A visit to Seattle condo PR firm, the Fearey Group

For lunch on Wednesday I stopped by the Fearey Group, a PR firm that handles accounts like Vulcan, Murray Franklyn and Live Historic and in the past handled accounts like Cristalla. I was invited to talk about Urbnlivn and how I would like to interact with them.

Here’s a summary of what I presented… Minus the interesting discussion and back and forth I had with the great people there.

Who am I?

I have a Bachelor of Mathematics degree with a major in computer science from the University of Waterloo. While there I got distracted by two startups. After school I went and worked at Microsoft for two and half years as a program manager followed by a move to Redfin where I’ve been for a year and half. At Redfin I’m the lead product manager for the search experience and am very involved in how we can change the real estate industry in favor of the customer.

268068748 SkiYW S A visit to Seattle condo PR firm, the Fearey Group

I’ve been blogging for something like eight years. Sometimes about my life at my personal site, while at Microsoft about Media Center and while at Redfin about real estate technology.

My Real Estate Background

My real estate time line goes something like:

  • Bought a house in college thanks to a startup that paid me in USD when they were worth something.
  • February ‘06: Signed pre-sale PSA on Meritage based on its view and location. Didn’t look at a lot of places before signing.
  • April ’06: Decided to create a list of Seattle condos and started blogging about the projects I was adding to the list.
  • August ’06: Sold rental house in Canada.
  • September ’06: Joined Redfin as the second product manager
  • February ’07: Reserved at Trace Lofts. Flip flopped between units :).
  • March ’07: Moved into the Meritage. Tried to fire my agent before closing but failed.
  • July ’07: Tried to sell my unit at the Meritage but initially over priced it plus the market soured with the credit crunch. I learned a lot about how we could improve Redfin’s sell product.
  • September ’07: Moved into Trace Lofts and rented out the Meritage to Paul, the best tenant ever.
  • Today: Happy at Trace and the Meritage is still rented.

What’s the Focus of Urbnlivn?

It all started with my experience with downtown Seattle condos and trying to build a list of Seattle new construction condos (which has since grown stale, which I am sorry about and will fix next rainy weekend I’m not skiing.) The focus then shifted to:

  • Condo news
  • Condo gossip
  • Condo events
  • Customer issues
  • Interesting resale units
  • Urban issues

I of course try my hardest to cover these issues but depend on all our fabulous readers to contribute colorful comments. I’d also love more tips, gossip and rumors! Email me: mail@mattgoyer.com. If you want me to cover something I don’t, let me know (more re-sales? cheaper units? higher end units? different neighborhoods?) If you’d like to contribute, let me know since my day job doesn’t allow much time for blogging.

It’s important to note that I’m not a real estate agent. I don’t care if you buy or don’t buy at a particular project. Yes, I work at a real estate brokerage and it would be great if you used us. I am a shareholder of this company so I do have a vested interest in our business doing well but I don’t run Urbnlivn to generate leads to Redfin. Urbnlivn will not make or break Redfin’s business (Redfin is trying to be a national brokerage.) So why do I do it? I run Urbnlivn because I like living downtown and for the most part condos are more interesting than rentals. Occasionally I make enough off the ads to buy some beer. I don’t do it for the lack of money.

Suggestion for PR Interaction

I know many PR people other than the Fearey Group read this blog. Unfortunately very few ever interact with me (except of course Megan Hilfer who rocks!) I always feel like the ignored step child when agents and brokers are invited to the special events and I’m left out or I read about news about a new construction development in the Seattle PI. I know my traffic doesn’t compare to that of the major papers or glossies but this blog receives many hundreds of unique visitors a day who are all looking for information on condos. So throw me a bone now and then.

3407670 b012f380ca A visit to Seattle condo PR firm, the Fearey Group

After consulting with Redfin PR Queen Cynthia this is what we think is a good way for PR folks to engage bloggers.

Read the blog and comment! Know what I write. Occasionally I get pitches for Bellevue condos. I have never blogged about a Bellevue condo. If you do comment, use your real name, disclose your affiliation. If you’re blogging as a customer, say so.

Treat bloggers like a reporter or real estate agent. Many bloggers will respect embargoes (I will.) I don’t want to read about something first in the Times. And every once and a while make one of us feel special with an exclusive.

Encourage the people involved in the project to also read and comment. If they don’t feel like commenting I’m happy to receive their thoughts over email and post an article. Respond to criticism. Listen to the feedback we give you. There’s so much free customer feedback here it’s incredible that more people don’t take advantage of it.

I welcome pitches! Send pictures or renderings with the press release. Condos are a visual thing! :) Send thanks by sending traffic by linking to my post and blogs from condo marketing sites

Invite me to events. I enjoy going to opening events, ground breakings, hard hat tours, private tours, etc.

I Like Free Lunches, Happy to Consult

If you work for a PR firm, marketing company or are involved in project management for a downtown project hopefully this post sheds some light on things. If you’d like to learn more, I’m happy to grab lunch when I can and more than happy to consult and tell you why your website sucks, how you don’t listen to customers and point out that your advertising campaign is geared towards a bunch of 60 year olds when you’re in fact trying to sell condos to hip urban youngsters. Of course, we’ll need some way to handle the conflict of interest because you can’t buy positive posts here :).

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • http://www.TheHairFarmer.com Hair Farmer Joe

    Nice post Matt. I appreciate your ideas and feel bad for your experiences of buying at the top of the market. Unfortunately many people are going to have it a lot worse.

    Your tips are good – but when I comment on blog posts, I usually do it with this alias – not to hide who I am, but to promote what I am doing as a full-time sideline. If someone wants to know more info, it is very easy to find out all about me with a little research.

    BTW – I am a member of “the media” (the same “media” that is supposedly causing the real estate market problems) and a real estate broker. I have had the pleasure of talking with Glenn on a few occasions at Inman conferences, but do not always agree with what he says.

  • http://www.TheHairFarmer.com Hair Farmer Joe

    Nice post Matt. I appreciate your ideas and feel bad for your experiences of buying at the top of the market. Unfortunately many people are going to have it a lot worse.

    Your tips are good – but when I comment on blog posts, I usually do it with this alias – not to hide who I am, but to promote what I am doing as a full-time sideline. If someone wants to know more info, it is very easy to find out all about me with a little research.

    BTW – I am a member of “the media” (the same “media” that is supposedly causing the real estate market problems) and a real estate broker. I have had the pleasure of talking with Glenn on a few occasions at Inman conferences, but do not always agree with what he says.

  • http://www.TheHairFarmer.com Hair Farmer Joe

    PS – there is no such thing as a FREE lunch ;-)

  • http://www.TheHairFarmer.com Hair Farmer Joe

    PS – there is no such thing as a FREE lunch ;-)

  • PistolPete

    Matt,

    Been reading your site weekly for awhile now and you always have fun and interesting things to show & tell on your site! I appreciate the honesty and blunt opinion about everything, from realtors to design to marketing. I’m still searching for a property to obtain and do use and WILL use Redfin as my realtor. However, the site is slow, not easy to navigate and not very appealing in design. Just my .02 :) John L. Scott has a great site, fast, easy but very blah with all the poop green colors! So not to be a pest, when you mentioned in your article about being able to comment on a marketer’s website that it sucks…Redfin’s Website Sucks! No harm intended, just some constructive criticsm. Again, thank you for this site and your hard work put into it :) Good day my friend!

  • PistolPete

    Matt,

    Been reading your site weekly for awhile now and you always have fun and interesting things to show & tell on your site! I appreciate the honesty and blunt opinion about everything, from realtors to design to marketing. I’m still searching for a property to obtain and do use and WILL use Redfin as my realtor. However, the site is slow, not easy to navigate and not very appealing in design. Just my .02 :) John L. Scott has a great site, fast, easy but very blah with all the poop green colors! So not to be a pest, when you mentioned in your article about being able to comment on a marketer’s website that it sucks…Redfin’s Website Sucks! No harm intended, just some constructive criticsm. Again, thank you for this site and your hard work put into it :) Good day my friend!

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Hey Pete,

    Thanks for the feedback on Redfin. I tried emailing you to follow up on some of the things you mentioned but your email bounced. If you could email me at matt.goyer@redfin.com that’d be great.

  • http://blog.mattgoyer.com Matt

    Hey Pete,

    Thanks for the feedback on Redfin. I tried emailing you to follow up on some of the things you mentioned but your email bounced. If you could email me at matt.goyer@redfin.com that’d be great.

  • jo

    Personally, I’m a big fan of Windermere’s site.

    It’s basic and hasn’t changed in years. Clean and simple. I like their area map searching vs the overhead map view. Also seems to load fast versus Redfin.

    I’m a techie, but Redfin is just overkill to me. Too much going on. Who cares about the local links? I’m at the site to look for houses, not the sex offender database for Washington.

    You goto http://seattle.redfin.com, I want a map to click on. I don’t want to have to type anything to start my search.

    I think what I’m saying is that I want a Redfin Lite. :)

  • jo

    Personally, I’m a big fan of Windermere’s site.

    It’s basic and hasn’t changed in years. Clean and simple. I like their area map searching vs the overhead map view. Also seems to load fast versus Redfin.

    I’m a techie, but Redfin is just overkill to me. Too much going on. Who cares about the local links? I’m at the site to look for houses, not the sex offender database for Washington.

    You goto http://seattle.redfin.com, I want a map to click on. I don’t want to have to type anything to start my search.

    I think what I’m saying is that I want a Redfin Lite. :)

  • http://blog.mattgoyer.com Matt

    Hey Jo,

    Windermere!? :)

    Actually you’re the first person I’ve heard ask for Redfin Lite. Everyone I talk to has a pet feature they want added. No one has asked us to make it simpler (faster yes, simpler, no.)

    Thanks for the feedback. If there’s more of you here who are fans of Windermere and John L Scott I might have to invite you all over for beers to pick your brains.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Hey Jo,

    Windermere!? :)

    Actually you’re the first person I’ve heard ask for Redfin Lite. Everyone I talk to has a pet feature they want added. No one has asked us to make it simpler (faster yes, simpler, no.)

    Thanks for the feedback. If there’s more of you here who are fans of Windermere and John L Scott I might have to invite you all over for beers to pick your brains.

  • http://www.indieTV.tv Kaywood Hopkins

    Matt,

    Love the site, and the info!

    Seattle is really changing, I use your site often. (love the condo listings!)

    You should think about making a real estate show, we would be happy to help. :)

    Kaywood

  • http://www.indieTV.tv Kaywood Hopkins

    Matt,

    Love the site, and the info!

    Seattle is really changing, I use your site often. (love the condo listings!)

    You should think about making a real estate show, we would be happy to help. :)

    Kaywood

  • Thomas Berg

    Matt,
    Fascinating website. Just thought I’d say hello, as FISHER (where I work) is ramping up for their second Urban Condo Tour this next weekend. We have one in Seattle and now in Bellevue the next weekend. Then we do this again in September. I work for FISHER Communications here in Seattle (KOMO, KOMO1000, KVI, STAR and KING FM Radio. I actually sell airtime for 98.1 Classical KING FM. Write me back if you have the time!

    Thomas

  • Thomas Berg

    Matt,
    Fascinating website. Just thought I’d say hello, as FISHER (where I work) is ramping up for their second Urban Condo Tour this next weekend. We have one in Seattle and now in Bellevue the next weekend. Then we do this again in September. I work for FISHER Communications here in Seattle (KOMO, KOMO1000, KVI, STAR and KING FM Radio. I actually sell airtime for 98.1 Classical KING FM. Write me back if you have the time!

    Thomas

  • http://the-swing-trading.blogspot.com Swing Trading

    Interesting post. I have made a twitter post about this. Hope others find it as interesting as I did.