Whether you are a developer, a real estate agent or other type of property professional, PR is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business and position yourself as an expert in the field.
A property PR agency will help you to generate free editorial coverage in trade press, business titles and online media. They will also combine PR and other types of content such as blogs and advice pieces to help you amplify your social media reach and improve your search engine rankings to attract more website traffic – and ultimately more enquiries.
While our PR tips here are aimed at developers and agents, some of the advice will also be relevant for other professionals such as surveyors, planners and architects.
- Promote your developments
The most obvious but still one of the most important functions of property PR is to get maximum exposure for your developments. Where relevant, you should be promoting them at every stage of the process from planning to the start of construction and sales right through to completion. A property PR agency will put together press releases, photos and press packs on your behalf and sent them to relevant media. They will also send out press releases on other company news stories.
- Comment on the market
Your knowledge of the property market is what helps sell your service to clients – so why not demonstrate your expertise by sending comments to the media? Having your insights published in a respected magazine will further build the profile of your business.
Every time there is a change in legislation or stamp duty, or an important announcement on the housing market, journalists seek out comments from industry insiders to assess the potential impact. Look out for the unexpected also – for example, when the value of the pound fell sharply in the wake of the UK’s Brexit vote, a story we put out about the increase in interest from foreign investors attracted worldwide coverage.
- Write about your buyers
People are interested in reading about the experiences of other buyers in the same position. It also gives an opportunity to show how your services help meet clients’ needs. Persuade buyers to let you feature their stories as case studies on your website – and make sure that you get a good quote which you can pick out as a testimonial. However, be sure to let them have sight of the story and get their written approval to use it both online and, if the occasion arises, in any media stories. Editors like to feature human interest stories and it may be a useful example for any future articles they are writing.
- Identify trends
Consider what your buyers want and how that is changing to identify trends in the market. For example, it could be that professionals are looking to move out of overpriced cities into the suburbs or vice versa – with younger couples working in rural towns buying in cities and becoming ‘reverse commuters’. Identifying storylines like these is another good way to capture editors’ attention and generate coverage. You can even developer ‘buyer personas’ to help you target them more precisely.
- Highlight opportunities
In a challenging property market, look out for ways to buck the trend. So for example, if first time buyers are struggling to get on to the property ladder, can you point out alternative areas which are more affordable? How do you spot the ‘up and coming’ neighbourhoods which are slightly less fashionable at present but which have more scope for capital growth? Buyers and journalists are always looking for tips like these.
- Produce property guides
‘How to’ guides are a good way to generate a following and attract enquiries. To identify topics, consider the challenges which your clients face – these are the type of things they will be searching for and all you have to do is provide information that answers their questions. Unlike news stories, guides are less likely to go out of date and you can promote them regularly on social media. Present them in two ways – as a shorter blog post which links to a more in-depth piece and which visitors must submit their contact details to download. This allows you to build your database. You can also use guides as a free gift to help engage people requesting information about your services.
- Target international publications
Property investment is an international business and a property PR agency can target international investors by securing coverage in real estate magazines and supplements within the key markets, such as South Africa and the Middle East. There is a range of real estate investment titles which accept contributed articles on different regional markets.
- Make the most of social media
By creating a regular flow of quality material – press releases, case studies and guides – a property PR agency will provide fresh content to update your social media channels and build your following. Media titles usually have a following of their own – and much bigger than a single business could achieve. When they cover your stories, they will often put links on their Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook accounts – thus greatly amplifying the audience you could reach by your own channels alone.
- Build links with journalists
A property PR agency can also help you build relationships with the key journalists, make introductions and arrange interviews where appropriate. Ensure you become a familiar face to them, and someone they can approach for comments. Attend events organised by the publications, follow the journalists on social media and get to know the type of stories they write.
- Start a newsletter
Finally, reuse the content you produce by adapting it in the form of a newsletter. However to comply with legislation, you will need to build a mailing list and be sure to get your contacts to ‘opt in’ to receive stories.
Whether you are promoting new developments, seeking buyers and investors, or you are a property professional raising awareness of the advice and services you can provide, property PR offers a host of ways to build your profile and your client base.