Boutiques need to operate differently in order to gain market share, with a challenger using the opportunity created by COVID-19 to update how they do business.
H&H Group CEO and Inner North principal agent Peter Hutton said the best way for smaller-scale, boutique agencies to compete with big franchise groups is to creatively disrupt their marketplace by strategically pivoting aspects of property marketing.
“When people think of disruption in any industry, they tend to think of change at a macro level, which often includes technological innovations, new price affordability models and some new form of sharing like Uber ride-sharing,” Mr Hutton said.
“H&H has taken the time this year to think about ways in which we can make sure our clients know we’re here for them; we’re here to make their lives easier.”
To achieve this, the boutique firm has updated its websites to create a better user experience for clients.
“H&H now has a 24/7 live chat available on our website, which offers human-to-human support to our clients and easy access to information for any visitor on our site,” Mr Hutton said.
“We’ve also installed third-party calendar scheduling software for all our rental listings and are in the process of installing the same for our sales listings so people can have more control over the times available for inspections and open homes.”
The business also used COVID-19 as a time to update its branding to help position itself in the marketplace.
H&H’s creative director, Karen Hutton, said the agency is constantly looking for ways to creatively differentiate from others in the area.
“Our simplistic yet sophisticated branding gives us the freedom to incorporate seasonal and event-related elements, so implementing these floral patterns and motifs on our signs really draws the eye and captures attention,” Ms Hutton said.