The recent recession has hit overseas and international estate agents very hard, with many unable to remain in business, as can easily be seen in places such as Dubai, Spain and Bulgaria. Potential buyers who may have considered purchasing a property are now keeping their money to themselves to protect them against whatever the uncertain future may hold.
However, this is not the whole story. The recession has not hit everyone equally hard, and there are still plenty of people who have been buying property abroad. Those agents who have survived to cater for these have done so through decreasing their expenses, increasing their efficiency and using online marketing to spread their nets wider and so to attract as many as possible of those potential buyers who have become so scarce.
The reward for those who survived was a great decrease in the levels of competition but now, as the first signs of recovery are being seen, people are realising that now is a very good time to start up a business in overseas property. New agents are appearing as they realise that they can take advantage of the current low competition to establish themselves in the markets and online.
To be successful online, a company must establish itself as the main port of call for their particular market, something which can only be achieved over a few years. Thus those agents who survived the challenges of the recession are now best placed to secure the potential buyers considering overseas property: the hard work of securing their online presence has already been done and they are now ready to profit from it.
The importance of the internet
Overseas property buyers will spend much time investigating your company and your competitors online. It is important for them that they know as much about the market they are entering into as possible. After the chaos of the collapse of the property markets, current buyers are much more cautious and better informed than they were previously. They will not commit to anything without having sufficient information, which can all be found on the internet.
Therefore it is essential that they be able to find your company online, and that you are able to provide them with the information that they require. Some of the things they may be looking for include:the prices of other local properties
- amenities available in the area
- how easy the property would be to rent
- local attractions such as golf courses or beaches
- any additional costs or taxes they may be subject to
Through the course of the property bust overseas property agents have gained a rather tarnished reputation. It is important that you are able to regain the trust of your prospective clients. Ask yourself why you would expect someone to trust you with large sums of their own money.
There are several techniques which can be used to build a strong relationship with your clientele. They are effective, easy and free and require nothing more from you than some time and honesty. Some agents use social networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook to develop relationships with their customers and to gain their trust.
Low cost and short term
The costs of setting up an online marketing presence are very low, and the wonderful thing about establishing yourself online is that your work continues to pay for many years. Once you have secured yourself a place at the top of the Google results for key search phrases which are relevant to your market, your website will continue to generate traffic for your business with no futher effort on your part.
A costly search engine optimiser is not necessary to give you this success, it can be done entirely by yourself provided you know what the best ways of going about it are. Once you have put in the hard work to achieve your success it does not take much more to maintain it, and you can enjoy the benefits while waiting for your competitors to catch up. Unlike exhibitions and magazines, the impact of your online campaign will last long after the work is done. However, establishing your online presence so that it answers most queries does take time.