There is no longer a clear, dividing line between traditional media outreach and digital communications in real estate PR. Efforts in pitching must coincide with the messaging on a brand’s social media channels, and vice versa. The goals of one must align with the goals of the other. Whether you are in commercial real estate or residential real estate, an integrated approach is the most effective way to tackle real estate PR, especially when it comes to leasing out a building.
Step 1: Create the brand.
PR is nothing without a brand to promote. Establishing a brand in today’s ever-evolving digital world means creating social media channels, launching a website, developing an email database, providing contact information to potential buyers and, of course, opening a sales center or “home base” for finalizing contracts. Make sure the brand is consistent across all channels; from logos and taglines to key talking points for the media. This will set you up for success in the future.
Step 2: Promote the brand.
Once the digital channels are in place, including a website and social media presence, it’s time to get the word out. Pitching to media should begin. One of the goals for media outreach is to land stories that will ultimately send potential clients and brokers to the website to learn more and subscribe to the email list to become a lead. Media also works to build buzz around the start of sales or leasing, and provide updates on big milestones, creating heightened demand to live or lease at the building.
In a coordinated effort, digital tactics such as social media advertising, Google display ads, Google search ads and social media content creation should launch. Social media, digital advertising and imagery should reflect the same key messages that are featured in your pitches to media targets.
The goal of this phase is to make your brand pop up no matter where a potential buyer may be looking, whether they are reading the news, surfing the web or scrolling through their Facebook (Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc.) newsfeed.
Step 3: Nurture the leads.
This surge of brand awareness – from media outreach to digital campaigns – will likely result in an influx of leads for your email marketing list. Now is the time to nurture those leads and move them through the sales funnel. Hit the email list every 2-3 weeks with updates on sales milestones, upcoming sales events or exclusive content about what it’s like to live or work at this property. Make sure each email has a clear call-to-action and an easy way to get in touch with a member of the sales team to make an appointment.
Simultaneously, seek opportunities to highlight the building’s unique amenities or perks in the media. This is the time to build upon the awareness you’ve already created and get buyers or potential clients engaged. Think about what sets your brand apart and actively work to place your brand in stories that will highlight its best attributes.
Step 4: Report the Results
A fully integrated approach to real estate PR will ensure a strong ROI and result in concrete sales that will work as proof of concept. When setting up the digital campaigns and pitching stories to the media, be sure to use unique tracking links for each effort to measure the success of one effort against another. Metrics such as impressions, clicks, reach, cost per click, cost per lead and click through rate are just a few of the aspects of your integrated campaign that you can measure. If you match each metric to a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and overarching goal, communicating the ROI of these efforts should be fairly simple.
In the end, an integrated approach is the only way to ensure smooth transitions and a unified message across all brand channels, from media placements to social media content.
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