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Pillar to Post's efforts build a strong home foundation

Nicole Zerillo
February 25, 2009

With the housing market collapse and credit crunch, the real estate market shifted to a buyer's market, with favorable real estate prices tipping toward those in the market to buy.

Due to these changes, Pillar To Post (PTP), a home inspection company in 43 states, sought to align its messaging to better include sellers. After a first phase throughout 2007 that developed the home pre-inspection trend, the company looked to 2008 to garner media attention.

Strategy
With the support of AOR Diboll & Associates, PTP sought to generate a conversation about these programs, with particular attention paid to real estate and trade press, says Dan Steward, president of PTP. “We were very [interested] to get two targets: real estate brokers and consumers who had a home up for sale, and who our services would help shorten the days on the market and [achieve] a higher price,” he says.

Since the first phase had set up the trend, the second phase aimed to capitalize on the nationally publicized pre-list inspection trend.

Tactics
To ensure national and local coverage, the agency created marketing materials, including talking points, techniques, and releases, made available to about 500 local home inspectors, which became more important as the market went into free-fall, according to Diboll's president Alison Diboll.

Results
Over the course of the campaign, Steward notes this offering “has grown from zero awareness to now [several] inspectors finding upward of 10% to 20% of their business coming from this line.” This communications strategy helped the business become “more valuable” to realtors, Steward says. Also, it achieved placements in outlets like The Wall Street Journal and ABC News.

Future
Diboll and PTP plan to continue with these programs, Steward says.

PR team:  Pillar to Post (Tampa, FL) and Diboll & Associates (San Francisco)
Campaign:  Ready for Sale
Duration:  March-December 2008
Budget:  about $384,000

Nicole Zerillo
Consumer Reporter
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