Marketing funnels,foreign buyers and agent collaboration
Last week we exchanged contracts on the sub Penthouse at The Residences at Corinthia Hotel London. The buyer saw the best of what was on offer in Prime Central London (from St John’s Wood to Chelsea and everything in between), before settling on Whitehall. Thankfully, they proved more adept in the art of doing a deal than their new neighbour at 10 Downing Street!
Whilst there aren’t that many £10m + deals happening in London right now and that’s newsworthy in itself, the interesting theme for us here didn’t focus as much on the transaction itself, but rather the process. As agents we have become reliant on the property portals for our enquires as it’s the fastest way to attract buyers who are already halfway down the ‘marketing funnel’. By the time they’re on Rightmove or Zoopla, they’ve normally decided where they want to live and how much they want to spend, and are more often than not what we might consider a ‘qualified’ buyer.
However, if you’re not familiar with the UK residential property market, then the likelihood is that you’re starting your property search in the same that 90% of internet searches start, on Google. Remember ‘Ask Jeeves’? No, us neither. However it’s not just Google. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn are all extremely useful when it comes to content based marketing, and it has a clear advantage over the property aggregator websites – you’re capturing people early, hopefully before they’re even buyers. You’ve piqued their interest, and with the right messages on the right platforms delivered in a consistent way, you will hopefully keep them engaged long enough to coincide with their buying or renting cycles. Or if not, maybe they’ll recommend you to a friend, family member or business associate because they see you, or your company as the leading authority on whatever market you’re aiming for.
The buyers in this instance were from Hong Kong, and making their first foray in to the London property market. As we wrote about recently, they joined other international buyers who are currently long on London if a little short on cycle. Taking advantage of both the currency play available to Dollar based buyers and general market conditions, they feel that they’ve bought well. Despite the continued debacle surrounding Brexit, London is still a safe haven for many based on an established legal system, great schools and world class amenities.
The other positive takeaway from this has been agent collaboration. In a tough market vendors are prepared to pay meaningful fees, and other agents are prepared to collaborate in ways which they’ve often been reluctant to in the past, and perhaps this is also a nod to the future. www.lonres.com has made great strides in providing a relatively open source way for the agent community to see which agents are listing what properties, and provided the opportunity for greater transparency on fees.
The net result of this has been a great deal for the buyer, the vendor and the agents involved.