Martha Turner Sotheby's International Realty, Inc. Case Study

By the time Houston residential real estate queen Martha Turner started the search for a Public Relations agency in early 2013, the story of Martha Turner Properties was already the stuff of lore. Started by former schoolteacher Martha Fuller Turner in 1981, the company began as a modest 2-person outfit and had long been established as the best and brightest independent real estate brokerage in Houston with over 200 agents, 75 full time employees, and 5 offices spanning the Greater Houston Area whose total sales volume had reached $1.6 billion in 2012. Quality problems notwithstanding, Martha Turner Properties was in need of a fresh and dynamic Public Relations & Marketing team that could propel the company forward in the midst of one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world.

OtMC landed the high profile account after presenting an out-of-the-box strategy that would maximize the readership and effectiveness of its longtime magazine PROPERTIES; increase media exposure for the company, its agents, and listings; and devise and execute a Social Media strategy that would give the brand a major digital presence that it had been lacking.  

The Big Idea for PROPERTIES magazine was rooted in the notion of creating emotional connections about the world just outside the front door for would-be homebuyers via informative and compelling editorial content about Houston and its rapidly evolving population, neighborhoods, schools, parks, waterways, museums, restaurants and the lifestyle that makes our city such a desirable place to live. We sprinkled editorial content by local experts throughout the pages of the beautiful images and detailed descriptions of Martha Turner listings, and the public took note. PROPERTIES magazine – which is circulated to 80,000 homeowners from The Woodlands to Sugar Land and all points in between – is now read just as much for its informed articles as it is for its luxury listings. 

Less than a year later, Martha Turner Properties was in talks with the blue chip real estate company Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., which had its sites set on the hot Houston real estate market.  By the time Martha Turner Properties was officially acquired on January 7, 2014, OtMC had been working with the Sotheby’s team in New York for weeks – devising a Public Relations strategy that would seamlessly transition the privately held company into the only wholly owned Sotheby’s International Realty company in Texas. A blitzkrieg of positive press coverage ensued, and the powers-that-be at Sotheby’s International Realty gave the agency the opportunity to remain with the newly formed company. Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty has remained at the forefront of consumer awareness ever since with consistent editorial coverage in local and national newspapers, online news outlets, magazines, and television showcasing the brand, its listings, and, most importantly, the company’s trailblazing principals and expert agents. 

Finally OtMC launched a social media campaign from scratch, which has steadily turned the company’s social media pages into a go-to hub for buying and selling homes in addition to giving valuable tips, posting credible and articles relevant to the Houston real estate market, and showcasing the best listings currently on the market. MTSIR’s Twitter and Instagram profiles have organically garnered legions of quality followers and growing, and its Facebook page is on track for 2,000 followers by year’s end.  

To date OtMC has the distinction of being the only independent Public Relations agency to represent any of the company’s wholly owned stores around the globe outside the Sotheby’s International Realty headquarters in New York.