How does an agency stand out in an ever-more-competitive market? Producing great content. Sowerbys - a nine-branch-strong estate and lettings agency business in Norfolk - has been investing in video to strengthen their brand. What’s the secret? “We go out of our way to not only present beautiful homes, but we also profile businesses in our local community that we know and respect,” says Ed Tyman, Group Operations Manager.
Sowerbys’ slickly produced videos, which are presented by professional hosts, have covered everything from the rise in multigenerational living to the best sausage roll in Norfolk. “If you want to buy a car, you’re probably going to have to choose from between about 10 dealers, if you want to buy a soft drink, you’re going to have to choose from about twenty brands, but if you want to use a letting or estate agent, you have literally hundreds that you could potentially use,” says Tyman.
“As an industry, if we’re being completely honest, it can sometimes seem to consumers who aren’t familiar with it that we’re all the same. I don’t see how you can stand out in modern agency unless you’re really going above and beyond - using professional video, targeted social media, and engaging content. It’s a prerequisite now.”
Producing standout content doesn’t just help Sowerbys reach a new audience, either - it helps the team to nurture their relationships with their existing customers, too. “I think one of the biggest challenges for letting agents is explaining and demonstrating how much value they give their landlords,” says Tyman. “The compliance element is a massive part of lettings now, although I don’t think many landlords understand how much protection they get from a good letting agent. Letting agents need to talk about legislation with their landlords and become that voice of authority when it comes to what can be quite complex changes.”
Content helps Sowerbys to communicate with their landlords on multiple fronts. “We have regular calls with our landlords to say ‘have you heard about X, Y or Z?’ rather than only ever calling them because something’s wrong,” says Tyman. In addition, Sowerbys uses email newsletters, social media, and a quarterly magazine, which is produced in-house and covers the latest developments in the industry and all things Norfolk, to keep the lines of communication open.
“You have to nurture your relationships,” says Tyman. “It’s not rocket science.”