With offices still not entirely up and running, there’s a renewed focus on social media and other online activity as a way to drive business forward. We spoke with social media expert and copywriter, Chris Watkins, about the best ways to make the most of your social media.
What is Landlord Farming?
Landlord farming is a technique that attracts landlords to letting agencies, aiming to convert landlords from using the competition and it’s becoming more important than ever. Over the last 15 years, the size of the rental market has roughly doubled, while the number of agents operating in it has quadrupled. The only way to earn money in this business is to attract landlords and as long as you offer a good service, the more landlords the better: landlord farming is how you get them.
What should agents be doing to improve their reach?
Go back to basics by using Facebook, but be prepared to do the work. There are plenty of Facebook groups to advertise your properties and videos about how to make the most of them. But be prepared to put the work in, even if it means you have to get off Netflix!
Do you have tips for agents that are new to using social media?
Fundamentally, it’s the people that you’re connected with that will read your stuff so the first thing to do is connect with more people. Maximise your local contacts as much as possible and think about what’s valuable and useful to the local community when deciding what to post. Don’t restrict your content to your own Facebook page; it’s worth posting reports and presentations to Facebook groups connected to your local town to expand your reach. And post, don’t share if you want to reach more people.
What are the best agents doing now? What tips can you share?
Don’t panic. An awful lot of letting agents have furloughed their entire staff rather than seeing this pandemic as an opportunity. Now, while people are stuck at home and bored, is the time to use social media to be visible to people in the community. Twenty years ago, the community was walking down the high street, now that community is online and social media is its remote control. The best advice I can give is to not be afraid of that.
A word of advice for letting agents as we move through the pandemic?
The best letting agents are detail-oriented and precise but for some, that creeps into perfectionism, which can be dangerous. Why not aim for excellence instead? Landlords are not expecting perfectionism. Aim for excellence and you’ll be happier and your staff will be happier too.
What changes are we going to see in the lettings industry?
The industry is already moving at an incredible pace, with people moving towards remote viewings, electronic signatures and every operating being run from the kitchen table. This is the new normal. But the fundamental principle will never change. The role of an agent is still finding a good tenant for a good landlord and making sure they pay their rent and look after the property.
What services do you provide to letting agents?
I never talk overtly about my services because people don’t like being sold to. People like to buy but they don’t like to be sold to. Just as I recommend to estate and letting agents that they should talk about the local property market, rather than their own businesses directly, I do the same. I try to educate and intrigue. It costs time and money but it attracts people to me.
For more of Chris’s advice, check out his website here.
Videos recorded in May, 2020
Photo by Matt Botsford
Contents presented in the recordings do not represent the views of Fixflo. They are intended for general information purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice or official guidance.