Today I am going to explain with a real case study a real estate collection technique widely used in Blue World City to attract clients and properties. In a Real Estate Public Relations technique.
A real estate agency in Montevideo began to implement it last week. It took us a long time to organize this strategy throughout the month of March and we could see results in May: 2 new potential clients in 20 days, with more than 20 requests for information from people interested in selling or renting their properties. This is only figures for the first month. During the following months the numbers increased.
This technique of real estate collection is about regularly publishing information articles about the real estate sector in the national or local press both in the printed version and in the online version. Many agencies have tried this strategy with no result, because they have misapplied it . This technique of real estate collection is not as easy as it seems and you have to organize it well. This is where the failure of the agencies that have implemented it lies: lack of preparation and not analyzing the strategy well.
Let’s see how this technique of real estate collection is planned.
Last July this small real estate agency, (4 people), and with only 15 months in the market, I wanted to introduce some new way of attracting customers to support their online advertising. Their business was not bad, but their competition is strong and it was not easy for them to attract customers and new properties. After discussing the issue in several Skype meetings, I asked David, one of the agency’s partners, the possibility of making known to his potential clients through articles in the press .
David got excited about the idea, but acknowledged that the main impediment to implementing this strategy was to get a newspaper to publish the articles. I told him that it was not as difficult as it seemed at first. Only planning was needed.
These are the bases of the plan that we implement:
First phase. Prepare a good report on allonline and offlinepublicationsin Uruguay on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This list included national newspapers, magazines that could have some relationship with the real estate sector,(architecture, economy, etc.)and online publications. We complete a list of 7 main publications and 15 secondary publications. Preparing this list took us 1 week.
Second stage. At the same time, a list of topics that were interesting for buyers or homeowners should be prepared. Articles should beinformative,where potential readers learn something that helps them buy, sell or rent a property. For example:
In the end we selected 22 topics that were considered more interesting for the Montevideo market.
Third Phase . We write thefirst 5 articles with journalistic structure, (title, subtitle, content and conclusion), well written, with simple language and with a maximum 500 words of each of the selected topics. This took us another week.
Fourth phase. We prepared a campaign by email and telephone with the selected media to convince publishers to let us publish 1 article a week in their publication on the real estate sector. We prepared an Information Dossier with statistical data on the real estate sector, content of the topics to be discussed and an example of 5 articles to show the editor that his readers would welcome this type of information.
Before contacting the editors about a topic i.e. plot for sale in Rawalpindi, it was well planned what to say in the phone call to get a personal meeting. This step must be prepared well. The editors were contacted to arrange a meeting; not to explain in detail by phone this Public Relations action. We got only 2 personal meetings, with the rest of the contacts we had to send the information of our strategy by email.
Fifth Phase The meeting explained what it was desired to do and explained the advantages for the publication of having a weekly column on the real estate sector written by a professional in the sector. For this, the 5 articles already written are delivered so that the editor can check the content and select those that he considers most interesting. With this approach, we were more likely to have the newspaper or magazine agree to publish at least 1 article a week or every 15 days.
Of course, your article included at the end the name of the person who wrote the article, the name of the agency and a contact email.
I have described here these 5 points in a summary way so you can have an overview of how this technique of real estate collection works. Getting your articles published regularly is not easy, but you can get it.
Why don’t other agencies get it? Mainly, because when they contact the editors they don’t have the duties done, nor do they prepare the phone call or the interview; nor do homework by writing 20 articles previously.
To be successful with this strategy you must consider how a newspaper or magazine works, how daily news is generated and what is the work and functions of a journalist.
You have to contact all the media at the same time and do not contact the media little by little as you see the results. Ideally, to put this method into practice (which is what some franchises do in the United Kingdom or the United States), it is to hire a Public Relations professional to carry out the campaign.
After checking what can be achieved with the publication of articles, what this professional charges is quite acceptable.
I recognize that it is not a real estate acquisition strategy for all agencies, but it is a strategy worth carrying out. In addition the cost is not high. It involves more work than budget; which is an option to consider when you have a tight budget.
The result that we obtained with this action of Public Relations of real estate collection was excellent, but not the one that we had proposed.
Only 1 newspaper of national circulation accepted to publish 1 weekly article during 1 month of test that later extended to a little more than 2 months.
Another newspaper of national circulation published us only 4 articles every 10 – 15 days. In both cases the articles appeared in the printed version and / or in the online version.
With magazines we only get 1 to publish 2 articles in its monthly print version and 6 articles in its online version.
The truth is that we expected to publish our articles in more media for a longer time, (we calculate a maximum of 3 months), but with the articles that were published we got a very good market exposure.
The surprise came when we realized that we could publish the articles on the Facebook pages of these publications; pages that had thousands of fans.
Also, and since we were online, the agency signed up for 56 Facebook groups and published the articles in these groups. Idea that did not occur to us when publishing on the walls of these publications. Also, some classifieds, portals, blogs and online consumer magazines also published 1-3 articles for 1-2 months, which gave us more coverage.
Seeing that this path was the best. We created a Facebook campaign to promote 2 posts in 4 weeks, which brought about 340 people who liked the Facebook page. On Google Plus and on Twitter we just publish 2 articles a week that also gave exposure to the real estate agency.
David is really excited about the possibilities that this real estate acquisition technique can provide. At the moment he is publishing articles in online publications. They are not the most prestigious publications with the highest number of readers in Montevideo, but they are publications that people read and if you find the article interesting, visit the website through the link and contact the agency.
At the moment they have already contacted the agency more than 20 people in 3 months. Customers who want to sell their property and some in search of a property. One of them was a company from Argentina that has asked the agency to find 3 commercial stores in Montevideo. The beginner’s luck? We’ll see.