I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating … The success of your real estate blog is dependent on your ability to create fresh new content, consistently over time.
Think about it. Consumers are going online to search for homes and gather information about the local community all the time.
So you started a real estate blog.
You want to position yourself as the local expert … To showcase your knowledge of the local real estate market.
But doing this, growing an audience, generating traffic, and generating leads, takes time.
There’s no short-term ROI. No shortcuts to the top of Google’s search results.
Those who do succeed invested a great deal of time and strategy into building their web presence.
If that’s what you’re trying to do, here’s 10 smart real estate blogging tips to help you on your way…
1. Be consistent
The best (and fastest) way to jump to the top of Google’s search results is to create fresh new content, consistently.
Write about the things your audience is interested in learning more about. Things like:
- The local community – things to do, best schools in the area, etc.
- The local market – what are some local statistics? Are we in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?
Set a realistic goal for the amount of blog posts that you can commit to writing every week. Then, create an editorial calendar and stick to it!
2. Write what you know
Most people get hung up on what to write about. Or after a while, they feel like they’ve run out of things to say. Here’s a good place to start …
Get out a piece of paper. (Go ahead, I’ll wait).
On that piece of paper I want you to make a list of all of the things that you know about buying or selling real estate in your area. Then, make a list of all of the things to do in the area (places to visit, some of your favorite hobbies, etc.).
Then, on another sheet of paper I want you to write down all of the questions potential homebuyers might have about buying or selling real estate in your area.
Match what you know with the questions people are asking about buying and selling real estate in your area and you’ve got some great content that speaks directly to your audience, answers their questions, and builds you up as a the “go to” local expert!
3. Build your email list early and often
In 2007, mortgage broker Scott Schang was on the verge of losing his business – the subprime collapse in the mortgage industry had affected his business. Scott didn’t have a big marketing budget so this wasn’t a problem he could just throw money at through ads. He needed a different strategy …
Scott found a niche and he started hosting weekly educational webinars teaching local school teachers about loan programs available specifically to teachers. Every time someone registered for a webinar, he added them to his mailing list (they asked to be opted-in of course). Today, Scott has a mailing list of well over 12,000 subscribers. Readers who continue to opt-in to receive educational content about the home financing process, current loan programs, and the state of the local housing market.
He has a database of consumers who reach out to him often all because he invested in building that permission asset early on that many years ago.
4. Ask for the sale
Some people want to focus on the community first and talk very little about real estate. “I don’t want to be ‘high pressure’.” And while I understand what they’re suggesting, I think it’s a mistake.
It’s one thing to write generic fluff pieces about “why now is a good time to buy” and an entirely different thing to write articulate, well thought out pieces that talk about the state of the current market discussing how home values are up 10% from this time last year.
Be proud of the fact that you’re an agent. Talk about the local community. Show readers that you’re an actual member of your local community. Let them know that you’re a real estate agent and always, always, always, ask for the sale.
5. Be responsive – treat your readers like you would your best customers
I received this email from a real estate agent the other day:
I received an email from someone who’s on my email list receiving blog post updates as they get published. After posting a very random profile article about a resale shop in our town (Naperville), I received this reply email from a total stranger. I guess this is kinda how it’s supposed to work:
John, We lived in Naperville for 11 years, now have a house in San Francisco, and a place in Lexington, Ky. I want an apartment in Naperville, again because we have children and grandchildren nearby there. I thought you might be able to recommend a very nice, safe place to rent. You seem to know Naperville well, and we really haven’t been back for 17 years, so thought you might help. Regards.
While it’s not a multi-million dollar purchase, John responded quickly and is working to help them find a suitable place. Treat your readers like you would your best customers. There’s no better way to generate great word-of-mouth and referrals.
6. Edit like a mad-man
There’s nothing worse then reeding a piece of content that’s full of typos. (See what I did there). But seriously, when it comes to your About page, your team’s Company page, and your landing pages, please give it a thorough read through to spot any typos. You want to give potential clients the impression that you have a high attention for detail when it comes to creating marketing collateral for their new listing.
7. Don’t start what you can’t finish
Managing a real estate blog that brings in new business is a long-term game. You’re not going to rise to the top of Google’s search results over-night. And no, this isn’t one of those if you build it, they will come sorts of things.
Managing a real estate blog is hard work. Creating new content, optimizing your content, following up with new lead registrations, optimizing landing pages to increase conversions … All of these things take work.
If you’re not willing to invest the time into doing it right, and doing it well, sometimes it’s best to not even start at all.
8. Measure your results
At the very least you should have Google Analytics installed on your website. Even better if you have Google Analytics custom dashboards set up. Custom dashboards are simply a collection of widgets that you can set up and customize to display summaries of different reports on a single page.
Here’s what I’d look out for:
- High bounce rate: this means that the people coming to your website either a.) don’t find your content relevant to their search query, b.) they don’t find your content useful. If you’re average time-on-site is less than a minute then you really need to focus on creating some higher quality content.
- Low pages-per-visit: this means that you’re not making it very easy for people to search additional relevant pages of content. One great way to get users to stick around longer is by using custom sidebars to serve related content on your community pages.
9. Update old posts with new information
After a while you’ll find that some of your old content is still getting viewed quite a bit. And while it might be out-of-date, don’t delete it. Instead, update those posts with new information and republish them.
Repurposing and updating existing content is one of the easiest ways to keep your blog posts fresh!
10. Invest in a great design from the very beginning
There’s nothing worse than visiting a busy website where you can’t find what you’re looking for. It’s frustrating. And it’s a sure-fire way to quickly lost site visitors.
Remember, people are coming to your website for one of four reasons:
- To search for homes
- To find out how the market is doing
- To find out how much their home is worth
- To learn more about the community
Invest in a good design early on that embodies all of these elements. Make it easy for consumers to search for homes and explore your best content about the local community.
And you know what? If you can’t afford a custom website, that’s ok … You can still get a professional-grade real estate site by investing in a great theme. The Winning Agent Pro Theme is my latest favorite!
Lastly, give it time – here’s why
The web is a big and noisy place where we’re constantly competing for attention. Unless you’re willing to invest a good deal of money in pay-per-click you cannot expect any real significant short-term ROI.
But if you stick it out for several months, a year … If you continue to create, optimize, and treat your readers like you would your best customers, you’ll be well on your way to turning your site into a lead generation machine!