Revamp your socials this Easter

Most of us will be spending our Easter weekend at home this year and, as well as enjoying our Sunday roast and Easter eggs, we are likely to spend a lot of that time online.

At PHM, we understand that now is not necessarily the time to pursue your usual marketing strategy. So, how can you ensure you make an impact online in the right way? Take a look at our tips for revamping your socials this Easter:

1. Be careful with your sales tactics

Finding the right message can be tricky at the moment. Remain sensitive to the changing situation and ensure your message is appropriate and relevant.

Remember, intrusive and ‘in your face’ marketing stopped being fashionable on social media some time ago. Providing valuable, meaningful content on your social media channels will build authentic connections with your audiences and will build trust, too.

2. Host a competition

Competitions and prize draws are a great way to amplify your brand on social media, drive traffic and engage your target audiences. Consider something that adds value to the communities in which you work, adding PR value to the campaign as well as rewarding potential customers.

Make sure that you host the terms and conditions on your website to ensure competitors know exactly what they are signing up for, and consider using paid-for content to advertise the competition beyond your usual following.

3. Tailor your posts for each platform

Each social media platform is used in a different way, so adjusting your message accordingly is helpful. Instagram, for instance, is all about visuals – think high-res photos and graphics, accompanied by a caption. LinkedIn, on the other hand, can be focused on corporate messages and provides a place to host any opinion content or thought leadership.

If you’d like to find out more about how PHM can help you with an egg-cellent social media strategy, get in touch with our team on 01483 561119.

Going digital: Where does PR fit?

By Lisa Flounders, Director, Property House Marketing

 

PR is often considered to be the traditional, print-based cousin of shiny, techy online marketing. While we as an industry continue to respect and believe in the power of the printed page, it is more crucial than ever that this perception is corrected. The communications industry is exploring how it can reach its socially-distant customers in new ways, for the immediate future at least, and PR can play a vital role in strengthening your digital marketing mix.

 

Most communications professionals believe that now is not necessarily the right time for a hard sales message and are taking care to remain sensitive, quite rightly, to the bigger picture and the uncertainty we’re all facing. PR is integral to the ‘softly softly’ approach, and that includes online.

 

So, are you engaging your audiences digitally? You might not want to advertise, but what are you doing to involve your brand in what matters to people now? How can you be of help to your communities during a challenging time?

 

This isn’t necessarily something you can measure in conversion rates, but your investment will pay off later. If you’d like to discuss how PR can play a part in your digital strategy, get in touch on 01483 561119.

Tales of a new starter…

We’ve welcomed a new Senior Account Executive to the PHM team. Say hello to Agueda Trujillo! Here Ag explains a little more about her background, and what she’s most looking forward to at PHM… 

What’s your role at PHM?

I am a Senior Account Executive. My clients include Fusion Residential, Berkeley, St. Edward and Abbey Homes. I’ve been spending my first month visiting sites, planning events, creating newsletter content and writing press releases… among other things!

Tell us a bit about your background…

I’m originally from Mallorca and completed my undergraduate degree in America. Once I graduated, I worked for a major tech company in Seattle as a communications and press release officer for two years, before I moved to the UK to pursue my Master’s degree in International Multimedia Journalism at Newcastle University.

What are you most looking forward to working on? 

I’m looking forward to getting stuck into everything that comes with property PR, from journalist liaison to visiting our clients’ new developments. Having experience in social media and working on PR campaigns, I’m eager to use the skills I’ve gained and apply them to property.

What would you say is your biggest achievement/proudest moment?

Achieving coverage is always very rewarding – from writing the press release and coordinating with clients to pitching and liaising with journalists. It’s great when I see the final result, it’s what keeps me going!

Tell us a fun fact about yourself… 

Is my 20-year basketball career a fun fact? If so, I played Division 1 College basketball in the States for four years and more recently I have also played professional basketball in Europe.

Describe your working personality in three words (not quite three!).

I like to think I am creative, ambitious, and very adaptable to diverse situations.

 

Check out our #PHtheM lifestory blogs and get to know our team a little better

That’s a wrap.. PHM’s 2019 year in review

2019 has been a year of rolling with the punches; Brexit stops, starts and delays have dominated social gatherings, the political landscape and not least, the property market.

However, even against this backdrop, we’ve worked on some fantastic campaigns this year and welcomed a number of new clients into the fold. Whatever the background noise, we believe in the power of PR and in great story-telling.

Festive connections

This time of year conjures up images of carol singers, Christingle services and nativity plays so it’s seasonally apt that we’re currently working with Guildford Cathedral and its delivery partner VIVID to encourage the community to get involved in shaping designs for potential new homes near the Cathedral ahead of the submission of a planning application in Spring 2020.

If you live locally but have still never visited this iconic landmark, do pop in; its fabulous white marble interior is an amazing contrast to its red brick architecture. Christmas Fact: Consecrated by The Queen on 17th May 1961, did you know it’s the newest cathedral in the country that’s been built on a new site; Liverpool’s and Coventry’s Cathedrals are built on the sites of existing churches.

 New Year, New Clients

We’re also very excited to be working with a number of new clients as we move into a new year. As well as our work with Berkeley in West London and for St Edward in Hampshire, we’re now providing PR support on three new sites with Berkeley’s North East London division: 250 City Road is a luxury collection of apartments close to Silicon Roundabout, Woodberry Down is an exciting, regenerated urban oasis in north London and Trent Park in Enfield provides an exciting range of new and converted homes set amongst 416 acres of parkland.

Moving into 2020, we’re really looking forward to providing a fresh PR perspective for Abbey Homes; from community events to sales support, we’ll be bringing some new, creative ideas to their marketing plans. We’ll also be welcoming another new client, Fusion, a boutique house designer who is creating fabulous new homes around London.

One sector of our portfolio where we’re seeing much growth is our work with a number of local authorities. A number of London borough councils are getting creative in their generation of income; self-delivering homes for sale to fund new affordable and social housing in their areas. Our first client in this area was Broadway Living, Ealing Council’s development arm. This year, we’ve also started working with councils in Westminster and Bexley to guide their communications programmes and execute PR strategies.

And the award goes to…

Congratulations to all of our award-winning clients this year. Industry awards continue to be a significant part of our yearly calendar; we prepared a whopping 79 entries in 2019 and 1 in 3 of them have won a coveted prize in their respective competitions. We look forward to working on even more award-winning schemes and corporate initiatives across the property sector in 2020.

It’s time for 2020 vision

We’re looking to next year with 2020 vision. We build expert-led comms strategies and specialise in traditional and social media, community engagement, reputation management, events, award entries (including design) and all forms of copywriting. Our work and the advice we provide is underpinned by years of experience, but we don’t believe in always doing what has always been done; we think and work creatively – looking above and beyond the obvious to catch the attention of your audience.

 

If you think you can benefit from a fresh look and a keen, clear eye on your communications, get in touch on 01483 561119.

 

How has PR evolved over the last five decades?

By Katherine Gallacher, Senior Account Executive

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA), so we’ve taken a look at how PR – our favourite topic, matched only by property – has evolved over the last five decades.

In its earliest form, PR was all about the press release. But, with today’s digital transformation, agencies must find new ways to establish communication with organic and direct reach. Gone are the days where newspaper boys yell, “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” – Now, PR practitioners focus a large majority of their time on content creation.

Having said that, the key components of information, persuasion, and trust-building remain intact, and we believe they will continue to do so.

So, what has had the biggest impact on PR since the launch of PRCA in 1969?

  1. Going Digital: The rise of social media

Sharing news and fostering engagement has never been easier. The rise of digital platforms has shortened the life span of news stories, pushing journalists to turn around stories more quickly and in turn forcing us PRs to keep up.

  1. PR measurement tools

Getting mentioned in the national media a decade ago was great (and being honest it’s still pretty fabulous), but there’s not really a way to track what impact it has on consumers. Fast forward 50 years and coverage on online platforms have made tracking engagement a lot more accessible.

Traditional “ad value equivalency” measurements are being replaced by outcome measurements such as website traffic, leads, reputation, search rankings and social engagement. And while measuring traditional press coverage remains an art rather than a science, these digital platforms enable us to see who has been exposed to your content, how they have engaged with that content and the actions taken as a result.

  1. Complex and changing roles of PR professionals

PR has changed dramatically through the ages and will continue to do so. As the industry continues to evolve, the role of PR professionals will change with it. Those working in PR need to specialise and show expertise in areas that may have previously fallen outside of the traditional remit of PR.

This means that PR is no longer just about working around journalist’s deadlines, but takes into account blogs and influencers’ content that have a huge social reach across various network platforms.

If you’re thinking of revamping your current PR strategy, get in touch with the PHM team on 01483 561119 or email katherine@housegroup.co.uk

Exceptional opportunity for custom builders

Shortly to be released: six large building plots in sought after rural West Chiltington

Anyone who has ever wanted to have a new home built especially for them should take a look at Threals Lane where detailed planning permission has been granted for a collection of six bespoke custom build homes – ranging in size from 3,000 sq. ft. to 6,000 sq. ft. – in a countryside location close to the conservation area in Old West Chiltington Village, West Sussex.

The development is one of the first custom-build projects in the south of England to be offered exclusively to individual plot buyers wanting to commission the design and build of their new home. The scheme is due to launch this year and interested buyers can register now.

Sales of the six plots on the 5.43 acre site is being managed by specialist custom build property consultant Fidẽlitãs; all the homes will be designed and built with traditional, handmade oak framed construction by award winning Border Oak Design & Construction. It provides the perfect – but rare – opportunity for those interested in creating a made-to-order character-filled family home, but who require the guidance and design expertise of custom build professionals.

The Great Oak House for instance, is an exceptional six-bedroom home in the traditional Arts & Crafts style offering great character and featuring exposed oak beams, an inglenook brick fireplace, vaulted ceilings and open galleries. Spanning 5,858 sq ft, it includes an impressive double height entrance hall with a galleried landing. On the ground floor there is a large living room, study, cinema room, dining room, games room and kitchen/breakfast room with adjoining pantry and utility room. There is also a gym and garden room with French doors leading out to the garden. On the first floor, there are five double bedrooms and four bathrooms, which includes a grand master bedroom suite with adjoining dressing room.

While the external design of The Great Oak House, as well as the five other Arts and Crafts styled homes, has been agreed as part of the detailed planning permission, the buyer of each home has complete creative freedom of choice in terms of the internal specification of all fixtures and fittings.

The secluded plots at Threals Lane range in size from 0.38 – 0.91 acres with guide prices anticipated to range from £650,000 to over £1 million. Buyers wishing to register their interest should contact Alan Thompson at Fidẽlitãs on 01403 700421/07836 626077 or plotmaster@custombuildingplots.com.

If you’re looking to maximize coverage for your homes in press and on social media, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team to discuss how we can help, on 01483 561119 or email info@housegroup.co.uk.

 

PHM sets a new record for its Christmas Box Collection

Christmas is on its way! Mulled wine, mince pies and twinkling winter lights; the welcoming signs of the festive season are all around us.

And, for PHM, the beginning of the Christmas period is also the time for one of our favourite office traditions – the Rotary Gift Box Collection. Every year, colleagues, family and friends busy themselves filling shoeboxes with toys, games and books, as well as clothes, household items and toiletries. These boxes are then delivered to children, families and old folk in Eastern Europe, along with thousands of others packed by generous schools and organisations across the UK, where they provide a package of Christmas cheer to those who need it most.

This year has been our best yet; we managed to fill 58 boxes, a whopping 18 more than last year!

Since the scheme launched in 1994, the Rotary has distributed over one million boxes to people internationally. It also runs all year round, so if you’d like to order your own boxes, head to the Rotary website: www.rotaryshoebox.org/order-boxes/.

Property House Marketing Awards

The best year on record: 1 in 4 of PHM’s entries scoop a Gold award in 2018

PHM is delighted to congratulate its clients for an extremely successful day at the What House? Awards 2018, where the entries we prepared on their behalf scooped 12 of the 66 awards, including 7 of the 20 Golds.

The prestigious ceremony, known as the Oscars of the housebuilding industry, took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Friday 16th November and saw the best new homes and developments across the UK awarded in 20 categories.

Among PHM’s clients, the winners were:

Anthology: Hoxton Press

Best Exterior Design

Gold

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village (Urban House)

Best Sustainable Development

 Silver

Berkeley East Thames: Kidbrooke Village

 Best Regeneration Scheme

 Silver

Broadway Living: Copley Hanwell W7

 Best Starter Home Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Luxury House

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter

 Best Luxury Development

 Gold

London Square: Star and Garter (East Wing)

 Best Interior Design

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Apartment Scheme

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

Best Mixed Use Development

 Gold

London Square: Streatham Hill

 Best Development

 Bronze

McCarthy & Stone: Parkland Place

Best Retirement Development

 Bronze

Vanderbilt Homes

 Best Small Housebuilder

 Bronze

2018 has officially been the best year on record for PHM’s award entries, with our clients scooping top accolades in every major housebuilding competition in the industry.

72% of all PHM entries in 2018 were shortlisted. Nearly 1 in 4 (23%) of the entries we’ve prepared this year on behalf of our clients have been awarded the Gold or top prize and more than 1 in 3 (36%) have won an accolade in their category.

If you’d like to discuss how a strategic awards programme in 2019 can support your marketing objectives, get in touch with the team on info@housegroup.co.uk or 01483 561119.

 

Exclusive four-bedroom house, The Hollyhock, launches at Wexham Green

A superb new four-bedroom detached house, The Hollyhock, has launched at Wexham Green in Berkshire. This exclusive family home is the only one of its type and buyers wanting to review its layout and spaciousness will be able to visit the view home when it opens on 20th October.

The two-storey home provides a generous 1,559 sq ft of flexible space; a large open-plan kitchen/diner flows through to a garden room, creating a wonderful space for entertaining and relaxing, while a separate living room provides a haven away from the hubbub of family life. All the living areas open on to the garden and patio to maximise enjoyment of the outdoors in warmer weather.

There are three double bedrooms and the fourth smaller bedroom could equally be used as a study, playroom or snug, depending on the family’s needs. The elegant master bedroom features an en suite shower room, large dressing area and fitted wardrobes.

In addition, there are two parking spaces on the drive and an integrated garage which has an electric car charging point, an eco-friendly feature that is rarely found in new homes.

Wexham Green is situated on the fringes of Wexham and Stoke Poges villages, adjacent to the green belt and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s within easy reach of the excellent amenities in Slough and is less than a mile from Slough station, which has fast connections to London in as little as 21 minutes.

The Hollyhock is priced at £700,000 and will soon be ready to move into, which means that families can settle in well before the end of the year.

For more information or to book a viewing, please call the Wexham Green marketing suite on 01753 468578.

 

 

So Resi Sutton

Homes in desirable South West London are made affordable with shared ownership

If you think that buying a high-quality new home in Sutton, South West London, is unaffordable, So Resi Sutton may change your mind. This collection of one, two and three-bedroom apartments is part of the landmark development Sutton Point, and you could buy a 25% share in a one-bedroom home for as little as £73,750 (full market value £295,000) with a ten per cent deposit of just £7,375.

Through shared ownership, homebuyers pay straightforward monthly payments, which combine the mortgage on the share they have purchased and a payment to So Resi on the rest. They also pay a service charge.

The homes at So Resi Sutton are in the West Tower of Sutton Point, an exciting £90m mixed-use development by CNM Estates. Due for completion later this year, Sutton Point will include shops, restaurants, a health and fitness centre and children’s play area.

Inside the homes, the contemporary open-plan living/dining space is light and airy with full height windows; the area opens out onto a balcony. The excellent specification includes an elegant white Symphony Manhattan kitchen fitted with the latest appliances, including ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, fitted wardrobes in the master bedroom as well as underfloor heating throughout.

On selected homes, allocated parking spaces are located in the underground car park and a cycle store is also provided.

Commuting could not be easier from Sutton Station, which is just a couple of minutes’ walk away. Trains to London Victoria take as little as 25 minutes and direct trains reach Gatwick in around 45 minutes.

The High Street, full of restaurants and shops, is just a few minutes’ walk from So Resi Sutton. Also nearby is a number of green open spaces and outstanding schools, including grammars, which rank among the highest performing schools in the UK.

For more information call 0208 607 0550 or visit www.soresi.co.uk.