Whether we are looking at property developers, housebuilders or even proptech companies; the competition across today’s property sectors is fierce. A situation that is expected to intensify amid growing economic challenges. Although a positive company reputation has always been of utmost importance, these testing times may require business owners to re-evaluate their strategy to get ahead of the competition.
Property developer Clearview Developments has done exactly that by hiring a public relations consultant to boost their profile. We’ve caught up with Clearview’s director, Jason Tema, who has most recently celebrated being shortlisted for a British Homes Award.
“Like most SME businesses, we have to overcome hurdles and often compete with reputable industry names to secure funding”, he says. “The industry heavy weights have taught us that, in order to build a positive reputation, it’s important to shout about your projects, vision and passion. Besides focusing on creating quality homes, we knew that we needed to be proactive in raising awareness of our business. Whilst advertisements are one medium to achieve this, we always felt that a thorough PR strategy would give us the required long-term boost.”
Latest reports confirm that a growing number of businesses are hiring professional PR support. Whilst the global public relations market was worth $63.8 billion in 2018, it is forecasted to surpass a value of $93 billion by the end of 2022.
Tema continues: “We realised that the majority of public relations agencies come with hefty price tags but then found a specialist PR consultant for the property sector that works on a freelance basis. The results to date have really helped us shape our branding, secure funding and raise awareness of our existing portfolio amongst consumers.”
Carrying out Clearview Developments’ PR strategy is Viking PR a London-based property PR consultancy run by Andre Kappelhoff. After more than 15 years working for some of London’s premier property PR agencies, Andre set up Viking PR to offer bespoke communication solutions regardless of the client budget.
He comments: “We all know the saying ‘If a tree fell and nobody is around to hear it, did the tree really fall?’. The same applies to your business achievements and property portfolio. There’s a lot of noise in the industry so it’s imperative to let your stakeholders know who you are and what your business stands for.”
Given the economic challenges, Viking PR advises clients to “Analyse, Improve and Action”. This means to analyse the foundation of your business plan and marketing strategy under consideration of the following:
All businesses should have Unique Selling Points (USPs) in place but are yours still relevant to a changing market? Can you perhaps improve your USPs and invest time to push a particular strength or speciality of your business? Think about how you can stand out from the competition.
Bearing in mind that your buyers’ behaviour has changed amid the impact of Brexit and COVID-19, consider adapting your key messages. What can you offer and what should you really be highlighting right now to ensure that your consumer audience will be driven to view your developments?
A key purpose of PR is to keep stakeholders informed about your business achievements and objectives. This can be accomplished via numerous channels such as media coverage, speaker slots at industry events / Zoom sessions, social media, newsletter updates and more. Ensure to exhaust all platforms that are relevant to your business.
Brand partnerships are an often-overlooked technique but worth investigating! Remember that you’re never alone when facing an economic crisis. Use challenging situations to your advantage and think about brands or corporations that you could approach for a brand alliance.
Last but not least: maintain your business’s arguably most valuable asset – your customer database. It’s crucial to stay in touch with your hot leads. Remind them of your latest projects and reinforce confidence in your brand and services.
“It’s important to remember that your organisation will have different PR requirements to those of your competitors because each business has unique objectives. Having a truly bespoke communication strategy in place is therefore key”, Andre concludes.