What are the ingredients of a successful real estate firm?
Some are obvious: Talented brokers, an eye for developments, a nose for real estate trends on the horizon.
But one ingredient that some firms overlook is a strong PR program. Real estate is a competitive field, and a smart PR program is essential for breaking through the noise and standing head and shoulders above the competition. The right news story, or a clever marketing campaign, can be what makes the difference between landing the major new development deal, or coming in second place.
Real estate PR entails a diversity of strategies and tactics, from publicizing new deals, to placing stories about satisfied residents and businesses, to building the thought leadership capacity of the firm’s principals, and beyond. Below, find three tips for powering up your real estate PR program.
Find new ways to use video
Today, your audience — from renters and buyers to city planning officials — get their news online. More specifically, they get their news through video. “Around three-quarters of U.S. adults (73%) say they use YouTube,” according to Pew Research, and “Facebook videos garner up to 8 billion views per day,” report the social media experts at Sprout Social.
Meanwhile, studies by the marketing pros at HubSpot reveal that “54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.”
For these reasons, your real estate PR program should seriously invest in more — and more creative — ways to use video. One option is to leverage drone footage: Fly high above a new development to give viewers a rare bird’s eye view of the property. Zillow reports that “According to MLS statistics, properties with accompanying aerial imagery are 68% more likely to sell than properties without aerial imagery.”
Another new way to use video? Evolve the traditional photo gallery of a property into a video tour, which takes viewers through a property as if they were visiting in person. It’s like a 24/7 open house that anyone, anywhere can participate in.
Seek out podcasts
Another form of media currently dominating the internet? Podcasts. Fast Company recently reported that Apple podcasts have reached 50 billion all-time downloads and streams. Meanwhile, Podcast Insights notes that 50% of all American homes “are podcast fans,” and one-third of Americans have listened to a podcast in the last month.
It’s clear that podcasts should be a part of your PR program. But how? First, spend time learning what podcasts are relevant to you. Is there a podcast about the cities or towns you primarily work within? Is there a podcast devoted to your specific brand of real estate, like mixed-use projects or luxury residential projects?
From there, tune in and pay attention to the guests on the podcast. Determine what interesting angle your firm’s leadership might bring to the table — and then send a pitch. You could be the next guest and reach thousands of new listeners.
Listen to your audience
When developing a PR program, many real estate firms ask: “Where do I begin?” “How do I know what strategies and content will work?”
The answer is simple: Just listen to your audience. Tap into your existing channels — from social media and email lists to community events — to learn what questions and curiosities your audience has. Are potential renters eager to learn about amenities at your latest residential development? Are city officials eager to learn how you think about mixed-use developments in urban centers?
Then, craft your PR program to address those questions. Pitch stories about the peerless amenities in your latest development. Write and publicize case studies about your past successes in nearby cities. And so on. Everything you write, pitch, and tweet should be tailored to your audience.
In the competitive realm of real estate — especially here in the greater New York area — a strong PR program can be just as important as location, location, location.