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2010-03-17 20:53:06

Profit by Publicity: Successful News Hooks


Today we begin looking at the variety of news hooks and story angles REALTORS® have used to help generate publicity, and what you can learn from their successes.
Each week we’ll include brief excerpts from the news coverage they received, together with advice and insights about the publicity. This week we focus on launching new services and discussing real estate trends. To share your PR successes, please send examples to
Story Angle: Launch a New Service
House Won't Sell? Have a Cow, Man
Although there may always be sign-waving clowns and cookies baking in the oven, the Internet is playing a bigger role in how the industry interacts with clients and prospective home buyers. Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp., for example, parent company of Florida's largest residential real-estate agency, recently launched an online service that allows potential customers to receive personalized listings and daily mortgage updates.

The company also allows would-be home buyers to type questions on its Florida-specific Web site,, which automatically generates voice mails for a quick response from a nearby agent.

Orlando Sentinel
Nov. 4, 2006
Orlando, Florida
Advice and Insights: Necessity is the mother of invention, and can be the inspiration for new services to meet the challenges of a changing market and the needs of consumers. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever before to launch and implement services based on your knowledge, expertise, or existing resources.
No matter whether your new real estate-related service is high-tech or no-tech, check to ensure it is truly different or better than what your competition is offering, that you have proper credentials, expertise, or background to provide the service, and that you have the resources to meet the demand for it.
And be sure the new service works before distributing a news release about it, or the publicity you receive might not be the publicity you want.    
News Hook: Discuss Local Real Estate Trends
The Blossoming of Canyon Lake
Area real estate agents say the rapid growth and appreciation (in Canyon Lake) have been the result of a kind of perfect storm in real estate: developers eager to cash in on the high-dollar hunger for lake views; out-of-state investors cashing out of waning markets on the East and West coasts and desperate to find a place to park their money to avoid capital gains taxes; and San Antonio families willing to commute to find affordable housing in the area. (New) subdivisions are attracting plenty of non-Texas interest.
"We are seeing people from California, Florida, Colorado," said Ed Mullins, a Canyon Lake real estate agent with Mickey Ferrell Realtors. "I even had someone in from Turkey.” 
According to local real estate agents, as the housing market worsens around the country, especially in Florida and California, people are trying to get out while they can and reinvest their money is in real estate markets that are still appreciating such as Texas.
San Antonio Express
Nov. 4, 2006
San Antonio, Texas
Advice and Insights: To paraphrase Tip O’Neil, the late Speaker of the House of Representatives, “All real estate is local.” Even though a housing market in one part of the country may be cooling off, it could be heating up somewhere else. If your market is different from others in some way, such as prices, inventory, demographics, etc., consider calling the anomaly to the attention of the local press and position yourself as an expert who can discuss the matter.
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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