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When You Speak Up, We’re All Heard

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By Margaret Kelly

RISMEDIA, August 12, 2009-In spite of the healthy competition fueling the real estate industry, it’s not uncommon that our own business successes end up serving everyone in the field.

When your competitors’ customers are satisfied, that can go a long way in boosting the value, in general, of working with a licensed agent. Or when you run an ad on cable TV about your services, it reminds consumers that there are experts out there to help them navigate the real estate market.

The same holds true for the times agents share their expertise and insight with the news media. I make regular TV appearances to speak on the housing market. Each time, I remember that I not only represent my network, but I also help protect the credibility of all top real estate professionals. And in a market like the one we’re seeing, the more light shed on the facts about agent qualifications, and the current housing climate, the better.

It’s primarily a matter of raising your hand and letting reporters know you have information and answers to share. Here are some important stepping-stones for initiating and boosting your media exposure to serve your interests and-intentionally or not-those of all your colleagues.

Study the Media
First and foremost, stay abreast of the latest real estate news locally and nationally. Also, be prepared to offer your analysis. Then get to know your local print, TV, radio and Internet news sources. Read, watch and listen to news reports regularly to familiarize yourself with the kinds of stories that are considered newsworthy.

Make the Contacts
Take time to connect with the media that most likely will run reports on the topics you’re prepared to speak about. Introduce yourself to real estate journalists and correspondents with a press kit that includes your bio, photo and areas of expertise. Once reporters know you’re interested and qualified, they’re more inclined to contact you regularly.

Pace yourself

With a media contact list in place, you’re prepared to alert journalists of news tips or respond to their reports at any time. You do, however, want to be careful in either case not to overwhelm them. Send only relevant press releases about news related to you and your area of expertise, and offer to weigh in on stories for which you can provide more than two cents of insight. When working with the media, think quality touch points over quantity.

There’s so much to gain when you plug yourself into media relations. And understanding that other agents are out there spreading similar messages, too, means that there probably isn’t a day that goes by when you’re not in the news.

Margaret Kelly (CDPE, CRB) is chief executive officer of RE/MAX International, Inc. For more information, visit remax.com.

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