Estate Agents: are you making the most of the stamp duty holiday?

Introduced last July, the stamp duty holiday brought a burst of activity to the property market and is a unique opportunity for buyers to save up to £15,000. This provides property specialists with a big opportunity to acquire new clients. But are you making the most of that opportunity? Do your potential clients know about the savings to be made? If not, you should be the one to tell them…

How does it work?

Stamp duty is the tax paid by property buyers which in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, was put on hold to try and encourage people to continue to move during lockdown. Property buyers do not have to pay stamp duty on the purchase of any property costing up to £500,000.

In March, the Chancellor announced an extension to the stamp duty holiday which has been widely praised across the UK for helping individuals get onto the property ladder.

The Chancellor also stated that there would be a phased approach back to pre-pandemic tax rates in order to smooth over the transition. The nil rate for paying stamp duty will be £250,000 until 30th September 2021 and by 1st October 2021, the stamp duty threshold will return to its usual £125,000.

Why was it extended?

A group of industry leaders and estate agents penned a letter to Rishi Sunak at the end of last year. They outlined their concern that the property industry does not have the capacity to deal with the surge in demand to complete transactions by the set deadline.

The extension of the stamp duty holiday is a huge incentive for people to purchase their first property or move to another one. However, there are some individuals that won’t know what stamp duty is, or how much money they can save by not paying for it.

How can I educate potential customers?

Education is key when it comes to consumers; the more people that understand what stamp duty is, the more people will want to take advantage of the holiday.

First things first, Audience Profiling

By profiling your existing database, or by understanding and targeting your ‘perfect’ customer you  gain a full understanding of your business from your very first customer, right up until today. Profiling your database for tangible insights will help to inform your marketing across all channels. With the Stamp Duty Holiday specifically, you can identify who can benefit most from the savings available.

Alternatively,  given the predicted shortfall in housing ‘stock’, you can specifically target houses and house values that would be perfect for your portfolio.

Direct Mail Campaigns

An effective direct mail campaign can drive response in a way no other channel can, but it is imperative to apply your database insights to have a successful response rate and ROI, whilst minimising costs.

You can create dynamic wording and imagery based on the different segments you want to target – include street names, geographic specific imagery and much more.

We’d also recommend incorporating QR codes into your direct mail campaign so consumers can easily access your digital content.  By using QR codes in your campaign, you can take your audience to specific service pages. You will also be able to track each individual QR code giving you real-time data on your audience from your first touch point with themas well as benefit from postage savings using the Royal Mail Testing & Innovation incentive.

Write blogs to help educate potential homebuyers

Create helpful and information rich content for your potential customers that is readily available on your website and through your social media accounts. Not only will this provide them with the information they need to understand the benefits of the stamp duty holiday, providing useful content will increase trust in your bran

Create data visualisation graphics for social media

Gather data on how much particular homebuyers could save by not paying stamp duty, how many more days an individual would have to work to earn that money, or other household essentials they could buy with the money saved etc. Once you have gathered your data, create infographics displaying your findings. Presenting data in a visual way will help your audience digest the information and infographics are great for sharing on social media.

Email marketing

You can use an email marketing campaign to deliver your educational content directly to your audience’s inbox. You can segment your list into different categories to send targeted and more personalised emails to different demographics.

The stamp duty holiday was brought in to provide temporary relief to the property sector and to help drive growth during the pandemic by providing a financial incentive to those buying, selling and moving home. This scheme brought a flurry of activity to the market and in order to make the most of the scheme’s extension, you need to educate those who can benefit from it.