’tis the season to be planning for next year

So, it’s October and there’s plenty of Christmas already in the air – at least in the shops at any rate. People get more irritated every year as the festive period appears to start earlier and earlier and gets right up everyone’s red nose.

Forgetting the season of goodwill and joy to all men, why do you think Christmas decorations appear in shops so early? Or Easter eggs? Or short trousers? It’s called, wait for it… planning. And it’s something estate agents are notoriously bad at. I know; I used to be one. Caught up in the moment of whatever news story is causing the prevailing chaos in the property market – prices are up, too many applicants; prices are down, too many instructions – it’s often extremely hard to take some time out and think about the future.

But the thing is, the future is heading inevitably in your direction. Ain’t no getting away from it, and you’ll be there before you know it. Fortunately, even with the ups, downs, loops and thrills of the property market, you can have some sort of plan for a whole year without spending that much time on it. And the first thing you need to do is get a property copywriter. Just do. Get over wanting to write it yourself, because you just won’t.

But how can you make this magical plan when you’ve no idea what’s coming? Well, you kind of do know what’s coming because, ultimately, it happens every year. In spring people move home, in summer they go away, in autumn they look for a new property, in winter they stay put. It doesn’t appear in the bible, but it’s almost as set in stone as The Ten Commandments (great film by the way; Charlton Heston does a very good Moses).

So, with the assurance of knowing EXACTLY when each season will start every year, and with your marketing material to vendors and landlords only ever about getting more property on (why else would you be writing to them?), you have the beginnings of 4 themes you can use year after year. All you need now is some finely crafted text, arresting imagery, and a printer.

Your message doesn’t have to be overt; covert is just as good. You can choose between specific USPs of your estate agency, general brand awareness, some sort of promotion (fee reductions are icky, so think of something else) or a dose of wit and charm. If you want to be really racy, you could even try a combo.

The point is to be doing something, no matter what. There’s nothing to stop you adding mid-season flyers and publicity to the mix, but having a year’s marketing in place – and knowing it’s gonna happen however busy you get in the meantime – will keep you in front of your competitors and, crucially, in the minds of potential clients.

Not a bad place to be.