West Country Estate Agent Aims to Capitalise on Appetite for South West Living
Lodestone Property, an estate agency operating across Somerset and Dorset, this week has launched a a new consumer website, Lodestone Life, (lodestonelife.co.uk). This is ground-breaking territory for an independent agency, to establish and run a full-scale digital publishing operation.
The new site is a lifestyle guide to the West Country, informing and entertaining the growing numbers who are anxious to make their home in the South West while supporting the company’s ever-inventive sales and marketing strategy.
“We are witnessing an exodus from city living,” says Lodestone co-founder, Sue Macey. “It’s driven by the pandemic and supported by new trends in homeworking. As a result, there’s an incredible rush on property in the South West. And with that comes a demand for information about moving here and settling here.”
Last year, before the pandemic hit, Lodestone produced, printed and distributed its first ever lifestyle magazine, also called Lodestone Life. But the changes brought by COVID and the surge in demand from outside the region convinced the company that its content marketing efforts should be digital as well as print.
“Visitors to our property website have tripled in the last year,” says Sue. “We currently see more than 16,000 unique visitors each month and many more repeats, so Lodestone Life has been created to cater for that demand, providing a helpful lifestyle companion to a house move.”
The new digital publication is a source of relocation inspiration and practical advice. Towns and villages are investigated. Local services are highlighted. Businesses are profiled. It’s a place where you might learn about local schools, sports facilities, places to eat and drink, garden designers, architects or artists. The major feature interviews are written by Cath Rapley, a former commissioning editor at The Guardian and Observer.
An Innovative Agency with Marketing Expertise
Lodestone is a multiple award-winning agency which launched in 2016 and runs an innovative business model. From offices in Bruton, Wells and Shaftesbury it operates a high ratio of staff to properties, maximising service standards. It doesn’t utilise the traditional estate agent shopfronts but, rather, invests in marketing, especially digitally. Its social media channels are the most followed and interacted with of all Somerset and Dorset real estate businesses.
Beyond digital, Lodestone markets to its customers at a local level, running its hugely popular pop-up events across various venues where buyers and vendors can meet with Lodestone’s expert teams as well as, for example, with mortgage advisers, designers, architects and builders. But it is the wider reach of Lodestone’s innovative online efforts, now including Lodestone Life, which see it so well placed as the considerable migration to the South West continues.
“Lifestyle marketing is the ideal way to engage with the emotions of a house move, to offer up all the stories about a place, as well as the practical detail. The volume of information required to make what is typically the biggest purchase decision of a lifetime is considerable and online we can deliver that,” says Sue.
“But this type of marketing is a serious commitment,” she cautions. “With digital content you have to keep showing up, to keep producing more. Happily, Somerset and Dorset are not short on interesting people and places. There’s a lot for us to work with!
“We know that our fast-growing business is in no small part due to the excellent service standards and effective marketing which we work so very hard on. However, there is no doubt that we are benefitting from being in the right place at the right time. Demand for the lifestyle available in Somerset and Dorset is really taking hold.”