It’s about 10 years ago, the pleasant in gaining free “publicity” are still as relevant today.
If you sold a home or two, you’ll know that when a real estate agent lists ones property, it’s highly likely that the home will get the same attention from real estate agent as 100 others in his inventory.
In other words, unless the real estate agent is your brother-in-law, your home will get as much attention as all the others.
When my wife and the family moved from a New South Wales country town, Gloucester, to the Gold Coast, we gave the listing of our home to a local real estate agent.
The property was a beautiful 11.5 acre “rural oasis” with a four-bedroom ranch style, western red cedar home, together with a four-bedroom, two-story log cabin, tennis court, golf greens, a perched field den, winding creek and a multitude of surround picnic spots.
In other words it was bless with “wow factor after wow factor!”
I thought this would be any real estate agent’s “dream listing” because of its “uniqueness and picture frame attractiveness.”
However, the real estate agent treated it the same as every other of his listing and after a month also of “silence” from his end and not one inspection, I decided to pull up stamps and market the home myself.
After all, I’m in the business of “marketing,” so I thought I have a better chance of doing a better job than the agent!
The agent had not even considered an aerial photography shoot, nor had he featured the “target audience” in any of his photograph.
One of my pet-hates with real estate agents is the fact that they sell “ghost houses.”
Have you ever seen a home on www.realestate.com.au that has a human in any of the photographs?
Have you ever seen a home in the front window of a real estate agency that features any humans?
Probably not as for some reasons, real estate agents ignore the fact that people are attracted to people who look like them – hence why it’s always important to always feature your target audience in any of your advertising…… no matter what the product or service is.
The Panadol and Nurofen headache companies know that a large portion of their target audience are mums with young children and that’s why you see mothers with little rascals giving them a headache in all of their TV advertising.
I created marketing material that was “message to market match.”
It was pretty obvious to me that the likely buyer for this idyllic “tree change” property would come from the “big smoke,” probably Sydney, given that it was only two and a half hours drive away (Gloucester is a gorgeous country town in the upper Hunter Valley, with the population of around 5,000).
I therefore concentrated my marketing effort on Sydney, with a particular emphasis on the north shore, as the properties price tag was over $1 Million.
I arrange aerial photography and video footage via a helicopter photographer and setup a website for people to get more information from.
The “breaking-point” for my relationship with the real estate agent was when after 5 to 6 weeks of no response from his marketing efforts, he suggested we drop the price to “a more realistic $650,000.”
In other words, they told us that it’s all we could get and we should be happy with that…….pretty much a “give up” attitude!
Out went a media release with a difference!
Appreciating that if I am going to steer up a “free publicity” for my unique property, I have to be “provocative,” I decided to send out a media release to the editors of the property sections of major newspapers and online publications.
And yes, I was “provocative,” being critical of the real estate agency industry for not understanding marketing and treating every property in exactly the same way.
I post the question “if real estate agents claims to market homes for a living, then why do 99% of them not have any marketing qualification?”
There’s no other industry on earth where so-called professionals can claim expertise at something and not have proper qualifications!
Can you imagine a doctor without medical qualifications or a car mechanic fixing your breaks if he doesn’t have the appropriate tertiary education certificate?
And yet a real estate agent can boast about being a “property marketing guru” and yet not have any qualification whatsoever in marketing and advertising.
Wow, did my media release ruffled some feathers in the real estate industry? You betcha.
At the same, it also stimulated an incredible reaction from the media, the most notable is from Ray Martin’s office at A Current Affair on the Nine Television Network!
(For international readers, Ray Martin is a TV personality which is a household name in Australia.)
The day A Current Affair rang and asked if I could appear in the program!
Large editorial appeared in the Sydney Sunday paper, on the morning the newspaper hit the streets, I received a call from Channel 9 journalist, who explained he was phoning on behalf of Ray Martin.
He said that Ray had read my story in that morning’s newspaper and thought it would be a good idea to feature the “Do it yourself real estate segment” on Channel 9 A Current Affair Program.
He asked if they could bring a helicopter with a camera crew to my property and if I would be willing to provide my critique of the real estate industry on National TV?
What do you think my answer was? Yep, a big “yes” in a heartbeat of course – as who gets the opportunity to have their own 4 minute “advertorial” on national TV??
They came, they interviewed and the story hit screens throughout Australia!
I remembered my wife, Gael, made sure we had the best luncheon platter you could ever dreamed of, so that we kept the camera crew and the journalist “happy and contented” during their stay!
The Channel 9 helicopter arrived on our property on about 10 am and I was interviewed about my “reasons” for marketing my home myself.
Keep in mind the program story was about “do–it–yourself” real estate.
You’ll see in the TV segment below that I was asked for my “Top Tips” for selling your own home and of course I gladly oblige.
And you’ll also see below the various samples of collateral that I put together to give interested parties.
The story aired nationally and wait till you hear the results!
Our website was promoted by Ray Martin at the end of the segment and it was smashed with enquiries from potential buyers all over Australia.
The result was that we were inundated with offers.
Now keep in mind that the real estate agent had told us to drop the price to what he believe was the “top dollar” we can get for the property – $650,000.
A few days after the Channel 9 exposure, we accepted an offer of $1.2 Million!
I’m not suggesting that everyone can get national television exposure for the sale of their home.
However, I am providing you with this story to demonstrate the importance of:
a. “Message to market match” in your marketing (Note our photographs feature my family in various locations around the property).
b. To gain the attention of any media journalist, you need to be “provocative.”
So whatever you’re selling, if you’re looking for “free publicity,” remember that journalists (both offline and online) receive hundreds of media releases a day.
So if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to either be the inventor of something new (highly unlikely) or you need to “stir up a hornet’s nest.”
In other words, don’t distribute a lame media release, but rather “wow!”