Difficult real estate market conditions over the last few years has led to a growing trend in property buyers engaging the services of a buyers agent. What was once seen as a premium service for the wealthy, is now being used by all types of home buyers – from those seeking help purchasing their first home, right through to downsizers and property investors.
This increased demand for buyers agent services has seen many new entrants and the establishment of the Real Estate Buyers Association Australia (REBAA) in 2020, further helping to increase the awareness and interest in Buyers Agents. There is no such equivalent association for New Zealand just yet, as far I as could find, but I am sure it’s not far behind.
Marketing strategies for buyers agents
In complete contrast to their real estate sales counterparts, a buyers agent is unable to utilise traditional real estate marketing tactics; like knocking on doors, holding open homes and vendor paid advertising (VPA) i.e. piggybacking on their clients’ property marketing campaigns to build brand awareness.
Buyer’s agents must allocate funds toward an annual marketing budget and invest in a strategic marketing program in order to be found. To be successful, buyers agents must use a combination of online marketing alongside network marketing to generate a steady flow of leads for their business.
Tried and tested marketing solutions for buyers agents
Each year, as the number of buyers agents across the Australian and New Zealand real estate industry grows, so does the number of buyers agents that contact us at Hoole.co for help. In fact, we’ve assisted lone buyers agents as well as small teams, right through to multi-state buyers agent networks and services offered through national real estate franchises.
My promise to all clients is, “I never ask others to invest in marketing solutions that I have not invested in and tried out on my own real estate digital agency.”
The business growth journey for Hoole.co, has given me and my team a strong foundation for assisting buyers agents as many of the marketing strategies mirror those that we, at Hoole.co, must invest in to ensure prospective clients see us and like what they see.
Today, I’m sharing some unique stories of the buyers agents we have helped promote so that you can gain a sense of what you’ll need to do to survive as a buyers agent as it becomes more crowded with competitors.
Case study #1
Sheila Eldridge | Property Advisory Sydney
To get your buyers agency off the starting block you need to invest in your online profiles, or the digital interview, as it is often called. Here, I share an example of a buyers agent whom we’ve helped.
Sheila Eldridge emigrated to Australia from the USA over 28 years ago. Her property career started as a relocation agent helping international and interstate clients find rental homes in Sydney. As many of her clients went on to settle indefinitely in Sydney, Sheila was asked to help them purchase a home – at which point she decided to become a buyer’s agent.
Sheila has enjoyed a 100% success rate, sourcing homes and settling clients into Sydney. She has relied heavily on personal referrals to date, which has given her ample clients to work with each year. But with the rise in the number of buyers agents in Sydney and the lack of an SEO-optimised online presence, Sheila found herself in a more competitive market with fewer leads.
Sheila booked a free one-hour consultation with me, where she discussed her current challenges and I recommended a course of action to increase her visibility and enhance what people located on Sydney’s lower north shore found when they Googled “buyers agent”.
The Hoole strategy
After conducting an initial audit of Sheila’s online presence, it was immediately obvious that Sheila had not refreshed her online profiles for several years. When people googled her name or the name of her buyers agency, Property Advisory Sydney, what they found was outdated and did not sell the virtues of working with Sheila. Sheila could have lost leads because her digital interview didn’t stack up against other competing buyers agents with more up-to-date profiles.
Whether prospective clients find out about your buyers agent services via a referral, a social media post, or a Google web or map search, you must consider what message you send when they read or review your online profiles.
A Google search will unearth a multitude of online profiles from your website, to a Google Business listing, or a social media profile, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. What’s important is ensuring that all your online profiles work in unison and showcase an experienced and highly professional buyers agent.
Working closely with Sheila, using a series of questions in an in-depth interview, I identified what her unique points of difference are. Our editorial team then shaped a new set of written bios that showcased Sheila’s talents and honed in on a specific type of client Sheila works best with. We also ensured that those all-important SEO terms for buyers agents were weaved throughout.
Even more importantly; prospective clients not only need to get a sense of who you are but what you can do for them. It helps to think of your online profiles as a mirror, that reflects the home buyers pain points and frustrations. And then detail how you have helped home buyers or property investors in similar situations, and sourced and secured the perfect property for them.
Sheila was so happy with the written bios that she replied,
“I think they’re great, I’d hire me! Haha.”
To compliment her new biography our graphic design team created a suite of social media banners and avatars for Sheila so that whichever platform a prospective client landed on, they would see a beautifully branded and uniform look.
Shelia’s new set of written bios and graphical elements have given her fresh appeal. Her service offering and experience are now crystal clear, and highly engaging with just enough passion to get prospective clients to pick up the phone and call her.
Case study #2
Ben Plohl | BFP Property Buyers
Over the many interviews I have conducted with buyers agents, I have learnt that the path to becoming a buyers agent is varied. Not everyone has been a real estate sales agent ahead of becoming a buyers agent. Some people have been financial planners, accountants, or run other types of businesses. But most buyers agents do have a combination of property and financial acumen and/or have been on a personal property investment journey ahead of making the career switch.
In Ben Plohl’s case, he had enjoyed a long career as a Chartered Accountant and CFO ahead of becoming a buyers agent. He had also developed first-hand experience as a property investor. Over several years, Ben and his wife had learnt the skills to find and secure investments in high-grade properties with the help of Paul Glossop, an award-winning property investment specialist and buyers agent. You can read about Paul and his buyers agency, Pure Property Investment, in my article 8 online marketing tactics perfect for buyers agents.
While Ben had the financial smarts and property investment experience to start his buyers agent business, he was unclear on the steps required to build a brand digitally. He had researched online marketing extensively and used several digital marketing tactics but was, at this early stage in his startup, not getting the traction he desired.
Ben’s buyers agency, BFP Property, had a website, he had been writing blogs and he had been featured on well-known property investment websites and in the media, so Ben was unsure what else he could be doing. He wanted to learn the mechanics of building a digital marketing ecosystem that would continue to grow his brand as a buyers agent and generate inbound leads.
Ben booked a free one hour consultation with me, where he discussed the challenges he faced at this early juncture in his startup buyers agency and I recommended undertaking one-to-one training with me, to not only learn how an effective digital marketing strategy is developed but to outline the right strategy for him, including identifying his ideal clientele.
The Hoole strategy
Ben is based in Sydney, but he is able to help investors find properties with strong profit potential, both locally and interstate.
After a series of strategy workshops with Ben, I helped him gain a clearer picture of who his ideal clients were, where they were located and the best way to reach them. We also established that he could increase his fees, as the competitor rates review showed that as a start up he was undervaluing his services.
In coaching Ben, I used my brand’s digital journey as evidence of what can be achieved once you set up a marketing ecosystem to support you. In effect, I helped Ben join the dots between the different digital marketing components and outline how he could grow his brand reputation by doing the right activities in the most effective way.
I’m pleased to say that even with the ups and downs of the pandemic, Ben’s buyers agency has gone from strength to strength and he has continued to grow his client base and build a stellar reputation in the property industry.
Case study #3
Jenny Jia | Property Mavens
Like Ben, Jenny had always held a keen interest in real estate and had built wealth through her own property portfolio. Having moved from Beijing, China to Melbourne she wanted to utilise the analytical skills she’d gained as a Geospatial Scientist along with her property experience to become a buyers agent.
Jenny elected to join forces with franchised buyers agency Property Mavens, in order to fast track launching her buyers agency. As an established and highly reputable business, members can leverage the Property Mavens brand and brand assets, tried and tested systems, and receive on the job mentoring and standardised documentation provided by the franchisor. Franchisees are still able to operate under their own business name, under the Property Mavens brand.
As a new business owner, it can be difficult to stand out in a crowded marketplace, success is contingent on having the funds and resources to establish yourself (i.e. your buyers agent brand) and have effective marketing solutions that keep you front of mind.
With this being a new chapter in Jenny’s career, not only was she starting a new business but she also had the additional challenge of ensuring her past experiences were perceived in such a way that she would be considered a highly knowledgeable and reliable choice.
The Hoole strategy
The founder of Property Mavens, Miriam Sandkuhler, had invested significant funds into not only developing the Property Mavens brand but building a library of branded marketing assets for use by the franchisees. Part of the Property Mavens joining fee includes help from Hoole.co to get each new franchisee digitally sorted and run a launch campaign for the individual within their local market.
So, all the thinking and planning had been completed ahead of each new starter joining the buyers agent franchise, and marketing templates for Jenny’s launch campaign were ready and waiting.
When we began working with Jenny, the first marketing activity was to schedule a photo shoot to ensure Jenny not only had professional headshots but a suite of imagery that could be incorporated across a number of different marketing assets. It’s worth noting that it is better to feature yourself where possible in your marketing materials than people from stock image libraries, as that further enforces your personal brand, within the wider corporate brand.
We work with photographers all over Australia & New Zealand so we were able to organise for one of our Melbourne-based associates to do the shoot for Jenny.
Following an interview with Jenny, where I worked with her to capture her core points of difference, the Hoole editorial team crafted a set of online bios promoting her scientific and analytical skills as well as her experience with 50 property transactions totalling $20 million.
It’s exciting to share that Jenny is one of several Mavens that have joined the unique and first-of-its-kind buyers agent franchise model, Property Mavens, and the franchise is growing from strength to strength.
Get professional help marketing your buyers agency
As you can see from these case studies, there are many different ways to market your buyers agent services digitally and no matter what stage you are at in your business our team at Hoole.co can help you increase your visibility and appeal to potential clients.
If you are a buyers agent and need help creating a custom marketing strategy please get in touch – I am always happy to provide a one-hour free consultation. Simply book a free one hour consultation with me.