The number of real estate agents in New Zealand.
The number of properties sold in New Zealand in the past 12 months.
An average of properties per agent.
Very, but you’re out there in the trenches so you already know that.
In the age of Trademe; distribution and getting eyeballs on a property to sell is easy. The hard bit is getting the attention of prospective vendors. They are bombarded with the same messages regularly from agents. Cold calls, mail drops and advertising.
and there’s the problem. Using those tactics agents can only capture the vendors who are looking to sell RIGHT NOW. With the average owner selling every five years you better make sure you’re in touch on every one of those 1825 days along with every other agent in your area.
There must be a better way. Well there is.
Getting vendors to put their hand up.
An agent who is doing just that is Andrew Murray. He started his own agency after a successful stint with a major franchise. He took the opportunity to make digital a central part of his marketing mix and the results have been rapid.
How did a couple of hours a week turn into an automatic listing machine?
and how was this done in a market where you are competing against budgets 10x the size?
The site and strategy have been developed under the seven step Authority Architecture framework.
Persona, platform, product, attract, capture, nurture and convert.
Today we will detail how his huge results were achieved.
Persona – Defining the audience
Listings are the biggest challenge for a new agency, arguably any agency. The focus of the digital marketing strategy was on a listings persona. Auckland apartment owners are based all over the world. A content first strategy was agreed to keep them abreast of market news and position Andrew as an expert on the market.
Product – Creating Something Unique
Standing out from the crowd is critical to winning business in any competitive market. Apartment Specialists are determined to do things differently and give owners the opportunity to get the best price. One of the pillars of this approach is Apartment Specialists’ policy of letting any agent sell their property. This is unique in the market and enables sellers to have the largest pool of buyers. Simply, more buyers means the potential for a higher price. All the marketing material produced has focused on the USP of the business to differentiate them from a crowded space.
Platform – Owning An Online Presence
The site was built on WordPress, the popular content management system. The free open-source framework has a huge range of customisations and security features but most importantly it is extremely easy to use. While Andrew’s site is fully managed he has complete access to add and modify content when he chooses.
A custom design was built to focus the user on content and position Andrew’s expertise on his target market and geography. The design is mobile responsive with almost half the visitors viewing on mobile and tablet.
Content that Converts – Attract and Nurture
With over 90% of users using search at some point in making a decision, search engine optimisation was a focus from the beginning. Google has made it clear it loves regular useful content and has rewarded the site with top 10 rankings for key search terms alongside and above competitors who have been in the market for decades. For some key terms the site has 3-4 pages listed on the first page of google.co.nz. Search traffic will make up the basis of the strategy as paid and referral sources can be explored in the future.
By focusing on quality content the website has attracted huge traffic from search engines and positioned Andrew as the expert in his market.
But the relationship with his prospects continues to build due to the format that Andrew is using to deliver his message.
With bandwidth increasing and internet speeds rising video is the perfect medium for a busy estate agent to use.
- Relationship and Trust
Owners feel they know Andrew before they even speak to him for the first time. They have watched him speak with knowledge about his market and the initial barriers are broken down effortlessly.
Andrew can plan, shoot and upload a video in only 15 minutes. A 3 minute video is comprised of 600 words of content after it is transcribed. Many agents are doing the right thing by writing content for their sites but spend hours doing it. Andrew drops it into Dropbox where it is edited, transcribed and uploaded by contractors. Job done and the content is out there as an evergreen attraction mechanism.
The content strategy has also positioned Andrew as an expert in the market with appearances in Seven Sharp, NZ Herald and the Sunday Star Times.
Capture – Building a Database
Getting visitors to a site is only half the battle for website owners. Keeping them there and coming back is the only way to convert a visitor to a customer. After market research and interviews a life cycle campaign was implemented to capture and nurture leads until the vendor is ready to list their property with Andrew.
With vendors being regularly cold called by other agents a strategy was implemented to cut through the apathy of owners to many direct marketing tactics.
Andrew provides a downloadable report that highlights “10 mistakes” that owners often make that cost them thousands. By offering something of value in exchange for the prospect’s email address the site is able to capture those visitors who may have otherwise clicked off to the competition.
For less than $200 he has a video setup that shoots high definition video. He also doesn’t need expensive copywriters on a regular basis as he is effortlessly generating the content himself.
As Andrew has captured his prospects email address he nurtures and informs them via video and his regular market reports.
Convert – Turning Prospects into Profit
Many agents rely on cold calling and other low yield marketing activities to generate listings. While they have their place, the digital marketing system Andrew has in place makes converting prospects into listings a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.
The prospects who are ready to go make themselves known immediately while a series of offers can be made to other prospects over time to ensure they know they can work with Andrew at any stage. The prospects feel in control of the situation, while Andrew has rapidly taken a trusted advisor status, which is reflected in the higher than average commission he commands.
We have honed in on the number one question that people selling their apartment ask:
“How much is it worth?”
He has built an apartment valuation tool that generates leads and identifies vendors who are ready to sell their apartment.
The online strategy and that James has helped me design has doubled the business I could get on my own. The ROI I get for my investment and time is ridiculous.
Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists
- Apartment Specialists currently gets 150+ daily unique visitors with 9% conversion to subscriber or enquiry.
- Apartment Specialists have sold over 150 apartments and well over $1 million in commission. Many by vendors who are based overseas and correspond solely online.
- The website now outranks all major competitors on Google for the 10 target key terms and traffic is growing by 20% every month.
The whole business now has an automated Growth Engine that generates listings and sales automatically.
Do you want an automated sales engine for your real estate agency?
Imagine listings rolling in automatically and being recognised as the expert in your area.
Watch the case study below.