Competitor Analysis in the Property Sector

Competition in the property sector has never been higher. In 2015, Savills cited London as the world’s most competitive city when it came to purchasing property. And according to Knight Frank, London ranks second in the world for foreign property investment.
 
Knowing your competitors inside-out in the UK property sector is paramount. Competitive analysis is crucial if you want to find out exactly whom you’re vying with for space in the market. Thorough comprehension of what your competitors are doing well and what gaps in the market they are filling is key to honing your own strengths as a business.
 
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Who are my competitors?

The companies with whom you are competing can be separated into three categories.
 

Primary competitors

 
Your primary competitors are those businesses offering the same service or product as you. They cater to the same location and target the same audience. They are your biggest threats in terms of their capacity to reduce your consumer base.
 

Secondary competitors

 
Your secondary competitors’ services or products are similar, but may serve a different primary purpose. These businesses may operate in a different area and focus on a slightly different audience—but don’t underestimate them. If their activities begin to overlap yours, their target market could subsume your audience.
 

Potential competitors

 
These businesses sell services or products that are only tenuously linked to yours. They are not direct competitors, but they may adapt their business strategy in the future to cater to your target market, so don’t discount them indefinitely.
 

How to identify your competition

Let’s assume you’re starting from scratch. Simply utilising search engines is an excellent place to begin in your search for competitors—not least because the businesses you discover this way will, by definition, have a strong online presence, and therefore an estimable body of published content for you to assess and evaluate.
 
Using search engines will also throw up paid ads whose keywords relate to your search terms. These companies have paid to be displayed to a specific target market, constituents of whom are searching for keywords related to their services or products. Paid ads are a superb additional source of insight into how your competitors are targeting their audience, and may also provide you with an idea of how competitive your own paid ad campaign could be. Just remember to input the same search terms multiple times, as search engines’ paid ad algorithms change which ads are thrown up depending on a multitude of criteria—including time of day.
 
There are numerous online tools you may leverage to analyse what competitors are up to. Take BuzzSumo, which enables you to track competitors and analyse their published content by searching for pertinent industry and business terms. These tools mean you can view the most shared content surrounding these topics, as well as which company created it.
 
Furthermore, if you have good relations with your clients then you might simply ask them from whom else they buy, as well as who has contacted them offering the same or similar services or products as you within the property sector. This may seem particularly forthright, but the flipside of this technique is that it will demonstrate to your customer base your sincerity in doing right by them.
 

Assessing published content

Your content marketing strategy needs to bring in a greater volume of traffic than that which your business is currently attracting, so understanding what kind of content you need to outperform is crucial. Knowing what your competitors are putting out there will help you develop new concepts for your own content marketing, not to mention identify gaps in the market where your competitors have hitherto not ventured.
 
It’s also important to take stock of how your competitors are leveraging particular communication channels, as well as how often they’re publishing. Furthermore, check in on the engagement and attention that individual pieces are generating. Why did that article perform particularly well?
 
By gauging what your competitors are doing on a regular basis and highlighting key indicators of the popularity and success of their online content, you may craft increasingly honed content marketing activities for your company in the property sector.
 
Finally, ensure to collate all the information you have gathered in a cogent manner, in order that you may utilise them in informing and actioning next month’s online marketing activities.
 

Get creating!

The property sector is amongst the fastest and most rapidly evolving in the world, so the activities of your competitors simply cannot go unobserved and unanalysed. Track what they are doing, what content they are publishing and what is performing particularly well. Only then will you be able to assess their strengths and weaknesses, as well as what gaps in the market you could fill more proficiently than them.
 

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Alex Turner About the author
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