Paid advertising isn't the only way to get your name known in real estate. Public relations (PR) — mentions by third-party sources — can be a great way to build your personal or company brand and build trust among clients and business partners.
In our digital-first world, quotes and articles in media outlets (magazines, newspapers, blogs and more) live on the internet and help reinforce your image as a real estate professional who "knows their stuff." They can also aid with search engine optimization (SEO). When a new client or prospect Googles you, you want them to see smart and favorable mentions.
Unlike advertising, where you pay for placement in a particular media outlet, PR normally doesn't require a fee. More recently, media outlets have begun to launch paid editorial opportunities. You must carefully evaluate them because consumers are becoming more media-savvy and can often distinguish between paid mentions and more objective "ink."
7 Ways to Get Your Name in the News
More than an ego feed, articles in which you're featured help reinforce your brand and ultimately build awareness that grows your business. Here are seven ways to boost your public recognition.
- If your budget permits, hire a professional. Experienced PR pros often have long-term relationships with journalists who write about real estate.
- Pinpoint the media that's important to you and your company. For example, if you sell luxury weekend homes, you will want to be featured in consumer media that appeals to that demographic. Local media can be compelling if you're a new agent looking to build a client base in your hometown. Consider all forms of media — print, online, radio and television.
- Look for news within your own business. Announcements of new hires, major sales and significant changes within your brokerage can all be ways to capture the attention of reporters.
- Subscribe to a service like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) or Qwoted. Journalists and freelance writers post when they're looking for sources for stories they're already working on. For example, when we have specific questions for the Propstream blog, we will sometimes post our queries on one of those sites.
- Know your facts. Writers and producers want sources who have access to unique facts and trends. Use data creatively and incorporate your stats into interviews.
- When a writer reaches out to you, respect their deadline and questions. Journalists are often working on multiple stories simultaneously, so if you can make their lives easier, they'll remember you as someone they can trust.
- Mention your mentions. When an article or TV clip contains your name and company, that's only the beginning of PR. Be sure to share your quotes or features on your other communications — social media, newsletter, and even your email signature.
What's Your Real Estate PR Plan?
Keep in mind that media mentions do not result in a sudden rush of phone calls, emails and sales. PR is an awareness medium. That means it's a part of a fully integrated plan to build your reputation and credibility.
Be patient, be responsive to journalist requests, and match the media to your message. And, in no time, you'll be a real estate rock star on search engines and beyond.