Blogs are certainly a trendy marketing tool for a lot of industries, but it seems to be white hot for Realtors and real estate brokerages. Unfortunately, most of them are haphazard attempts to simply have one. This approach could actually do more damage than good–it will be part of your brand.
So, if you are going to have a blog–do it right.
Be Real (Hopefully That’s Interesting)
One of the cardinal rules of blogging is to be real. The early origins of blogging were about capturing spontaneous musings. Preserve this.
You can be professional, yet still reveal your personality and passions. A blog presents you an informal realm to draw in people like you and form deeper relationships. Imagine getting a call from a prospective customer just because you both like to scuba dive.
Make It Local, Hyper Local
Real estate is a local business. Customers want to know you are their neighbor and your interests are aligned. Customers want assurances that you know the real estate market and the local community.
Share your community service, local involvement, and insights on the community. A blog is a great place to talk about your visit to talk to the planning commission on the new bike path, or helping the Elementary School raise funds for a new playground, or that your daughter just made All-State in soccer.
Fill It With Pictures
When people are looking for a home or a Realtor they want to make sure they are in a “good neighborhood.” Nothing makes this story come alive like pictures.
Give your readers an idea of what your represent. The community your serve:
Your pictures should sell the community and you as its representative.
Explain Current Trends
Buying or selling a home can be confusing. Real estate buying and selling is typically a unique or at least rare financial transaction. Many of your readers will be unfamiliar with the current state of the market. Use simple language to bring them up to speed.
Your blog can be an informal tool to track and simplify real estate trends. It can also allow you to explain how national trends and media coverage affects your community.
Educate and Foreshadow
Begin educating your client before they ever engage you. No one likes to feel ignorant or surprised. The more simple information you provide and clear expectations you set the better your results–more inquiries and smoother transactions.
Real estate blogs should be about engagement, relationship building, and comfort.
More than likely your blog readers are there because they have questions. Make them feel like you are open to engagement. Ask for opinions. Encourage comments. Respond to all questions.
Seed the discussion if you have to, but get people talking on your blog.
Don’t Forget Your Contact Info
Comments aren’t the only way to get your readers talking to you. Make sure you have lots of alternatives for people to engage you in ways they are most comfortable–telephone, email, IM, Twitter.
If engaged–be responsive.
Suggest Mortgage Lenders
Realtors guard referrals like currency and rightly so. However, more than ever mortgage brokers understand Internet leads and Web traffic. Show your customers that you have viable options for them to finance their new home.
These suggestions, references, and links also demonstrate transparency. Readers will have a higher level of comfort that you will offer them choices, not commission steered recommendations.
Showcase Your Network
Remember there are often two side to every real estate transaction. Blogrolls and links to mortgage lenders offers financing solutions. Likewise, linking to other Realtors may help your clients find representation for their counterpart purchase or sale in another market.
References and discussions with other real estate professionals also endorses your reputation and credibility in the industry. Building a strong mortgage and realtor network will drive you customers.
Do Not Talk to Your Peers!
Although building a good professional network is valuable do not waste you blog juice on them. There are lots of professional organizations, forums, and communities. Your blog should be about your customers. They are wandering around in the dangerous world of cyberspace looking for answers, give them a safe and happy home.
Bill Rice helps companies convert web traffic to buyers. He is a recognized expert, adviser, writer, speaker, and entrepreneur in online lead generation.
Bill Rice is passionate about the social web (s