I did a quick search on Google the other day- I typed Letting Agents Coventry. I tried counting the number of letting agent websites but I stopped at around 40. Yes, 40+ Letting Agents website, all fighting for the same goal-attracting landlords to their agency and hopefully get some business from them.
But, for some of them, I’m wondering if attracting landlords is even the goal. Maybe letting agents are using their web presence only to boast about how many properties under management they have or what accolades they’ve won over the years. All of which is not a bad thing per se, but does it really help a prospective landlords in deciding what agency they’re going to choose by providing clear benefits?
I’m not so sure.
I get it, the letting industry has always been relationships driven. Landlords, who for most of them are well over their 50’s, are from the old school, where face to face contacts and real world networking still reign supreme.
In fact, luring landlords away from their agents is notoriously difficult. As long as their properties are rented, landlord are willing to put up with mediocre service, and would rather stick with their letting agent than spend their energy fishing for alternatives.
And, perhaps, that’s what has prevented the letting industry to embrace and take advantage of the latest marketing trends as quickly as other industries.
After scrolling through more than 40 websites, here’s what I found:
Letting Agent Websites don’t have compelling headlines
Let’s take the example of the website that appeared first on the search result page:
On the very first page, here are the messages displayed on 4 different images of their slider:
- Property Sales and Lettings in Coventry
- Contact us for a free valuation of your property
- Full management service
- Houses and Flats To Rent and for sale in Coventry
While these statements provide basic information on the services they offer, and are certainly good for SEO (they’re not on the first page by sheer luck), they don’t do a good enough job at communicating the letting agents’ unique selling proposition.
But wait, what is a unique selling proposition?
Put simply, a unique selling proposition (USP) is a unique selling point or slogan that differentiate a product or service from its competitor. This could be something like “the lowest cost” “the highest quality” or “the number one”. You get the idea.
Now, does any of this letting agent website message convey a unique selling proposition in it?
You’d be the judge, but I bet you think they don’t.
So, while they surely get a fair share of organic traffic on their website (33% on average), they might not turn those visitors into paying customers as much as they would like to.
This is because property owners won’t see what’s in it for them at a glance. And, as a result, they’ll be tempted to look elsewhere.
Here’s a letting agency website that does a good job at presenting their unique selling proposition:
This letting agency makes it clear that their one and only purpose is to cater for their landlord’s needs, without anything else vying for their attention. That is a great pull.
Letting Agents don’t back up their claims
Here’s a statement taken from a blog post on Digital Marketing:
“Another useful landing page content strategy tip is to get specific about facts and figures. The more you generalize, the more shady you look. In contrast, when you cite specific numbers and percentages, your landing page copy is immediately more trustworthy and believable. This backs up your claim that your product or service helps your visitors.”
Let me illustrate my point by giving you an hypothetical scenario:
A landlord has decided to look for another letting agent because their current one has not managed to secure tenants for their property, and the service they’ve received has been poor.
Chances are, they’ll start by making a search on Google.
It’s also fair assume that they’ll be looking for a letting agency that can not only find them tenants but will provide a 5-star service throughout.
This being said, what message do you think will make the biggest impact in their mind and compel them to pick up the phone and contact an agent?
Seeing that they offer full management service to your landlords?
Huh, Who doesn’t?
What they likely want to see is how you can help them, how you can turn their current situation around by providing them with an adequate solution.
That’s why backing up your claim is really important and can go a long way in convincing landlords to do business with you.
For example, you could add specific performance indicators on your website such the average number of days before you manage to rent a property, or your successful rent collection percentage.
Note: benchmarking your numbers against the industry average will have more impact on your prospective visitors. For example, saying that you rent a property in 15 days on average compared to a market average of 28 days is a powerful statement.
Additionally, you could display the positive feedback received from your current landlords to show that, by doing business with you, prospective landlords will receive excellent customer service.
At BCSH, we do a pretty good job at showing why landlords will be better off doing business with us.
Our rent successful rent collection percentage speaks for ourselves:
A dedicated Accounts Team with an enviable record of only 0.47% uncollected rent is remarkable, and will most likely convinced potential landlords to contact us to find out more.
Here’s another example of a letting agency website using landlords testimonials (as opposed to tenant’s one) well:
Their dedicated landlords testimonial page goes a long way in providing the social proof potential customers rely on to make their decision.
Letting Agents are not specific enough in their service description.
Too many letting agency websites do a poor job in describing their services. Prospective landlords want to know what you can do for them, but how you’re going to do it is just as important.
Take this service description for a fully managed service property for example:
Many landlords don’t want to be dealing with the day to day management of their rental property. Our fully managed service takes away the hassle of renting a property. Included in this service we collect the rent, inspect properties every 3 months minimum and deal with all property maintenance.
Now, compare it to this copy (taken from our website):
Our Fully Managed Service will include marketing, accompanied viewings, all paperwork, tenancy agreements, right-to-rent checks, guarantors (where available) and an inventory can be carried out for an additional fee. Once the students have moved in we will collect the rent and pay you the net balance after our fees and any other costs have been deducted.
We have a dedicated Accounts Team who have a robust rent collection process in place with an enviable record for 2017/18 of only 0.47% uncollected rent. Which, when compared to the national average for the letting industry, is remarkably good. All maintenance queries are promptly dealt with and tenaciously followed through. We use local qualified and competitive contractors, however we are happy to work with your own preferred contractors if you wish.
- Which one do you trust more?
- Which one is easier to understand?
- Which one feels more like an expert?
The latter. It’s specific, procedural, and free of jargon.
The former is vague, generic, and cliche.
Generally speaking, a more specific statement will have more chances of convincing a landlord to contact you than a generic one, which lacks clarity and convincing power.
Wrapping it Up:
Unlike other industries, the letting industry is still lagging behind in terms of digital marketing strategy. One of the reasons is that, historically, most multi-property owners were in their 50’ or more, and prioritised in-person, long term relationships over everything else.
But landlords’ behaviours have started to changed, and letting agents have to adapt to new ways of conducting business, especially from their websites.
Taking advantage of the tested and proven digital marketing strategies can go a long way in standing out from the competition and growing your business as a result.