Property PR is managing how the public perceives a property sector business.
Although there is crossover, Property PR is not marketing. Marketing is much more focused on moving clients from where they are to instructing or purchasing with you. Whilst PR should ultimately achieve the same thing, it’s goal is to manage how those potential people view you in the first place.
Real Estate PR is more important than ever. A recent survey of trusted professionals showed that people view estate agents as the 5th LEAST trustworthy. There are blogs dedicated to avoiding “estate agents and their tricks”!
Good PR for estate agents then is managing your reputation. In 2020, that means online and in person.
Marketing is not to be overlooked though! Have a read to our complete property marketing blog to make sure you’re applying the best estate agent marketing techniques.
PR is a broad subject and, depending on your circumstances, you may be more inclined to hire an agency to help you with it. These 6 tips are simple things that any estate agent can use in their PR campaigns to boost their reputation - both online and off.
To download our FREE mammoth list of 50 property marketing ideas for estate agents in 2020, click here.
1. Provide An Amazing Client Experience From Day 1
The client experience starts before you’ve made contact with the client. It begins the moment someone visits your website, views your social media, sees an ad or reads an article. It’s important that estate agents make sure this experience is as flawless as possible.
Every point someone could encounter you should LOOK as you want to be seen. High quality and professional. You should use amazing property photography that gives the right impression.
Your estate agent website is a very likely first point of content. It should have a fast load speed and be easy to navigate. In particular, your contact details should be easy to find and clear.
The client experience should be reviewed regularly to deal with any problems quickly and ensure that it runs smooth and makes it easy for someone to see themselves doing business with you.
2. Manage The Word On The Street
People are talking about you - on and offline. The sad news is that people are more likely to talk about you if their experience is negative. This is a critical factor for estate agents to manage.
Whether someone decides to work with you or not, the level of service and experience they receive needs to be excellent. It sounds obvious but don’t make promises you can’t keep, do what you say you will and respond quickly & politely at all times. Apologise where necessary!
Think like a customer and deliver the level of service you would be delighted to receive.
The best estate agents will take an “extra mile” approach to maximise the chances of the word on the street being 100% positive!
3. Respond To Online Reviews
From a marketing perspective, you should encourage people to leave online reviews as when they’re good, they can really attract new clients to you.
When they’re bad however, online reviews can seem like a pain in the neck! There’s two reasons why this isn’t actually the truth though:
- They give you an opportunity to apologise and rectify the issue. The customer is always right is a good mantra for dealing with online reviews. In most cases, it’s not a good idea to get into a defensive battle with someone who has left you a negative review. Instead, use this opportunity to allow future readers to see that you are accountable and manage mistakes or unhappy clients well.
- They are free feedback! Some businesses have to pay a fortune to have a consultant come in and identify everything they’re doing wrong. Your reviews, good or bad, are a real insight that you can use to improve your processes and avoid the same issue in the future.
It’s good practice to monitor your online presence and see if there are any reviews you should be addressing.
4. Be Pro-Active
It’s possible to build a positive relationship and reputation before someone is even looking for an estate agent.
You can do this by beginning to provide value and build trust right now. This can be done through things like your social media posts, engaging in local groups on places like Facebook or starting a newsletter.
These kinds of activities give you an opportunity to provide useful information to the people who are most likely to want to engage your services one day.
Download our free checklist of 50 creative things for inspiration around adding value and boosting your reputation in the local community and online.
5. Cut The Jargon
A small one but something any expert can easily be found guilty of. Sadly, speaking too much property industry jargon can raise red flags for customers. Whether in person, in your blogs, brochures or other documentation, always explain things in a way anyone could understand.
If you do use technical terms, define them. It’s hard for someone to want to engage someone if they don’t understand what’s being said or feel like someone is trying to be “too clever”.
Clarity is key to winning the trust of your potential clients.
6. Leverage The Power Of Influence
Leverage in this sense essentially means “to use someone else’s influence to your own advantage”.
You may have heard of “influencer marketing” where someone asks a person of influence to promote something on their behalf because people already like, know and trust that person of influence.
Estate agents can use a similar tactic to boost their PR and own reputation. It could be done by writing a regular piece for a trusted local publication, partnering with a well liked local business or collaborating with a trusted person of influence in the local community.
Think about people or businesses (particularly in your local area) who are already liked and trusted by your target clients and consider ways to work with them so that you can leverage their influence and trust.
Don’t forget: Working with someone in this way should be a win-win so think about that too when proposing the idea.
Your reputation could be the difference between attracting clients and completely turning them off. Review how you are being perceived regularly and make changes to ensure that it’s as positive as possible.
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