comply with regulatory changes from the Deregulation Act.
With a further push into the residential block management sector and the commercial property sector planned for 2017, I look forward to seeing their updated stats at the end of this year.
Introducing the crowd
A shout out also to Introcrowd.com, an innovative crowdfunding platform which allows investors to invest in strategic land. For more info about what exactly this involves, let’s hear from the Founder and CEO of Intro Crowd himself, Mr Gregory Baker.
Gregory explains: “Intro Crowd are pioneers in strategic land investment. Strategic land is the name for greenfield sites adjacent to existing settlements in areas that have experienced a high growth in population. We offer a crowdfunding platform where we give investors the opportunity to invest in strategic land and share in the profits when it is sold for housing development.
Crowdfunding for residential property has proved extremely popular, but ours is the first platform to give individual investors a way of investing in strategic land.
There is a chronic housing shortage in the UK and the government says the UK needs one million new homes by 2020. We believe that crowdfunding can provide a way of meeting these pressures to make more land available for new residential developments, whilst also benefiting individual investors.”
There we have it. And they’ve got a neat, modern and user-friendly website to boot. Well worth checking out.
A vote winner
Lastly, a bit of housekeeping.
As you may have seen, ValPal’s been nominated for this year’s ESTAS Supplier of the Year Award. The voting finishes at the end of the month.
Are you a ValPal client? Have you voted for us yet? If not, I’d really appreciate it if you could take a minute out of your busy schedule to give us your vote. Here’s how: http://2017.agents.theestas.com/supplier_profile/valpal/. All votes are gratefully received!
Until next time…
*Nat Daniels is the Chief Executive Officer of Angels Media, publishers of Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today