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2010-04-13 22:56:21

Profit by Publicity: Story Angles that Work


We continue our look at the different news hooks and story angles REALTORS® have used to help generate publicity, and what you can learn from their successes. Each installment features brief excerpts from the news coverage they received, together with advice and insights about the publicity. This week we focus on real estate agents who have written books or were featured in the books of others. To share your PR successes, please send examples to
Story Angle: Write and Publish a Book
Longtime Marin REALTOR® Helps Seniors Weigh Housing Alternatives
After 53 years as a real estate broker in Marin County, 82-year-old Bruce Wrisley has earned the unofficial title of "seniors' real estate specialist...” Another way to describe him - Realtor to the Greatest Generation. At his age and with his experience, he believes that nobody knows the mindset of the over 65-year-old homeowner better than he does.
After counseling seniors on real estate matters for 23 years and teaching a College of Marin course on housing alternatives for seniors, Wrisley has found that, sooner or later, most older folks will have to decide whether to stay in their homes for the rest of their lives or sell and move to a retirement residence or to another town or state. That's why he has written "Stay or Move? The Seniors' Housing Dilemma" ($14.95,, a self-published 95-page paperback to help seniors.
Marin Independent Journal
April 13, 2010
San Rafael, California
Advice and Insights: Writing a book can provide an effective news hook that may attract the interest of news outlets and Web sites in doing stories about you, while highlighting your real estate expertise and accomplishments at the same time.
Being a published author automatically confers upon real estate agents and brokers an instant credibility in the eyes of editors, reporters, and columnists. Many journalists assume that since you wrote a book, you are an expert on the topic and therefore must know what you are talking about. Reporters reason that if you know what you are talking about, you can probably provide important information, insights and perspectives on that or related topics for their stories. 
But it doesn’t have to stop there.
·        Depending on the topic and current events, authors are frequent guests on the radio talk show and television news and interview program circuit.
·        By turning chapters of your book into stand-alone articles, you can often get extra mileage out of the work you did in writing the book, while receiving additional attention from the media.
·        At listing presentations, you can impress potential clients by giving them a   copy of your book (it sure beats a PowerPoint presentation or marketing brochure!).
Thanks to the changing nature of the publishing industry, there are a variety of ways for real estate agents to publish a book within a matter of weeks or months (see and for examples) instead of the years it can take by going through the traditional commercial publishing house route. 
News Hook: Contribute to a Book 
Some REALTORS®, rather than writing their own books, may be featured in someone else’s book on real estate. Contributing to or being interviewed for that book can be legitimate reasons for issuing a news release and seeking publicity. For example:   
Jane Fairweather Recognized as Billion Dollar Agent in Real Estate Industry
Bethesda, MD - Jane Fairweather, a top Realtor in Bethesda, Maryland, is recognized and interviewed in the forthcoming book, Billion Dollar Agent – Lessons Learned. Jane Fairweather has been a Realtor for 25 years and has career sales of about $1.2 billion and over 2,500 homes sold. Jane operates her company The Jane Fairweather Team as part of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Franchise. Her website, provides detailed information about buying and selling tips for the area.

In the book, Jane reflects on her own experience and lessons learned. "I learned how to run a business by being self-employed in my previous career. When I began my real estate career I had no money but a lot of time. So, I did direct mail and handwrote and stamped the cards myself. Direct mail put me on the top of peoples' minds with regard to real estate," said Jane.
Nov. 2, 2006
Edward Segal, RCE, is the author of the Profit by Publicity series of live and online classes, audiobook and how-to-reference guide for real estate agents and brokers.  Segal was the marketing strategies columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s, a PR consultant to more than 500 clients and press secretary to members of Congress.   He is now CEO of the Marin County Association of REALTORS® in San Rafael, Calif.  Visit his Web site at

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