How to maximise your property marketing efforts during an economic downturn

When the economy takes a dip, marketing budgets are often one of the first expenses to be cut. But history has shown us countless times that a recession can actually offer great opportunities for business growth, even for industries that may not be thriving. The property sector may have its challenges during an economic downturn, with people less likely to move due to the costs attached, but there are still opportunities available to agencies and property professionals if you know where to look for them. 

Recessions have a major impact on the property market, because when the economy isn’t thriving, fewer people have the money to buy homes and will be looking to spend as little as possible if they do need to move. The higher supply than demand means properties can linger on the market for much longer than they usually would, leaving sellers having to drop the price to encourage a sale. As any property professional will know, the market tends to stagnate, so finding new ways to reinvigorate interest in a property is essential to spur on economic activity. 

Strengthen relationships with existing clients

With fewer opportunities to build your network of clients, now is a great time to develop and strengthen the relationships you have with existing clients. This helps to build trust and rapport, but it also sets your agency up for repeat business and could encourage them to recommend you to their friends, family and colleagues in the future. 

During a time of uncertainty, having a business reach out and ask what they can do to support clients goes a long way and provides value to your customers. Focus on delivering exceptional communication, sharing useful data and market information, make introductions to third parties that may be able to help them or use personalised content marketing to nurture relationships. 

Optimise your website

When the enquiries slow down, take that time to optimise your company website and encourage people to find your estate agency online more easily. It’s the perfect platform for communicating with your customers, letting clients know what your business is about and sharing information about how you can help them, as well as listing properties. 

For property agents, local SEO is integral to success, so it’s vital that your business and the properties you’re selling are showing up in front of the right people, which means you need a well executed SEO strategy in place. Use this downtime to develop useful resources for your site that can be optimised with keywords and search terms relevant to your area, implement new features to make the user journey as smooth as possible and make it as easy and enjoyable as possible for someone to find their dream property on your website. From when they search in Google through to when they get in touch with your team, your site should capture the right audience and convert them efficiently. So, look at ways you can optimise your website for the right search terms to achieve that. 

Market current listings more aggressively

If you have listings on the market when the economy takes a turn, your team (and your clients) will be keen to have those properties sold as quickly as possible before buyers decide to wait it out. It’s important to price homes with this in mind, without it having a negative impact on sellers, so be upfront with clients about the potential consequences of a recession on their ability to sell and ramp up your marketing efforts to bring in interested parties. 

This might mean open house events, printed mailers, increasing social postings or buyer incentives. Pricing strategies also need to be reevaluated to strike the right balance between selling a home quickly and getting as much as you can for the seller, without risking it sitting on the site for months at a time. 

Adapt to current trends

The property market rarely shifts all at once and never in the same direction, which means that even in a downturn, there are opportunities to exploit and take advantage of. If the market is quiet, do your research into where there are pockets of activity so you can change gear and try something new. Look outside your usual scope and typical price ranges to see where people in your local area are still buying and selling.

For example, perhaps you typically specialise in luxury accommodation but commercial property is still of interest to buyers, or maybe you can focus on rentals instead of sales. Or maybe your leads come from an unlikely source that you wouldn’t have previously considered. In tough economic times, think of the ways you can help those who have been hit hardest and find opportunities to turn a challenge into an opportunity by shifting your business’ focus to where people need assistance most. Once you’ve determined what your focus will be, you can then create content and resources to target this new niche. 

Use video to show value

Video marketing has grown exponentially in recent years, and for property professionals, it offers an incredible opportunity. As buyers look to maximise their spending power, video content can help to reassure them that they’re making the right decision working with you. 

From video tours and testimonials to dynamic images and updates about the property market from members of the team to help people stay informed, video can be used in a variety of ways in the property industry. It helps to show your expertise, provides value to interested buyers and sellers, and can enhance other areas of your marketing strategy, such as email campaigns and social media. 

Keep marketing, whatever the economic climate

A good marketing strategy is always going to be valuable to your business, and it shouldn’t be neglected just because the economy is struggling. When a recession hits, people weigh up their spending with far more scrutiny, so property professionals need to be clear on what they offer to a potential client and how they can add support and value, whether that’s changing the target market or services offered, optimising your website to appeal to local audiences or making sure that existing clients feel heard and understood.

Written by Agency Express guest writer Annie Button