2021 was a year of record house price growth across the country, with values increasing 22.1% in 12 months according to the latest data from CoreLogic.
In December, national house prices increased by 1.0%, down from 1.3% in November. Once again, it was Brisbane and Adelaide that were the strongest two markets in December, increasing by 2.9% and 2.6% respectively. Sydney property prices saw a modest 0.3% increase last month, while Melbourne recorded a fall of -0.1%.
Over the past 12 months, Hobart has been the strongest market in the country with a gain of 28.1%, with Brisbane increasing by 27.4% and Sydney by 25.3%.
CoreLogic’s Research Director Tim Lawless says momentum has started to slow in both Sydney and Melbourne.
“A surge in freshly advertised listings through December has been a key factor in taking some heat out of the Melbourne and Sydney housing markets, along with some demand headwinds caused by significant affordability constraints and negative interstate migration,” Mr Lawless said.
“We have seen this trend in previous growth cycles, where more expensive housing markets have shown greater levels of volatility; housing values tend to rise more through the upswing but record a larger decline through the down phase of the cycle.”
According to CoreLogic, Brisbane and Adelaide, along with regional Queensland, are the only broad regions where there is no evidence of growth slowing down,
“These regions show less of an affordability challenge relative to the larger capitals, as well as better support for housing demand with Queensland in particular showing strong interstate migration. Additionally, we haven’t seen the same level of supply response seen in other regions, with the trend in advertised supply remaining well below average in these markets.”
The most popular regional markets have seen housing values rise more than 30% over the calendar year, with the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven recording the highest annual rise in home values at 37.7%, followed by Queensland’s Sunshine Coast at 33.7%.
Regional markets, especially on the East Coast are continuing to see strong growth and have rebounded while other capital city markets have started to slow down. Since March 2020, housing values across regional Australia are up 32.0% compared to the 20.0% lift in values seen across the combined capitals.
Stock levels in regional Australia finished the year 35.9% below the five-year average. This compares to combined capital cities seeing stock 14.2% below the five-year average.
According to Mr Lawless, stock levels should continue to normalise over the course of 2022.
“The number of homes available to purchase has been a key factor underlying the trend in housing values. Cities where advertised stock levels are above average or close to normal, such as Melbourne and Sydney, have shown a more obvious slow down relative to cities with persistently low advertised supply, like Brisbane and Adelaide,” Mr Lawless said.
“Such a significant mismatch between available housing supply and the level of demand is a fundamental reason why housing prices have risen so sharply over the year. As stock levels normalise and affordability constraints along with tighter credit conditions drag down demand, it’s reasonable to expect growth conditions will be more subdued in 2022,” Mr Lawless said.
Nationally, rents increased by 9.4% over the course of 2021. Unit rents were up 7.5% over the year compared to the 10.1% increase recorded rents for freestanding homes.
2021 has been a record year for Australian housing markets, but 2022 is likely to see a further easing in the pace of capital gains according to CoreLogic.
With house prices increasing at the fastest rate since the late 1980s it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many homebuyers to afford to buy in many areas of the country.
Sellers have had the upper hand for many months, but CoreLogic believes buyers are starting to regain some leverage. With demand outweighing advertised supply, vendors have started to see more room to negotiate and less competition.
Another downside risk is an early lift in interest rates and tighter credit policies. CoreLogic says ‘an early lift in the cash rate implies the economy has improved enough to tighten monetary policy, however, housing markets are likely to be sensitive to any increase in the cost of debt.”
Overall, while there are headwinds that will slow the growth of housing markets, CoreLogic expects national housing values will continue to rise in the short term. However, there is likely to be large discrepancies between different markets around the country based on short-term supply and demand as well as other lifestyle factors.
While technology is rapidly changing the world of property, there are still plenty of elements of ‘old school’ real estate that will likely remain relevant well into the future of the real estate industry.
Technology is certainly making life a lot easier and more efficient for all those involved in the real estate industry, however, there are a number of areas that are unlikely to change any time soon.
The vast majority of people who work in the real estate industry have especially well-developed people skills.
Typically, the real estate industry lends itself to those who are outgoing, friendly, and effective communicators. While technology might change or even enhance some of the forms of communication, the ability connect with people is an essential part of successful real estate.
If anything, the rise of technology puts more focus on agents with the very best people skills. Now that automation is the standard across real estate agencies, it's the human touch that separates good real estate agents from the mediocre and the bad.
The implementation of such technology is likely to create a division between agents with interpersonal skills, and those without. Most technology is easily accessible and quite intuitive, in comparison to communication skills which are acquired and developed over a period of time. If you’re an old school agent with great interpersonal skills, you could be very valuable in the years ahead.
One element of real estate which has not changed throughout the years is the need to build and maintain relationships. Relationships have always been an integral part of the industry, and continue to do so despite all the other changes the industry has seen in recent years.
While the implementation of technology and the ability to automate processes has changed, the essential essence of real estate has not. By going out and building a good network of business connections and referral partners, then you will be setting yourself up for success. The same is true when it comes to dealing with vendors and buyers.
Much of an agent’s business comes through the ability to sit down with a person and build a genuine connection. Building a connection often comes from a place of understanding. Listening to the problems of buyers, vendors, or business partners, and trying to offer advice or solve a problem is foundational in building relationships.
Your ability to build a relationship is a skill that will never go out of fashion, nor be replaced by new technology.
In recent years, there have been many new technology platforms that have become available to assist with the selling process.
However, most of the country still sells through an offer and acceptance process, or through auctions. Whilst technology has assisted in the administration process for auctions, the fundamental elements of the auction are very much human. An important part of an agent hosting an auction is engaging with the crowd and getting them excited by building an exciting atmosphere and environment.
As an agent, part of your job is to extract the very best price for your vendor. In a hot market, it’s quite likely that you will have people competing for a property. In a slower market, or when dealing with a less desirable property, you will need to be able to use those interpersonal communication skills in order to negotiate successfully to get the best deal you possibly can for your client.
Effective negotiation is a skill that the agents of yesteryear needed, and are still a predominant skill amongst agents now, despite the influx of new technology.
An often-overlooked job of a successful agent is understanding the best approach to take to market and sell a property.
There’s no point trying to sell a property at auction if there is only one interested buyer. Similarly, there’s no point selling a property off-market, if a vendor wants the best price and their property is in-demand.
Knowing the best approach to take is a classic skill of a real estate agent. Good agents will know the state of the market and then tailor a strategy for the vendor to extract the best value.
While there are tools that can help along the way, ultimately, the skill, understanding and knowledge of the agent is what will get the vendor the best possible result.
This can also apply to the marketing side as well. A good agent knows how to market a property based on who the likely buyer is and then goes about generating interest. While it’s easy to sell a property in a strong market, it takes a lot more skill, persistence, and know-how to be successful in softer markets.
When analysing the success of real estate agents, people usually think of the agents who sell the highest-priced homes, or earn the highest commissions over the course of the year.
While a sizeable commission is an important end goal for many agents, there is a far more dynamic range of elements to assess when judging your level of success.
An important consideration to remember is that all agents are at different stages in their journey and career. A rookie agent shouldn’t be judging their success by comparing themselves to the top earners who have been in the industry for decades. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can look at to determine if you’ve had a successful year.
In real estate, success doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes a significant amount of time to market, sell and settle on just one property. There’s a lot of time in the day, which should be filled with doing the simple things that will ultimately drive more business.
One of the most important metrics for most agents is the number of phone calls made. This metric is so important because phone calls to prospective vendors is a tried and true way of generating new business.
Each year, you should have a goal in mind for how many people you will reach out to, this can be broken down into a monthly or even weekly basis to be more manageable. Your success should be linked simply to how many of those calls you actually made. From there, you will able to establish conversion rate to learn how effective your phone calls are.
If you’ve exceeded your goals, you will likely have a solid pipeline of work ahead to set yourself up for success.
When starting out as a new agent, it’s important to prospect every single day and continue to drive that pipeline. You aren’t expected to be the top performed agent in your first year. But it is possible to make the most calls and that should be your goal for next year.
An integral part of real estate is networking. Every week, you should be going out and actively looking to expand your network to help drive more business.
This can be as simple as sitting down for a coffee with potential referral partners or even going to property-related events with the goal of building up new relationships.
Once those relationships have been established, you also have to continue to develop and nurture them. You can do this by looking to assist your network in any way you can. After all, creating a relationship only to let it dissolve by ignoring is counterproductive and a waste of time, energy and resources.
It takes time to grow a business network, and it is never too late to start. Set the goal of building your network by a few people each week and by the end of the year, you might have created over 100 new quality business contacts.
In many ways, the network you have in place is far more valuable than your other resources as it has the potential to sustain and grow your business for many years to come. It could be the most important indicator of success in the future.
A recent survey from REALTOR Magazine found that around 30% of sales volume comes from past client referrals, and 30% are from repeat business with past clients.
If you are looking after the needs of the vendors well, it is going to see your business continue to grow. This is also very true of buyers and potential buyers as well. As an agent, ensuring you make a good impression and genuinely help and solve problems for people is vital, as it solidifies your relationships with vendors. Oftentimes, a personal touch or going the extra mile can be the difference between making and breaking a deal.
If you’ve only sold a few properties over the course of a year, but you’ve achieved outstanding results for your clients, that’s more important than going through the motions on a larger volume of transactions.
Link your success to the level of customer satisfaction. You can obtain this from client surveys that you should be regularly conducting and also from ratings and reviews.
Building momentum as an agent takes time, but it all starts with small steps. Over the past 12 months, have you kept up with all you personal marketing efforts that you set out to achieve?
Did you grow that social media presence like you had hoped? Have you been sending regular email newsletters? Have you been doing regular letter drops? Have you been attending property-related events and networking effectively with potential buyers?
Whatever form of marketing you choose to do, it’s important that you have stuck to your plan. If you are unsure how to market yourself, read through our guide on How to Market Yourself as a Real Estate Agent.
Success in real estate is about turning up every single day and doing the small things. You will ultimately be successful if you break down those goals and focus on smaller daily activities. Then in time, if you do those daily activities, the transactions and commissions will come.
The rise in technology over the past few decades has caused significant disruptions to many industries. With concepts such as AI (artificial intelligence) and Machine Learning expected to change and progress even more, many people are worried about what might happen to their jobs.
Real estate is one of many industries that has benefited greatly from technology in recent years. Not all too long ago, if you wanted to see a new listing, you had to physically go a real estate agency’s office and look at the hardcopies on the window.
These days, we have listings more accessible than ever before. Developments such as including a plethora of images, as well as increased virtual tours thanks to the forced innovation that COVID-19 brought with it. Newer technology is also not limited to listings, but a host of other tools that make it easier to market properties, obtain finance, settle, manage properties, or even drum up new leads through CRMs.
Despite the introduction of new technology, real estate remains human in its essence, and will never be replaced by technology. While technology certainly has a big role to play in assisting agents as well as buyers and sellers, the human element of real estate remains irreplaceable.
Real estate is a relationships industry, it’s all about the connection between clients, agents, and vendors. It’s the job of a real estate agent to build and maintain relationships, as it’s a major key in generating new business.
Every time a prospective buyer enters a home open, they are also a potential vendor. Vendor’s use real estate agents they trust and have a relationship with.
Builders and developers sell properties through people in their network. Many agents have huge referral networks that are built on relationships, not just with potential clientele but the community as well.
For many vendors, selling a property is significant, and while they want the best price they can, price may not the ultimate deciding factor. Other factors can include additional benefits or incentives, as well as a personal connection with the agent or agency. So, while technology might be able to assist, it is unable to create and nurture relationships in the same way that a person can.
Given recent innovations, there is a myriad of technology out there that helps value a property. While some of these tools can come up with good estimates of what a property might be worth, it’s never quite as good as what a local agent could estimate.
There’s a reason the industry puts so much weight on valuations that are performed in person, by people who physically go through a property. In real estate, there are so many nuances, and no two properties are ever the same.
There are also many factors that need to be considered. One of these factors is the sentiment and what is happening on the ground at any given moment. Valuers and agents can look at the property first hand, taking into account not only the property itself, but it’s condition and surroundings.
Even the data the technology platforms use can be months behind and cannot replace the real-life conversations that are taking place between buyers and agents during open homes.
Real estate agents know what is happening in a property market before it’s ever reflected in the numbers. This also helps agents set a price and use the most effective marketing strategy, as there is not a one size fits all approach to selling. The local knowledge that agents have cannot be replaced with technology. Instead, their knowledge and lived experiences should be combined with hard data and predictions leads in order to reach the best outcome.
For most people, buying a property is the single biggest investment they will ever make. For those buying a property to live in, this can be hugely emotional.
A real estate agent is the middleman trying to manage both sides of the equation. An agent does their best to help the fears and concerns of a first-time buyer, whist also working with the vendor’s needs given their personal situation. This bespoke element of real estate cannot be replaced with technology, no matter how advanced.
In recent years, we have seen new platforms come along to assist with selling properties. While these tools are good in some situations, we still see huge numbers of properties selling through a traditional offer and acceptance process.
This type of negotiation is very personal, and a highly skilled agent has the ability to generate a good result for a vendor.
Technology can’t understand a buyer’s motivation. It can’t interpret what that buyer might be prepared to pay. Real estate agents are expert negotiators and it’s their people skills that make them so good at their jobs, people skills that cannot be replicated by technology.
Clearly, real estate is an industry that is not going to see technology replacing agents any time soon. However, there are many technological tools that agents have at their disposal that can help them improve by being more efficient at doing their job.
That’s the big advantage of technology. It’s a tool at an agent’s disposal, not a threat.
VaultRE is Australia’s number one real estate CRM, and we want to show you why we deserve the top spot.
With the right knowledge you can leverage our software to revolutionise the way that you do business, from having a single-page view of every aspect of your day-to-day operations to native, intuitive marketing tools.
Join our presenters Oliver Vialls, Training Manager at VaultRE, and Elliot Stansfield, Tech Stack Consultant at PropTech Group, for this on-demand webinar, as they take us through how you can use VaultRE to revolutionise your business, including how to:
House prices continue to rise around Australia, but the strong selling conditions are seeing many vendors choose to list their properties, leading to a sharp jump in stock levels.
The latest data from CoreLogic shows that house prices around the country rose by 1.1% last month, marking the 14th consecutive month of rising prices.
November saw Brisbane and Adelaide lead the way with gains of 2.9% and 2.4%, taking their quarterly increases to 7.5% and 6.9%. Sydney and Melbourne continued to see price growth with rises of 0.9% and 0.6%, while Hobart and Canberra also remained strong increasing by 1.1%.
Elsewhere, Perth recorded relatively flat growth at 0.2% while only Darwin had a negative result with a fall of -0.4%.
Over the past 12 months, the growth of regional areas has continued to outpace the capital cities. In November, regional areas saw 2.2% growth taking the annual rate of growth to 25.2%. Compared to 21.3% for the capital cities over the same period of time
While the gains continue around the country, Head of Research at CoreLogic, Tim Lawless notes that it appears momentum is slowing in some areas.
“Virtually every factor that has driven housing values higher has lost some potency over recent months. Fixed mortgage rates are rising, higher listings are taking some urgency away from buyers, affordability has become a more substantial barrier to entry and credit is less available.”
Mr Lawless believes affordability is causing the slowdown in Australia’s more expensive locations, which is why there is still strong growth in Adelaide and Brisbane.
“Relative to the larger cities, housing affordability is less pressing, there have been fewer disruptions from COVID lockdowns and a positive rate of interstate migration is fueling housing demand,” Mr Lawless said.
“On the other hand, Sydney and Melbourne have seen demand more heavily impacted from affordability pressures and negative migration from both an interstate and overseas perspective.”
CoreLogic says the rise in the number of homes available for sale is a key factor driving the slowdown in capital growth.
Nationally, the number of new listings added to the market over the four weeks ending November 28th was tracking 15.7% above the five year average - the highest level since late 2015.
In the past month, total stock available for sale across Adelaide was - 32.0% lower than the five year average, and -33.9% lower across Brisbane. Across Sydney and Melbourne however, stock levels have become far more normalised in recent weeks, with Sydney total listings sitting just -2.6% below the five year average, while stock levels across Melbourne are 7.9% above the five year average.
Mr Lawless says that new listings will continue to weigh on momentum in the coming months, particularly on the East Coast.
“Fresh listings are being added to the market faster than they can be absorbed, pushing total active listings higher. More listings imply more choice and less urgency for buyers,” Mr Lawless said.
“Although inventory levels are rising, the upwards trend is from an extremely low base. The total number of active listings has increased by 67.3% since early September, but stock levels remain -24.0% below the five year average for this time of the year. We expect inventory levels will continue to normalise into 2022 which should see selling dynamics gradually shift away from vendors, providing buyers with some additional leverage at the negotiation table.”
CoreLogic says the days it takes to sell a property are also on the rise around the country, increasing from 21 in May to 25. While auction clearance rates have also been falling in recent weeks.
“The rise in listings and softening of key vendor metrics implies the housing market may be moving through peak selling conditions, however, it will be important to see if this trend towards higher listings continues after the festive season,” Mr Lawless said.
Looking forward, CoreLogic feels that the outlook for Australian housing markets remains positive, however, the pace of capital gains has lost momentum across most regions since April.
Notably, stock levels are rising in many markets along the east coast while fixed rate mortgages are also slowly increasing ahead of any changes from the RBA. Variable mortgage rates are less inclined to rise until the cash rate lifts, which is still expected to be more than a year away. Low mortgage rates will continue to support housing demand, but probably not to the same extent as seen through 2021.
We’ve also recently heard from APRA, who have noted that rising house prices do represent risk to the economy, however, they have already moved to lift serviceability buffers in expectation of rate rises ahead.
CoreLogic believes we will continue to see slowing growth continue into next year and beyond with most of the factors that have been pushing housing prices higher having either diminished or expired.
The Gen Z demographic (those born between 1997-2012) might be young right now, but they represent a huge portion of the population and many are already starting to buy their first homes.
For real estate agents who have just become used to dealing with Millennials, the Gen Z’ers represent a massive opportunity, but will also require new levels of understanding and marketing tactics to appeal to this growing market.
A predominant characteristic of the Gen Z demographic is that they are tech-savvy, with the ability to learn and understand new technologies with minimal training. Their intuition guides their use, and agents will need to be able to communicate and market to them accordingly.
The iPhone was released in 2007, when much of this generation was in early primary school, kindergarten and some not even born yet. For the most part, all this generation have known is smartphones. Fortunately, marketing through smartphones and channels like social media will be highly effective for this demographic, as much of their time is spent online.
Similarly, the Gen Z demographic will also put a lot of weight onto what they hear from influencers. They are likely to buy or sell with an agent who has a strong social media following as this gives them a degree of trust in that person.
Learn more about social media marketing for real estate agencies iin this blog article.
With house prices rising so much in recent years, most Gen Z’ers would have never seen a prolonged fall in property prices.
As such, they may also prepared to borrow more than previous generations. Years ago an 80% LVR was considered normal. With programs in place like the FHLDS (First Home Loan Deposit Scheme) and with other things like guarantor loans, a 95% loan is more common for the Gen Z demographic.
Agents will need to understand that for this group of homebuyers, it has never been more difficult to save for a deposit and house prices have never been so unaffordable. In the years ahead, agents should expect to see higher LVR loans and they need to be prepared to educate their vendors on this new type of home buyer.
It’s no secret that Sydney and Melbourne house prices have risen so much that they are unaffordable for the vast majority of young people today.
Given that’s unlikely to change in the near future, members of Gen Z are being forced to take a different approach when buying properties.
Increasingly, many younger people are looking to buy a property in a vibrant community that is more affordable. That typically means looking to the outer suburbs and regional areas.
Low-cost living outside of big cities is increasingly important to Gen Z members, given many are also very financially savvy and value knowledge about personal finance. While they might be prepared to take on higher LVR loans, they still don’t want to be weighed down by huge debts that they will be forced to repay for the rest of their lives.
In years gone by, a couple would get married, buy a home, raise their children, and live in that home for the rest of their lives.
With house prices now so high and the fact that it may take two incomes to simply get a mortgage, many in the Gen Z demographic are going to need to get creative to buy their family home.
This will likely mean upgrading their way through various sizes of homes over many years. Or taking on creative strategies like rentvesting in a bid to climb the ladder.
Gen Z will need to be far more active in their real estate transactions than any other generation. For sales agents, this is a good thing but will require you to start laying the foundations and building relationships with these people today.
Over the past 18 months, we have observed a sharp reduction in the number of properties listed for sale. Despite this drop, transaction volumes have remained plentiful, suggesting that demand is still quite high. One of the reasons for this combination is that there are a growing number of properties being sold off-market.
A vendor may choose to sell the property off-market for a multitude of reasons, with speed and convenience being the predominant benefits of this type of sale.
A sales agent with an extensive marketing network and great reach has the potential to have success in selling properties off-market. There are numerous ways an agent can do this, and oftentimes a combination of several different approaches proves the most useful.
One of the most effective ways to connect with a potential buyer for an off-market property is via email marketing. Most agents begin the process of compiling lists of prospective buyers as they attend open homes. In many cases, serious buyers will request to be placed on an agent’s active buyers list in an effort to be first informed of properties that are coming to market.
This kind of customer is generally the most likely buyer of an off-market property, as they are already demonstrating a keen interest in looking for properties. If you, as an agent, have a detailed understanding of a buyer’s requirements, you can quickly email prospective buyers about properties that suit their needs as they become available.
A CRM is a great asset to have in cases like this, as you can store information about prospective buyers and their preferences. As properties emerge, you can recall the different preferences of buyers and match them to upcoming properties, before even having to advertise. This can be achieved through either direct email to specific buyers, or by grouping potential customers together and creating a personalised newsletter.
The role of an effective agent is to find potential buyers and facilitate transactions. Successful agents understand that market conditions do not always favour the seller, and in those circumstances, it is on the onus of the agent to do the extra work in order to sell a property.
If an agent has an active buyer that has missed out on similar properties, they are likely to find off-market success by searching for new properties that are similar in nature and providing potential buyers with access. This ideology should extend to the entire agency, not just specific agents. If there are similar listings across the agency, it’s in the best interest of the team to work together and assist the active buyer in finding suitable properties as they emerge. Doing this will help customers build trust in not only the agent, but the agency as a whole.
By contacting a buyer directly, you can develop and build a relationship with them. These relationships become important for future transactions, as well as local reputation.
Another great way to get in touch with buyers directly is through traditional mail. Consider your target market and your customer base. If you have an active list of buyers that you can’t reach easily or in a timely manner, then direct mail could be a great option.
A letter in the mail can often be more likely to be opened by a large percentage of recipients, while an email can sometimes be ignored or incorrectly detected as spam. This is especially true for specific demographics, so understanding your target market and potential buyers is paramount.
SMS is a great way to quickly and easily reach out to potential buyers in an informal way. It can be a great way to introduce yourself, follow up, or gauge the interest of a prospective buyer.
By integrating the use of your CRM, SMS can be automated and save the agent time. However, given the personal nature of SMS, it’s important to keep personal elements to the messages you create.
Use your CRM to create templates that fit the type of customer you will be targeting as well as the message purpose. Be mindful to ensure that you are not over saturating your potential buyers with messaging. Oversaturation can lead to messages feeling less personal and are therefore more likely to be ignored, much like excessive email.
The process of selling off-market properties can be made quicker and more effective with the use of a quality CRM.
A CRM allows you to easily match available properties with potential buyers. By creating knowledge bases for both properties and potential buyers, your CRM can easily identify matches between property features, and the criteria that buyers are searching for. From this point, you can create automated triggers, which let your customers know as soon a property that is right for them becomes available.
A great CRM will also assist in with compiling and sending emails, newsletters, SMS and even print campaigns. The more methods you can utilise to reach potential buyers, the better – as long as the messaging does not become overused. Learn what works for your audience, and continue to do that.
For more information about the best marketing tools for your real estate agency, please watch this on-demand webinar.
Selling properties off market is becoming more and more appealing to vendors due to the costs of listing and advertising properties continuing to rise. Buyers are also becoming more interested in-off market buying opportunities in order to avoid competition.
By building your networks now and putting the right technology in place, you will be able to successfully sell off-market properties and further develop your skillset.
Marketing automation is a powerful tool for agents and agencies, but it can be a deep pool to dive into if you don't know the essentials.
What are the best practices for marketing automation and lead generation? How can you use segmentation and automation to create engaging lead nurturing systems? What should you automate, and what shouldn't you automate?
Join us for this on-demand webinar with our presenters, Daniel Streek, Tech Stack Consultant at PropTech Group and James Ramsay, Customer Success Manager at Eagle and let them take you through the essentials for marketing automation and real estate, including topics like:
A real estate agency website is one of your most important assets as it serves multiple roles for buyers, sellers and agents.
An effective website must be both aesthetically pleasing as well as highly functional with features that integrate with other key tools such as CRMs, listing portals and data tracking.
Here are some must-have features on your agency website.
Arguably the most important thing you need to be doing is consistently promoting and marketing your brand. There’s no more obvious place to have your brand front and centre than on your website. Furthermore, all your social media and outbound communications should be directing traffic to your website, so it’s important to keep your website functional and looking great.
Ensure visitors to your website know that they are visiting your site through inclusion of brand name, logos, brand colours and fonts. Your brand needs to be visible on all pages of the website. It’s important to remember that not all website viewers will go directly to your home page, many will find their way via links shared for content or specific site pages.
When talking about your brand and what it stands for, highlight what you do and how you help people. Why would a vendor choose to work with you? Why would a buyer trust you? Make your achievements visible for all to see.
It’s extremely likely, almost certain that a potential vendor will be visiting your website before they sign up to work with you. Therefore your site need to convey how effective you are at your job, a great way to do this is via testimonials. Knowing that you can deliver on your promises is a vital element in real estate and it’s one that can really drive your business.
From your first day in real estate, and throughout your career, you should always be collecting testimonials, it’s never too soon to start this process. Use those testimonials as content on your site to not only expand your website, but to gain trust from potential clients and stand out from the competition.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to testimonials, in fact, it’s actually great to have some variance. A great testimonials page varies in both testimonial length and content. For example, short testimonials are great for quickly conveying a point, but the addition of longer testimonials helps convey a story and build trust. Ideally your testimonial content will be reinforcement of your branding, really driving home the messaging of what your company offers. However, if this branding is very specific, potential readers may get tired of reading the same thing over and over, so it’s important that testimonials also include benefits which you may not have advertised elsewhere.
Your agency website needs to do key things first of all, which are predominantly highlighting your listings and providing details about your agency. However, the design of the site must also be easy to navigate and functional.
As a website creator, you want to ensure that your website is easy to use and intuitive, so that people viewing your site can easily find what they are looking for. It’s important to have a good balance between text, images, and white space, so that the information is readable and enticing.
We know that real estate is a visual medium, and if your goal is to get someone to imagine they are in their new dream home, high-resolution images are a must. High quality images are also essential because they can assist in building a good reputation of a trustworthy site. If you’re selling luxury properties, then make sure the images and feel of the site convey that.
Another key element of function design is the ability to search quickly and easily. If a buyer can’t easily navigate towards a listing or search for it, they may feel discouraged and give up, and decide to leave your site. This lack of functionality in a site can be costly for you and a vendor.
Utilise many different call-to-actions so that the user can easily perform a simple task, such as downloading a suburb guide or getting in contact with an agent.
Call-to-action buttons and links throughout your website is a great tool to help the user find what they are looking for. These buttons can also act as helpful prompts to encourage the user to navigate to different parts of your site where you may have an offering.
You might not see it as you visit an agency website, but your database is actually the most powerful element of the entire agency in many ways.
Your CRM is your pipeline and it’s vital that you are collecting leads and funnelling them through to your CRM. All the various call-to-actions, need to lead somewhere and have multiple touchpoints to keep any sales process moving forward.
Similarly, you need to be able to track where leads come from and how they are finding their way to contact forms and into your CRM.
Things like newsletters and upcoming listings can often start with a user coming through your website and then entering into some form of sales process, which is normally done with the help of your CRM. The easier all these tools integrate in the backend the easier your life will become and that will free you up to focus on higher-value activities.
Your goal as an agency should be to become a local area expert or a niche-focused agency (such as project marketing).
One way you can do that is through the use of quality content. Things like local area guides and information on recent sales in the area are important for local vendors.
The added benefit of having high-quality content is that you will benefit from some degree of search traffic over time. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to SEO, but it all starts with having relevant content that your audience wants to engage with.
Showing people that you know your area, is far more important than telling them. Quality localised content is also much more likely to be shared across other channels than generic content that is focused on your area or locality.