Doing Social Media on a shoestring
AIPP Zoom Conference Series
As part of a series of AIPP webinars to share ‘good practice’ on how members build their property businesses using digital media we asked three AIPP members to share their insights and some ideas via an online presentation. We have asked the same panellists to provide their presentations as a blog article.
In the first of this series of three, Louise Reynolds of European Property agency Property Venture, shares her story of what type of social media and tools she uses for her business.
Business Case Study - Property Venture
When I started my property agency business – Property Venture® – in 2007, to help British buyers purchase homes in Continental Europe, my objectives were to build my profile in the UK and generate potential client leads.
My observations and experiences in the industry had been mainly of ‘pushy’ salespeople selling product. One thing I had learnt from my background in blue chip industry and management consultancy, is the importance of questioning and listening skills, being able to deliver something of value to a client, as a result of knowing what they wanted, rather than pushing what was on the table to sell.
I felt there was a place in the market for someone like me to offer a more consultative service – that is more relatable – rather than focus on product-push. So I set out to differentiate my business on this basis.
Combination of media
One of my starting points was to not use the mainstream Portals. At the time I considered they charge a lot of money for ‘delivering’ a business to a desired target audience alongside competitors. This encourages the process to start with price comparisons, playing one provider off against another. This is fine if all there is to buying a property abroad is the price and the product. But it is so much more than that. It is about knowing whether you are buying a property of ‘value’ not just cheaply, whether the location is good, as well as buying it in the right way so that you – as a buyer – do not end up stuck with an expensive mistake at the end of it all.
The combination of media I used at the outset, to achieve my intent for differentiation, was focused around building my own database and communicating with them regularly. Raising the profile of my website and blog using search engine optimisation and long tail words. I also sought to provide market insights so that I might get asked to provide market commentary by the relevant press and journals. For my social media mix, Twitter featured as a core plank, given this is where lots of journalists hang out.
As a result I got over 75 pieces of coverage in the national and trade press over a 9 year period, including the likes of the Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Evening Standard, A Place in the Sun and helped clients buy off the back of the enquiries I received.
Several years on I still keep some of the core planks of that strategy, but have adapted it as I have honed who my core clients are. I spend slightly less time on Twitter and nurturing journalists and focus more on public speaking, social media, particularly Linked In, Facebook and Instagram, which I find a useful combination in terms of initiating one-on-one conversations with interested buyers, networking and finding supportive collaborators. I like to have a combination of channels, some of which my business owns and controls e.g. blog, website and database as well as 3rd party channels to provide greater reach, at different stages of the buying process, but where I have less control e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
My business model isn’t for everyone, it focuses on quality, not quantity. I prefer to have quality conversations which lead to helping genuine buyers rather than lots of high-volume, semi-interested enquiries.
I want to help save time for entrepreneurs and expats and provide some peace of mind as they seek that home abroad or build up a retirement pot with property.
All contents Copyright © 2020 Louise Reynolds
Author: Louise Reynolds runs the European property agency Property Venture® and is an advisory Board Member of the AIPP. She helps time-strapped entrepreneurs and expats who don’t have the time, local presence or gaps in their know-how to buy property in Europe in the right way. Louise is a marketer by background – a chartered marketer and a Fellow of the CIM – as well as an experienced marketer in practice.
She provides her clients with regular updates on hot deals and the latest changes in the property market. Want these? Go here
She can be contacted in the following ways: