Ever wonder how some agents and brokers find their way onto the local or national news or find their names quoted in big-name outlets like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or CNN? It’s all about doing some PR for your personal brand and it doesn’t have to be limited to the industry veterans or the super well-connected.
Here are three tips for you to throw your hat into the PR ring. Follow this advice, and hopefully you’ll be seeing your name in ink in no time.
1. Befriend your local media
Find the reporters in your local market and become “friends” with them. Stay up-to-date on what they’re writing about, don’t hesitate to drop them an email in response to anything they’ve recently written, and share your own knowledge in a genuine and authentic way. That means sharing local stats, feedback from clients that may indicate a local trend or growing sentiment, innovative marketing campaigns, and even cool or unusual homes for sale in the area. Be thoughtful about what may pique the interest of this local reporter and share your expertise. You might just become their go-to source.
2. Join the Virtual Conversation
Social media is a goldmine of opportunity. To be legit, you should be active on Facebook and Twitter, sharing thoughtful and useful information with your social graph. To find the real estate reporter that might be interested in what you have to say, check out Muckrack, an online aggregator of reporters on Twitter, sorted by what they cover. You can easily find property-focused reporters and start following them and replying to their tweets, when appropriate. Remember that the general rule of thumb is to be authentic and stay away from being too self-serving. Be you, be helpful and be found by a reporter!
3. Help a Reporter Out
Literally, there is a service called Help A Reporter Out. Reporters have brilliant ideas for stories, but they don’t always have the exact perfect source to add the right “color” to the story. So they turn to a service called Help A Reporter Out (HARO), a thrice-daily email newsletter that is delivered to the inboxes of people just like you who want to be that perfect, knowledgeable source. While the requests can run the gamut, real estate is a hot and constant topic that gets multiple requests a week in HARO. Here are a couple examples of requests from just last week:
Summary: Moving Up With a Rental
Outlet: The Los Angeles Times
Query: I am looking for folks in Southern California who decided to “move up” by renting out their homes and renting a new home. I am hoping that a real estate agent, broker or management company official might know a family who has considered buying, couldn’t and is now renting in their desired location with a home that suits their “move up” needs.
Summary: Impact of Color on Home Sales
Outlet: Major U.S. Daily Newspaper
Query: How does paint color impact the stability of a home? Can the wrong shade kill a sale? Can the right shade or combination attract a wealthier buyer? Seeking experts who can speak to the psychology and business implications of color.
Summary: Retiree Home Equity
Outlet: USA Today
Query: For a story on how declining home values have affected retirees, I’m looking for experts who can discuss how the loss of home equity has effected seniors’ ability to move to retirement communities, pay for assisted living, or afford health care. I’m also looking for examples of seniors who have had to change their plans because they can’t rely on the proceeds from the sale of their homes.
Companies of all sizes use PR as one of the most effective weapons in their arsenal, and there is no reason you can’t do the same for your brand and the listings you represent. Start with the tips above and give it your best shot. We look forward to reading about you in the near future! As always, if you have questions, leave them in the comments.