Real Estate Blogging Hot topic of the Hour

Real Estate blogging is the hot topic of the hour.   It will continue to pop up at the top of the charts for the rest of 2007 and into 2008.   Let’s face it Real Estate is tough especially now.   Real Estate Agents everywhere are looking for ways to better market themselves and their services.  

In years past it was:

  1. You have to have a cell phone  
  2. You have to have email
  3. You have to have a website
  4. You have to have a personal coach etc.

Now, You have to have a blog.   They know what a cell phone looks like, they have email now even if it is @aol.com, most have a webpage on their brokerage site and are told it is a website, not a webpage. . .     But they have no idea what a blog is.  

RE Agent walks into Office Max.

“Can I help you”
“Yes, I would like to purchase a blog”
“Excuse me, you want a blog?”
“Yes, I’ve been told I have to have a blog and I figure you would know what it  is and tell me how to work it.”

When agents were told they needed email many went out and got a juno or aol   email account.   Okay, now they had email.   The same was true with getting a personal website.   What did they do.   Most did what they were being advised to do by people selling Real Estate Websites and Hosting services:

  • Purchase your name as a domain name
  • Buy hosting from our company
  • Buy the package deal and for $500 we will design your personal website which is just like everybody elses personal website
  • Sit back and wait for the lead to come in

The leads don’t come in:

  • Buy leads from someone selling leads for $xxx or 30% of the commission.
  • SEO “guy” calls and will put you on page one of Google and the other search engines for just $1000 a month.
  • SEO sales rep calls you.   We can set up a Pay Per Click campaign for you for $xxxx and the leads will come in.

But they have a website.  

Oh, Oh, now I have to get a blog.   I don’t know what a blog is.   I don’t know how to work one.   I don’t know how it gets me leads or clients, or sales, or commissions.

Sounds like a vicious cycle? It is.  

Building a House from the Center Out

Can you imagine if you started building a house, I’ll use this since we are all associated in some way with real estate, with a pile of lumber and built from the center out that way you could put the furniture in as you go.   This doesn’t sound like a very good way to build a house does it.   I wouldn’t want to buy this house, I wouldn’t want to try and sell this house.   I certainly wouldn’t want to live in this house.   It is best to have a plan when building a house.     The same is true when you start thinking about blogging.

There is so much about this that you can get caught in the details and forget to ask the first questions first.

Am I  going to write?

  • This isn’t can I write?
  • It  isn’t am I willing to write?
  • Not am I a writer?
  • Not even do I like to write?

It isn’t worth even looking into having,

  • a blog
  • or a blogging platform
  • or finding your voice
  • or deciding on be local or hyper-local
  • or finding your audience,  

if you aren’t going to make the commitment to  write.

A good place to read more on this is Teresa Broadman’s post on The Real Estate Tomato on “What Is The Biggest Barrier To Real Estate Blogging?

Next, read her post: “Food for Fodder – 101 Real Estate Blog Topics

If none of these topics interest you, don’t waste you time thinking about blogging.

Why am I writing?

Why am I writing is the next important question you will have to answer.   Here you will encounter a paradox.   It is a paradox in this sense.  

If you are writing on a blog to:

  • Get leads
  • Get clients
  • Get famous
  • Get more money

Then you won’t get any of these things.   Two years ago a friend got into real estate because they wanted, and I quote, “To get all that moneyyy”.   The friend lasted less than a year.

You write, for your readers.   Sure you can enjoy writing yourself, and have some fun and learn a lot about your community while you are at it.   You can inform, educate and even entertain your readers,   but don’t try and turn them into clients or a paycheck.

Don’t write about what a great Agent you are.   Don’t sell, sell, sell.   Maybe you were told to do these things on your website, promote yourself and your services, brag about what a great Agent you are, “Number 1 in …”   “Top Producer” “Multi-Million Dollar Agent”

Real Estate Blogging isn’t about:

  • selling real estate
  • or real estate services
  • or even selling yourself.

It is about communicating, informing, laughing, building relationships, some readers may become clients, they might even become friends.

If you do these things, the leads, sales, commissions will come.   But if leads, sales and commissions are your reason for writing, readers will see right through you.   Readers are people and people don’t want to be sold, they want to chose.   They want to trust in a business that has been fraught with dis-trust.

If you can answer those two questions then you should consider learning and doing more.   Start by reading the blogs in the blog roll on this site.   Next go to Real Estate Weblogging 101  for more resources and information. Oh, and you can stop by the Real Estate Blog Lab anytime.   We are always trying to provide tool, resources, information and a little humor to make Real Estate Blogging a   better experience for the authors as well as the readers.

Otherwise, put your efforts into some other form of “Real Estate Marketing”.   Honestly, you don’t have to have a blog to make it in Real Estate.   If you are needing permission.   Here it is,   “It is all right if you don’t have a blog.   You are not a failure in real estate if you don’t   have a blog.”

Comments

  1. Amen – real estate blogging is different than any other product, because the product is you and your credibility.

    I’ve written it many times before- the blogging audience is savvy enough to be able to discern inauthenticity and will run from that blog. Those who blog to “sell” may witness short-term success, but this business is about the long-term.

  2. *Excellent* post Dave!!

    As Jim notes, blog readers are generally pretty smart cookies. And the last thing they want is the tired old hard sell.

  3. Great post.
    I think blogging is a lot like talking to a group of friends. Rarely would anyone walk into a party and say, “Look at me, million dollar producer, blah, blah, blah.”
    Blogs sell by not selling. Quite a paradox!

  4. I like reading blogs, but are they as effective as everyone is claiming? Seems that most of the readers are fellow bloggers themselves… Is the general public hooked on them too?

  5. Chris,
    Some blogs are intended for other real estate bloggers, that is their audience. Others that focus more on their local community definately have an effect on their reaching the community. This blog for instance is for Real Estate Bloggers, that is our audience.

    Our other blog on Tucson Real Estate in the News is a local blog about Tucson and Tucson Real Estate in the News. It gets most of its traffic from internet searches. Some become regular readers. It has a lower readership than this blog, but it always ranks much higher for traffic on BlogTopSites because of the traffic from the search engines.

    There are a lot of Real Estate professionals that read the Tucson blog as well. I read other local blogs in the state and the country to see what is going on in those markets. I don’t think I’m alone in saying sometimes I’m reading RE blogs from other parts of the country looking for seed ideas for posts on the Tucson blog.

    If you want to see a good case history on this just read the post before this one Tucson Realtor Journey in Web Presence

  6. Fantastic post.
    You know I have to agree with it all!

  7. Great post – I’m actually in the process of getting a 2nd blog, b/c my current blog (hosted on my website) doesn’t reinforce my brand w/ my visitors – most of the posts are intended for other bloggers, or other SEO’s. I’ll be refocusing my current blog to target my customers.

  8. Eric,

    You obviously take to blogging quite well. Which is good for those that like to write. I’m afraid a lot of people getting into blogging that don’t know what it is or aren’t going to do anything more than muddy the waters of real estate blogging are like speculators in many real estate markets. They flood in create havoc and leave a mess.

    If I can help one would be blogger that won’t blog to decide it isn’t for them and find another approach to marketing themselves and their service then I’m all for it.

  9. Dave, you make some great points. I’m relatively new to blogging but remember reading early to give thought to “who” you were blogging for – other realtors or customers. Also that it should of course be informative and let some of your personality thru. I find the last one particularly hard to do. There is a tendency to write as if its a formal article. It gets easier..

  10. real estate blogging has been growing and will keep growing. You brought up a great point. Good read.

  11. Wow, what a great post! The post has helped me a lot, I’m basically all over the place with our blog posts. From posting about real estate, to marketing, to ranting and mostly selling selling selling.

  12. I like the post it was interesting, to be honest I have never been thinking what is the idea of the Real Estate Blog, it was flashing through my mind that it will make someone buy something from you, the situation with me was like Dave describe it in the beginning: everyone has a cell phone, I need a cell phone, everyone has a real estate blog, so I also need a real estate blog, but “It is about communicating, informing, laughing, building relationships, some readers may become clients, they might even become friends.” sounded very well … fresh … positive and sufficient, and thank you for that Dave. Regards!

    P.S. Actually this was a great post! Thanks again! 🙂

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