Marketing strategy for letting agents
Finding new landlords is increasingly challenging for letting agencies – many are choosing to exit the market due to tax increases and government reform. Recent figures show that a quarter of landlords are planning to sell at least one property this year. Meanwhile, letting agencies are also feeling the pinch of the tenant fee ban, the biggest change to hit the industry in decades, which came into force in 2019.
The fee ban is only the latest in a long line of changes planned for the private rented sector – the ban on Section 21, so called ‘no fault’ evictions, is also likely to have a major impact on landlords selling up. Letting agents need to understand how social, economic and regulatory changes are likely to affect their business so that they can plan for the future.
Why do letting agents need a marketing strategy?
An effective marketing strategy has never been more important for letting agents looking to attract the best landlords and mitigate against the effects of the tenant fee ban and other changes on the horizon.
Planning an effective marketing strategy benefits your business by helping you to set objectives and goals, plan how you’ll respond to anticipated challenges and opportunities, and continue to generate demand from prospective clients. A good marketing strategy is like a road map that will help to guide your decision making, keeping you on track and putting you on the path to achieving your specific objectives and goals.
There are a variety of things to consider when creating your marketing strategy. You’ll need to research your market, identify your audience and which media platforms are best for reaching them, and develop your brand identity.
Here are some tips to help letting agents plan a marketing strategy.
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1. Market research and analysis
Begin by assessing your current situation – what are you already doing when it comes to marketing your letting agency? What is working well and what isn’t? Who are your current customers and are there other customer segments you could target? What are the opportunities and threats in the wider market and how are you currently equipped to deal with them?
Check out your competitors – what are they doing that you’re not? Who are the major players in your local area and where do you fit?
Take stock of where you are currently and where you would like to be, so that you can start to identify specific goals and develop strategies for achieving them within a specified time frame.
2. Identify your target market
The key to successful marketing is understanding who your customers are, so that you can craft tailored marketing messages and target them effectively.
Buyer personas are a useful device for helping to ensure that you are focused on a tangible target client as you develop your marketing strategy. A buyer persona is a profile of your ideal customer.
Think about the characteristics, demographics, pain points, goals and behaviours of that person.
This will help you to understand your customers’ aspirations and motivations, and how best you can reach them.
You’ll need to create more than one buyer persona and you’ll need to do it for both landlords and tenants. Start with a few and build them up. Using personas can really help you to target your audience with the correct messaging.
Identifying your market also involves deciding on your target area. Start by focusing on the local area where your agency is based; this will also have a bearing on the style of marketing you use and the methods that will be most successful.
Once you have made headway in your local area, you can then begin to increase your reach further afield.