Whether you are just starting out in the real estate business or you are a veteran agent looking for ways to blow your own horn, you need to get your name and your service out there in front of as many people as you can. I have always been fascinated by the public relations business, and the reality is that if you are building a real estate business, you are also in the PR business.
Here are my top three tips for becoming a PR pro to promote your real estate business.
1. Press kit. Do you have a press kit? This would be your kit that you give out when you meet someone for the first time and you want to introduce them to who you are and to what you do. PR pros put together slick press kits for their clients, and you should do the same for yourself.
In real estate, this is your personal brochure along with some other items that you can use as your prelisting package and/or your buyer package. What’s in it? Testimonials from your happy past clients are the single most important addition to your press kit. It is earned praise and it makes future clients feel at ease. Other items to include would be marketing samples (brochures, postcards) and information on your sales track record and your company’s sales track record.
2. Video resume. Enhance your online presence with a video. Introduce yourself with video. Products like Brainshark and Eyejot can help you in a few easy steps put together a shareable video resume that helps consumers get to know you before you even walk through their door.
An agent who was interviewing for a sales associate position in my office a few years ago sent me a video resume. We had great rapport because before he ever sat across from me at my desk I had viewed his video, learned about his education, professional background, his family life, his hobbies and had gotten a glimpse of his personality. It’s safe to say I was impressed. Once he was up and running as a real estate agent, that video made an excellent addition to all of his social profiles.
I asked Heather Logrippo, principal at Expose Yourself Public Relations in Boston, why more agents don’t use video in their business and here’s what Heather had to say:
“I find that it’s a time issue. Agents are busy being agents. Finding relevant topics to discuss and being consistent in creating content takes dedication and forethought. It’s also a challenge to get eyeballs to your content. Professional marketers will know how to not only create good content for you, but to get eyeballs on it.
“I tell people if you don’t have time, hire a company. It’s really the same as hiring a housekeeper if you don’t have time to clean. Yes, of course you can clean your own house or shoot a video blog, but do you have the time, energy, skills and desire? If not, focus on what you are good at, and farm out the rest.”
3. Give back. My last tip for getting your PR machine for your business going is very timely as we head toward the holidays. In New England where I do business, real estate slows down and for salespeople it can be hard to pick up the phone and ask for referrals when the rest of the world is focused on prepping for the holidays. One way to keep your services and your real estate services in the front of people’s minds is to run a charitable event or drive at the holidays. Social media makes this so easy. Want to run a food drive for the pantry in your town? Create a Facebook event, distribute fliers in your neighborhood, run a press release and watch the donations pour in.
Heather Logrippo also commented on community involvement and how it can impact your business when I spoke with her:
“Getting involved in the community is one of the most effective ways of promoting yourself without coming off as a pushy salesperson. Find a cause that is near and dear to your heart and get involved. The more people get to know you, the more opportunity you have to help them buy and sell homes. I’m a big believer in Givers Gain, so anytime you can help someone out without being asked, you put a deposit into the bank of karma. I find that I get a lot of business, and a lot of referrals by just going out of my way to help people. So find opportunities to make someone’s day. You’ll be surprised how quickly your public image is boosted.”
One of the best parts and worst parts of being in real estate is that you wear many hats and do a variety of jobs as you go about your business. Whether you embrace PR and do it yourself, or get help, this earned type of media will go light-years further than any advertising you could pay for. So whether you are a do-it-yourself type or you pay a company to do it for you, just get it done.
Wendy English is the vice president and sales manager at Century 21 Commonwealth in Medfield, Massachusetts.