Purchasing or Selling a Property? Beware of Referral Arrangements

“There’s no such thing as a free lunch”

These days there are increasing arrangements between estate agents and the legal profession. But, there really is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to selling and buying property.

There are dangers with this type of referral arrangement which are not beneficial to the public:

1.  The job of the Lawyer is to protect the interests of their clients and observe client confidentiality. With referral arrangements, one has to be careful that protocol is not disregarded to secure another introduction from the agent.

2.  Take care when signing agency agreements as there is the risk they may contain small print whereby if you do not use the agents recommended Lawyer, that an amount of money is taken off the offer you get for the property you are selling. This happens because the agents lose out on referral fees.  Remember you own the product being sold not the estate agent.

3.  Lawyers fees are competitive therefore when a fee is paid to the estate agent for the referral the work could be carried out by unqualified personnel or within a team meaning the file gets passed around.

4.  Work can be sent to large organisations some of which are not local and there is no element of personal service.  Furthermore,  you do not build up a relationship with your Lawyer and may not ever meet them. Most people prefer to establish a working relationship with their lawyer for the future years to come.

5. You can end up paying much more for the work as the referral fee to the estate agent has to be built in somewhere. Therefore, small print can include  lots of add-ons in addition to the basic fee e.g. further charges for dealing with the mortgage work (which is all part of the purchase process),  further fees for dealing with mortgage redemptions (which is part of a sale process), very enhanced bank charges, file opening fees etc.

Renata Thornber – Renata Steggles Ltd. Licensed Conveyancer

50 Unthank Road Norwich NR2 2RF

Tel 01603 616760

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Purchasing or Selling a Property? Beware of Referral Arrangements

6 steps to creating a super powerful direct mail campaign

Despite the growth of online marketing and social media, direct mail campaigns are still a vital part of the content marketing mix. Particularly for local bricks and mortar businesses with an audience limited to a certain geographical area.

In fact, for some of my locally based clients I’ve found a simple leaflet campaign to be several more times effective than online marketing or advertising.

From raising awareness with potential new customers to informing your regular clientele of new products and services or advertising an exclusive discount or special offer, a direct mail campaign offers one-to-one contact with potential customers and – done right – can result in some pretty impressive conversion rates.

Here’s how to get it right.

  1. Plan at least a few weeks ahead

When it comes to creating and running direct mail, it pays to plan ahead. The further the better!

The needs and wants of your customers vary throughout the year and you’ll achieve a better response rate if you connect with their immediate requirements. Planning also gives you more time to create the look and feel of your campaign with your design and content team.

For example, if you’re a beauty business, there’s not much point in offering a spray tan discount in the middle of winter. But a skin rejuvenating facial or a January pamper and products discount might be much better received.

Theme your campaigns with the seasonal needs of your customers, offering a discount on your most relevant services.

  1. Keep it super simple

If you’re mailing out a postcard or flyer, then your creative space will be limited. Less is definitely more for a direct mail campaign; in fact, trying to oversell a product can often have the opposite effect.

Your mailing should communicate what is necessary to compel the customer to buy, nothing more. A great headline, a brief explanation of your news, services or offer, a client quote to boost credibility and contact details are usually all you need.

  1. Consider your branding

Online or off, your brand should always be at the centre of your communications. A direct mail campaign should be eye-catching – it needs to stand out in a crowded post box – but the design should always reflect your wider brand strategy.

  1. Include a sample

People LOVE free stuff! Selling products over the Internet can be challenging as consumers are often unable to touch and feel the product before buying. A direct mail campaign provides you with the opportunity to get your product right into the customer’s hands. Include a small sample with your campaign so the customer can try before they buy.

  1. Think green – because your customers might!

Many consumers are now conscious of environmental issues. Most people recycle and they expect companies they do business with to take a responsible view on how their day-to-day business affects the world around them. Developing an eye-catching flyer that is also environmentally friendly could boost your campaign conversion rate.

  1. Consider your direct mail campaign an investment

When it comes to content creation there’s a lot you can DIY these days. Canva and PicMonkey allow entrepreneurs to create their own flyers, posters and rack cards for free or at minimal cost and provide a PDF download option that can then be passed onto a printer. Investing in a good quality print service will appeal to consumers’ belief that they are buying something of value.

Remember, your campaign represents your brand and business, so if the perceived value is low based on how the communication looks, consumers are unlikely to make a purchase. If you need help, bring in the experts. A professional designer or copywriter may require an initial outlay, but you’ve got a much better chance of making your money back (and then some) with a first-class campaign.

Kerry Brind

About the author:

Kerry Brind is a Content Marketing Coach and SEO Stylist. Founder of Write to Win Business, she works with fabulous female entrepreneurs, teaching them how to attract, compel and convert more clients with amazing content and SEO. A frequent HBB speaker, Kerry can be found dispensing daily content advice on social media.

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6 steps to creating a super powerful direct mail campaign