South Florida real estate is extremely competitive. Any opportunity to distinguish and promote your brokerage, development/building firm or lending institution should be strongly considered and carefully orchestrated. Many of the region’s leading real estate companies enlist public relations firms or consultants to help craft their messaging, and they reap extraordinary benefits from doing so.
What exactly can an experienced and creative PR professional do for your company?
Make you a thought leader
Let’s face it: Real estate pros love to talk about what they know best. A good PR person can take your expertise to the next level by securing and drafting high-profile guest columns in newspapers or blogs, or by procuring guest speaking/panel discussion invitations. Securing these opportunities requires a high level of trust with editors and organizations, as well as the skill to tailor your message to the right audience.
When done successfully, these opportunities usually beget more opportunities, and the rewards can often go beyond mere brand exposure and name recognition. For example: A recent guest column by the owner of a top Miami brokerage we represent was credited by many of his new agents as the “tipping point” in their decision to join his office.
Plan and publicize an event
Everyone loves a great party in South Florida, but not everyone can throw one.
Where should your company hold its event? Should you have a charitable tie-in? How many people should you plan for? And why are you holding the event in the first place?
These are questions the right PR firm can answer, and beyond that, help you produce the entire thing from top to bottom. Remember, local event-goers have high expectations and a “been there, done that” mentality, so any successful affair needs to be truly impactful and creative. Furthermore, your PR firm should generate added value with post-event publicity, which traditional event planners cannot do on their own.
Promote your promotions
A smart way to position your real estate office as both desirable and viable is to formally announce when new agents are hired. (Or, in many instances, recruited from your competition!) A good PR firm should be able to secure new hire/promotional news for you fairly easily.
Establish you as the go-to source
Read any of our region’s daily newspapers or weekly business journals, and chances are you see the same names quoted in real estate stories over and over again. Why do these folks get such frequent publicity, while others linger in the shadows?
Over time, reporters and editors develop good relationships with sources they consider reliable and trustworthy, and very often those relationships start through introductions made by PR pros. In turn, those PR-media relationships are also built on trust and time.
(Almost) anything can be news
The news cycle is a hungry beast. Very often, bits of news that may seem innocuous to a layperson can be highly useful to professionals who gather and report it.
In the world of South Florida real estate, this can include items such as a condo project’s “topping off” construction, a commercial firm’s securing of a loan, or the sale of a marginal celebrity’s home. Again, securing this type of coverage takes experience, timing, instinct and a strong network of media contacts.
One note — as in real estate, every PR firm and consultancy is different, with varying strengths and weaknesses. The consultant who plans fabulous, swanky events may not have a strong network of “hard news” industry contacts. The big, long-established firm may be the right fit for the international developer, but not for the custom home builder working on a budget.
The good news? South Florida is home to a many high-quality PR professionals and firms, so consider what you need the most help with, take your time in reviewing any candidates, and make sure the fit is right from the very beginning.
Jason Rayman is the president of Rayman Communications and has been in the industry of public and community relations in South Florida since 1993.