Winning new business

October 6, 2010

Winning new business is very much down to understanding your market and gaining useful knowledge in order to attract new clients.

There are a few steps to be taken under consideration when trying to win new clients:

  • Research:

Market trends news in the sector

What competition is doing

Maximise the use of old database of contacts – update them

  • Use Referrals:

Maximize the use of previous clients’ positive referrals from satisfied customers

Identify unique selling points and communicate these extensively.

  • Network:

Attend networking events, trade shows, seminars and exhibitions where potential new business can be found.

Join trade associations and relevant business groups that can help.

  • Work in partnership:

Get in touch with other businesses offering services that are aimed at similar customers;  it can prove very cost effective to get to new customers.

  • Professional  image:

Approach new business in the right way, using presentation material, professional image.

  • Assess, improve your image:

Update your business details, website with the latest news. Showcase success stories and case studies and highlight your products and services. Engage customers and attract new ones through forums, web-based seminars (‘webinars’) or podcasts. Maximise use of social media to get in touch with relevant businesses in your market.

Tideway Communications believe the best creative results come from properly knowing our client’s business. We make it our mission to fully understand and reflect their objectives and their values. That’s how we get the very best results.

We offer a full range of creative communications services including:

  • bespoke multi-disciplinary communications programmes
  • corporate identity programmes
  • strategic media planning and media buying
  • media relations, public relations and social media campaigns
  • writing for print and online media to include full length articles and features,
    corporate literature, sales brochures and newsletters
  • copywriting and translation
  • sponsorship
  • TV, radio and press promotions
  • presentations and conference organisation
  • exhibitions
  • event management

Contact us

direct line : 020 8878 0787
e: email us
m: 07973 836 503


Economic fundamentals like credit availability, increased foreign direct investments, higher purchasing power, lack of housing and a rising GDP are among the many reasons boosting Brazil’s real estate market. Northeast Brazil’s GDP in particular is growing at a faster rate than that of the rest of Brazil; cities that are experiencing some remarkable growth include Recife, Salvador and Fortaleza.

These are just some of the subjects covered by Luiz Lessa, Chief Investment Officer at ADIT’s Investment Agency in an informative webinar broadcast on 15th September about Brazil’s real estate and hospitality investment market.

He expanded on the factors which bring Brazil to investors’ attention:  At the moment there is a 10 million unit deficit on affordable housing in Brazil which is now becoming a more pressing issue due to the fact that there is now mortgage financing available from the middle class.  “Minha Casa Minha Vida” the federal social housing programme for the low income families has also brought significant results in tackling the housing problem putting in US$35bln of investments and US$20bln in subsidies. Minha Casa Minha Vida is predicted to create 2million houses between 2011 and 2014.

In view of the major sporting events of the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 there are major plans put in place for the improvement of the country’s infrastructure with US$ 400 billion put in place by 2011.

In the Hospitality sector there is a need of 162,500 new rooms for the World Cup. Luiz Lessa points out that most of the tourism supply in Brazil has been so far offered by family businesses. However the number of hotels affiliated with hotel brands, is growing, , international hotel chains including Accor, Starwood Hotels and Hilton Hotels confirming their plans of expansion in the country.

ADIT Brasil has recently announced that it will be broadening its fields of activity to also include commercial -based investments. According to Luiz Lessa there is an increased international investor interest for shopping centre investments, offering attractive yields of 10-12% for acquisitions and 14-16% for developments. Nearly $5 billion has been committed by foreign investors to Brazilian real estate ventures over the past two years and there are at least 10 new real estate funds currently raising equity.

During the webinar Luiz Lessa stressed the importance of finding a local partner whatever the nature of the investment.  The Investment Agency is a business unit focused on organizing partnerships between Brazilian executives and foreign investors. The Investment Agency offers informative analysis on available investment projects in the country and conducts necessary negotiations – leading into deals.

Senior members of ADIT including Luiz Lessa will be coming over in London from 10-17 October for a week of business meetings and will be hosting a series of seminars and workshops.

For further information about ADIT’s scheduled visit in London, please contact ADIT’s representative in the UK, Tideway Communications on+ 44(0)20 8878 0787  ( or ADIT’s head office in Maceio, Alagoas  on +55 82 3327 3465

ADIT Brasil, the investors’ gateway to real estate and tourism development in Brazil, has created an Investment Agency focused on presenting real estate projects correctly to overcome the obstacles of doing business between Brazil and the rest of the world.

Luiz Lessa, CIO of ADIT’s Investment Agency says: “Brazilian business owners – especially small and medium-size – have not yet mastered the “language” of the international financial markets.  Sometimes communication is a barrier and sometimes the projects they present lack an adequate format or the basic necessary information for investors to make a decision.

The “ADIT Investment Agency” has been created to make projects viable for the international investor.  It aims to prospect the best available investment opportunities on the national scene Brazilian companies can use ADIT’s network and extensive experience of the market and its complexities to prepare their projects in a form acceptable to attract foreign capital.”

Members, Associates and non-members of ADIT are eligible to apply for the Investment Agency treatment. The IA examines each application and if chosen those project proposals will be analyzed using technical and market criteria such as return rates, viable usage and legal issues.  The IA then creates a structure that not only prepares all the necessary information, but also conducts negotiations and leads them to deals.

There are already four projects in the IA portfolio

  • an urban hotels project in Recife, Pernambuco,
  • Social housing in Rio de Janeiro
  • A master plan community in Natal, Rio Grande de Norte
  • Second home condominiums in Ceará

The aim is to unveil them to a select audience of potential investors through road shows in London, Spain and the USA during October and November 2010.  The intention of ADIT is to spread its service further into Europe, North America, middle-east and the Arab investment market.

ADIT Brasil is now a national Association covering the whole of Brazil and not just the Northeast region.  ADIT’s main office is in Macéio in the state of Alagoas but it has located its Investment Agency headquarters in Sao Paulo.   Luiz Lessa, CIO says: “Sao Paulo is the first port of call for the national and international institutional investment markets. Most businesses are directly or indirectly linked to Sao Paulo on a day-to-day basis.”

For further information about ADIT, photos, members directory and case studies, please contact ADIT’s representative in the UK, Tideway Communications on+ 44( 0)20 8878 0787

or ADIT’s head office in Maceio, Alagoas  on +55 82 3327 3465

ADIT Brasil covers all states in Brazil:

Acre – Rio Branco, Alagoas – Maceió, Amapá – Macapá, Amazonas – Manaus, Bahia – Salvador, Ceará – Fortaleza, Distrito Federal – Brasília, Espírito Santo – Vitória, Goiás – Goiânia, Maranhão – São Luís, Mato Grosso – Cuiabá, Mato Grosso do Sul – Campo Grande, Minas Gerais – Belo Horizonte ,Pará – Belém, Paraíba – João Pessoa, Paraná – Curitiba, Pernambuco – Recife, Piauí – Teresina, Rio de Janeiro – Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte – Natal, Rio Grande do Sul – Porto Alegre, Rondônia – Porto Velho, Roraima – Boa Vista, Santa Catarina – Florianópolis, São Paulo – São Paulo, Sergipe – Aracaju, Tocantins – Palmas

Stop clamouring to be heard. It’s time to listen.

Without exception our agent clients have all asked me the same question: “Kerry, how can Tideway Communications help us to get better, more qualified leads in this tough market?”

I always say, “Start by listening.”

So what does that mean?  The market certainly is tough.  Sometimes the first sales method to be cut is the marketing budget.  We have been able to prove that media relations – influencing journalists to write articles about our clients’ services or products – is a cost effective way to get quality leads.  But it is no use harking back to the heady days of 1997 when we would get 127 leads from one article in the Sunday Times about a development in Portugal – which would then convert to 13 villa sales.

Today, people are not only reluctant to commit their savings to overseas property but banks are reluctant to let them borrow to buy anyway.  There is also so much competition out there now.  Almost every country is willing to sell real estate to a foreign buyer.   So, less demand spread much more thinly, is the agents’ dilemma.

Big efforts to capture more leads using websites are currently having mixed results.  Internet World Stats claim 1,733,993,741 people are now online (that total’s rising as you read) which represents over a quarter of the entire population and usage is growing at 380.3%. 85% of people hunting for a home use the internet to start searching. What do the other 15% do? I reckon they read something in the papers…. then they go online.

The internet may have revolutionised the way agents sell property, but things then began to get impersonal.  There are many more agents selling more property to fewer buyers – despite there being more people online.  And this has greatly contributed to that thinning effect.

“Pay per click” got agents very excited a couple of years ago but they are now starting to wriggle and writhe as the heavy click usage fails to convert to anything half decent.   One client commented, “I wish they’d stop browsing and clicking and do something useful instead.”

He meant he wished they’d buy a property – from him.  But in fact he is the one who must do something useful.  And that is the key to what Tideway Communications is helping our agent clients to do right now.  It is time to change.

An agent’s brand must be so much more than just an umbrella for showcasing a selection of properties.  Getting people to fill out a form may increase the database but it’s now looking very restrictive.  What do you really know about these people?  Some databases are currently proving useful to sell cheap properties to bargain hunters, but we believe there is little point flogging your consumer database again unless this time you are providing something personally useful.  We think the estate agent needs to get back to providing the personal touch because despite of the anonymity of the internet, offering value (and not just cut-price bargains) is especially needed today to attract customers.

We say agents need to provide an experience, an individual experience, ideally a very positive and useful experience which is going to result in customers telling their friends just how pleasant the whole process was.  What is more personal than having a conversation with a customer or potential customer?  It’s what agents have been doing for years and the best ones have been doing very well.  Finding out what is really on their potential customers’ minds and then acting to do something to help.

Welcome to social media marketing.

Social media – all internet based – sounds like a juxtaposition of terms.  Where is the socialising in being stuck behind a computer?  But there’s a great deal of noise going on across the web which can be used by an agent to help him identify buyers.  Tideway’s PR strategy for our agents is about listening and creating conversations.

Our job as marketing and PR consultants is to help our clients to plan. There is absolutely no point tweeting, blogging and posting videos on YouTube without a plan.  We sit down with our agents and ask them exactly what they want to achieve.  We talk about business objectives, we talk about goals.  We talk about what makes them different from their competitors.  We discuss research, training, inspiration, conversations. We make sure that our clients have their company story straight and we decide where to take that story.

We work out exactly who our agents’ customers are and exactly what communities are important to them.  We decide how we are going to reach them and we allocate the right people for the job so they can respond correctly.  We also set in place ways to measure what we find out and what we achieve.

Then comes the listening part.  So much of public relations has been about transmitting our clients’ message.  But today we advise our clients to listen first.  That way they can hear what people are saying about them or the projects that they sell or the countries in which they sell properties. And then our clients can respond to those concerns or questions and the qualified lead will emerge.

It’s important to search about and find out not only who is talking about you, but if they are not talking about you, then why not?  You must give them reasons to do so.  Ask them “How can we help?” and then help them.  Whether it’s telling them where the local hospital is or what the weather’s like, you are helping them to find out what they want to know.

Mike Cliffe-Jones, the MD of Estupendo Lanzarote has been using social media as a business tool for his agency for about a year.  He says, “Twitter allows us to start a real relationship with people well before they are ready to find a property.  The benefit of contacting people early is that we are already friends by the time we actually meet and they are keen for us to be the ones to find them a property. The point of contact for most agents is much later in the buying process – when that person feels no affiliation with one agent over another.  We help people with the general stuff: ‘Which are the best resorts? Where are the best beaches? Where are the kid’s schools? Which bank should we use?’ Ultimately the only way you are going to do business is face-to-face, but by this stage you already know the names of their kids, where they live and what they do for a living so they feel like old friends.”

The key point in this is that a potential purchaser is much more likely to purchase a property from a brand that he trusts.  Tideway is helping our clients to build that trust. The key is to be transparent and truthful.  A potential buyer gets comfort from hearing information from a trusted third party.  Journalists (mostly) fall into that category which, coupled with their ease of use, is why newspapers and magazines still play an important part in the marketing mix.  Many journalists are writing their information online as well and still providing that “third party” endorsement.  It works.

Of course much of that content can be provided by the agent – if he has the time – and we actively encourage our clients to participate.  But yes it takes time and energy to develop a relationship.  So content is also provided by PRs such as ours and we work with people to identify, develop, monitor and measure opportunities to have conversations – with the emphasis still very much on useful.  You need to be authentic in order to create a meaningful relationship.  It’s a fact that the consumer will actually prefer to go with someone he has already formed a relationship with.  That person can be you.

So take another look at social media marketing.  Used alongside traditional methods of PR, this is what is working for the big consumer brands and there is every reason why it can also work for the property industry.  We can understand in these tough times why many marketing budgets have been cut, but social media marketing is not expensive and I believe it is starting to bring in the better more qualified leads that agents need.

So come on… it’s time to listen.

Tideway Communications has been appointed by The Little House Company to manage the PR for their re-launch which will take place on 15th September 2010. is the UK’s most established private property sales website and its re-launch date has been chosen to coincide with its tenth anniversary.

Kerry Nicholas, Managing Director at Tideway Communications says, “As house prices fall in many parts of the UK and estate agents still seek their 1.5 – 2 % cut, many vendors are taking matters into their own hands. It is estimated that private sales websites currently account for just 2% of the market in the UK – in the USA it is more like 15% and in Germany it is 60%. There has been very little change in the way properties have been sold in the UK for over 50 years and the market is ripe for innovation.”

She continues, “Already 80% of property buyers use the internet to search for what they are looking for. The next obvious step is to make contact with the vendor directly. Our client, Nick Marr, CEO of believes that private sales in the UK will double to 4% in a year and keep doubling each year until the figures are closer to 50/50.”

Kerry Nicholas also believes that the PR campaign may rock the boat amongst the traditional estate profession. Marr insists that he is not against the estate agency profession and does not discourage vendors to use his website alongside the services of an estate agent.   But he is keen to promote the fact that the law does not require a property transaction to be managed by an estate agent – that it is safe, legal and allowed for people to bypass the services of a conventional estate agent.

  • The Little House Company provides a leading online direct advertising service for private property sellers (selling homes without an estate agent). Over 70% of all UK buyers now use the internet to find their next home and The Little House Company offer one of the most established and effective services for advertising any UK home directly to a vast audience and potentially saving £000’s in agents commission.
  • Their SELF-SELL no-agent advertising packages give you complete control over your advertising with online 24hr access, no time limits, no hidden charges and superb customer service and support.
  • The straightforward online registration process allows you to set up and manage all your details easily and quickly and their automated systems update all the advertising on their entire network for you.
  • It’s just like placing a private ad in your local paper, but MUCH better, more targeted and effective. The advertising fees are fixed, there is no commission or anything else to pay on completion of your sale and your advertising continues until the property is sold – no time limits, no hidden costs.
  • The Little House Company properties are widely published on the leading UK property portal, Fish4 and Homes & Property (the Daily Mail group property website linked to other sites in their network) and well ranked in major search engines like Google – in all the advertising appears on over 350 UK websites, including 4Homes (Channel4) and 300 local newspaper websites around the UK.
  • The Little House Company is not an estate agent and therefore their advertising does not conflict with a Sole Agency contract. You don’t have to give up an existing agent to use their service, but you WILL save the agent’s commission if you find your buyer using advertising you purchase via The Little House Company.

ADIT, the Association for inward investment in real estate and tourism, has announced that it is widening its influence to cover the 27 states of the whole of Brazil and not just the nine states of the Northeast region.  Its name has been changed from ADIT Nordeste to ADIT Brasil.

ADIT Brasil will also broaden its fields of activity to include residential and commercial property-based investments, hospitality, real estate tourism and logistics. It will also strengthen its presence in the environmental sector, with the aim of creating legal security to advance real estate and tourism developments across the country.

The announcement has been made exactly four years after the Government-funded Association was founded. It was formed in June 2006 in order to drive forward the Northeast’s tourism and real estate development. Before then, there was no official body representing the interests of these sectors.

ADIT Brasil attracts foreign direct investment in land and real estate projects by introducing the most reputable Brazilian developers, architects, lawyers and related businesses to international investors including hoteliers and resort groups and encouraging the formation of working partnerships.

The association holds an annual conference – exhibition and business networking event called Brasil Invest (formerly known as Nordeste Invest). The event has become a milestone in the industry; in its fifth conference in May 2010 in Natal it attracted more international investors than ever before.  120 foreign investors attended and met with Brazilian companies in the real estate and tourism sectors, with parties agreeing an anticipated R$ 1.8 billion of business

The 27 regions of Brazil listed alphabetically with their capital cities:

Acre Rio Branco
Alagoas Maceió
Amapá Macapá
Amazonas Manaus
Bahia Salvador
Ceará Fortaleza
Distrito Federal Brasília
Espírito Santo Vitória
Goiás Goiânia,
Maranhão São Luís
Mato Grosso Cuiabá
Mato Grosso do Sul Campo Grande
Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte
Pará Belém
Paraíba João Pessoa
Paraná Curitiba
Pernambuco Recife
Piauí Teresina
Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro
Rio Grande do Norte Natal
Rio Grande do Sul Porto Alegre
Rondônia Porto Velho
Roraima Boa Vista
Santa Catarina Florianópolis
São Paulo São Paulo
Sergipe Aracaju
Tocantins Palmas

For further information about ADIT, photos, members directory and case studies, please contact ADIT’s representative in the UK, Tideway Communications on+ 44( 0)20 8878 0787 ( or ADIT’s head office in Maceio, Alagoas  on +55 82 3327 3465

WHEN, in 2001, Goldman Sachs dreamt up the acronym BRICs for the largest emerging economies, the country that most people said did not belong in the group was Brazil.

Today, the leading candidate for exclusion is Russia. But some prominent observers are still sceptical about Brazil’s prospects. A notable example is Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, who recently (and very reasonably) pointed out that Brazil’s share of world output has actually fallen over the past 15 years, from 3.1% in 1995 to 2.9% in 2009 at purchasing-power parity. “Brazil cannot become as big a player in the world as the two Asian giants”, China and India, Mr Wolf concludes.

At a recent meeting with a group of investors in Hong Kong, Rubens Ricupero offered an intriguing counterargument. A long-serving and respected Brazilian diplomat, Mr Ricupero was the secretary-general of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development from 1995 to 2004. Although he has links to the opposition to Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party—he previously served as finance minister in the government of a rival party—his analysis is not party-political. “For the first time in its history,” he argues, Brazil is enjoying “propitious conditions in four areas that used to pose serious limitations to growth.” They are:


Commodity production used to be regarded as either a curse or, at best, something countries ought to diversify away from as quickly as possible (which Brazil itself did in the 1970s). But over the next fifty years, Mr Ricupero notes, half the expected increase in the world population will come from eight countries, of which only one—America—is not sucking in commodities at an exponential rate of increase. The others are China, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Congo. China alone will account for 40% of the additional demand for meat worldwide, he points out. This demand will remain strong partly because of rising population and partly because of urbanisation, which increases demand for industrial commodities (like iron ore to make steel) and meat (because urbanisation changes eating habits). Brazil is already a large iron-ore producer, and has transformed itself into an agricultural powerhouse over the past 10 years, becoming the first tropical country to join the ranks of the dominant temperate-climate food exporters such as America and the European Union. It is well-placed to benefit from the emerging markets’ commodity boom.


Mr Ricupero argues that the success of the Brazilian state oil company, Petrobras, in offshore oil exploration has transformed Brazilian energy. “Although no precise and final estimates can be made yet of the [so-called] pre-salt oil reserves potential of the Santos Basin,” he says, “all serious indications point to the high likelihood that Brazil is poised to become at least a medium-sized net oil-exporting country.” New oil and gas deposits far away from the volatile Middle East should increase Brazil’s strategic importance, as well as improving its balance-of-payments position.


Brazil is reaping a big demographic dividend. In 1964, its fertility rate (the average number of children a woman can expect to have during her lifetime) was 6.2. It fell to 2.5 in 1996, and is now below replacement level, at 1.8, one of the sharpest drops in the world. The result has been a collapse in the dependency ratio—the number of children and old people dependent on each working-age adult. As recently as the 1990s, that ratio was 90 to 100 (ie, there were 90 dependents, mostly children, for each for every 100 Brazilians of working age). It is now 48 to 100. Thanks to this, Brazil no longer has to build schools, hospitals, universities and other social institutions helter-skelter to keep pace with population growth. Eventually, the ratio will creep back up as today’s workforce enters retirement, but such problems remain decades ahead. In the meantime, Brazil can pay more attention to the quality rather than the quantity of its social spending, which should, in theory, improve the population’s education, health, and work skills.


Urbanisation both encourages economic growth and accompanies it. But it also causes problems. “Many of the worst contemporary problems in Brazil,” Mr Ricupero says, such as “lack of educational and health facilities, poor public transportation, marginalisation and criminality, stem from [an] inability to cope with internal migrations in an orderly and planned way.” That is now changing, he argues. The waves of migrants out of the countryside and into the cities have more or less finished. Brazil is now largely an urban country: about four-fifths of the population lives in cities. “For Brazil,” he concludes, “the period of frantic and chaotic growth of big cities that is now taking place in Asia and Africa is already a thing of the past.”

Mr Ricupero is relatively cautious about the conclusion. “The four sets of conditions outlined above,” he says “are by no means sure guarantees of automatic success.” He admits Brazil has fallen behind in infrastructure, for example, and says that, if it had the sort of infrastructure you see in Costa Rica and Chile (the two best examples in Latin America), economic growth would be about two percentage points higher per year. On the other hand, Brazil also has some other advantages: unlike China, Russia and India, it is at peace with its neighbours (all 10 of them). Whether you think all this really amounts to a rejoinder to Mr Wolf is a matter of doubt.

Brazil might still remain a relatively small player in the world. Still Mr Ricupero’s points are, at least, actually happening (not things expected in future), can be measured in concrete terms and are long-term (they should continue for decades). Who knows? Perhaps they might even be right.

Jul 26th 2010, 16:34 by The Economist online | SÃO PAULO