Real Estate Blogging, You Should Do It!
Yes, it really is true. Don’t let the term “blogging,” frighten you. No one is asking you to become a professional “blogger,” or even dedicate an unrealistic amount of time to it. What I want to talk to you about, is why it is a good idea to do write about real estate on your website.
If it is something you are truly against, or really do not like the idea of writing then don’t force it and skip this post. Make sure your real estate website has amazing pages dedicated to your local communities and neighborhoods. Spice them up with video tours, and really highlight the characteristics of your area.
Okay, let’s get down to business on why real estate blogging is beneficial for realtors!
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is making the search engines love your website and content. Look at the world we live in, the word “Google,” has become a verb! A majority of our population intrinsically looks to Google if they have a question.
Google and other search engines rely on algorithms to determine the quality of your website, and will rank your website in search results for various keywords/phrases. Website owners used to be able to get away with “keyword stuffing,” which is stuffing the keywords they want to be found for into their website.
However, Google is much smarter now. They can identify that behavior and punish those sites with significantly lower rankings. These days, Google wants to see your site as an authority on a clear subject matter. In other words, you need to be the authority in real estate for your area. Real estate blogging helps you accomplish this! (Quick note: Google now looks at if your website is “mobile-friendly.”)
The search engines want to know what you are an expert in, and they want your site to consistently have fresh, related content on it. The process of blogging is generating fresh content for your website, and as a realtor you are an expert in everything real estate (we’ll talk content ideas later). You can also read how my team approaches real estate blogging.
The world is googling to find active listings, and information on real estate in your area. They are doing it from their computers, tablets, and smartphones. Regardless of your opinions about Zillow/Trulia/Etc… people are more than fine with using those portals to find listings. We are no longer “gatekeepers,” to real estate listing information.
So how else are we supposed to differentiate ourselves?
Be The Local Expert
When people are looking for a realtor, they are looking for someone that is an expert. I am going to assume that you are already the most knowledgeable agent in your area, and your clients are lucky to work with you.
Home buyers need you to be an expert on the areas that they are looking to buy a home. According to NAR, over 90% of home buyers begin the home-search process online. Yeah, that is nearly everyone!
Every agent out there already has a website with property search, so you need to stand out as an expert through creating content about your local community. Visitors can get property search on any realtor’s website. Wouldn’t you rather your site rank higher than your competitors when a home buyer is looking for information on the schools in your area? I would imagine so!
Home sellers rely on your area expertise so that you can properly guide them through a successful sale of their home. They rely on your knowledge of the micro-markets that have a direct effect on the value of their home when it is time to sell. They also rely on your marketing expertise to generate interest and the best possible offer on their home. Make your blog a display of your expertise so that they can get to know you well before your first conversation, and place your business at the top of their mind.
Content for Real Estate Blogging
Okay, let’s dig in to the content a realtor can create!
First, content can take many forms. A blog post can contain text, images, video, audio, infographics, and even offer visitors an ebook. I would advise that if you are up to it, to diversify how your content is presented. Video is a great tool to use, but try to keep videos to under two and a half minutes. Studies have shown that longer videos lose the attention of their viewers. Keep them clear, concise, and full of value.
So what can a realtor blog about? There are so many topics that help you blog on a consistent basis, making your website a useful resource for visitors and potential clients. Let’s take a quick look at some topic ideas for you to write about:
- Market Updates – Write up a post on a regular basis that summarizes how the market is performing in your area. Add a call-to-action to each of those posts for readers to contact you, or they can request a free market report (like from RPR), or some other reason to provide you their contact information.
- Buyer’s Tips – “How to Write an Offer on a Home” – “Why Inspections are so Important” – “First Time Home Buyers’ Guide”
- Seller’s Tips – “How to Prepare Your Home for Sale” – “How to Evaluate a Purchase Offer” – “How To Price Your Home Correctly”
- Feature Your Listings – Add photos, video tours (no NOT virtual tours/photo slideshows), make the content for your listings fun!
- Testimonials – If a client is willing, get them on video talking about what it’s like to work with you!
- Local Business Highlights – Let visitors know the great spots in your area! What’s a great restaurant for a first date? What are they great spots for families to take their children on the weekends?
- Neighborhoods – Write up and do photos/video on the neighborhoods you serve. Show buyers that are looking for your area that you are the resource to talk to. You will also show homeowners/potential sellers in those neighborhoods just how well you know the area, as well as showing off your marketing chops.
Blogging is the Foundation to Social Media Marketing
While I will likely dedicate a separate post to Social Media for Real Estate, let’s do a quick touch here. I’m sure you have seen all the articles, heard all the buzz, and probably grown tired of hearing about using social media in the real estate industry. You have the young up-and-comers praising social media, and the old-school long-timers being skeptical. (I did write up some brief and quick thoughts on social media for real estate here)
Here’s the thing, there is no definitive answer to if it works and if it works well. It is completely situational. Doing it just to “do it,” won’t get you anywhere. It takes a dedicated effort to make something of it.
Think of your website/blog as the “hub,” to your online presence. The social media channels you choose to have a presence on are ways to drive traffic back to your website.
Now you don’t want to just post all of your articles and listings to these networks non-stop. Your connections and followers won’t appreciate that kind of “spam” behavior. Plus, it will likely be ignored! Social media is not an “advertising platform,” it is social!
Each network is different, and you won’t get anywhere unless you treat each one for what its purpose is. Some networks are meant to showcase who you are, the real person. Then there is LinkedIn which is more professional. However, LinkedIn is a way for you to stay connected to professionals in your community. These people tend to buy and sell homes from time to time! Especially if a new job has come along, in which they promptly update LinkedIn.
(Disclosure: Research and figure out what networks you want to participate on, there is no need to join every social network available. Pick what you think you will be comfortable with.)
In your real estate business, having a presence on a social network can be beneficial. Look at how many people are on these networks already?! Why not put yourself in front of them more often? Interact with them, engage, share photos, answer questions, provide value…Then drive them back to your blog where they may also use your property search.
Think about the knowledge you can gain from your connections on these networks. Maybe someone you know is getting married, or a child is arriving, or got a new job. These are all life-events that could mean changes to their living situation (and also great springboards to creating content to help guide those in those situations). Don’t sell yourself when you see these events occur, but there is nothing wrong with congratulating them and saying that if they ever need anything to let you know.
You are also able to learn about what your connections do and where they go. Maybe you notice a lot of your connections like to lunch at a certain bistro in town…boom there’s a business you can highlight on your blog. If they are such fans of businesses you highlight, the chances are increased they will click through to your blog to read what you wrote.
There is an underlying theme to what I have written in this post, and that is connecting. Real estate blogging, and social media puts you in a place to help build and solidify connections with potential clients. Actual, tangible interactions will help keep your business in the minds of others in a much more significant way than trying to rely on postcard mailers.
Your blog is a tool. And in modern times, it could be one of the most powerful tools you use.
- Helps Google love you and put you in front of online searches regarding your community.
- Showcases your knowledge of your community and real estate in general.
- Builds an initial connection and authority with readers, they are now introduced to you and what you are about.
I sincerely appreciate it if you read this blog post. I became a real estate agent at the beginning of 2013, and have been learning nonstop ever since. I wanted to share some of what I have learned that applies to modern real estate agents, and in a broad sense can be applied to many entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Thanks again for reading!