Closing for Christmas in October - Really?
by Steph Rady, Head of Marketing and PR
Speaking to estate agents every day means we get an incredible view into the workings of a typical agency. Not only do we learn valuable insights such as property market trends, we see the daily pains of our members, including where they’re feeling the squeeze, and what’s working well in terms of marketing. We’re also on hand to help when we hear them about to make a mistake. The biggest one we hear every single year is “I’m not looking to boost my business until the New Year”. Does this sound familiar?
If this sounds like you, read on to find out why this way of thinking could be detrimental to your business…
Closing for Christmas in October…Really?
We get told this a lot at this time of year…the winter quarter seems to be a bit quieter for agents across the board due to the Christmas holidays, so some agents just stop trying. Guess what? If you stop promoting your business in October, of course the next few months are going to be quiet!
Blaming the time of year doesn’t do anything but give your negotiators an excuse to slack off. Be prepared to take on new business, while actively seeking new business and it will come. You may consider changing the messaging of your campaigns over this period to create a sense of urgency for vendors/landlords to list and fill their properties before Christmas by getting an instant online valuation now. Then over Christmas, the messaging might be tweaked to target applicants or you might decide to run a special Christmas offer for vendors and landlords. The possibilities are endless!
Don’t start the New Year playing catch up
Ask any marketing manager and they’ll tell you how important planning is. A good marketing manager will work at least a quarter in advance and know roughly what they’re going to do for holidays, brand awareness, lead generation and just as importantly, when to launch campaigns based on what the sales team can tell them about their pains. For example, if your agency is struggling to shift properties, there would be nothing gained by targeting a campaign at sellers and landlords as the current need of the business is for more applicants.
Likewise, there is no point saying “Christmas is quiet for us so we’ll just start up again in January”. By the time January comes around, you will only just be looking into what marketing you can do to boost your business and convert your web traffic into leads. Get these things in place now so that you’re prepared for the January rush, not falling behind your competitors and missing opportunities.
Look at the facts
Frankly, it’s nonsense to say that people aren’t looking to move over Christmas as Rightmove has said time and again that its website traffic reaches an all-time high over Christmas Day and Boxing Day, meaning you as the agent need to make sure you have listed properties for eager buyers to peruse. Target vendors and landlords now - if you know a tenancy is ending and the tenant doesn’t want to stay, list properties in preparation and get the most out of Rightmove’s spike in traffic.
The ValPal Network also generated 82,000 valuation leads over the winter period last year – does that sound like vendors and landlords slowing down to you? Not to mention statistics from the Land Registry show that the Christmas quarter in 2017 achieved the second highest number of completions for the year.
The best months in the last year we’ve had for Facebook ad campaigns driving vendors and landlords to the ValPal tool have been December 2017, January 2018 and February 2018. These campaigns generated more leads per month for some of our members than any other ad campaign throughout the year, contrary to the popular belief that spring is the busiest time for agents.
If you would like to learn more about how you can prepare for the holidays and boost your business now, click here to speak to one of our client success managers.