By Bill Gassett
Most real estate agents today are realizing that having a web presence is a must if they want to be successful. The reality is, anyone looking to buy a home is going online first. This is true even for grandparents, but it is especially true for younger buyers. If you want to appeal to a wide audience, you have to be online.
One of the keys to an online presence is blogging. Blogging has been a large part of my own real estate business in Ashland, Mass. for over 10 years. Having a real estate blog offers you a number of advantages that more than make up for the effort it takes to maintain the blog. Having a blog allows you to present your experience as an agent, show you understand the local market, drive business to your agency, and more.
Real Estate Expert
People like hiring experts. They don't want to hire novices, the uninformed, or those who only know a little about a particular subject. This is especially true in high stakes transactions, such as buying or selling a home. Keeping a regular real estate blog allows you to show off your expertise as an agent. With each helpful, targeted, informative blog post, you show your audience that you do, in fact, know what you are talking about. This is important for several reasons.
First, you can explain different topics to your readers. This helps them understand the work that you do and how it applies to their needs. Second, you can start establishing trust. You are giving away free, useful information – stuff that only 20 years ago, they may have had to hire an agent for. Now, you are giving it away for free. This free, useful information turns you into a trusted resource, and people like to hire those they feel are trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Local Market Expert
Beyond explaining basic real estate concepts, you can also develop local community pages. These pages can contain all the useful information about a community that you can gather. The more information you put in them, the more valuable they become. Community pages allow you to establish yourself as a local expert, something that is arguably just as important as being a real estate expert. One of the main aspects of buying a home is the sense of place, of community, that the buyer is looking for. The buyer is probably planning on living in the home for a decade or more, maybe raising a family there. Understanding the place where the home sits is as important as how many bedrooms and baths it has.
If buyers have the option, they will choose an agent that understands an area inside and out. Your community pages will make you into this kind of expert. In addition, if someone is selling their home, they are also going to want to have an agent who knows the area inside and out.
As stated before, the Internet is where people are going for house listings and real estate services. By building a blog that people like to read, you are increasing your visibility online, which will drive business. One of the biggest factors Google and other search engines use to rank websites is the content they provide. Web searchers are looking for information, and search engines want to satisfy searchers. If you have good, genuinely valuable information on your site, it will make you appear higher up on the search rankings. The higher you can get, the more business you should be able to generate.
Becoming a Better Agent
One of the most interesting things about teaching information to others is how it solidifies personal understanding. You may think that you know a lot about real estate, but once you start explaining it – teaching it – you will discover your own strengths and weaknesses. This is one of the biggest reasons why real experts often teach - because it makes them better at what they do.
In your effort to build a blog and community pages, you will also be learning. This will make you a better, stronger real estate agent. When you come up against different obstacles in your work, you may be better at overcoming them. It is a win-win situation for you and for your clients.
Build Relationships with Colleagues
Once your blog starts to gain some visibility what you will notice is that other bloggers will start interacting with you. This of course is a good thing. In fact good real estate social media relations are built on collaboration. One thing you will find out quickly about blogging is people love to be recognized. Having your name in the spotlight makes you feel special. One of the best ways to get noticed is to share the content of others - especially influencers! (Hint, hint!)
Let me give you an example of a blog article that does just that. This is a real estate round-up post that highlights multiple blog authors. When highlighting others you stand a great chance of receiving multiple shares in social media.
Creating a real estate blog does not have to be difficult. You only need to pick some topics that you think people will want to understand better, and start writing. If you are not keen on the writing part, you can always hire someone to do the writing for you. Once you have the basis for the blog, you can edit it to your liking and then publish it for your readers.
Results from blogging may take some time, but the fact is, there is no better time to start than now. In a year, you will have a blog with plenty of information, and you will have added to your credibility as a REALTOR®. I would highly recommend reading some of the best real estate blogging tips to help you get started.
Promotion of Your Real Estate Blog
Having exceptional real estate content is of course the most important piece of the puzzle if you hope to be successful with your blog. Promotion however, comes in a close second. If you want to make sure your blog becomes a reliable business source you are going to need a plan to make sure it is visible. There are a number of ways to do this. Frankly, this is where many blogs either fail to get off the ground or die off all together.
When it comes to promotion of your blog, you will want to be active is some of the more active social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and even LinkedIn. These are all valuable places where your content can get shared driving traffic back to your site. Do you enjoy social media? If so, blogging and social media go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Your blog will become the foundation of all your social media efforts. You can really take your blog to new heights.
Once you have the basics of social media marketing for your real estate blog down, keep looking for further ways you can improve your exposure. Here are some additional real estate social media tips that will keep you on the right track for making your blog a major success.
While these are all mainstream sites that most people know about and use daily there are quite a few others that can drive some serious traffic. The best real estate bloggers will use all the best tools at their disposal. Here are some lesser known content marketing sites for real estate agents. Using all of these sites as part of an active content promotion plan can drive serious amounts of traffic. This of course should be a major goal for any real estate agent who is interested in having a blog that works to acquire business.
Remember when starting your blog to be patient. Success will not come overnight. You will probably need to have created at least fifty blog posts before you start seeing any meaningful traffic to your site. Keep at it and you’ll be glad you did!
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past 27+ years. He is one of the top real estate agents in Ashland, Mass., and has been blogging for his real estate business for over 10 years.