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2010-05-11 18:24:12

Profit by Publicity: Successful News Hooks



We continue our review of the wide range of news hooks and story angles real estate agents have used to help generate publicity, and what you can learn from their experience. Each week we feature examples of the news coverage they received, together with advice and insights about the publicity. 

Today we look at agents who listed unusual properties and provided the media with their take on the housing market. To share your PR successes, please send examples to

Showcase Unusual Properties
Grateful Dead Offices to Be Sold
The vintage San Rafael building where members of the Grateful Dead rented offices for more than 30 years is on the market for $1.15 million. “It’s one of the great old properties of San Rafael,” said listing agent Matt Storms of Keegan & Coppin Co., Inc. in Larkspur. How often do you run across a deal where the property owners for more than the last 100 years have been the same family?”
Marin Independent Journal
April 14, 2004
San Rafael, Calif.
Advice and Insights: Your best news hook for generating publicity about yourself or your company could be one of your own listings. An interesting aspect of the property— such as its location, history, previous owners, architecture, landscaping, décor, etc.—can provide the information you need to suggest that a journalist do a story about the house.
Sometimes it’s the listing price that can attract a reporter’s interest and result in publicity for the listing agent, as happened with this property New England:
For $25 Million, You Can Make This House Your Home
What does $25 million get you in Massachusetts? Nothing quite as exclusive as it would in the Virgin Islands, where for a million dollars less you can buy a private, 230-acre island. Still, the East Orleans property is nothing to sneer at. It's not just a home, it's a “retreat,” according to the literature prepared by Century 21 Beach Road Real Estate/Fine Homes & Estates in Orleans, which is offering the estate jointly with (the seller’s) California realtor, Kay Cole of Ewing & Associates/Sotheby's International Realty. Needless to say, homes of this caliber aren't sold the usual way. No “For Sale” signs or open houses, says Myra Brink-Dennis of Century 21.
The Globe
Nov. 11, 2006
New London, Conn.
Often it’s the size of the property that will garner media attention. For example:
Got $2 Million? Town Could Be Yours
In the market for your own little slice of heaven? How about a whole town? The historic hub of Cazadero, a former sawmill town tucked in the redwoods of west Sonoma County, hit the auction block this week with an asking price of $2 million. Santa Rosa real estate agent Martin A. Levy say’s he’s received several calls already, mostly from people interested in opening a bed-and-breakfast or starting a restaurant.
The Press Democrat
Jan. 25, 2005
Santa Rosa, Calif.
Offer Your Perspectives on the Housing Market
Media Home Price Is Back Up: $971,500
Kathy Schlegel, president of the Marin Association of Realtors, said the June (sales) numbers “continue to show we still have a healthy, more balanced real estate market. We are seeing…homes staying on the market longer and buyers don’t feel the immediacy of having to make a fast purchase,” Schlegel said. “they are looking at more homes before making their decision to buy.”
Marin Independent Journal
San Rafael, Calif.
June 20, 2006
Advice and Insights: It is the job of journalists to report the facts of real estate-related stories, and not to inject their own opinions or predictions.
To help round out their stories, however, reporters will often seek out local real estate experts for their take on the housing market, consumer behavior, the impact of interest rates on home buyers, etc. and include those comments in their stories.
Given how often news outlets do stories about the housing market, real estate professionals have many opportunities throughout the year to be quoted in the news about where they think the market is headed, the impact of prices and interest rates on consumers, etc.           
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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