There are dozens of posts around the web that give you compelling reasons for why and how to start a blog.
This isn’t one of them.
In fact, in this post, I aim to give you a few compelling reasons why you shouldn’t start a real estate blog.
Not because it’s ineffective or because it’s a waste of time. But because frankly, it’s just not a right fit for everyone.
There’s tons of top producers out there who generate substantial incomes all without ever having blogged a day in their life. They’ve just mastered a different area of their marketing, that’s all.
At the end of the day, you just have to find what’s right for you. And starting a real estate blog may or may not be it…
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start A Real Estate Blog:
1. If you don’t have the money or the technical skills to set up/design your own blog, don’t do it.
You’ll be doing yourself more harm than good.
Here’s the thing… Like it or not, people do judge a book by it’s cover. So within 2-3 seconds of landing on your website, people are going to make a decision as to whether they like you or not. Whether they trust you or not.
If you have a poorly designed website, you just lost a potential customer. Period.
Yes, great content is important. And a great site design is useless without solid content to back it up. But what good is a content-rich website if consumers aren’t staying on your site long enough to consider what you have to offer? And all because of a poor design.
Food for thought…
(Related Reading: https://www.ricardobueno.com/first-impressions-matter).
2. If you absolutely, positively hate to write, don’t do it.
If I’m a consumer looking for info on the local market trends in an area I’m interested in purchasing in, and your latest blog post is dated April 2010… How well do you think that reflects?
What that tells me is that your site is clearly outdated and that the content there is pretty unreliable. I want current data. Reliable data. Up-to-date data. If I can’t find it here, I’ll go look somewhere else.
3. If you’re shy about making your contact info public, don’t do it.
Some people don’t like to have their phone number listed on their website. Believe me, I get it. Too many solicitation calls… Too many calls from unknown numbers… Et cetera.
But here’s the thing… If a potential customer wants to get a hold of you, you should make it ridiculously simple to do so (phone number or email – not a contact form with a thousand fields). Otherwise, you risk losing that potential customer to the competition (and you will lose them to the competition).
If you have a hard time processing the thought of making yourself accessible, then there’s just no point. Period.
4. If you’re unwilling to make the monthly financial and time commitment, don’t do it.
Starting a business blog is going to cost you time (slaving over blog posts, email marketing newsletters, et cetera) and money. Still, it’s cheaper than starting a brick and mortar business. At a minimum, here’s what you can expect to spend money on:
- Hosting: On average you can expect to pay between $7 – $10 for a brand new, low traffic website. I recommend Bluehost.com. You’ll pay less than $100 for the year up-front in hosting fees and they have a fairly simple one-click install WordPress process.
- IDX: Searching for homes is one of the primary reasons consumers are coming to your website. You need a reliable, up-to-date, lead capture enabled IDX home search to offer them. Period. (And of course I’m going to recommend the Diverse Solutions IDX – Disclosure: I work for them).
- Email Marketing Service: When someone subscribes to receive my blogging blueprint, they receive a series of 7 emails and marketing lessons scheduled over a 30-day period. Wouldn’t it be great if you could do that whenever someone registers to use the IDX on your website? Well, services like Aweber and MailChimp make this ridiculously simple to do (and track). Cost = $10 – $30 per month.
At a minimum, those are some of the services you can expect to be paying for on a monthly basis.
Most Challenging Moments:
What about you? How long have you had your real estate (or small business) blog? What have been some of your most challenging moments? Was it the design/set up phase? Or content creation and promotion?
What advice would you give to someone new who wants to start a real estate blog? And under what circumstances would you advise someone to NOT start a real estate blog?
The comments are yours…
Monica Hemingway says
Thanks for telling it like it really is, Ricardo! A blog is NOT always the answer. In fact, for many people, a blog just isn’t going to work. Why? Because they don’t know what they want it to do for them, they don’t have the time or resources to do it well, it’s not what their audience/customers want to read, they don’t have a marketing/publicity plan for the blog (so they don’t get many readers), etc., etc. It’s not easy to do it well – and to do it consistently, week after week. I wrote a post about the 10 questions to answer before you start a blog – expands a bit on your excellent points above (http://monicahemingway.com/10-questions-to-answer-before-launching-a-blog).
Laura Monroe says
Ricardo, I JUST had a consultation today where the clients are interested in moving to WordPress, but WILL NOT be blogging (as in writing) by my recommendation..they will however concentrate on their great video marketing, and photography for their website. You HAVE to know what you’re getting into; what your market needs, and how to put that out there in the BEST way 🙂 LOVE this..right on!
Stephen Shivers says
Ricardo, great advice. I see too many agents starting accounts all over the internet with no game plan. They dive in with great intentions, but their enthusiasm fizzles out after their first two posts (which are spread out over the course of a year).
Ricardo Bueno says
Stephen: Precisely the problem. Better to have a well thought-out/built out web presence than one that’s messy. In the case of a blog, if you don’t see yourself committing to it, best to not even start. Or, create a simple one off landing page instead.
Steve Babbitt says
I’m not sure we have met, but if we haven’t we should. Loved your article and will use it is some sessions st our Assoc and State. I will be calling you about working together. Laura Monroe, whom I met in Anaheim while walking into AmyOutLoud’s session. Steve Babbitt or @RochesterREGuy
Ricardo Bueno says
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. Feel free to pass it around. Laura’s a great gal, excellent designer and a smart gal.
Thanks for connecting!
Debe Maxwell says
Great list, Ricardo! I am always frustrated when I do a 1-on-1 with an agent who wants to get into blogging and then they do nothing. Perhaps that’s a GOOD thing for their business! If any of the 4 reasons above apply to them, maybe I shouldn’t be so enthusiastic about them getting started in the blogging world!
Ricardo Bueno says
The way I see it, better for you!
Frankly, it’s just not for everybody.
Tierra M Wilson says
If you strategize blogging can bring in 5 to 10 leads per week, im proof. Not sure if I agree with this posts, I think DEF get educated first, secondly measure your time and 3rd make an informed decision. But some can’t afford not to blog. Soon itll be like having business card.. just my thoughts
Ricardo Bueno says
Not sure I entirely agree Tierra but I certainly see/understand your perspective. I agree, a real estate blog has the amazing ability to get your some great organic placement in search results, but some people just can’t effectively and realistically commit to it. In those cases, it’s a waste of time.
I’ve met plenty of top producers who don’t have a real estate blog. Why? Because they know that they’re not willing to commit to putting the content out there to make it look good.
Tierra M Wilson says
I agree. Just wanted to point out that the top producers I know who don’t utilize blogging or other web strategies are on a roller coaster of up and down and have to work very hard for new leads as the years go by. I think the “least” everyone should do neighborhood blogging to position themselves as hyperlocal specialist and to show up for their area. With 88% of consumers using the web for their home search, I just honestly can’t see the benefit of not blogging or getting someone else to help them with it. I think in a year or two, realtors won’t have a choice anymore and they will wish they had just added it as part of their marketing earlier. Just my little 2 cents. BTW.. love the blog, 1st time commenting but always a reader.
Naomi Trower says
I totally agree that if there is no well thought out design, strategy or plan for their real estate blog then don’t do it. There are so many creative ways to blog now though such as local event pictures or video interviews at local events. The images can be labeled with keywords to still get google juice.
Ricardo Bueno says
Agreed! There’s tons of different ways to deliver useful content to your end consumer and you should pick a medium that’s comfortable for you. For some, that’s video, for others, it’s writing.
But too many sites are started without any clear sense of purpose. In other words, why they’re doing what they’re doing. And that’s a step in the wrong direction.