With year end on the horizon, smart Estate Agents across the United Kingdom are already gearing up for business in 2024 – fine tuning business plans, setting budgets and creating tactical marketing plans. A marketing strategy and plan are two of the most important business tools in any company’s arsenal. Through having a plan, all associated staff have absolute clarity as to where the business is going, its growth targets, and how they will contribute.

· A marketing strategy should outline how the business is positioned, who its target audiences are, what its core mission, vision and values are and how these inform the marketing messaging. A strategy should also include the overriding objectives of what the marketing activity needs to deliver.

· The marketing plan is the blueprint of how the marketing strategy is going to be implemented. It is more tactical in its nature.

It takes specialised knowledge and consistent attention for an Estate Agent to strategise and implement marketing activities that will increase brand awareness, reach targeted buyers and create regular, meaningful engagement with people on their database. Happily, estate agents don’t have to handle daily marketing tasks if they have the help of a suitably experienced Virtual Assistant. They can hand over social media management, graphic design, content writing, video editing and email marketing to their VA.

Here are 5 ways your marketing savvy VA can help you grow your business.

1. Overseeing refreshing your branding

Your brand represents the heart of your business and what sets you apart from your competitors. Strong, successful brands have a defined purpose, a set of defined values and a mission that all speak to employees and customers who share them. Fundamental questions to answer in the context of consciously building your brand can include:

· Why are we in business?

· How is our brand different?

· Why would people care about our brand?

When it comes to marketing, it is important to develop a clear and consistent brand image that reflects the company’s values and the services. This includes the company logo and colour palette and can be consistently rolled out across all customer touch points and marketing messaging – both visual and written.

2. Managing digital marketing tools

In the digital era, people rely on search engines to solve their problems, including where to find property for sale. However, the customer buying journey (incorporating the three phases of awareness, consideration, and decision) has become increasingly more complex. For Estate Agents to be successful in reaching targeted prospects, based on their online browsing and buying behaviour, it is essential to employ up-to-date digital marketing tools to focus and streamline the planning, managing and measuring of multi-channel marketing campaigns.

3. Implementing a multi-channel marketing strategy

Multi-channel marketing is an integrated marketing strategy that aims to engage with customers via their preferred medium or channel. It balances efforts to connect and build a relationship with prospective clients using various platforms, both online and offline. A multi-channel marketing strategy has these benefits:

· Reaching more customers: Reach can be expanded by using multiple channels, making it possible to connect with more people in different geographic areas or with different demographics.

· Boosting engagement: A multi-channel marketing campaign will reach suitably targeted customers via their preferred channels where they are more likely to engage with your content.

· Streamlining the customer journey: A multi-channel marketing campaign allows for more touch points along the customer journey. This results in being able to better guide them through a sales funnel and toward a desired action.

4. Managing automated CRM systems

To be competitive, efficiency is vital when it comes to speed to lead. The introduction of automated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems has revolutionised the follow up of leads in the property industry, offering Estate Agents more opportunity to maintain meaningful marketing touch points with existing and potential customers. CRM automation:

· captures, tracks and nurtures leads efficiently,

· empowers businesses to deliver personalised communication at scale,

· provides comprehensive customer insights by automating data collection and analysis.

5. Keeping up to date with emerging technology

Generative AI (GenAI) is the next step in the evolution of artificial intelligence. GenAI can create new content based on data it has been trained on, giving users the capability to perform a variety of tasks very rapidly. Here are some of the most common potential uses of AI marketing tools in real estate.

· AI tools can use data gleaned from customer profiles to learn how to best communicate with each of them in a tailored fashion.

· AI can generate personalised property recommendations as per a prospect’s preferences.

· AI-powered chatbots can help enhance customer support.

· Generative AI in estate agencies can help create a wide variety of product listings and other content.

· AI enhanced software can organise data, including analysing customer behavior, to plot future market trends.

A marketing plan is one of the most important business tools for any company to utilise. It schedules all channels and costs, assigning specific actions and deadlines. It serves as a guide for team members to follow and allows business owners and leaders to check in on progress to ensure the company is on track to reach goals. It keeps a clear record of what has been done and is a means to monitor successes and activities that didn’t work well. It allows for post campaign analysis to measure activity against return on investment and plan effective forward planning.