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Blown2CV

Original Poster:

11,652 posts

90 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
My Dad's had a bit of a rough ride in recent years. He sold out of a moderately successful small business in 2005, and after a couple of years retired but bored, he put a lot of his money into starting an estate agency business just before the credit crunch and subsequent slump. Clearly this didn't go well, and whilst it had as much success as could be expected, he didn't pay himself a wage in 4 years or so. He decided this year to close the premises, make the staff redundant and move to online only. I spoke to him recently, and he said he is giving this one till Xmas (not very long in my view) and if nothing happens by then it's going to be wound up and he may have to try and fine employment to see out the relatively short time to retirement. Basically he is a very good salesman and businessman, and is just a victim of the current economic situation. The customers that he does get think he is great, and always goes the "extra mile". How do I go about giving him a hand in promoting his business other than just emailing people or posting stuff on the internet? I want to help him out. Any helpful advice welcomed.

surveyor

7,812 posts

71 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
I don't think it will work in the traditional sense.

People choose their agents based on who they like (if your in the South East it might be who you dislike the least!), and whose boards they see.

It's going to be difficult I think to get the initial instruction. Sales will happen through Rightmove I guess. Do people still go up and down the high street agents anymore?

It's going to have to be the website - but without a concentration of for sale boards in any one area it's going to be a slog.

AndyBrew

2,747 posts

106 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
A client of mine started something similar a year or so ago and has a shop front in the centre of Kettering to promote it and he is still finding it VERY difficult, his pricing is very competitive I.e. A few hundred quid, it can be more depending on the level of service you require, but even so it's not really taken off frown

I assume as a seller you can put your house for sale on rightmove yourself??

Simpo Two

60,429 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
AndyBrew said:
I assume as a seller you can put your house for sale on rightmove yourself??
It's trade only. But if your father is 'trade', then he can. His advert will have equal status with any other agent there, so that's half the work done.

cerberaperv

430 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Simpo Two said:
AndyBrew said:
I assume as a seller you can put your house for sale on rightmove yourself??
It's trade only. But if your father is 'trade', then he can. His advert will have equal status with any other agent there, so that's half the work done.
Even being `trade` RM is expensive costing the best part of a grand a month!

Stu,
I may have something your dad will be interested in, I`ll PM you.

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aero93

377 posts

123 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
Why is Rightmove trade only? What do they gain (or lose) by not accepting you and me?

cerberaperv

430 posts

102 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
aero93 said:
Why is Rightmove trade only? What do they gain (or lose) by not accepting you and me?
The monopoly of the open market.

Every agent that uses them hates their over priced fees and crap/arrogant customer services, but can`t do without them due them being No1 by miles.

groak

3,254 posts

66 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
aero93 said:
Why is Rightmove trade only? What do they gain (or lose) by not accepting you and me?
Try to see it as being the same as any wholesaler/supplier which doesn't deal directly with the public. It protects their trade clients' interests and is a selling point of using them.

LooneyTunes

3,544 posts

45 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
aero93 said:
Why is Rightmove trade only? What do they gain (or lose) by not accepting you and me?
Ever wondered who owns it?

Simpo Two

60,429 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 1st October 2012 quote quote all
cerberaperv said:
The monopoly of the open market.
Interesting phrase, and most notable in the internet age - freedom for all, David beats Goliath etc - but Google, eBay/Paypal and to a lesser extent Amazon monstered it.

skeggysteve

4,554 posts

104 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Interesting info about RM.

My view as someone who is looking to rent a home (note, not a house a home) about a 100 miles away from I live now is:

Tell the truth.
Take a lot of pictures and don't use that special estate agent lense!
Give a full description.
Do a floor plan.
Mention the bad points - local people can drive by and see the house others can use Google.
If someone emails/phones you about a property get back to them.

In summary do a good job, be honest and you will, in a short time, have more work than you can cope with.

The Moose

11,962 posts

96 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
If you want to get a private property on the big sites, have a look at upad (lettings, that is)

jamescodriver

252 posts

80 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Running as an online only business in Estate Agency is very difficult indeed. Most of the franchises on offer claim that 90% of buyers start online, which is true. Unfortunatly, sellers like to start in an office and go from there.

I helped set up an Estate Agency that was planned to be an online model, but people dont trust an Agent without a visiable office it seems. We set up away from the other Agents and it took some convincing for people to accept us because of that. The business performs well now, but i think if they closed the office it would fail.

Has your dad worked out why the office failed? wrong area? wrong image?

Has he looked at another niche, say short term lets (under 6 months?) holiday lets? that kind of thing may work better on line?

There are a lot of online Estate Agent Franchises, see if there are any near him and how well they are doing perhaps?

JQ

2,448 posts

66 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
The competition is huge and unless you have a massive USP I don't see how it's possible to grab market share. With Sarah Beeny and Tesco struggling to succeed with all the PR they're able to produce, there's not much hope for smaller operators. The only way to then compete is on price and I don't think I'd fancy selling a house for £100.

With regard to the comments about Rightmove - it was created by the 4 largest EA's in the UK to promote their properties nationally, therefore it's not totally unreasonable for them to stop private sellers using the service.

Blown2CV

Original Poster:

11,652 posts

90 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
nail on the head re what buyers want and what sellers want. He is aware of this. I think he has about 10 properties on the books currently, but to make it a decent business proposition needs to be more like 30-40. Has some software that connects out too zoopla and rightmove for publishing etc. I guess the thing is, if you have an attractive proposition, it takes real time to build up due to the long sales cycle for some/most properties, and simply accruing the pipeline. The actually selling is not an issue for him as he is very good at it. Simply an issue of getting sellers on-board.

surveyor

7,812 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Blown2CV said:
nail on the head re what buyers want and what sellers want. He is aware of this. I think he has about 10 properties on the books currently, but to make it a decent business proposition needs to be more like 30-40. Has some software that connects out too zoopla and rightmove for publishing etc. I guess the thing is, if you have an attractive proposition, it takes real time to build up due to the long sales cycle for some/most properties, and simply accruing the pipeline. The actually selling is not an issue for him as he is very good at it. Simply an issue of getting sellers on-board.
He needs boards up. How do you get these? With other boards up. There's no high street presence for people to see so it's old and new mixed I would suggest.

Maybe a 1/4 page ad in local property page - it's expensive, and not really working for the on-line market though and very localised.
Leaflet drop. Probably surprisingly affordable, but even more localised.
Local Radio - expensive
Good well optimised website. - loads of others to compete
Addwords. Expensive in this market I think.
PR - quirky fun ways to attract press interest. Free, but difficult, needs flair
Word of mouth - best option, but takes years in this market.


Frimley111R

5,845 posts

121 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
As said above and evidenced. its very hard to compete if you are small and online without a considerable budget is too challenging.

I'd suggest looking at niches, for example contacting large local companies who may have staff moving in and out of the area. If he is as good as you say then just focussing on him may be better than the impersonal world of the web.

jamescodriver

252 posts

80 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
surveyor said:
Leaflet drop. Probably surprisingly affordable, but even more localised.
This was probably the most effective method we used..

Target a particular postcode where perhaps he has sold a few houses, show them in the leaflet with sold across them so people recognize them, get quotes from buyers and sellers, get a company to deliver them if he can as a single leaflet rather than in with 20 takeaway menus..

Blown2CV

Original Poster:

11,652 posts

90 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
surveyor said:
Blown2CV said:
nail on the head re what buyers want and what sellers want. He is aware of this. I think he has about 10 properties on the books currently, but to make it a decent business proposition needs to be more like 30-40. Has some software that connects out too zoopla and rightmove for publishing etc. I guess the thing is, if you have an attractive proposition, it takes real time to build up due to the long sales cycle for some/most properties, and simply accruing the pipeline. The actually selling is not an issue for him as he is very good at it. Simply an issue of getting sellers on-board.
He needs boards up. How do you get these? With other boards up. There's no high street presence for people to see so it's old and new mixed I would suggest.

Maybe a 1/4 page ad in local property page - it's expensive, and not really working for the on-line market though and very localised.
Leaflet drop. Probably surprisingly affordable, but even more localised.
Local Radio - expensive
Good well optimised website. - loads of others to compete
Addwords. Expensive in this market I think.
PR - quirky fun ways to attract press interest. Free, but difficult, needs flair
Word of mouth - best option, but takes years in this market.
thanks for that, not sure if he has boards. I think he had a full page in a local newspaper recently, possibly even a double page. Radio he used a lot in the previous (successful) business, but i think it is out in terms of budget this time as you say. He says he has had SEO done on the website, but i thought most people searching on the web were buyers anyway? PR sounds interesting!

surveyor

7,812 posts

71 months

[news] 
Tuesday 2nd October 2012 quote quote all
Blown2CV said:
surveyor said:
Blown2CV said:
nail on the head re what buyers want and what sellers want. He is aware of this. I think he has about 10 properties on the books currently, but to make it a decent business proposition needs to be more like 30-40. Has some software that connects out too zoopla and rightmove for publishing etc. I guess the thing is, if you have an attractive proposition, it takes real time to build up due to the long sales cycle for some/most properties, and simply accruing the pipeline. The actually selling is not an issue for him as he is very good at it. Simply an issue of getting sellers on-board.
He needs boards up. How do you get these? With other boards up. There's no high street presence for people to see so it's old and new mixed I would suggest.

Maybe a 1/4 page ad in local property page - it's expensive, and not really working for the on-line market though and very localised.
Leaflet drop. Probably surprisingly affordable, but even more localised.
Local Radio - expensive
Good well optimised website. - loads of others to compete
Addwords. Expensive in this market I think.
PR - quirky fun ways to attract press interest. Free, but difficult, needs flair
Word of mouth - best option, but takes years in this market.
thanks for that, not sure if he has boards. I think he had a full page in a local newspaper recently, possibly even a double page. Radio he used a lot in the previous (successful) business, but i think it is out in terms of budget this time as you say. He says he has had SEO done on the website, but i thought most people searching on the web were buyers anyway? PR sounds interesting!
IMO no advertising (and I mean for the agent rather than the property) works better than boards. A design with a QR code taking you to a page for the property would be interesting, if not a pain to set-up individually.

Long time ago now, but there was an agent in Doncaster who had built up a relationship with the local paper. Every week there was something about the buyers flocking up from London following the electrification of the East Coast line. Was not happening but certainly talked himself and the market up.


Edited by surveyor on Tuesday 2nd October 15:19

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