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Keep the content flowing to win fair share of the market

Keep the content flowing to win fair share of the market

by Steph Rady

New year, new market. As 2024 begins to bed in, there are early positive signs that this year is going to be substantially busier than the last.

All the more reason, then, to ensure we all get our fair share of new business.

The second half of 2023 saw more activity than the first six months and this trend has continued into 2024 with multiple lenders dropping mortgage rates and wage rises continuing to outpace cost of living increases – all of which boosts confidence of buyers and sellers who have been waiting and watching since the financial crisis at the end of 2022.

The prospect of further tax cuts in Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget and perhaps a base rate cut in the early Summer will improve economic conditions yet further and pent-up demand – especially from first-time buyers – may well become active demand by the Spring.

Intimate knowledge

And how can we know the demand is really there? Our own statistics show that 2023 was a record year for The ValPal Network with 1.6m leads generated through valuation requests – despite the challenging market.

So the question is, how do agents make sure they get their fair share of a growing market? The answer is by concentrating on their marketing efforts now to make sure they are at the front of the queue when sellers become confident enough to instruct.

One of the most cost-effective ways to market an agency is through blogs but how do you decide what to write about? After all, ‘Content is King.’

Agents will know their local markets well and have an intimate knowledge of what will be of interest to their readers property-wise on their own doorsteps. But it’s worth planning some content around industry events which are likely to crop up over the coming months.

Here are some ideas:

  • Budget ’24 – Jeremy Hunt’s Spring Budget will be announced in the Commons on March 6th. Cuts to personal taxation have already been rumoured as well as adjustments inheritance tax. Some commentators are predicting changes to to Stamp Duty and there’s been talk about the return of the Mortgage Guarantee Scheme to help first time buyers. Housing is now firmly on the political agenda and with an election in the offing, there’s almost bound to be something to add energy to the market. And remember, the announcement itself is only half the story, what about the mountain of prediction articles that will be running advance? What would you like to see him do?
  • Interest rates – We know that, if inflation continues to fall, a base rate cut is expected sometime around early summer. Keep an eye open for economic announcements. The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, which sets the base rate, meets monthly.
  • Cost of living – Inflation figures and wage rises/falls are also announced monthly – although by the Office for National Statistics. If inflation is falling and wages are rising, your customers should begin to feel better off and it may help with mortgage lenders’ affordability criteria.
  • Current legislation – New measures affecting the residential property sector may directly affect your clients. The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill is currently in the Commons Committee Stage and, if you look after lettings as well as sales, keep an eye on any amendments to the controversial Renters (Reform) Bill which is awaiting Third Reading before transferring to the Lords.
  • Industry Reports – The big players in the industry (Zoopla, Rightmove, Knight Frank, RICS etc) all produce well-publicised reports on house price movement, rental prices and transaction numbers – usually on a monthly basis. How do they compare to your local experience? Your readers/followers will want to know.
  • General Election – Without doubt this will be the main event of 2024. But it’s not just one event. Parliament is dissolved 25 working days before Polling Day – so that allows plenty of time to analyse the housing policies of all the major parties.

Rishi Sunak is on record stating that his ‘working assumption’ is that he will call it for late in the year (probably November) but he hasn’t ruled out a May vote to coincide with the local elections (2nd May).

The key is to engage the audience by linking your content to whatever it is that is interesting them at that moment. All of the above are industry-based but also look out for other events that can make lively copy (the UEFA European Championships kick off in June). The choice is yours but use social media channels to spread the word beyond your website and keep the content coming.

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