Here are some ideas on how to use real estate data to become your own publicist or to hire one and help make them more effective.
Why a publicist? Isn’t that someone only a Hollywood celeb would employ?
Not necessarily. Generating publicity on a local level can be a powerful marketing tool for local real estate brokers and agent.
It’s a way to break out of the pack and make your name stand out in the local community.
Today, more than ever, there are an incredible number of content providers out there.
Here’s one way to look at it. Media outlets – newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, magazine and local bloggers are all looking for story ideas.
In many cases not only is the medium looking for story angles, but every reporter at that company probably has a blog and a social media account and ALL of them are looking for story ideas as well.
Social media can be a hungry beast. If those reporters want to build up followings, they know they must post interesting content on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram
Fortunately, news about the home market is an important topic.
But here’s the key. To approach any reporter, you must have an interesting story to present to them.
You can’t just call up a journalist and say, “Hey do a story about me.”
One, that’s not a particularly interesting angle and two, every business in town is probably doing the same thing.
This is where hyper-local real estate data gives you a tremendous edge.
Create appealing story angles with real estate data
Big Data providers such as Home Junction gather thousands of data points relevant to real estate from sources all over the country. County courthouse records. School information. Third party providers. Etc. Their researchers know where to find the relevant data and how to aggregate it.
Home Junction then created a proprietary software API program called Slipstream that feeds the data to any website on the internet.
Therefore, a local agent in Oshkosh can embed a few bits of code on their website and tap into this gigantic database of real estate data about their local market, zip code or even neighborhood.
This is very interesting content to consumers.
Take Recent Property Sales for example. Where is the market heading? Are homes selling in the county? Is there one particular part of the county that is outselling other parts of the county? What’s the breakdown for the neighborhoods in a newspaper’s or magazine’s particular readership area?
The possibilities get even better.
Reporters are generalists. A general assignment reporter might cover a crime story one day and an interview about an interesting character in town the next. Same goes for business reporters. They might report on the construction of a new shopping center today and interview a local CEO tomorrow.
They have general knowledge about a subject. But even a real estate reporter does not have the same expertise as a local real estate agent who works in the trenches every day.
You are the real estate expert in your area. And when you embed this relevant real estate data into your website, it makes you even more of a local expert.
One strategy you can use is to use your market knowledge to interpret that data.
Perhaps point out trends taking place in certain neighborhoods. Compare one local neighborhood to another. Compare one local neighborhood to a major neighborhood in another part of the country.
The possibilities are endless.
When you call a reporter armed with some unique type of information, not just hearsay, but backed up by a credible source (in this case a national real estate data provider such as Home Junction), people will listen.
How to get publicity
One idea you might consider to accelerate your inroads into local media is to hire a local public relations person. Doesn’t have to be full-time. And it doesn’t have to be long-term.
That person can immediately help you with the contacts they have established with newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, etc.
They know who is hungry for story ideas. They have established a rapport with many of these people so that she can call them and the editors will know his or her ideas are credible and worth listening to.
Perhaps they can’t get you an interview with a local newspaper. But maybe they can get you (and your data) featured in a local magazine. That magazine might have a readership of 10,000 people and a major email subscriber list as well. Getting your name published in front of that many potential customers is certainly valuable, especially since it is FREE.
Once your foot is in the door, there is always an opportunity for more. Remember, current news goes away after a few days, in many cases, after a day.
If your interview or content works out well, the medium might ask you to be a regular source or contributor. That’s huge. That’s a publicist’s dream.
Here are a few more tips:
– Find out about deadlines. Generally, it’s best to pitch a story first thing in the morning when an editor or reporter is looking for story ideas.
– Respect the reporter’s time frame. If a reporter is writing a story and is trying to post if before the deadline, don’t bother him or her. Offer to call back when it is convenient to them.
– Call the news media in advance. If you know you will have some interesting news or your data feeds coming from Home Junction, for example, the next quarter’s results, call the editor or reporter a week or two in advance. This way your story idea is on their radar and they can work it into their schedule. Fridays are good days when most newsrooms plan the following week’s story.
Magazines publish way in advance, generally a month, so be sure to contact them much earlier.
– Prepare visuals. The Home Junction team can also work with you to present your local data in different forms – charts, tables, etc. Show this to reporters. Especially if those charts indicate a major movement, say a huge spike in home sales or property prices.
– Keep at it. As we said, your real estate data makes for an interesting story. Send a polite note on a regular basis pointing out different trends in the neighborhood. There will come a time when a reporter has run out of stories, or a story idea fell through, and they may contact you.
– Create advertorials. These are very popular today with the news media, especially newspaper real estate sections. In this case, a broker or agent can write a news article, but it a paid advertisement and must be labeled as such. However, if you write the piece as a news item, not a fluffy story about yourself, it can generate the same readership and almost the same credibility as a regular news article. This is especially true if you have credible information, such as the factual real estate data from Home Junction.
– Partner with other businesses or bloggers. Your real estate data is valuable. Perhaps a mortgage company would be interested in featuring it on their blog. Or maybe a builder. Many of these businesses will be working hard to create their own followings and you can piggyback onto their audiences with your hyper-local property information.
Let’s face it. In every marketplace, there are a ton of real estate agents. Some are full-time, pedal to the metal agents and some are retired, part-time agents. But to many consumers, all of these agents tend to blend together into one giant mass.
Using a publicist or acting as your own publicist is an effective strategy to separate yourself from the herd.
Even if you are only featured one time in a newspaper, magazine or TV station, you can copy that appearance and promote it on your website. Use it when you make a listing presentation to sellers.
When the public sees that a major media outlet has featured you, it immediately creates an impression in their mind that this agent has credibility, experience and local knowledge.
Movie stars know the importance of hiring publicists to keep their names in the public eye on a national basis. It pays off for them with higher box office sales and bigger paychecks.
The same results can work for you on the local level, with more listings and more calls from buyers. Use local real estate data to be the star of your community.