What do you picture when you imagine a solid agency/client relationship? Mutual trust and respect? Partners that are eager and delighted to work together? Or maybe you just picture strategic partnerships that create remarkable real estate marketing results?
Maybe you can guess where we’re going with this: the truth is, all these things are intertwined. A strong agency/client relationship drives results through establishing trust, maintaining excellent communication, and fostering a positive, unique, and interactive work experience. In short, a lot of things go into creating strong relationships between clients and agencies, and a bad relationship almost always means poor results.
If you’re asking yourself how much the relationship between a client and an agency really impacts real estate marketing results, then this is the post for you! We’ll discuss the elements of poor agency/client relationships that can impact your bottom line, and identify a few red flags that will help you assess the health of your agency/client partnerships.
Good Communication Leads To Efficient Spend
Good communication takes time, attention, and effort, but it’s as crucial to building strong agency/client relationships as it is to building…well, any relationship. At the beginning of a relationship, there should be a lot of communication as client and agency get to know each other, set expectations, and make plans. Communication should continue through regular reporting and client input briefs as needed.
When communication is unclear, unprofessional, or infrequent, this can have a major impact on the work clients and agencies do together. Without taking the time up front to establish clear expectations and deliver relevant information for a project, agencies may put in work that is ultimately unproductive and needs to be revised. And without clear and regular reporting on campaign results, mistakes may be repeated and motivation to excel may fall off over time. All this leads to inefficient marketing strategies and results that aren’t worth the time or money either partner is devoting to creating them.
Solid Trust Means Quicker Timelines
Have you ever been part of a review process that seemed to go on forever? Partnerships that suffer from low trust fall prey to this problem all the time. The problem is, when either party isn’t trusted to deliver good work or input efficiently, a lot of checks and balances may be added in the hopes of counteracting this problem. Agencies may schedule additional meetings to explain content that could otherwise have been sent over email, or clients may ask for additional review phases so they can intervene early when something doesn’t wow them. Review is good—in fact, it’s crucial—but too much review and too many changes along the way can not only delay the timeline of a project, it can also result in a poorer end result that lacks cohesion or focus—all because there were too many cooks in the kitchen.
Ideally, each partner in a relationship should be able to rely on the other to bring their own expertise to bear on a project, and do so efficiently. Clients, remember that your marketing partner is the expert when it comes to marketing strategy and design, and give them the space to advise in those departments. Agencies, remember that your clients are the experts on their properties and their audience, and take their input to heart when planning and executing campaigns.
Customized Strategies Create Remarkable Results
In order to achieve results that live up to your goals, it’s crucial to acknowledge that each party has their own strengths and weaknesses—their own styles, structures, and expertise. When you take those things into account and fully understand what your partner needs from you and what they’re poised to offer, you avoid making requests or delivering results that could work for a partner, but doesn’t work for your partner. You also avoid strategies that are merely okay, instead of being the best option.
In a best-case scenario, cookie cutter strategies might be better than no strategy at all. Still, they are unlikely to offer the biggest bang for your buck, or deliver results that make you proud and have dramatic impact. If you want to build a relationship that lives up to its potential, then you have to be in a position to produce well-tailored campaigns together, and that means taking the time to understand each other.
Whether it’s due to poor communication, a lack of trust, a lack of understanding, or something else, a troubled agency/client relationship can have an equally troubling impact on the success of your real estate marketing plan. At this point, you might be asking yourself, “Then how can I build a strong agency/client relationship that avoids these problems?” We’ll be devoting an entire blog post to that in the coming weeks. For now, feel free to chat with a Threshold team member to learn how we treat our agency/client relationships—you might just discover that we’re the right partner for you.