For estate agents, great window displays are a core marketing channel, and giving it the attention that it deserves can reap significant benefits.
With the huge growth in online shopping, you might imagine that our town centres would be desolate places with tumbleweed rolling across the empty pavements. However, any visit to your nearby shopping centre, no matter what day of the week it is, involves fighting your way through hordes of people shopping, eating, drinking lattes, gossiping and browsing store fronts.
Those store fronts include estate agent displays, which is why the window continues to be a key strategic marketing tool, even in the digital age. It appears that fewer people work in town centres, so they’ve now become leisure hubs, with people visiting when they aren’t in a hurry and have time to look at an agent’s properties if the window draws them in with an attractive display.
Engagement and Interaction
This is the point at which many people looking at properties think, “Hang on, that house is in the road next to me. I wonder if mine’s worth that much.” The logical thing to do is to pop in and ask. Just like that, you have engagement with a potential client.
When people are in this “leisure mode”, they are more likely to want to interact with real people rather than simply browse alone online. The interaction becomes part of the experience, to be discussed over lunch or with friends they bump into.
Interaction and engagement are key aspects of a marketing strategy, along with digital presence.
Estate agency remains a people-driven, physical business. People may browse online, but if they’re serious about moving, the first thing they want to do is to talk to someone. They won’t yet have chosen an estate agent, but they’ll have passed your office probably hundreds of times as it’s part of the townscape.
Use your Window to differentiate your Business
It is hard to distinguish one business from another online. The pictures on Rightmove all look the same, and with more and more people using mobiles, the person browsing only gets the roughest idea of what the property looks like. It’s very hard for an agent to get a property looking much better than anything the competition is offering online. That’s why it’s so vital to take the opportunity offered by your office window and blast your competitors with a display that makes theirs look tatty and old-fashioned. There’s no online equivalent to this.
In the physical world, your premises and your window in particular will be imprinted on the minds of potential clients. If the impression is of a high-quality, modern display with properties looking great, buyers will be more attracted to the display, and potential sellers will immediately think, “I’d like my house to look like that.”
Make Decent Display Lighting Part of your Strategy
A remarkable number of agents go to the expense of getting a photographer out to take a great set of images, then display them in a dismal half-light that can’t cut through the gloom of a rainy afternoon. A new display featuring LED lighting rigs that are specially created for estate agents is going to require a financial investment. However, it will reap rewards, and the great thing about window displays is that they are there 24/7, so there’s no question of underutilising your investment once you’ve made it.
Suspended light panels with either A4 or A3 images make the plainest three-bed terraced look wonderful, even on a gloomy day or at night. For premium clients, it gives their house the wow factor they’re looking for.
Once you have a great display window, you can photograph and use that image in your local press classifieds to drive home the message that yours is a modern, image-conscious business that will make the buyer’s property look great.
If you’ve neglected your window while you concentrated on getting your digital offering right, now is the time to revisit it. The successful agency of the future is going to be an “omnichannel” business, and one of the most important of those channels will continue to be the window.