Should Real Estate Agents Invest in PR

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Investing in PR as a Real Estate Agent 

Like any other business, real estate also relies on relationships in order to grow. People prefer to buy from realtors they know or trust. In this article, we’ll go over why PR is important for realtors, including input from experts, and where you can look for resources.

Here’s a look at some of the experts weighing in on the topic:

  • Denise Supplee: A licensed realtor, property manager, and the co-founder of SparkRental.com. Denise brings more than three decades of experience to the table and is among the most well-known realtors on the market. Her company is designed to help everyday people build passive income through real estate investing, and work toward financial independence. 
  • Jo Trizila: Founder & chief executive officer of the award-winning, Dallas-based TrizCom Public Relations and Pitch PR, Jo believes in strong communication. Founded in 2008, TrizCom PR is an award-winning full-service public relations firm. Whereas established in 2015, Pitch PR powered by TrizCom PR is a press release distribution company that uses its proprietary press release distribution system with a personal pitch.
  • Kristi Piehl: Kristi is an Emmy Award-winning television news reporter who launched her own company, Media Minefield, in 2010 after 12 years in the business. Her company caters to all kinds of clients ranging from startups to billion-dollar brands. Media Minefield moves beyond traditional public relations and specializes in earned media, crisis communication, and social media.
  • David A. Ball: President of Ball Consulting Group, David manages his strategic communications firm that provides public relations services to many industries, including real estate. His firm has represented many developers as well as agents selling premier properties.
  • Rhonda Rees: A published author, Rees is an award-winning veteran in the field of public relations. She is an independent in charge of Rhonda Rees Public Relations Company, and Aseity Press publishing. In 2018, she was named as one of the five most powerful publicists in Hollywood by PeopleMaven.

Let’s look at what our experts had to say:

 

Public Relations (PR) is More Important Than Ever

PR has been in existence for a long period of time. However, things have changed now thanks to the introduction of digital marketing. 

These days, a large number of people look for real estate on the internet. There are websites that allow buyers and sellers to place and view ads online, which has helped make target them easier.  

Supplee seems to agree as well. She says that PR is more important “in the Internet era than any other time. Prior to that, networking was largely done in person and by word-of-mouth. Having a good branding strategy, including the use of social media, email campaigns, mailings (snail-mail), and attending events is important for any business.”

Before we move to what they had to say, let’s talk about what public relations (PR) mean for realtors and why they need good PR:

 

Understand The Importance of PR

“Before ever thinking about launching a PR campaign, real estate agents need to ask themselves one simple question – why?” Says Jo Trizila.

This one is a no-brainer. You can’t do something until you fully understand it. You must realize the importance of PR and what it means for your business to be able to create a good public image. The problem, however, is that the answer isn’t always obvious.pexels-julia-kuzenkov-1974596

“It can be a bit of a process to figure it out, but when we have the why question answered, you can identify not only a goal but a measurement metric as well,” reminds Trizila.

Here are some of the problems according to Trizila:

  • You have a multimillion-dollar listing that will appeal to people outside your local geographical area and you don’t know how to reach them
  • Your listings are not getting the foot traffic it needs
  • Your realtor events aren’t well attended
  • Your listings are not attracting the right buyers
  • You need to increase your website traffic
  • You need to do more networking

She further shares her experiences:

Many real estate agents will come to TrizCom PR requesting a press release, a newspaper or television story, social media, or an influencer campaign. These are all tactics. Without knowing the why behind these, you will never be able to measure success.

The problem is that a lot of people do not understand how wide of a net PR can cast. Many believe that PR only includes media relations without realizing the problems it can solve.

 

Make Long Term Plans

PR efforts can take a while to show results. You will not begin to see the benefits right away. It can often take months to start to see momentum.

“PR should be thought of as a tool for building awareness, like other marketing tools, however, it is best to consider its benefits over the long term. One media placement will not transform or re-energize an agent’s career, but multiple placements could very well do that,” reminds David A. Ball.

He also reminds agents that there’s no right time to start a PR campaign.

“If the purpose of the PR is to raise the profile of the agent, then it can be done any time, but best when pegged to some new developments in the agent’s portfolio, such as recent closed sales or varied new listings. For PR on listings, results are best generated when well planned out in advance, so a PR firm is best engaged when the listing is new, or perhaps after a significant price reduction,” he adds.

 

Go All Out

According to reports, about 92 percent of consumers trust earned media, whereas only 50 percent trust paid advertisements.

pexels-lisa-fotios-1438190 (1)It’s quite understandable why this happens. Buyers and sellers are smarter than ever. They search the web and do their research before they make a decision.

“They want to work with someone who is not only personable but has the knowledge and expertise to get the job done. From a PR perspective, this is where earned media can be crucial.” Says Kristi Piehl. 

One should go all out and build a reputation that ‘earns’ them interviews and publicity.

“An interview with a local TV station can show potential clients who you are and what differentiates you, while also highlighting your knowledge and expertise of the local real estate market,” says Piehl while highlighting the importance of earned media.

This trick is very effective as it shows people you’re reliable and worth a try. You can use an earned media story in a lot of ways. It can be used to show your potential clients the benefits of working with you. 

“An earned media story can be used on social media to showcase your expertise for months or even years down the road depending on the topic of the interview. Blogs can help buyers and sellers see you as the expert, and advertisements can help boost your brand,” suggests Piehl.

She further adds:

“PR has many arms, but it is often overlooked in real estate. Agents are usually active on social media and advertising, but when you add earned media into the mix, you get incredible results.”

 

You Need the Right Mix

PR isn’t one single element and you must mix and match to get your desired results. Using only social media, for example, can limit the reach you would have if you would have used social media in conjunction with other PR methods. 

“Marketing can certainly be used to help back-up the original PR effort,” reminds Rhonda Rees.

She suggests using web-based wire services like PR Web, EIN Presswire, and traditional press releases.

“Once you gain coverage, it’s also smart to market the effort by posting it to your website, blog, or by sending it out through social media. Email marketing is also a good follow-up,” she adds.

 

You Don’t Need an Expert

A lot of real estate agents stay away from PR because they think it’s too expensive. While the cost may be higher, often so is the reward when getting expert help. If this sort of expense is not in the budget, there is no reason to give up on PR entirely. 

“This can be done without hiring an expert, so there should be no excuses. In order to make money in real estate, you must make a name for yourself,” says Supplee.

You can find guides and information online that can help you create a strong media presence. Everything from social media posts to blogs can push you in the right direction. The key lies in doing things that present you as an ‘expert’ so that others are interested in what you have to offer.

If you choose to work with a professional then it’s important to choose the right firm.

“Real estate agents should be sure that their PR partner has considerable real estate experience, is strong in all forms of communication, and has a network of media relationships,” suggests Ball.

Real Estate and PR: FAQ

Should real estate agents invest in PR?

Ball answered this question for us:

“If an agent is looking to raise their own profile in the community or attract attention to an unusual listing, such as one that goes on the market at a record price, or is a former church converted into condos, or a home in an emerging neighborhood, then, yes, public relations should be one marketing tool to deploy.”

 

Can we create good PR without the internet?

No, you cannot.

Buyers and sellers do not look very favorably at businesses or agents that are not present on the internet in today’s day and age. 

While some of your clients might not be on the internet, the fact remains that a large percent of your potential clients will search the web to know more about your business.

 

Can good PR help real agents make more money?

Yes, it can.

PR translates into business. It helps people trust you. This is why businesses spend thousands on creating and managing their PR.