The digital age has brought us many wonderful things, an era where you can Sky+ your favourite shows when you’re working late, an era where you can check the weather forecast up to 2-weeks in advance (I wouldn’t trust it, we are in Britain after all!) and an era where providers and consumers are more connected than ever before.
The digital world has not only affected people in their everyday life, it’s shaped how we do business. Some are slower to embrace the changes as they come and others grab the opportunities with both hands and revolutionise the industry. Estate agents, as a whole, have been skeptical about digital, with the industry media heavily reporting on the debate regarding online vs high street, when in reality the vast majority of high street agents already have an online presence!
At Property Stream we love everything digital, so we’ve taken a look at 5 estate agents who we think are embracing it in all its glory...
Countrywide: Acknowledging the changing needs of the market, Countrywide are set to trial a fixed fee hybrid service where customers receive valuations in person but can then manage viewings and offers online in 3 of its stores. If the trial goes successfully it’s likely to expand across more branches. Countrywide have acknowledged a potential opportunity from competitors who are online only and by trialling a hybrid option they are making themselves more competitive.
Belvoir: Belvoir are in the top spot for their social media efforts. On Twitter, each Belvoir branch is set up individually in addition to an overall Belvoir account. Regular and engaging content is posted online and whilst each individual account has their own personality, the marketing messages are consistent throughout creating a cohesive brand identity.
EweMove: You can’t mention estate agents embracing digital without thinking of EweMove. Growing from 1 to 99 franchises in less than 4 years, EweMove embrace everything digital from their optimised website to videos, social media and digital marketing, it’s hardly surprising they have been so successful.
Chestertons: Another estate agent who are embracing the digital is Chestertons. With their online ‘Stamp Duty Calculator’ tool, they have really taken a topical issue and created a marketing tool to bring leads to their website. Their research and insights section of the website is a gold mine and has helped them to establish themselves at the forefront of the industry.
Reeds Rains: Finally, Reeds Rains are another estate agent embracing digital. They have understood the importance of sharing quality content with their audience which is why their blog section is filled with timely, topical and informative content.
It’s the time for smaller agencies to embrace digital. You don't have to be one of the big guns to innovate with technology and something to help you stand out doesn’t have to cost the earth. We are always on the look out to partner with agents with big ideas, as we did with EweMove when they came to us as a start up. If any of you have an idea you would like to discuss call us on 0161 672 7820 or email firstname.lastname@example.org