Fishing for the Few While Ignoring the Many

Serendipitous Marketing – Fishing for the Few While Ignoring the Many

Yes, you might get a “lead” or “referral” from Active Rain, but what is your ROI?

This is not a post against Active Rain

But All I need is one Lead and it is all worth it

But All I need is one Lead and it is all worth it

Active Rain is a great social site for people associated with the Real Estate industry.   It is a virtual water cooler for those in the “Biz”.   A source for referrals? of course for some.   But for the vast majority on AR it isn’t.   But like I said this post isn’t about Active Rain.   It is about Serendipitous Marketing in a Hyperlocal environment.

What you won’t get out of it

You won’t get a lot of comments or feedback from a hyperlocal blog; at least not in the beginning.   It takes time to grow this kind of an audience.   If that is what you want to call it.

What you do get is a lot of opportunity to become a voice for and about your local community.   If it is all about “leads” then you probably won’t want to bother blogging at all.   Blogging is a   marathon not a sprint.   It isn’t a program you buy and put on auto pilot.   It is an ongoing opportunity to share information and details about what makes your community unique.

No Need for Rose Colored Glasses

There is no need to paint a Norman Rockwell image of your community.   Sharing about what makes it unique, local events, and things to do will create a strong online presence for you in your community.   If you are in a small community that has no idea what Social Media is or what Facebook or Twitter are then all the better.   They will get there, it will happen, and if you are there when they arrive guess who the pioneer with the online presence will be when they arrive.

It all Depends

Every RE Business is local.   It depends on your location how you approach blogging.   If you are in a small community with other small communities around you could write an Area Hyperlocal blog.   Is there such a thing?   There is if you create it.   If you live in a large metropolitan area then you get to pick what you want to cover.   I live in a big small town.   Tucson has about a million people in the surrounding area.   But there are events going on throughout Southern Arizona that people living in and around Tucson are interested in attending.   It is easy to write about these events, attend them one year and write about them with photos from the previous year for the next.   Remember this is a marathon not a sprint.

This type of blogging will pay huge dividends.   For one thing your content is always out there.   It is always going to be working for you on the world wide web.   I now have 777 posts on the Tucson blog.   Those posts continue to bring in new visitors everyday.   Some become clients for a variety of reasons.   And I become more knowledgeable about my community with every post I write.

Need something to talk about when you are in the car with clients?   Blogging about your community provides you a wealth of information to share.

It is a matter of where you spend your time.   Some time spent around the water cooler is fine, but remember people don’t go to work to stand around the water cooler (okay, maybe they do, but they are supposed to be there to get water then back to work).   They are there to take care of business.   If you don’t make the effort to become an online voice for your community you will never know how many clients you won’t come into contact with because you ignored the many while fishing for the few.

Comments

  1. Hey Dave,

    Once again, great observation! You’re so right about blogging being a marathon and not a sprint. This month marks two straight years that I have been working diligently (3-4 posts/week) on my site, but it has really been only the last 9 months where I have started to see the fruits of that effort. That’s a long time to see an ROI, but it is absolutely worth the wait.

    During the past two years, I have seen many RE blogs start with a flurry and then fizzle after a few months when the agents just gave up, before they could gain any foot hold or organic presence Why? We expect instant gratification, and that’s absolutely not what blogging is about — at least not at first.

    I’m a big believer in hyper-local blogging. I live in a community of only 27,000, so it took quite a while to get any significant readership. But when I finally broke through that threshold of “community visibility,” it was a great thing. Just this past week, I got this email from one our City Council members:
    “Maybe sometime we can sit-down for coffee and get to know each other. I believe strongly in community outreach, and your blog is a great resource.”

    The point you make is so well taken: It takes a ton of diligence to get a hyper-local blog established. But once you do, it’s far and away the most powerful marketing tool you’ll ever have. The most amazing part? At $55/year + time, it’s also the cheapest marketing tool you’ll ever have!

    Chuck
    .-= Chuck Gillooley´s last blog ..The San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review: 9/26/09 =-.

  2. Chuck,

    AMEN, thank you for sharing your experience. I’m a firm believer in hyperlocal blogging as you well know. It s great to hear about your experience and how it is working for you and your business.

    Any others out there willing to share what their hyperlocal blogging experience is to date?

    Chuck, have a great week.

    Dave

  3. Dave, I love your take on hyperlocal blogs. I remember you talking about attending and photographing community events a while back and had been doing very little of it at the time. For me, this stuff is fun and is a great way to connect with a LOT of different types of people in the community.
    In the future, I plan to do more with photos and videos of specific neighborhoods I write about. Not all people enjoy their information in the same format.
    Looking forward to hearing you at REBlogworld.
    Nick
    .-= Rail Life´s last blog ..Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake is Gonna Rock =-.

  4. Nick,

    It is a blast isn’t it. I’m really looking forward to getting to sit down and have a real conversation while we are REBlogworld.

    Have a Great Week.

    Dave

  5. Terrific post, very well said. I’m in a smaller community and these are issues that I think about and deal with on a daily basis. I love your rose colored glasses comment, you have to decide what makes your area unique and what sets it apart and sell from that angle. Give people a reason to buy in that area.

  6. Your thoughts about hyperlocal blogging make me think of so many agents trying to promote their company’s “about me” page as their website…

    You’re not making money posting to Active Rain regularly – but you are providing free content for them to profit off of because they’re the ones getting search traffic and whatnot from it.

    I post there about once a blue moon, mostly just when there’s a single blog post I wrote that I think I want to share and will help out whatever audience it may reach. It’s useful for getting a few back links to your site, but that\’s really about it.

    Great post!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..15 Real Estate WordPress Themes: There’s no Excuse for an Ugly Blog =-.

  7. Totally agree. Thanks for the help!

  8. Mark Madsen says:

    I’m in the process of building a Vegas real estate group blog on an MU within an MU platform. We’re going to section off each niche and part of the city for individual agents to focus on super hyper-local content.

    Still trying to figure out how to integrate the various layers on a Google map, but it will be a fun project that will allow us to see how far we can push the boundaries with real estate blogging.

    Great point about the marathon vs sprint.

    Looking forward to seeing you at reblogworld.

    mm

  9. Mark,

    This is fascinating stuff you are doing. I’m just beginning to think and learn a little about MU. It is a lot more difficult to implement than a stand alone WP blog. Finding good MU resources of how to set it up from scratch has been an issue for me.

    I need a good step by step and hope I’m not the one who will end up writing it.

    Hope to see you this week at REBlogWorld.

    Dave

  10. I have been reposting at AR for over a year. I have cannot relate any business to it. Right now I see it as a way to get links back to my blog.
    Aloha,
    Keahi
    .-= Keahi Pelayo´s last blog ..Should I Take The Hit Now or Rent My Honolulu Home? =-.

  11. Hi Dave,

    I love your watercooler line – you’re “supposed to be there to get water and then back to work.” Ha! That being said, I’ve been on ActiveRain every single day since I rediscovered the site this year. I love the interaction, learn a ton, and if you want to write posts that get found by the search engines it will certainly happen.

    Early on though, I decided to make my own website a blog so most of my community posts (heck – most of my real estate posts) are on my own blog. Some time I’ll go back and rework my local posts to add to my AR blog – I do think there’s something to be said for getting several spots on the 1st page of search results rather than just one.

    I really like doing both – while I get some comments on my own blog it’s nothing to compare with the conversation that happens on AR. Those conversations typically aren’t on hyper-local posts as you point out – though if you comment on a lot of AR blogs and write almost only local posts you will get comments on them from ARers – but maybe that’s not always a good thing.

    So I’ll keep posting on both – sitting at my computer well into the night!

    Liz
    .-= Elizabeth Bolton´s last blog ..Watertown Homes Sold in October 2009 =-.

  12. I am a huge proponent of hyperlocal blogs. I tell all new agents to pick one community and stick with it. Unfortunately almost none of them do. My business is built around my hyper-local blog. I get 97% of my business from my website and blog. I closed just under $20 Million in sales this year so I guess it is working. It is always funny to me how many Realtors think I am nuts for concentrating on a little community (2000 homes) rather than the whole city. It is simple math, there are thousands of Realtors competing for the City name + real estate on google, but only 3 or 4 Realtors competing on google for the primary presence for my community.

  13. I think you’re definitely right about not getting many links in the beginning. It does take some time and lots of participation on a regular basis to build a following.

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