Real Estate is a highly competitive market. (So is blogging about real estate).
Most real estate agents know that blogging is well worth the effort but they give up before ever really reaping the rewards.
Why? Because it takes too much time, too much effort and/or the leads aren’t coming in fast enough.
In order to generate a consistent stream of business, you need to be viewed as the authoritative source in the area. And blogging IS a great way to display your knowledge and experience. It gives you plenty of opportunities to show that you ARE the authority in your area so that people will want to work with you.
But what if you’re just starting out? How do you establish yourself as an authority? Here’s a quick roadmap for success…
1. What is Needed to Start.
Initially, everyone asks if there are enough things to write about. But you, as a real estate agent serving in a particular area, can write just about everything. Really!
The topics are endless. Just think of what people might be looking for or what information they can benefit from. Moreover, there are a few topics that people almost always like to read about (like the ones below).
First, keep people informed about real estate news. Let them know what is going on in the business. Is it a good time to invest in a house or an apartment? Or maybe it’s better to wait until the end of the year? Answer these and other questions that may come up in your blog!
Second, focus on what’s happening in the area your serve. You can write about upcoming events of any kind (like concerts). You can write about places worth visiting (e.g. museums). Also, mention restaurants serving good food, or stores where people can buy some exclusive items. Let people know that you are well familiar with the area, and that this is the perfect place to settle in long-term!
You’re essentially selling the community and the lifestyle before you sell the house.
Third, give tips and advice.
Try to update your blog frequently. This ensures that the information you provide is always up-to-date, relevant, worth reading, and more important still, worth linking to. You need a lot of incoming links to rank well amongst the search engines, but I’ll get back to this later.
So, first and foremost, focus on your content!
2. Be Social.
It’s important to have an online presence that extends beyond your real estate website and that’s where social media comes in.
Social media is an inherent part of any blog and everyone shares everything, you need to come up with something unique that will draw people’s attention to YOUR blog. Of course, blog content must be the first and most important aspect, but how you present yourself in the social media-sphere is also extremely vital.
Here’s how to start “being social:”
- Create pleasing and informative profiles on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Share anything you consider important or you think people ought to know.
- Be active.
- Be yourself.
- Be helpful (answer questions, give tips).
- Be friendly.
- Build relationships.
Furthermore, here is what you could (and should) do on the following social networking websites:
- Follow people in the area you serve.
- Take part in various discussions.
- Use popular hashtags (“#”)
- Share what you write on your blog, but also, share links to other interesting resources.
- Use “check-ins” to share helpful tips from your area.
- Inform people about houses or apartments that recently appeared on the market.
- If you’re talking about real estate and/or the community, learn to use engaging photos and video to tell a story.
- Share your blog posts.
- (As shared above) Use “check-ins” to share helpful tips from your area.
- Leave helpful comments and reviews at different places.
For a great example, look at what The Corcoran Group is doing on Foursquare.
- Share the best content from your blog.
- Add people to your circles.
- Comment on what they share (engage and build relationships).
- Learn about Google Author Tags and how to get Google to display your profile in search results.
- Share pictures of the nice places from the area you serve. (Pictures help paint a picture of what it’s like to live in your area).
- Write reviews of businesses in a particular area.
In Apple’s upcoming iOS6 update they’d ditched Google Maps and are instead going to use the Yelp API on their map platform. This means that businesses with a profile on Yelp will show up in search results and those that have more reviews will show up before their competition. So fill out a complete profile, and get some reviews…
One realtor can attest to having close 3 closings as a result of her reviews on Yelp!
Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, and Bing Maps:
- Write reviews of businesses.
These are just a few examples, but ultimately, the content possibilities are endless!
3. Ready for Some SEO?
It would be advantageous if you could fit some SEO elements into your blog posts.
Some of the most important things to consider are:
- Keywords - words or phrases of focus in a particular article.
- XML and HTML Sitemaps - thanks to these you can rest assured that search engines can find every page on your website.
- Outgoing Links - link to valuable websites from which your readers can benefit.
- Incoming Links - build relationships with related-topic websites to gain some quality links. This is extremely important that you do that. The more quality websites link to yours, the more important your website will seem to be from Google’s point of view. However, it’s a long (I could even say never-ending) process. But if your content is good and informative, enough people will be linking to you in a blink of an eye.
- bold and italicized words,
- bullet points,
Don’t forget that social media is also very important for your SEO efforts. The more people share your content on Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc., the better it is for your rankings in Google. If Google “sees” that people like what you present, it will show it’s appreciation by improving your ranking position.
4. You’re Almost Done.
Now, when you’ve taken care of what is most important – your content – consider your website’s appearance.
As a real estate agent, it is necessary that your website be attractive. You represent the best properties in the area via the best place on the web – your website. That is why you must make your website appealing to your customers. Make their experience in reading it unique.
Also, measure your traffic. Use Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools to see where the most traffic occurs, and which pages attract the greatest number of visitors. Thanks to this, you’ll be able to focus on topics that bring you the most profit.
Write often, but most importantly, write regularly. Give your readers useful and exceptional content. Provide what they are truly looking for. You have to demonstrate that people can rely on what you write.
Also, include some SEO elements for better ranking.
Then, share your valuable content everywhere you can. Be social and active in your sphere.
You must be persistent and patient. Results will not come right away, but when they do come, you’ll never regret your efforts. Remember that time works to your advantage. And, as you know, everything valuable takes time – as does this. It’s not a fast process but well worthwhile.
And remember this one simple rule:
Once you start writing, keep writing!
Photo Credit: feverpitched