‘If I was down to my last dollar I would spend it on PR’ – Bill Gates
‘Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad’ – Richard Branson
Marketing tends to always be the first ‘cost’ to be cut when we experience a complicated property market, especially at the moment where newspapers, TV news and social media are all publishing negative articles about the impact Brexit is having across the nation. This sort of press coverage has spread fear, not just with buyers and sellers but also estate agents, buying agents, off-market agents, developers and so on, which has led to drastic measures to cut down any expenditure on PR until business activity picks up again.
However, if you want to influence your reputation, credibility and exposure, you need PR … especially in a market where new instructions are dwindling, buyers are still price conscious and properties are struggling to sell. Otherwise, how are potential clients going to know you exist? By cutting back on PR, competitors can step in and be seen… whilst you disappear from their radar. Businesses who actively engage in PR are more likely to gain traction in their key markets and attract the attention of their target audience over the long-term.
If you are an estate agent for example, how will sellers know that you are THE local agent to use? How will they know you sell exquisite homes, or have a good reputation for selling the type of home they own? How will they know that you are honest and trustworthy… that you use professional photography when selling a property… that you promote your homes to the widest possible audience? How will they get to know the ‘people’ behind the brand, your company values or your ongoing commitment to supporting your local community? Or if you are a developer, how will buyers know you build good quality homes… that you offer schemes to help first time buyers step onto the property ladder? How will investors know their money will be ‘safe’ when funding your projects? Advertising on property portals and in local media isn’t enough now… when your company is being mentioned in targeted media outlets, you become much more visible to everybody.
By building a strategic relationship with the media and consumers, you can secure regular positive press coverage online and offline that directs more traffic to your website and keeps your brand front of mind for potential buyers, sellers, landlords and journalists, reinforcing the various opportunities your company represents – whether through market comments, quotes on industry matters or property features – which ultimately helps generate leads and enquiries.
Did you know that PR is also valued far higher than advertising in the eyes of the consumer? This is because content has been written by a third party ie a journalist, and not yourselves (like an advert is). I often hear from clients that a property that has had a PR mention in a national newspaper received far more calls from buyers than when that identical house had been advertised in the same title. PR is also a lot more affordable than advertising – it’s just the PR firm you pay for. It’s free to be in the media…
PR is also proving to be a useful instruction tool. By showing homeowners that you are able to promote their property to the widest possible audience, including the lucrative London and International markets, you are in an even stronger position to win their business. It’s always worth taking a press coverage folder on market appraisals so they can see the sorts of amazing property spreads you have created for your clients.
You also need to be tapping into the world of online… social media, blogging, online press coverage, link building… These all fall under the PR umbrella, and play a key role in making sure your website is being seen on Google. We often work alongside our clients’ SEO (search engine optimisation) and Digital Marketing companies to ensure we are all singing to the same hymn sheet when it comes to ‘online.’
Furthermore, as PR campaigns also establish companies as thought leaders within their industry, PR can also help attract talented professionals to your firm.
So, PR can give you that vital USP if your local competitors aren’t utilising the tool, and if they are, it keeps you visible alongside them across platforms outside of property portals and local media. By helping to establish and maintain regular lines of positive communication between you and your target audience, PR can help you build trust and for a fraction of the cost.
PR opportunities you can expect with Marvellous PR
PR is a full-time job, and the joy of using somebody who is an expert in your field means they know your industry inside out and know exactly what property journalists like to hear about. Our long list of media contacts is invaluable, helping us to continue achieving strong press coverage for our clients across all types of press – to include national, regional, online, trade, lifestyle and international. We use those contacts to maintain our clients’ reputations with them as a source of contact for good quality comment on local market(s) and/or industry matters, research reports, surveys, stats and beautiful homes for sale, whilst pitching topical features and interesting properties. For example, press coverage we secure may reinforce areas as a great place to live / own a holiday home or investment property, highlight the local expertise of a firm or talk about an individual property or development.
For example, we were very privileged to launch PropCast – an online house selling weather forecast – to the media last July. By targeting key media outlets online and offline, and maintain those relationships, we secured over £1million equivalent of advertising exposure via PR in less than a year.
Press coverage opportunities at Marvellous PR include:
- Area focuses
- Themed features
- Property stats
- Research reports
- Interesting/beautiful homes for sale
- Responding to calendar event hooks
- Case studies
- Profile pieces
At Marvellous PR, our property PR team have the experience, resources and media contacts to help you be seen outside of the portals and local media. To discover how we can help develop a ‘marvellous’ PR strategy that works for you, please do get in touch.
Article written by Lucy Tinkler