In the words of Nelly & Kelly Rowland, it is a ‘dilemma’ and one which may well suit one business and not another, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each option:
IN-HOUSE MARKETING SPECIALIST
Having recruited many team members during my estate agency ownership years, I can honestly say that it is a very hit-or-miss practice. The reason is that many people are good at being interviewed, they can answer the right questions in the correct manner, and can look really good on paper.
You just have to think about the tv show ‘The Apprentice” and all of those business plans which end up getting pulled to pieces towards the end of the process. Couple that with the small agency trying to recruit a marketing person, when perhaps it’s the first time for this type of role in the business, and the interviewer could be quite unsure of the correct questions to ask.
Going by the many estate or letting agency owners I know or have spoken to, only a handful have a clue about the marketing mix and how it works. You need to research the job and understand exactly what you want out of your marketing person before you start to recruit. Marketing is a VERY BIG JOB in today’s market because there are just so many elements to consider. Taking a look at a few local agency job ads for ‘marketing staff’ it is clear that the person doing the recruiting is going to be asking the wrong questions. Take a look at this job spec for a Marketing Co-ordinator:
In particular, “write and post to social media” … as though it is that easy!
There are so many different social media platforms, you cannot just say “Facebook” – do you mean Facebook newsfeed, the ad platforms (there are 16 different ones – all with different sizes and requirements), Reels, video, groups, pages, profiles…. And that’s before we even think about Instagram, Google Business, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest…
Even if someone knows how to post on Facebook newsfeed, do they understand Meta – New Page Experience – Business Suite – Creator Studio and all of the ever-changing algorithms? You should know that social media marketing changes so quickly and sometimes beyond recognition, so you will need to factor in training and study time for your new candidate.
If you have been used to Adobe Creative Suite, are you now familiar with Canva – the platform which has really taken over in terms of design and the speed of producing all of the multiple sized graphics now required for each different platform. Have you got a pro-subscription for your business? You will need one, and you probably will still need Adobe for Photoshop and Premier Pro or In design features too. It’s another few grand to add into your marketing budget.
Then you need to consider which platform to use for your scheduling. You will want to know that posts can be scheduled in advance and in bulk, for time purposes, and there are many platforms to chose from, we have recently changed from Hootsuite after they increased their (already hefty prices) by over 300% overnight.
All elements of the marketing mix should be conjoined, and coherent so that you are getting your message out to your target audience, no matter what their preference is.
- Social media platforms
- Paid advertising: Social media / Google
- Influencer marketing
- Website & blog content
- Search engine optimisation
- Newsletters & email marketing
- Portal marketing
- Traditional marketing
- Community marketing
- Analytics / ROI
This is another marketing job ad I have recently seen, which is way better than the one above but clearly to have someone this experienced in all areas is going to cost you a lot more, this is not a junior position!
I would expect to see a minimum salary package of £45k pa for someone qualified and experienced in all of these disciplines, and of course, you will need to provide all of the packages for work to be carried out (probably another £5k pa minimum) and the usual perks for staff, employer NI, pension scheme etc.
Or you can outsource, let’s take a look at that option:
There are many outsourcing options available to you from individual contractors working on a daily rate (I would expect £250 per day minimum) or an hourly rate £40 per hour) – to give you an example I charge £175 per hour for my time, this would give you marketing and property experience (30 years + for both). If you choose a company like ours, Social Angels will give you a choice of different packages, we tend to find that companies start with one part of the mix and quickly upgrade so that we are running everything. Our experience is in marketing, website development, and property. I am a Level 4 examiner for Propertymark and have run my own agencies for many years, I work as a property consultant and happen to have a degree in Marketing and a massive passion for it! I also built my first website for my old agency Sewell & Gardner in 2009 and have continued to build websites, design them and write all of the content, for numerous estate and letting agents since then. My team members are all specialists in marketing, social media, and SEO, we work with almost every platform you can imagine and we study very hard to keep ahead of the constantly changing landscape of marketing and property combined. We also run marketing systems for other small businesses, so it’s not just about property for us these days!
Other outsourced agencies offer ‘template’ packages – and we now do these too. You can read about the difference between bespoke and template marketing packages HERE but the main point is that bespoke means it’s all about you, your brand, your people, and your ethos and you get a dedicated account manager working for you – compare it with a member of staff as we are always here. OR template is ‘lip-service’ to social media marketing – branded and relevant but no account management, just a daily message going out to your audience to keep your brand in the back of their mind. No effort to you, no engagement, just posts appearing every day with no effort on your part. CLICK HERE for NO WAFFLE PACKAGE.
In the property industry, it has always been the ‘benchmark’ to budget 10% of your annual turnover on marketing. That said, there are now so many more avenues to consider, it is likely to be more like 20%. If your agency is turning over £150,000 pa then you should be budgeting £180k pa (£15k pcm) on marketing. If you are still on Rightmove, then that is likely to be about £18k pa, you will have professional photography, a videographer (my agency – which I sold in 2014 – had a full-time photographer/videographer on the books) and then you should have a fantastic website (your online shop window) and your printed marketing material (people still love something tangible to hold) but you are unlikely to be spending £500 per week in the local newspaper any longer, so you should have money to spare for your social media marketing.
Your choice could be that professional in-house marketing expert and all the relevant software and hardware you’ll need – let’s say £70k pa. OR you can outsource the work: if you choose us – you get a lot of bang for your buck – think less than £15k pa all-in. If you really can only afford the lowest outlay you can opt for the template package for under £3k pa, but really you should be doing more than that in 2023.