compass-300x151 (1)If you are a broker in a market where Compass is operating, you are watching them like a hawk. They have a keen ambition to recruit top producing agents. Yesterday they had a story in Inman News that exhibits the power of public relations.

If you track real estate technology as WAV Group does, you understand exactly what this tool is and what it does. If you read the comments, you see that there are a number of technology companies that have offered this tool and functionality for a long time. But peel back the story a layer, and you will see a clear and evident public relations strategy that is working very well.

We do not consult with Compass, so the PR strategy that I am going to highlight is my reconstruction of their plan. I do not really know if their strategy is what I think it is, but the article gives us a great sample of good strategy execution anyway.

Compass is a venture-funded company that has positioned itself to disrupt real estate. Among other things, Compass shares the belief that brokers should provide consumers and agents with great collaboration tools for home buying and selling. This is a pretty common strategy among all brokerage firms.

The PR spin here is that Compass is taking credit for offering a tool. The media does not care if everyone is using this functionality. If Compass is the only one talking about their technology tools, they become the de-facto industry leader. If you want to associate your brokerage brand with being a technology leader, you need to issue press releases to the media about your technology tools.

Compass hit a home run with this article. You would not believe the number of brokers who emailed or phoned me yesterday about this article. For the most part, every company who contacted me already offered their agents similar functionality though other applications. I explained that they were not missing the technology strategy, rather that they were missing the public relations strategy. Compass is driving the conversation.

This is not just a Compass thing, Fox and Roach were the talk of real estate all last year for their deployment of their seller lead strategy and client for life strategy.  Berkshire Hathway’s largest firm launched Buyside and ePropertyWatch. By all accounts, they are crushing their competition with it; not only driving seller leads, but attracting new agents to the firm. Again, it was all over the real estate media. In another example, Century 21 promotes their JD Power awards.

I think that you get my point. If a company wants to be known for something, they need to leverage public relations to accomplish it. Advertising supports the effort too – but I will save that for another post on another day.


Note to self: If you have been around the industry for awhile, you may recall a meeting at CMLS when Russ Bergeron talked about his Pubic Facing website – missing the “L” in public really changed the tenor of his presentation. Well, the missing L caught us in this post – thank you Paul Hagey for catching the typo – we have updated this post to remove any mentions of pubic relations. Public relations are much better.