Long-term Use of PR Helped Achieve Best Prices When Bill Gair Sold Two Businesses and Increased Revenue even through Recessions
Bill Gair has been in the house building industry for over 40 years. During that time he has created and sold two companies which specialized in building retirement villages, and his current business focuses on creating new build housing for a wide demographic, including the over 55s.
When he sold both businesses he is convinced that the reason he achieved such good ultimate sale prices for them was due to the strength of his own profile – he is widely held to be ‘the doyen of the retirement development world’ – and because of the high perceived value of his products. And that has all been achieved through his long-term concentration on PR, and the sheer number of column inches, interviews, both press and radio, he has achieved through years of PR campaigns in the relevant media.
Bill acknowledges that PR is time consuming and a slow burner, compared with other forms of marketing, but he has always placed a great emphasis on having a strong presence in the media that his buyers are reading, and trusting, and the results have been way worth the time and money he has invested in it.
PR Raised His Profile
Bill has always been very active in the property industry and keen to raise his profile ahead of his competitors, especially in the very competitive retirement housing market. As a past President of the HBF and a director and Chairman of NHBC Building Control and a member of numerous committees and organizations he has lobbied the government on various issues, and he knows that it has been due to the PR he has used, that his messages have got out there, and his expertise has been recognized.
As a direct result, potential buyers approached him, twice, with bids to take over his businesses and he was able to dispose of them off market and at an acceptable price.
His raised profile – having his name, and that of his company mentioned in all the relevant media – has also meant that his business is always expanding as good land buying opportunities keep being brought to him (before his competitors); joint venture partners are always wanting to work with him; he has never had a problem raising investment for his projects; and he has attracted top people to work with him, and grow the business.
And now of course despite receiving invitations to become involved in further ventures and join Companies as a non-executive director he can also enjoy the profits from selling the results of his efforts. Which currently means a lot more time on his ocean going motor cruiser which he keeps in the Solent.
PR increased our Revenue and Bottom Line
Bill’s long-term use of PR has also helped increase his revenues through being able to maintain good sales prices for his properties.
He has always kept a very close eye on where his enquiries and sales come from, and he is confident that his PR campaigns have been a major contribution to his businesses continuing sales success. They have been able to maintain their prices through very tough times and never have to resort to price reductions. Indeed they have been able to increase their prices regularly due to the perceived value built up in the product from the media coverage they have achieved.
Being mentioned in every retirement feature in The Daily Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Saga and other press that his demographic reads and trusts, has proven to work!
And from a marketing budget point of view, he believes that a monthly retainer invested with a good PR consultant who understands his market, knows the media well and can ‘think out of the box’ to also find lucrative sponsorship and event opportunities for him, has proven far more cost effective than spending thousands on advertising campaigns and digital marketing tools.
In his many years of business Bill has come across plenty of non-believers and cynics who have either focused on other forms of marketing, or stopped using PR during the tough economic times. Bill didn’t. PR remained an important tool, despite having to curtail other activities, and its relatively lower fees proved a very good return on investment.
He never stopped investing in PR, which meant he was able to maintain vital momentum in the media, with journalists coming to him for comments and putting his stories, comments and properties into articles ahead of his competitors because he was always there, with a steady flow of material given to them every month. This is what ultimately made the difference in the success of his companies compared to some of his competitors.
PR Verified the Longevity and Trust in his Brand
Constant media presence meant that the potential buyers of his properties, and his businesses, knew he was a constant in the industry, a brand they could trust whose longevity was proven by the years (and reams) of media coverage they found every time they opened the property sections or googled him! After all, this is what people do now to check a company’s viability. And if there are no mentions of the company, or the individual in the media that potential buyers know and trust, they will not be impressed.
An advertisement will not do it. Editorial is the only way to build trust in a brand.