Blogging is rapidly developing into a tool whose purpose is to establish an online presence, improve visibility, build a sense of community, maintain an open dialogue for clients and prospects, and offer valuable information — all of which is accomplished in an unfiltered direct way.
Just by those reasons alone, blogging has a huge potential for real estate agents. What strikes me odd is the fact that most real estate agents or real estate websites I’ve visited don’t have a blog and are losing out on such a powerful median. A blog should definitely be added to their real estate marketing mix.
This void offers a unique business opportunity for someone or a company to help develop and maximize a real estate agents ability to essentially generate more leads and close more business. Being an entrepreneur, I’ve actually thought about doing this myself since I’m very experienced in blogging, internet marketing, and real estate but I just don’t have the time with all the other projects I am working on.
So let’s get down to the 5 key reasons real estate agents should have a blog.
- Direct Communications – Most real estate websites seem to contain static content which is usually more about the business and properties on the MLS the real estate agent is looking to sell. The beautiful thing about a blog is that they provide a way for realtors to speak directly and honestly with potential customers and prospects in an open way. Visitors to your blog can actually comment and reply to your posts which only adds value and creates a community-type environment. Here’s a great example of Luba, a real estate agent in San Francisco who started her own blog.
- Positioning Yourself As The Expert – Blogs give you a way to express your viewpoints, demonstrate your knowledge, and provide your expertise on issues and topics pertaining to your industry or community. If you’re the only real estate agent in your city or coverage area that actually blogs, prospects and potential customers that find your website are going to view you as the expert in that area.
- Lead Generation – You will find that having a blog is a low cost method of highly visible real estate marketing. It will provide you a consistent flow of leads at almost no cost. The best way to start building your potential client lists is by asking for their names. Having an offer like a free pdf or newsletter helps and then you can quickly add lead capture forms (without having to know coding) and even setup auto-responders within an hour. I use one of the best known hosted solutions out there called Aweber for all of my web sites. They even offer a free $1 trial. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo highly favor blog content in their search results so once you start publishing content you will be surprised to see the amount of traffic increasing to your website. You just have to make sure to capture these leads once they visit your site.
- Competitive Differentiation – How is your business difference from the dozens of other real estate agents in your area? How can you make a prospective customer understand that you have something better to offer or that you have the expertise and experience to make the home buying and selling process easier and to their financial benefit? Having a blog gives your readers insight to who you are and what your business is all about.
- Relationship Marketing – The beautiful thing about a blog is that it allows you to build personal relationships with your readers and customers that eventually creates trust. All real estate agents are familiar with the importance of “farming” as a way of generating activity. Blogs allow you to create a tight niche of potential customers who you can deliver messages to on a daily basis.
These 5 key reasons alone should be enough justification for you as a real estate agent to start a blog tomorrow. Now your next question is probably going to be, “How do I start a blog?” and “How much will it cost?”. The good news is most blogging software is free and depending on your skill set and depth of features, I would recommend wordpress.com, typepad.com, or blogger.com. All are great platforms and each has their positives and negatives.
For me, I use WordPress software for all my blogs and Aweber to capture and manage leads. WordPress is by far the best if you’re looking for something extremely flexible and you have some technical knowledge and experience with the internet. There is a learning curve and all blogs require some time to configure and setup, but that’s where someone with technical and business experience comes in. I also highly recommend getting a professional Real Estate WordPress theme and then building your site.