It was Abraham Lincoln who uttered the immortal words that while you can well fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, you will never fool all of the people all of the time.
These sage words have certainly stood the test of time, having first been voiced some 170 years ago. They hold as much truth today as they did then – and with apologies to President Abe, I’d like to believe a variant applies to today’s real estate sector.
You can tell some of the people who you are all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t tell all of the people who you are all of the time.
Well, you can – and it might come as a shock to those estate agents who have chosen to go down the minimalist path by removing all branding from their windows. They are quick to argue that the oh so splendid and tasteful designer interiors in full view through pristinely clear windows set them apart and make a powerful statement.
That they might do, but surely, in the real estate business, they create confusion?
After all, respected research undertaken by international brand FedEx a few years back to determine the role window signage plays in attracting customers and driving sales, found that when signage is missing from the shopfront, 60 per cent of respondents said they would not enter the business.
That’s six in every 10 people, not interested in you or your product, simply because they do not know what business you are in. You could be selling antique armchairs and Persian carpets, for all they know. Or care.
Getting back to my adaptation of Abraham Lincoln’s quote, don’t ever be so arrogant as to assume you need no signage because “everyone knows who we are and what we do”. Everyone? All the time?
In a world where real estate agents are increasingly selling outside their traditional neighbourhoods and target market areas and the number of strangers to the business rises as an inevitable by-product, so the number of potentially lost sales must be on the up if the research is to be believed.
The good news for the more avant-garde agents is that the solution is not only simple; it very often reinforces the image they are looking to convey and the brand values they are looking to share.
You don’t have to fill every available millimetre of your window with property cards but you WILL enhance your business with one or two large format A1 screens that are big, bright and bold, announce who you are, draw visitors to the window, bring them in or direct them to your website.
At VitrineMedia, our research conducted at sites from Paris via Prague to Perth – and many other destinations in-between – consistently shows that with a few big and bold backlit LED displays in your window, visitations increase by between 20 per cent and 60 per cent.
That’s partly because the screens are up there 24/7, every day of the year, working while you’re sleeping, appealing to prospective buyers while you’re enjoying a little leisure time with family and friends…and the end result is an additional seven or eight percent in sales per annum.
That’s on average about 15 extra property sales each year – and when you consider that the commission on just one sale is a mere percentage of the cost of the display, it’s a miniscule investment for a mammoth return.
If your business is so strong, especially in the Covid and post-Covid world, that you can turn your back on these bonus sales, you clearly have a great business and I sincerely wish you well.
For the rest of you very good operators out there who would welcome additional business, let’s talk!