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There is nothing I love more than seeing the results of agents I’ve worked with when they are featured in the media. It is an absolute game changer for their real estate business in terms of credibility and visibility. The easiest way to do this is pitching the local media.


The question I always get is what makes a good story? Even though I teach this regularly, I went to the experts for their advice. I interviewed journalists from The Washington Post, The Washington Business Journal, and Inside Nova (a Northern Virginia local publication) about what types of local real estate pitches they like to receive. Here are your tips from the pros!


Their responses are below but the one overarching theme for all of them and something I talk about regularly is to give them something unique that their readers will enjoy.


Kathy Orton, Reporter and Real Estate Web Editor, Washington Post

What types of residential stories do you like to cover?

 “I do a House of the Week. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive house. I’d rather it be the most interesting house. One of my favorites was a 1BR condo with an old mural of Washington that was done by the owner who was a cartographer. 

I’m always on the hunt for great stories. Real estate agents tend to not think in terms of the story of the house. Did someone interesting or famous live there? I just covered the home of the woman who founded the Girl Scouts in D.C.

Don’t pitch me the gourmet kitchen with cathedral ceilings. What’s the second paragraph of that story? I want to know about an interesting person who lived there. Are there unique architectural qualities? 

I’m also interested in the local real estate market. What’s going on in Loudoun or Prince George’s Counties? Every locality has its own story. Real Estate agents can tell us what’s going on. For example, ‘This new zoning law is going to change X, Y & Z.’ Or, there are no homes on the market here and why. Email me when you notice a trend going on.

I realize agents might be worried about breaking clients’ confidentiality, but they can share information without naming names. I could say something like, ‘this Real Estate agent has three clients who pulled their listing because they’re worried about a Government shutdown.’

I would love to have a much broader rolodex of agents who recognize what I need and it helps get their name out there too.”


What is the most creative residential real estate story the Washington Post has run?

There was a guy who built a survivalist home in Maryland. He built the house into a hill and could live off the grid and it barely used electricity.

There was a house in Prince William County that was being renovated. They found all these newspapers, cards, and historic documents in the wall of the home.


Who is the contact at the Washington Post 

Kathy Oroton,, 202-334-9876


How do you prefer to be pitched?

Email is best to get it in writing. A call could get lost. I try to respond but if you don’t hear back from me, you can always follow up with a call or an email.




Bruce Potter, COO, Inside Nova

What types of residential stories do you like to cover?

We’re more likely to cover unique listings/sales than anything else. We also cover trends and economic stories (local sales numbers, prices, etc.).  

Unique listings, high-priced homes, celebrity buyers/sellers are more likely to make news. Generic articles (advice for buyers/sellers, best upgrades, etc.) are typically covered only periodically (quarterly) when we do special real estate sections. Also valuable is the impact of economic changes/tax changes, etc. on the real estate market, or even local economic factors (new Metro stop, etc.)

It has to be really unique.  Other than special sections, we aren’t going to cover generic topics (how to find a house, etc.) And in special sections, preference is given to Realtors who advertise with us.  In the main news pages, particularly unique homes (historic, etc.), celebrity buyers/sellers, etc., are the best pitch. 


What is the most creative residential real estate story Inside Nova has run?

That’s a tough one…I think some of the “behind-the-scenes” stories have been most creative – like Realtor “horror” stories, or how Realtors handle open houses.  


Who is the contact at Inside Nova who writes about residential real estate?

We don’t have a real estate reporter per se.  Best to pitch me, Bruce Potter, or our online editor, Greg Hambrick,




Doug Fruehling, Editor-in-Chief (former), Washington Business Journal

What types of residential stories do you like to cover?

We love stories about important people buying beautiful homes! There are plenty of public figures in Washington, and we have lots of beautiful homes. We have a regular feature called The Property Report where we talk about who is selling and who is buying. We love to show pictures, both inside and out, of the homes, and we always include the agents for both sides. We also like to cover trends in the market. What hoods are hot? What are not? And we love to feature interesting real estate agents. We do an annual listing of the wealthiest ZIP codes in Greater Washington.

Our readers are all about luxury properties. If they don’t already own one, they aspire to own one.

We like exclusive pitches. And we like facts and dollars – a sales price is a must.


What is the most creative residential real estate story the Washington Business Journal has run?

We did a story about high-income buyers trying to shield their identities. And last year we did a story called “Kalorama drama” about all the high-end activity in that neighborhood. And related to our wealthiest ZIP codes list, we did a package of stories focusing on where the black wealth in Washington resides.


Who is the contact at the Journal who writes about residential real estate?

We have several reporters who cover it:

Sara Gilgore

Andy Medicia

Katie Arcieri

Carolyn M. Proctor


Pitch the media the way THEY want to be pitched and you will have success. These tips above are invaluable to your ability to gain media exposure, which will be a game changer for your business – both in terms of credibility and visibility.


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