Regardless of your industry or category, creating an authentic narrative is key to any brand or organizations’ marcomms strategy. In the competitive world of real estate, industry leaders have mastered the art of showcasing properties in a compelling way while maintaining authenticity for each establishment. From identifying a property's unique attributes to fostering partnerships with like-minded brands, read on to learn the pillars of effective real estate storytelling.
Understand context and culture
Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences Miami courtesy of ArX Solutions
“The South Florida real estate market continues to flourish. In order for our clients to remain relevant, it is important for us, as communication advisors, to identify what sets their property apart from others. Below are a few ways in which our firm creates strategies for clients.
We identify what is unique about each property, which can include design features, amenities, or even historical significance. Our team collaborates with the partners on each development and works closely with their architectural team, interior designers, and others to ensure we understand their vision for the project. We evaluate and understand the context of the neighborhood in which the property is located and how it is evolving. It is important to work with local city organizations, tourism boards, and community members so that we can gain insight and build a narrative around the area. Ultimately, these points allow us to create a tailored communications strategy for our clients and specific storylines for different audiences.” -Jessica Levy, President & Founder, Levy Public Relations
Flex your partnership skills
“Every real estate development, hotel or destination has its own unique history and presents an opportunity to build its future evolution with an even stronger sense of place, all through great marketing. Publicists have a responsibility to deeply understand its history and culture, to relate to the target audiences, and to build a cohesive strategy to further enhance the fresh narrative on why the project is special. The key to success is to create authentic partnerships with like minded brands that naturally tie to the project’s unique past, clearly add value, and articulate a clear campaign that builds an authentic emotional connection.” -Suzanne Rosnowski, CEO & Founder, Relevance International
Emphasize distinctive qualities
Piazza Alta courtesy of Post Brothers
“When pitching real estate, it is always critical to create an authentic narrative and we do this by highlighting the unique attributes of a building or a development. Our team works on commercial, residential and hospitality projects around the world and one way to ensure an authentic narrative and control it is to understand the building’s competitive landscape and to showcase what makes you unique. Outdoor space, unique amenities, private club access or other features of a development that make it stand out, is the best way to cut through the clutter and really make your property shine.
The above is a photo of the Piazza Alta condominium building developed by Post Brothers in Philadelphia-we have watched the building get recognition for its design and amenities including its signature rooftop pool deck overlooking the Philadelphia skyline.” -Sarah Berman, Founder & President, The Berman Group
Build a persona
“Creating and controlling an authentic narrative for real estate properties is crucial to building trust with potential buyers (or renters). Every property has a story, whether it be the architecture & design, the location, or the amenities, so playing up the features and value of the property helps to create a unique persona. It's extremely important, especially in today's crowded market, to identify and understand what aspect(s) sets your project apart and then build a narrative that reinforces those key points.
Sometimes those ‘selling points’ can be hard to determine. When this is the case, we challenge ourselves to dig deep and use our creative capabilities to craft a compelling narrative. For example, years ago, I was working on a project that was selling land sites -- it was in Nevada and extremely hard to market given that (at the time) it was only dirt and renderings. What we came up with...focusing on the benefits of buying property in a state with no income tax! In this industry, we occasionally have to buck the trend and create new paths for opportunity.” -Amy Rossetti, CEO, R[AR]E Public Relations
Know the neighborhood
295 Fifth Avenue
“To create an authentic narrative for a single property, it’s key to look both within your building and outside of it to the surrounding neighborhood. A strong real estate story speaks both to the specific desirable features you can offer to prospective tenants or buyers, and to the wider community in which the building is situated. Get outside and explore the neighborhood’s restaurants, parks and coffee shops and bring the spirit of your surroundings into your messaging.” -Helen Cowdrey, VP, BerlinRosen
Considerate communication during challenging times
"The world’s largest and arguably most important asset class has long been relied upon as a portfolio diversifier, producer of stable income and hedge against inflation. However, the real estate industry finds itself in a precarious position as we hit the end of a cycle marked by rapidly rising interest rates, creating troublesome situations for many owners and operators of commercial property across the country. The need to communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders can make a significant difference in how companies are perceived and valued as they navigate this challenging period. As companies contend with the increased challenges of asset managing their portfolios, the need for transparent and thoughtful communication can be overlooked or deprioritized. The additional attention on impacts to investments is not exclusive to investors – the media has been closely monitoring and covering distress in the industry, spotlighting companies that are going through challenging times. This creates a critical need for companies facing challenges to take stronger control over their narratives, helping to contextualize challenges and explain steps being taken to navigate difficult situations. Effective communication can help mitigate fallout in an effort to inform how stakeholders perceive an issue and the capabilities of a management team. Done well, proactive communication strategies around sensitive issues and undesired visibility can help calm stakeholder concerns, stem redemption requests, combat misinformation, fill information gaps and ultimately preserve reputational capital." -ICR Real Estate Team