Real estate has been a focal part of the news for the past few years, and it only makes sense to confront head-on some of the concerns about its struggles. That’s the wise strategy of Better Homes and Gardens Gloor Realty, an Oak Park, Ill.-based client since last November.
Around that time, the firm began alerting its clients, friends and colleagues to trends in the local real-estate market through a communication dubbed “Real Estate Reality Check.”
I broadened the outreach into press release-form and the effort received solid media attention earlier this year, including pieces in the the Chicago Sun-Times and the print edition of the Chicago Tribune’s Triblocal section.
This time around, conveying data through the first half of 2009, the Reality Check is off to a good start again. It began with prominent placement on Triblocal.com, the Chicago Tribune’s citizen-journalism portal.
I recently created a YouTube channel for Better Homes and Gardens Gloor as well, and you can find it here.
I receive zero compensation for sick days and vacation, I pay for my family’s medical insurance out of my own pocket, and my boss–the guy I see in the mirror–often orders me to show up for work before 7 a.m.
But as I approach my 10th anniversary of self-employment, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Among the many reasons is this benefit: the variety of interesting and mind-stretching work that I get to pursue.
Thanks to a referral from friend and fellow Medillian Ed Finkel, who had previously written for the ULI, I began writing summaries at the organization’s Sept. 25 meeting: “River North: Past Plans, Future Opportunities.”
That debut was followed by a most timely session whose subject was “The Credit Crisis: How the Collapse of Credit Impacts the Economy and Commercial Real Estate.”
Talk about a crash-course!
Most recently, last Thursday, I sat in on the “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2009” discussion led by ULI consultant Jonathan D. Miller.
For the third straight time, by listening to very bright people use clarity and humor to cut through complex topics, I learned a ton and had the privilege of striving to boil down the discussion in about 1,000 words.
Roz Byrne has always had a flair for fun. In her radio days, as a rock ‘n’ roll DJ, she was “Rockin’ Roz” and worked alongside the likes of renowned contrarian Michael Moore.
For the past seven years, she has rocked the world of Chicago real estate, going the extra mile for clients in a variety of ways.
From her base in Oak Park as one of the top Realtors at Gloor Realty, she has compiled a listing of service providers–a kind of personalized Yellow Pages–that she updates periodically and gives to hundreds of people, including newcomers moving into the area.
She donates $100 from every closing to the charity of her client’s choice. And she has gained specialized certifications, such as the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation, which underscores her training and ability to help seniors find housing, often as they downsize.
And this Halloween week, she has transformed into The Wizard of Roz. As she ventures into shops throughout the Oak Park-River Forest-Forest Park area, Byrne is delivering Hershey’s chocolate bars, her business card and this clever message:
“Don’t be afraid of the real estate market. It’s a wicked good time to be a buyer.”
After all these years of outgoing behavior, Byrne may be confused for someone who can pull off these gambits at the drop of her colorful wizard’s cap. But like any successful person, she continually fights through her comfort zone to do those things–like dress up in outlandish style and approach people who might think she’s off her rocker–to get her message out and move her business forward.
In the midst of a decidely down real estate market, that willingness to venture into scary territory is one of the keys to Byrne’s thriving career. And it’s also central to successful public relations in any field.