• If you want to get exposure from a media outlet, you have to perfect your pitch by knowing the audience, creating an angle, nailing the timing and being ready to be a resource at any moment.

There is an art to drafting offers that stand out and negotiating a successful close that real estate agents must learn to master. What if I told you those same techniques can be applied to gain no-cost exposure for both your listings and personal brand?

Much like researching comps, over-lauding a selling point or preparing a launch, mastering these five steps can help you secure valuable “real estate” in leading digital and print media outlets worldwide. Here’s what you have to do:

1. Know the audience

To win a successful pitch, you must tailor the message to suit the medium or outlet you are shooting for. Do your research.

What types of stories do they run? What does their editorial calendar look like? Who is their target audience?

You can often get this information with an advertising inquiry or request for media kit from an account executive.

If you work at a larger brokerage or real estate firm, ask your marketing department if they would be willing to share any data they have on hand.

The key is to get ahead of the competition by giving reporters and producers exactly what they want.

2. Create an angle

You might think you’ve got something newsworthy, but you’re not the only agent with a story to tell.

Don’t assume a hefty price tag, great photos and a desirable location will get your listing picked up. Craft a compelling angle, and leave no doubt that this property deserves attention.

Examples of winning real estate hooks read a bit like this: last available unit in record-setting building, celebrity owner willing to be named, list price sets precedent for neighborhood, rich local history with architectural significance, income-producing unit up for grabs in hot resort market, etc.

Get the idea?

3. Time it right

When you send a pitch is just as important as why you are sending it.

According to PR Daily, over 70 percent of Americans first check their email between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Experts suggest avoiding manic Mondays, while nearly every communications specialist agrees, first thing in the morning or later in the evening is ideal.

What does all this mean?

Email at an opportune time, and make it short and sweet. Nobody wants a lengthy email about how fabulous your listing is. They’ve heard it all before.

Instead, pare down your pitch to a couple sentences. Clearly state the property type — golf, ski, country club, historic, high-rise, remodel, etc., add a few selling points and dangle the exclusive.

Every outlet wants to be the first to break a story, even in real estate. Don’t forget to provide the full address with a link to photos and a website if available.

4. Be on call

Always be prepared to take a quick phone call within 24 hours to answer any questions. Be ready — or have your assistant ready — to provide photos, specs and quotes.

There is nothing reporters and editors love more than being able to get quick reliable information at a moment’s notice.

Once you have established a good relationship and earned an outlet’s trust, it is wise to find out what best suits their communication style and needs, much like you would with a new client.

How often does it run features on real estate? When is the best day to send a pitch, and how often? Are there specific topics of interest you can help with?

Getting to the bottom of this is critical for increasing your chances at no-cost exposure.

5. Be a resource 

The first name on reporters’ lips can be yours! Make yourself a trusted resource in the industry by sharing valuable market insights and offering actual data to back it up.

Make recommendations on hot properties, emerging neighborhoods, new developments or building trends, and watch the value of your expertise come to life.

Don’t be afraid to test the waters, you have nothing to lose.

Lastly, be grateful. You would be amazed at how a simple thank you note, tag, follow, like, share or post on an outlet’s social media platform can take your name from the slush pile to the top of the list.

Amy Puchaty is the owner and principal writer at Amy Puchaty Communications in Boulder, Colorado. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter

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