In real estate, competition is fierce and much of marketing and public relations responsibility falls onto the shoulders of an individual agent, broker or marketing employee. Due to the nature of real estate and the ever-changing ebb and flow of business, keeping up with the basics is often enough to occupy every spare moment. In this cycle of “just get it done,” public relations innovation most often falls to the wayside. At 5WPR, we oversee many Real Estate firms and agents, and have identified some great ways to stand out amongst the competition.
Obviously, an agent’s success or failure largely depends upon personal image. This personal image must be one of polish, success and fruitful activity for clients. In order to remain at the top of your market’s competitive landscape, you simply must invest in your own public relations, whether that is through application of your own elbow grease or that of an assistant.To go beyond standard press releases to broaden your reach using public relations, try some of the following tactics. Even integrating two or three of these over the next months and sticking with them will ensure continued momentum for your real estate image.
Remain consistent with your blog…
If you do not yet have a blog, you are behind the curve. A blog can consist of just a few thoughts you may have about a particular listing, opportunity or selling strategy. You do not have to be Hemingway to create a thriving blog. What you do need is consistency. Whatever you write, ensure you post three blogs per week, spread out over the course of the week. Three is a great number for keeping you relevant, top of mind and consistent without the blog becoming unmanageable. Anything less and you become lost in the fray. Too many, and you are focusing too much energy which could be used to diversify in your exposure tactics.
Partner for social media reciprocity…
You can provide professionals or brands in your area with social media exchanges. Make a deal to trade a set number of tweets, pins, posts or other social media activity with your partners. For example, if you know a tiling professional with an excellent reputation who has Twitter account with a large following, offer to tweet a set number of images for that contractor over a set period of time, linking back to the contractor’s website or social media account. In return, you can ask for a specified number of trade out mentions, maybe for use as-needed when you are urgently trying to find a buyer for a particular property. Rainy day partners can be wonderful to have in your pocket.
Get featured locally and online…
Talk to your local newspaper or area magazines, whether digital or in print, about being a guest writer. Have them either assign subject matter for which you develop content or ask if you can pitch stories you will write. Just know that when doing so with a quality, legitimate media outlet, they will likely want ownership and solo rights to your piece. That works fine, because you blogging about a published and referenced article is far more powerful than just posting one. New and local publications are most willing to accept guest writers. One such publication is Roulez Magazine. They put out a call for local content writers in late July of 2015, seeking local viewpoints about living within specific areas of the country. Today, this is how such publications grow.
Partner with local fashion photographers…
Every area in the country, no matter how small the town, has at least one semi-professional fashion photographer, or at least those who need settings for individual and family portraits. Contact professional photographers in your area and let them know you will request permission of clients for use of their property for a half-day or single day photo shoot, in exchange for the photographer’s social media use of the photo with realty information imposed and both you and your client gaining photo usage rights. Fashion photographers for aspiring models or music groups are always in need of fresh scenes and even the worst of home interiors can create amazing fashion backdrops. Think, Fiona Apple’s “Criminal” music video. While still photographers create the least property havoc for this, television commercial tapings and other videography can also be conducted.
Use video and video channels..
You may be highly versed with Twitter. However, are you gaining enough video exposure? Video is the content of choice for most web surfers today. Get creative with videos, going beyond home tours. Perhaps interviewing local celebrities or professionals during a home walkthrough could be your angle, much as Vogue Magazine does as part of their “73 Questions” series. Get creative and you will go viral. That exposure will add to the odds of a potential buyer gaining interest.
Get more creative with your events and opens…
Think just a bit bolder when developing your open houses and other events. While going too far over the edge as part of a public open will entice people in just for the event’s sake, using invitation-only events will ensure crowd quality and ongoing attention to the event’s purpose beyond a theme. Prequalify your invitation list and give them something to remember as part of the site visit. Suggestions may include partnering with a local restaurant to provide branded hors d’oeuvres with their restaurant or catering business cards on the hors d’oeuvres platters, throughout the property or on your invitations. This serves a restaurant or caterer well, as who dines out more often than real estate agents and homeowners? Nobody.
Network with HR and marketing executives to become corporate “official real estate agent” for relocating personnel…
Sports teams sometimes have “designated real estate agents” or official ones. The agent claims the title and the team refers all incoming athletes to that one agent, due to confidentiality and other trust built up over time. For major organizations, this can work well for incoming personnel who almost always need a referral. The key is to always provide the absolute best possible service, in order to maintain your status.
Obtain client reviews and testimonials…
This takes persistence but pays off in spades. One of the biggest influencers online today is peer reviews. Get reviewed on sites offering such options or gain client testimonials for consistent posting on your website.
Provide faces to your closed deals…
In lieu of tweeting or posting a “hooray me” kind of self-endorsement on social media when you make a sale, go for something more endearing and humble. Ask your clients if you can take their photo and ask them a few questions about their experience with you and how they feel about their new home. If the client does not want to appear, ask if their pet can. Nothing is more viral than a happy pet with a sense of humor. Keep it light and short and this will gain traction for you. Everyone loves their 15 minutes of fame.
Work on your own personal image…
Regardless of what tactics you use for public relations exposure, your biggest PR tool is your own image. This image is both physical and reputation. Improve your image and remain updated, fresh and positive. Ensure your best foot is put forward, regardless of whether you are around town for personal time or business. Protect your image and be a good human. People today value that above all else.
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