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We’re Not On Comparison Sites.

Think outside the box Think outside the box

The strapline for Direct Line Insurance, probably the most recognised UK Insurance brand.

 "Since its launch in 1985, Direct Line's aim has always been to put the customer first. This began with cutting out the middleman, the forms and the jargon - all revolutionary changes in insurance at the time."

A company that differentiates by refusing to appear on comparison sites, or using agents. A hot-line direct to the potential client.old and for many, that ends up being a half-truth at best.

Compare that to #estateageny - where comparison is highly encouraged. Is that estate agency cheaper than? Is that estate agency better than? Is that estate agency more successful than?

Do potential clients necessarily want to compare?

I'd argue NO. They aren't qualified to compare - they only know what they are told and for many, that ends up being a half-truth at best.

The problem is that very few estate agencies understand that comparison, and with it competition, is killing their business. They have been indoctrinated into believing in market share, in 'winning' and in the ideology of bigger being better.

"We prefer your agency but the other two we invited to appraise were both much cheaper. If you can match their fees, we'd love to instruct your agency."

A common-enough heard phrase that never ends well. For either party.

Dealing directly with clients is another area where estate agency flounders.

How so?

By advertising all their listed properties on the portals, that's how so. The grasping middleman in this scenario.

Allowing potential buyers to compare your client's property against probably hundreds of similar homes. And paying for the dubious privilege.

Who does that benefit? Not the seller, not the agency, but the buyer.

Don't give me that jargon about wider exposure to as many buyers as possible, or that if your instructions aren't on Rightmove and other portals, they aren't seen. The portals are full of dreamers and tyre-kickers. Their claimed 'reach' is a fairy tale.

Instead, imagine for example, that ten thousand within your local community knew who you were, what properties you had for sale/rent and why dealing with your agency would ultimately benefit both the buyer and the seller.

That 10,000 are your agency's audience. You communicate regularly with them via email newsletters, podcasts, video channel, digital magazines, telephone conversations and via sponsorship of community events.

Buyers ring your agency to register. Sellers to list with your agency.

Who then cares about what other agencies in your town are doing?

Your agency has an audience that is loyal, that would not even contemplate doing business elsewhere. An audience that anticipates hearing from your agency and an audience that provides honest feedback on where there might be improvements or opportunities.

Doing what estate agencies are supposed to do - directly connecting the seller to the right buyer.

Uploading your instructions to the portals, or to Facebook and Tik Tok, does one thing very well.

It sends a signal to every other estate agency that here is yet another opportunity to steal your client. To bombard them with prospecting letters and other dubious interruption marketing techniques.

Building that audience isn't easy. It requires your agency to first have something interesting to say and to then build a platform on which to share that message. But it's worth it!

Your agency isn't enslaved to the property portals. It owns the data and the communication. It grows organically over time. There is no need for a marketing budget. If your agency builds a media company, it grows into an asset, not a liability. A blog, a podcast, a video and a digital magazine - peanuts to set up and easy to operate.

Who needs the comparison sites? Who needs the portals?

Only the lazy agencies that can't be bothered to grow an audience, or the wealthy agencies, with more money than sense, that believe they can rent someone else's audience.

Dig your Well before you're thirsty is an old proverb.

Build your media company before you need it is sage advice.

If I can help you build it, just get in touch. My advice is always free.

How to build your podcast, digital magazine and media company can be found on:

How to make sure your message resonates with the right people?

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Friday, 19 April 2024
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