Your estate agency needs publicity. It could probably survive by recommendation and advertising alone, but getting your name known, for all the right reasons, naturally, should be one of your main business aims.
Just how do you get onto the public relations wagon, without it costing an arm and a leg?
Social media is key
One of the major advances in recent years, social media should be one of your very first ports of call when it comes to publicity. If you’re not active on social media, you need to become active now.
Just joining the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook is not enough, although it is a start. Make sure you understand the different types of social media - not only how they work, but also their constraints and limitations, plus their potential.
Do your research. Find out what time of day is best to engage with potential customers, and ensure you communicate with people from all walks of life, not just your own industry.
Post about special offers, events you are attending, sales and successes, the state of house prices in your region, industry news, awards and accolades. Post regularly (at the very least, once a day) and make sure you reply to anyone who replies or comments on your posts.
Engage with the press
Despite the shifts towards social media, traditional routes should not be neglected. Any opportunity to get your company featured in newspapers or magazines, or even on television, should be grabbed with both hands.
Your aim should be to try and cultivate meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with the press, particularly in your local area, so that you become the ‘go to’ expert on local housing issues. Every bit of publicity matters.
Find out who would deal with your types of stories, make an initial contact via phone or email, and then offer to provide regular press releases, columns on housing matters or the odd quote on relevant local issues.
When writing press releases, try to make them relevant to local issues or national news. Keep them relatively short, don’t waffle, ensure it’s well-written and, if possible, attach a good quality photograph to accompany it. Spelling and grammar must be spot-on if you want to be taken seriously.
After emailing your press release to the correct person, leave it a couple of days before following it up with a quick phone call, but don’t be too pushy. Newspapers and magazines get hundreds of press releases every week and won’t have room for them all.
Keep your website relevant
Every estate agency must have a well-designed website which enables customers to browse properties at the click of a button. Your website should also be somewhere people can go for advice and help.
Offering a well-written blog which discusses issues such as house prices in the UK, how to get a mortgage or the relevance of a survey will help drive people to your website.