Last month, the team here at Kinsella Estates was nominated for the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 and we were delighted to be shortlisted! In fact, we are the first estate agency in Ireland to ever make the shortlist so huge thanks to the awards sponsors, organsers and everyone who voted. We see this as a signal of interest in property news locally and in the market generally so we are happy to share the information.
Shortly after this, we were asked by Irish Property Developer Magazine to give a behind the scenes look at how we market properties for clients in the digital era. You can read the interview here and feel free to let us know what you think:
Estate Agents: Behind the Scenes
This month Irish Property Developer met with Wicklow and Wexford-based estate agent, Michael Kinsella. Michael continues building the legacy auctioneering practice that his father founded almost five decades ago, together with family members and a team of staff from offices in Gorey and Carnew.
- Are the traditional marketing methods e. for sale boards, newspaper advertising etc still relevant when marketing property for sale in today’s market ?
I am proud to say that our family has been serving the local community for over 50 years. Through that 50 years, we have witnessed a big change in the property business in general, and even our own business model. In the early days, for sale boards were the main marketing tool available. We would produce a property brochure in the office, containing the basic information about the property etc. In those days there was no such thing as BER rating’s etc and the information in the brochure was very basic. Buyers would also see properties listed in the window of the office on the main street. We would also place adverts for auctions and houses for sale in the local newspaper, which cost a lot of money back then and took a lot of time and effort.
While there is a perception that buyers only find properties online through property portal websites like Daft.ie or MyHome.ie, the truth is that the traditional ‘For Sale’ are still very effective as a selling tool. These boards have not changed much at all over the years. They are made of corrie-boards and wood. From an agent perspective, they are cost efficient and more importantly, very effective. In addition to attracting attention to the property for sale, they also help us maintain and promote our brand locally. We still use newspaper advertising but definitely not as much as in past times. Property for sale through auction will always be featured in local, and sometimes national, newspapers. We do run regular property adverts in the local paper for certain properties, many times this translates into some editorial coverage of the property in the local newspaper property features.
- How has digital/on-line marketing impacted on the company’s marketing communications strategy ?
We list all properties for sale on Myhome.ie and Daft.ie, and both have had a huge impact on our marketing strategy. While we are based in the South East, we get a huge amount of enquiries through the internet from people living in Dublin and Kildare etc. These sites give our company great reach to a much wider target audience. We have recently launched our brand new website; a huge amount of resources went into doing this well because, as local estate agency, we understand the importance of showcasing our clients’ properties and attracting buyers from outside of our locality. I studied property marketing as part of my Auctioneering Degree and I recognize how critical it is to not only have a website, but that it must be optimized for mobile use. I believe that we have to use the technology available to us, to continually improve our business. Standing still is not an option for any property business today. The marketing focus within the company continues to grow, whereas years ago marketing was just one of many functions that was carried out.
- Does the company have a mobile marketing strategy ? If so, why
is this important?
We do have a mobile marketing strategy. In fact, we have just launched our new website, which has been optimized for mobile usage as we recognise the growing trends away from PC and desktop use towards mobile. The web design company that built the website, 4PM (www.4pm.ie ), also use the latest search engine optimization tools available to ensure that we are always placed high up the search rankings. We have a number of features that we hope to roll out over the coming months, which I don’t want to reveal now, but these features will provide us with a website that will be right up to date in terms of the latest features available. It is important also that our clients know that we have beenhere for 50 years and hope to be here for another 50 years, and the only way we will do that is by continuing to office first-class service to our clients.
- (a)Which of the following on-line/mobile marketing tools does the company use ?
Mobile optimized website Yes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Yes E mail marketing Occasionally Property portals Yes SMS Only with existing clients & buyers QR codes No Mobile Apps Yes YouTube video platform Yes Yes; Profile & Page Social media Yes Yes
We have a website optimized for mobile devices. We also use search engine optimization. We use the property portals. We use social media and e mail marketing. Our Social Media strategy really started to pay off last year, when we launched a blog on our website. All posts are circulated across our social media platforms. This boosted our likes/followers and fans; more importantly, increased engagement gave us the opportunity to showcase our expertise across the Wicklow and Wexford markets.
In fact, Kinsella Estates were the only Estate Agency in Ireland to be shortlisted for an award in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016. We were delighted to be shortlisted in the ultra-competitive ‘Lifestyle’ category.
(b) Any other ?
We do try all platforms to test and measure what works best, for us that’s the blog and our Facebook page but we are always interested in learning more!
- What are the most important marketing tools from the list above ? Why ?
The property portals are the most important, as I explained earlier. They provide a single market place, where we can list properties cost effectively. We know from experience how successful these sites are at delivering leads and enquiries.
Our website is also an important marketing tool, it also attracts a lot of visitors. It is part of our marketing strategy that it is updated daily, and that content is kept fresh. Research has shown that visitors to a site get frustrated when a site is not updated etc. While this takes time, effort and discipline it has to be done.
- What has been the biggest benefit that the on-line/digital/mobile technologies have brought to marketing residential property for sale ?
The quality of the information that we can present on a property. We can have beautiful digital photography, property videos can now also be uploaded. Brochures can be down loaded from the internet also. Our focus is definitely on video footage at the moment, for both the website and for our social media content.
- How has digital/on-line marketing impacted on relationship with vendors and customers ?
We put a huge amount of resources into marketing Kinsella Estates and marketing the properties we sell. A professional website puts us on an elevated platform with our clients and customers. It showcases our expertise, which gives our company a competitive edge in a very competitive market. Using social media allows us to reach a wider target audience and provides an opportunity to communicate with our customers. Our clients and customers are more knowledgeable nowadays, and they have a higher expectation of the service they want. We strive to meet and surpass their needs, and we are always keen to embrace marketing methods, customer relationship managements tools that enable us to deliver better service to our customers. We are committed to keeping up with technology and property trends; what’s good for our clients is good for the market.