That is the question. The answer is simple: if you are a Realtor and you don’t blog you are casting aside one of the easiest ways to be seen as the industry expert.
Now, before you start writing you need to understand the power of blogging. Think of all the potential clients in your area who are online daily looking at properties. Over 90% of all property searches start online. Where do these people go? Most of them go to sites like Realtor.com or Yahoo! or Trulia, Zillow and other sites. On these sites they see properties but they can also see the agents.
Since buyers and sellers are more savvy these days most of them, upon seeing an appealing home, will go a step further and look at the agent’s bio. On many sites a buyer or seller can click on the agent and pull up her profile, which may tell where you work and have contact information. But what if they pull up a profile and they can see that the agent is clearly an area expert? What if they see numerous blogs on real estate, the community and local topics, and what if they see that the agent has answered real estate questions from others, and commented on other blogs with informative and interesting responses? The more information the potential client has about you, the more they will trust you, so the more you put out there and contribute, the more trustworthy you will become and the more you will be featured in local area searches on the web.
Hopefully you see the power in creating a presence as an industry leader in you areas. The rest will be easy. Let’s get started. First of all, go to a blogging site like WordPress and sign up. It’s free and easy to do.
Now, you can either write or post a video for your first blog. Think of a question a client may have asked you recently, something in your community that is going on (is there a big beach cleanup next weekend, a huge community garage sale, a new shopping center or restaurant to review?) , or an industry-wide issue (interest rates, how to qualify for a loan, what to do if you are a first time buyer, foreclosure issues, short sales…). The list is endless! Now, just start talking with your fingers on the keypad, OR record yourself on video discussing this, then post to your blog. Here are some tips:
Writing: If you are writing your blog make sure to break up the paragraphs often so it doesn’t look like a wall of words. Whether your blog is short or long is up to you—choose your writing style. There are very successful bloggers who write both. I have an issue with making my posts too long sometimes, so I go back and cut a lot of words when I am done.
Insert photos, graphs or tables. Go to a photo site like Dreamstime.com or iStockphoto.com. It is very inexpensive to purchase the smallest sized photo (if you choose one that is more than 1 credit, look for the less expensive ones). Enter your credit card info, download the photo to your desktop or a folder (I recommend saving them in a folder so you can use them again in the future). Then all you have to do is click where you want to add your photo into your text, then click the little star/sunshine icon just above your tool bar (where it says “upload/insert”), choose your photo and voila! If you need help feel free to send me an email: Rachel@LaMarRealEstate.org.
Make sure to use keywords and tags with your blog—this is how people will find your blog. For example, if you write a blog on 10 ways to keep your home in tip-top shape this winter, use tags like YourTownHomes, YourTownRealEstate, HomeProtection and WinterHomeTips. Remember to use your name as a keyword, as well as your company. Keywords can be separated, tags must be one word. Think of things people may enter when looking for information.
Videos (aka “Vlogs”): Make sure your videos have sufficient light. Shoot from your phone/video camera or computer camera. Jot down a few points you want to hit and then just start talking—pretend you are talking directly to a client but keep looking at the camera. Speak clearly and try to keep your video to between 2-3 minutes. If it’s too long people will lose interest. If the subject is broad you can do a three part series, and mention this in your video. You can visit places in your community or new construction projects and shoot a short evaluation or description, or just talk about an issue from your desk or in front of a home, etc. Be creative.
The easiest way to post your video is to upload it from your desktop to your WordPress blog, or post it to YouTube and then upload it to your blog. WordPress has a little icon for YouTube imports. If you don’t see it on your platform just go to a search engine and query “how to upload video to WordPress.” Simple. Again, if you need assistance feel free to send me an email.
Consistency: Be consistent with blogging. I try to blog 2-3 times a week. The more content you post to the internet the more people you drive to your website and, more importantly, the more you will be seen as the industry expert in your community. Make sure to post your blogs to your website. Also, post links to your blogs with social media sites like your business Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other sites. There are some easy ways to just do this in one click, so your blogs are automatically sent to all these sites…look into HootSuite or Foursquare.
Lastly, remember to have fun! This is your chance to shine, and there are no rules. So crank up that confidence and just start talking. Best of luck! Forward me your blogs so I can read them and make comments in the comment section!