In today’s world, where digital screens generally hold the predominant cultural sway (and set the terms for the bulk of visual stimulation that a person consciously takes in – on any given day), the printed page is fast losing its once unrivalled readership appeal. And magazine publications, by most estimates, seem to have been hit the hardest by this fast evolving new-age trend.
From a traditional standpoint, magazines have always wielded a huge & positive impact on a company’s clients, by enabling it to market its services in a holistic manner. Through the communicative link established by an incisive magazine article or review post, a reader (also a potential customer) can easily learn what the sponsoring brand has to offer.
Now as a real estate business affiliate, you may be interested in learning how to draft your company’s very own property magazine publication; a manuscript that not only dishes out important intel on your brand’s products & services portfolio, but which can also stand to compete against its virtual (read: internet-based) opponents.
Luckily for you, this blog post spells out exactly how to bring such a publication to life – and includes a neat elaboration of all the practical concerns and considerations that typically go into making your brand magazine a riveting success.
Not once, not twice…but every time it rolls off the printing press!
What are the Benefits of Publishing your own Real Estate Magazine?
You can attain a number of benefits (both business and personal – yes, some people really are passionate about the venture!) by creating and publishing your own real estate magazine.
First of all, there’s no better way to stand out from the crowd than having a solid marketing tool your clients can rifle through while sitting in your office space. A tangible magazine publication gives clients a positive impression of your company, and lets them see (at a glance) the full range of what you have to offer.
When it comes to effective consumer engagement, online publishing may take your products and services to a larger audience base, but people will usually only pay attention for a short while before they see something else that interests them. With a print magazine, this situation is averted, as your readers will only have minimal distractions to lure them from the pages they hold in their hands – thereby causing them to focus solely on what you have to sell.
In the current digital landscape, your finalized magazine draft will probably appear both online and in print. So gaining exposure, if you play your marketing cards rights, won’t turn out to be much of an issue. And if you promote your magazine well enough, your online presence – and overall market prestige – will definitely see an improvement.
One of the best things about having a real estate magazine is that it offers you the ability to reach an ever-widening audience demographic without having you conduct costly campaigns. A significant part of the global population nowadays, resident in both developed and developing countries, is not internet-savvy, but professes to have the resources (at hand) – and interest – for buying property.
This is especially true in the case of older people from the Baby Boomer (and previous) generation, who still appreciate the classic print medium of information-sharing.
Additionally, no matter how far the marketing domain may have progressed, the luxury marketplace still chooses to utilise print media in a major way. High-end buyers see the paper publications in their hands as a sign of exclusivity, so publishing a regular magazine can figure as an important step towards establishing yourself as a confident and key player within the real estate industry.
What Should the Magazine Contain?
Now that you’re familiar with the perks of starting a real estate magazine, it’s time that you became aware of what (exactly) to put in it.
The content of your magazine largely depends on your identity as a company. For example, Prop.pk, a recent online contender in Pakistan’s virtual real estate space, covers all things related to the local property market. So naturally, the platform does not (nor is it likely to) feature such things as consumer clothes or fashion accessories. As a purely real estate concern, you should start by advertising your property listings in a dedicated section of the magazine.
One thing you must always plan ahead is the type of cover (featuring both images and text) that you want for your magazine’s initial aesthetics run. Whether you want to feature certain property projects or prominent personalities in the industry – it all depends on what is a priority for your business.
On a related front, you should use your magazine as a source of revenue by selling some suitable space in it (once it takes off in the public sphere). For this end, you need to draft a practical costing plan for various (select) pages in the publication, and send it out to your clients. Through this provision, they can have their residential or commercial projects featured in your magazine at your dictated price ranges.
Similarly, you can create an advertising proposal and send it to companies affiliated in some way (even a distant association can do) to real estate, such as those selling luxury amenities like cars and planned holidays; so that your magazine looks all the more high-end in its business scope!
In addition, you should always put in a few informative articles covering some of the pressing and emerging issues relevant to your industry. You may have to hire a professional content team for this purpose, but you can also make do with talented guest writers. As a quality and/or relevancy check, ensure that their opinions align with your organizational aims at all times.
If you have access to market data pertaining to developing real estate trends, then consider utilising it by compiling various timely reports. These can be arranged according to the ‘city’ and ‘property type’ categories, and compiled for a certain period of time (often termed the lucrative ‘investment window’). To start off, go with quarterly and annual reports, and when you feel the need to do publish a more incisive – and immediate – chronicler, aim for a regular monthly report.
You can also promote your business by featuring worded conversations with industry experts in your magazine. For this end, consider interviewing people such as architects, interior designers, contractors, and property agents to get their take on current market trends. These first-person inclusions will cement your magazine’s position as a reliable industry resource that the experts, who may also be the important influencers in your vertical, are always willing to endorse.
Last, but definitely not the least, your editorial note must be strongly written. It should succinctly provide your readers with a summary of what the current edition of your magazine contains. Ideally, your ‘Contents’ page should be right next to your editorial section, so that readers can locate what interests them easily.
What are the Publishing Resources that you will need?
Starting a magazine from scratch requires the (ideally constant) availability of a handful of working resources.
First and foremost, you need to hire a good editor. This professional will ensure that your publication’s content is up to the mark, and is normally the individual tasked with writing the editorial page.
For achieving a truly elegant look for your magazine, you need to contract the services of professional designers. Initially, you can allocate this task to the designers already working on your online campaigns, and hire a dedicated professional later on.
An experienced content team constitutes the ‘ground resource base’ that you need to actively work with for generating a high-quality publication. And in this respect, a cooperative team of fluent writers that is good at meeting deadlines definitely proves to be an incomparable asset (which really is worth its weight in gold).
The team’s compositions should be meticulously drafted, as once the magazine is printed and distributed, there’s no taking it back; a clear contrast from online forums which allow you to make real-time changes post publishing.
As one of the last elements to figure in the publication workflow, you must engage a quality printing company to publish your magazine (which can be likened to the actual ‘birthing’ process). Explore a wide range of market options to find the agencies which best fit your budgetary requirements. Finally, work out a set timeline and costing structure which you and your chosen printer can mutually agree on.
At the end of this cycle, what is left is your adopted distribution methodology. To be a success at this stage, advertise magazine subscriptions extensively on your online platforms, send a few copies to your clients, place them in your business offices for increased visibility, and you’ll be generally good to go!
What Hurdles should you anticipate?
Before commencing with your first publishing session, you should know that launching a real estate magazine completely from scratch is no walk in the park. There are certain issues associated with the process that you will always have to watch out for. And despite your best efforts, some problems will always seem to recur – so patience (if you’re not already possessed of this valuable life endowment) may also be an advisable trait to develop in advance.
A few of these aforementioned concerns include –
● Images: The print medium requires high-resolution images. If you don’t have these resources at your disposal, then the quality of your magazine is likely to become compromised. Also, you need to ensure that every written piece you publish carries images with a resolution equal to – or ideally more than – 30 dpi.
● Controversy: You should never explicitly tackle controversial industry topics. These can get you into hot water with various stakeholders. To prevent any such mishaps from being accentuated (should they occur), keep your legal team in the loop regarding any issues that may crop up.
● Market Fluctuations: A magazine is typically compiled only a few weeks before it is first seen by its readers. So if any major developments occur during this intermediary timeframe, they may render large chunks of your magazine’s content redundant. For this reason, try to specify some reporting time periods regarding certain topics in advance, and keep the other articles more general and overarching.
● Content Submission Delays: Ensure that all your content is compiled well before the approach of the publishing deadline. A delayed magazine does not create a good impression on your clients. To avoid all instances of tardiness, you need to ensure that your writing team members are fully receptive to their communicated timeslots – and deliver according to the instructions given.
So here was a basic rundown on how you can start a real estate magazine from nothing.
If you follow these pointers (gleaned from a lot of professional working experience in the field) and learn from your own developing publishing engagements, your ‘thought leadership’ status in the real estate marketplace will be positively assured.
You can take my word for it.