Meet our people; Umika Verma

What is it you like most about working with property sector clients?

The great thing about working in property is that it’s an ever-changing sector – a real hub for original thought. When we get a new client in the field, we always get the chance to learn about a brand-new concept – whether it’s pop-up homes, innovative ways of financing or completely novice PropTech platforms. Looking back, no two clients have ever been the same and that’s something I love.

The UK remains a popular place for property start-ups to set up shop. Why do you think this is?

Startups launch to either solve a problem or change the way we think. The UK has been in the grips of a housing crisis for decades now, creating the perfect incubator for these brave entrepreneurs to challenge the property status quo.

London is an obvious melting pot where ‘generation rent’ seems to have borne the brunt of these challenges but there is always the north vs south divide and the cost of living in our commuter towns to consider. As a result, talented entrepreneurs will continue coming to the fore to help fix our broken housing model which makes for an especially exciting time in property PR.

You’ve been involved in working on some great accounts in the past, is their one particular highlight?

A personal highlight for me is Vivahouse. Founded by two strong women in property, I felt an immediate attachment to them and the concept.

Ra href="https://www.ft.com/content/b2bd2ed0-1f36-11e9-a46f-08f9738d6b2b?accessToken=zwAAAW8eMYNYkdOyvS7QHzYR6dOkbwj5c41rKw.MEQCIG8DWu7_QdE100QysNbhiImj_pOZ1ENdUpeqMMRUdbLeAiA5jt7QiFQslrs3eo0zX2OaROaGswHJzdIW8E4im7ekXA&sharetype=gift?token=ea95f743-067b-4c77-89a6-dcabf4b2e99e" target="_blank" rel="noopener">FT, Evening Standard, Metro and the Telegraph. It was an incredible concept which made for very happy journalists!

What can The PHA Group offer startups who are interested in investing in a PR strategy over other agencies?

I think as a startup, the important thing to have in a PR agency is a trusted extension of your team, a one-stop of expertise with the right contacts and even a shoulder to cry on. We’ve seen it all and we love every minute of it.

We may be a large agency, but we work incredibly closely with our clients from the offset, so you’d be getting the skills of an experienced large firm in property, but the attention of a boutique agency. It’s kind of a win-win for startups in the space.

Finally, as an experienced PR professional, what advice would you give to any budding PR professionals beginning their career?

‘Don’t run before you can walk’ might be a cliché, but this is a great piece of advice in PR. Achieving coverage is a huge part of what we do and when you’ve smashed delivery on an account, its easy to get carried away and think you can immediately do everything else. You should enjoy the ride, perfect every skill before you jump to the next milestone and soak in all the experience as you go.

If you would like to find out how PR can connect you with the right audience for your offering then please get in touch with us today.

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