Pull no punches: Samantha DeBianchi and the power of PR
Few real estate agents embody the power of public relations like Samantha DeBianchi.
Samantha DeBianchi is the principal broker at DeBianchi Real Estate in Ft. Lauderdale Florida, and the first female star of Million Dollar Listing Miami on Bravo TV. Her expert advice and opinions have been featured on major media outlets including Fox Business, Fox News, CNBC, CNBC World, Bravo, HuffPo, Forbes, Inman, and Bloomberg as well as in various publications, radio shows and television networks across the globe.
And she’s about to launch a whole new venture called SamSpeaks! (More on that later.)
Sam has built her brand from the ground up, and PR has played a huge role. So what exactly does PR mean to her?
“To me, PR is being everywhere all the time,” she said. And that’s the roadmap she used for her own brand.
Sam came from a hospitality background, having been a successful nightclub manager in her hometown of Miami. She even spun that into the education sector, becoming a college professor at the age of 25 and passing on her expertise to students that were sometimes older than her.
Then she got into real estate.
“When I first started, of course, I had no listings. And it was hard to get new listings without having listings to start with. So I started writing.”
Fortunately, Sam had done some journalism work before. She felt very comfortable writing, so she launched a blog. And she wrote about everything related to real estate in her market. She shared her posts on social media. And she started to build a following.
The differentiating factor for Sam was to have a viewpoint all her own. And she had no fear of sharing it. “Even though I was younger and less experienced than other agents, I wasn’t scared to give my opinion on the market,” said Sam.
And it’s an informed opinion — Sam has her MBA and stays on top of market trends. But she doesn’t just regurgitate the headlines. “I don’t just say, ‘Rates are going up.’ Instead, I connect the dots and explain what that means for home buyers. Or what that means in a specific neighborhood. I go a step further and educate people rather than just spitting out facts.”
Having this kind of analysis handy is what helped Sam backup her expertise. And in her public relations work, it wasn’t just the publicity.
“When you’re in front of someone, make sure you have something to say,” she advised. “You can show up, but if you don’t have the right message for the right audience, you have no traction.” So real estate agents looking for public relations exposure need to have a message. But not just any message, according to Sam.
“Always make your message memorable. It’s part of your branding. People need to associate you with real estate. It keeps you top of mind for those in your network to refer business to you and reach out to you for information.”
So how can a real estate agent start with public relations? Sam has some ideas. “For starters, get on a panel at a local chamber of commerce. Create your own video and put it out there. Write a blog about a local home builder. There’s no excuse not to do it,” she added. “Anything can be done. Just get off your butt!”
Helping real estate agents get off their butts, so to speak, is the mission of her new venture, SamSpeaks!
“I hope to fill a void in the training and coaching world,” she said. “It’s all about selling yourself, and no script can tell you how to be yourself. I’m helping people figure out what makes them unique and how to capitalize on their natural abilities.”
Samantha DeBianchi pulls no punches. But she wasn’t always so open and authentic. It was a lesson she learned first hand. “It sounds cheesy, but the best advice I got was, ‘Be yourself.’ I’m animated. I’m a straight shooter and I can hold my own.”
And now she’s going to teach other real estate agents to do the same — the ultimate in public relations.