One newspaper article =
an entire community listing for one agent
and a $40,000 check for another!
Back in October of 2008, reporter Jean Murphy of The Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago (IL) newspaper, called Laurie with some questions about the luxury market. Laurie suggested to Jean that she might give the story an even stronger local twist by interviewing some of our Institute members. Jean contacted several and ended up quoting Institute member Valerie Zelinski of Century 21 Roberts & Andrews in Crystal Lake and Carol Best of Hunter's Fairway | Sotheby's International Realty in Barrington. Carol, a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) shared lots of information about lifestyle marketing and the concept of targeting the best prospects for your listings -- information which Jean included in the article. The article ran on November 1, and as a result, business was generated from Illinois to California.
Here’s what Carol had to say in early January:
I am in the process of obtaining signatures for listing a new green, self-sustaining community outside Chicago. The homes will be between $1 to $3 million dollars, on 400+ acres, with approximately 125 home sites and an equestrian facility as part of the community. It is very unique and ahead of the curve. My developer is from San Diego. Here is the good news for you... it is ALL because of the article the Daily Herald reporter did on me and luxury agents.
A woman in Chicago read the article and apparently decided that an Institute member could best help her sell a home she owned in California. So, she called Institute member Sam Smith of Beach Cities Luxury Homes in San Clemente. (Sam is a CLHMS and member of The Million Dollar Guild.) Sam listed the home and has sent us a follow-up email.
Here’s what Sam had to say:
Just wanted to say thank you again. As you recall, I picked up a listing from a client in Chicago who decided to call me after seeing an article in the Chicago paper regarding the Institute. We just sold her California home to an all cash buyer, full asking price, with a 14 day close! My affiliation with (The Institute) will gross me over $40,000 on just this one transaction. Thank you again!
All of this illustrates the power of the media and how important it is to become a resource for reporters and editors. When you are quoted, it helps position you as an expert, gives you credibility and, as Carol discovered, can generate business. The fastest way to get on their list of agents to call is to send them regular luxury market statistics and offer to be a resource when they are working on a story.
We are working at building The Institute’s presence in the media, with the goal of creating visibility for members and hopefully, creating a preference for our members in the minds’ of consumers. In Sam’s case, our efforts paid off, he benefited to the tune of $40,000!
Remember that you should be working locally to connect with your local media. They often need statistics, quotes, and someone to introduce them to buyers and sellers who are willing to be interviewed. This is especially true in today's market and especially so in markets where there are luxury segments moving counter to the broader market trends of the area.
(See pages 112-116 in Laurie’s updated book Rich Buyer, Rich Seller! The Real Estate Agents’ Updated Guide to Marketing Homes for specific tips on “farming’ the media effectively).