Public Relations Advice For Real Estate Investors
Reputation and visibility are two of the most important factors for real estate executives. With that in mind, how can they ensure more good PR, and avoid the bad?
Public relations isn’t just something you outsource to a publicist and expect to work. It is a symptom and culmination of everything else you do. A PR expert can help, but firms or freelancers should be hired with care. There is a lot that real estate pros and CEOs control every day that has the power to make or break a brand. Let’s look at some of the ways they can either come out on top, or be sunk by PR.
5 PR Fails to Avoid
1. Staff Selection: Your team members are a direct reflection on your real estate brand. You might be able to control what they do on the clock and in the office, but when they are off the clock is another story. This is especially true for real estate companies that use team members’ photos in advertising. People they bump into in the community will recognize them and immediately spread their impression of that experience to others. Are you hiring courteous people that will become magnets for new clients? Or are you hiring something else?
2. Getting in Bed with Bad Vendors: Your vendors are a direct reflection on your business. More than just shopping around for price, real estate pros need to make sure they are working with service providers and strategic partners that share their values. This is certainly true when it comes to fraud. If a title insurance company you use is being investigated and raided by the FBI, it won’t just disrupt real estate closings, it will almost certainly mean some unpleasant visits and PR for your firm. We are now seeing businesses increasingly being held liable for the labor practices of those they do business with. How do your vendors treat their staff? Will that reflect well on you?
3. Dismissing the Journalists: Unless you are already in the top one percent, odds are that you are not being chased down by hordes of malicious celebrity paparazzi. That means you can use all the good exposure you can get. However, journalists, bloggers, and reporters really aren’t out to do you in. They need content, they can be your best allies in gaining visibility and publishing good press. If you dismiss them and treat them like dirt, you can expect them to go out of their way to find dirt on you. You can bet they probably have a lot more publishing and media contacts than you do.
4. Lack of Authenticity: This isn’t about how good of a person you are, or how good your company is at delivering a great product. This is often a matter of a lack of synergy in brand managing. There are really no rights and wrongs in choosing your brand identity. It should be unique. The mistake is not ensuring synergy and, in turn, exuding authenticity.
5. Not Answering Leads: It may seem like a small factor, but failing to respond to lead inquiries is one of the worst PR blunders. You never know who it could really be, or who their connections are.
5 Ways to Boost Positive PR
1. Control Your Own Press: It is so easy to control your own press distribution today that every real estate entrepreneur and business should be on top of it. You can craft the exact words you want to appear in the media and blast it across the world. Don’t leave it up to anyone else.
2. Cultivating Advocates: People will eagerly promote on your behalf if they believe in what your brand stands for. Of course you’ll have to wow them first, and empower them to spread the news farther and more efficiently, but this can be some of the best PR real estate executives could ask for.
3. Build a Brilliant Blog: Build an authority blog which is used by the industry and wider media as a regular resource. This may require investing in better content and some outreach to promote your blog, but it can deliver both positive branding and real leads.
4. Use Social to its Full Potential: Maximizing your social media presence potential. Very few real estate executives are doing this well. It’s crazy. You don’t have to love social media, or posting every moment of your life on Facebook and Twitter. But this is definitely one of the fastest, easiest, and most cost efficient ways to make new connections and more noise.
5. Invest in Relationship Building: Your success in real estate and net income directly relates to who knows, likes, and trusts you. More social connections and LinkedIn connections can help here, but that isn’t the same thing as real relationships. This industry is still a lot about who knows you, and wants to help you. Plus this can be a lot of fun.