Is your real estate team primed for lucrative, fast moving sales, but not getting the necessary traction? Sometimes, that has nothing to do with your selling ability. In any real estate market, especially highly competitive areas like Miami or New York, your marketing approach and overall public image can be a huge factor in brokerage growth. A robust public relations (PR) strategy is going to set your real estate team apart from the competition. Take a look at the following proven tactics we at ManhattanMiami Real Estate used to bolster our own growth.
Work Your Network & Make Connections
Having relationships with the right people can help with every PR tactic I’ve used in the past. Due to the way modern brands and public images are curated, it’s most helpful to work with bloggers, reporters, and sometimes even social media influencers. It depends on the audience you’re trying to reach. Local news coverage of your team, most likely seen by people closer to homeowner age, can have practical results on open house turnout. Relationships with influencers, whose audience skews younger, can increase your social media presence and engagement statistics. Bloggers can drive attention to your organization with popular written content, as well.
These connections rarely happen organically. You have to work for them. The most cost effective method of catalyzing these relationships would be through social media. If you know of a few journalists interested in covering the real estate market, send them a note on LinkedIn or Twitter. Give reporters a succinct synopsis of a recent accomplishment or some unique characteristic of your real estate team. Every reporter needs material. And what’s the worst that could happen? They don’t respond.
Throwing public facing community events is another great way to earn some media attention. At this point in the summer, with everyone itching to safely attend events, a socially distant ice cream social at a park in your community would be sure to get coverage. Give that story to a journalist and you’ve got one connection. Speak with other reporters that turn up at the event, and you’ve got a handful more. Promise a blogger or an influencer some free ice cream, and your network is starting to look pretty strong.
Form Mutually Beneficial Business Partnerships
Hopefully I’m not distracting you with thoughts of ice cream, but let’s continue with that example. Sure, you could buy a bunch of ice cream, sprinkles, and chocolate sauce for everyone. Hiring a caterer could work, too, but those options aren’t very interesting. The most mutually beneficial way to host an event like that would actually be to co-host it. Bring on a popular dessert restaurant that you know people love. Smaller real estate teams would benefit from partnering with a local favorite, while more corporate outfits may be able to organize partnerships with larger chains.
For a singular event, a partnership like this would potentially double your promotional efforts, resulting in much higher attendance than your real estate team could hope to attain on their own. Also, it could start a long lasting relationship. Maybe the ice cream social becomes an annual staple of your town? Maybe your real estate team gets a few deals on pints of ice cream for open houses? Maybe you’re brokering the deal on a brand new, expanded restaurant location? The right partnership can help you become a mainstay in the community around your headquarters.
Stay on Top of Real Estate News Coverage
Knowing the top global, national, and local stories can be extremely helpful in your efforts to boost public relations. At the very least, you’ll gain knowledge of the current journalistic landscape, particularly media outlets and individual journalists that cover real estate. That way you know who likes to cover what kind of story, and you’ll see real-time examples of their writing. Some top trade publications to follow include Inman, Realtor Magazine, HousingWire and Realtor.com.
Additionally, if you’re diligently keeping up with real estate news, you’ll know which topics are dominating the news cycle. A reporter working on a story may find what you have to say extremely informative and valuable. You and your real estate team would be cited as a source, drawing valuable attention, and that reporter may come back to you with further questions on other stories.
As an important note, make sure you’re informed on the information you’re giving out. As the leader of a local residential real estate team, you may not want to give your opinion or attempt to act as a source for a story on giant multifamily apartment complexes in China. Not only would that be odd, it wouldn’t necessarily help reach your audience or improve public image.
Create Content That Can Be Effectively Promoted
This is where things get a little more specialized. Creating promotable content has nothing directly to do with real estate, unlike some of the other tactics we’ve introduced. Even so, this can be one of your real estate team’s strongest pillars of public relations.
As a modern real estate team, it is essential to produce real-estate related blogs, podcasts, and/or newsletters. These pieces of content can showcase expertise, brand voice, and company mission. When they become successfully promoted content with some elbow grease from your team, they can also support efforts in PR and drive potential customers your way.
Take the well-promoted ManhattanMiami blog for example. It’s titled, “FAQs: Buying an Apartment in NYC”. Not only is that title going to be relevant for a wide variety of online searches, it’s also of extreme interest to real estate publications, real estate journalists, and a large population of New Yorkers. The bottom line is, a very large audience is going to be interested in what that blog post has to say. If you don’t have resources internally to write and promote content, it can be helpful to turn to your partners (like technology vendors or marketing agencies) who have the industry expertise and technology know-how to help with tactical digital marketing for real estate, like blogging.
Quick Tips For Creating Promotable Content
- Relevant Topic: Your topic should be relevant to your business, in this case real estate, and appealing to your target audience
- Crisp Title: Short, eye-catching, and to the point titles are more frequently clicked and more promotable
- Skimmable: We’re not writing The Odyssey here. Make sure your blog has clear headlines and body content that’s easy-to-read. This idea applies to visual content and podcasts, as well. Don’t make them too long.
- Avoid Self Promotion: Some self promotion is good, but make sure whatever you’re promoting is focused on the content, not promotions or sales.
- Don’t be Annoying!: This sounds silly, but it’s important. Do not dominate your followers’ feeds with posts about one blog (or anything else), and do not flood reporters’ inboxes with emails about the blog (or anything else). That can damage hard-earned relationships.
- Focus on local: If your IDX website provider has the capability to put together market trend reports (like Propertybase websites), you could create a page on your site with all the latest housing data from your local area.
When it comes to the mechanics of promoting the finished work, leverage your social media presence. Get that content out to your audience. And make sure it has some quality images to accompany it. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer or designer. Instead, you can use a DIY photo editing tool if you have a limited budget. If it’s solid content, it’ll circulate through your connections and their connections, hopefully reaching a large number of engaging consumers.
Reaching out to relevant journalists, bloggers, and pre-existing partners is helpful in this step, as well. If you’re new to public relations, you can learn how to pitch journalists like a professional by reading this comprehensive guide. Knowing how to approach journalists will greatly increase your chances of getting featured. If you’re reaching out to multiple sources, then it’s helpful to use a URL shortener so you can track which sources bring you the most traffic. This is essential to know if you’re planning on promoting more content in the future so you don’t spend too much time trying to get your content featured on websites that don’t provide you any payoff.
Create a Fact Sheet or Dedicated Web Page
This tactic is going to separate your real estate team from those that are underprepared and under informed. In fact, your real estate website is the most prime piece of property in your marketing strategy. This is where you can continuously communicate with your audience and keep them up-to-date on everything that goes on in your company. If you’re planning on having a robust marketing and PR strategy, having a fact sheet or company dedicated page on your website is absolutely essential. When a customer or potential networking connection is considering affiliating with your real estate team, they are going to go to your website and find out what they can about you.
When they do find themselves on your site, you want them to see a grammatically perfect, audience targeted, brand focused, engaging page on your organization. It’s almost like an elevator pitch or a headshot. A lot like real estate PR in general, this is essential when battling in highly competitive markets. You can bet that all successful Miami real estate agents have a curated “about us” company page.
Increase Your Community Relations
Organizing any kind of event can help with your public image, but community-focused charitable events can be extremely helpful. They are great for employee satisfaction and the town in which your real estate team is headquartered. You’ll be doing good, and the community will recognize that.
Giving workshops, food drives, and clothing drives are all great community events. Get creative with it!
Without a public relations strategy, it’s going to be very difficult for your real estate team to reach its full potential at the speedy rate you’re hoping for. “Word of mouth” promotion is a thing of the past. Being proactive, reaching out to the right people, and getting your company in front of your audience is the way to go. Good luck!
Content for this post contributed by Ricardo Mello, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Manhattan Miami Real Estate. Ricardo grew up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and moved to New York City at the age of 25 to explore entrepreneurial opportunities. Specializing in consulting foreign buyers, he works with clients from all over the world looking to invest in luxury residential properties in New York City and Miami.