Do blogs work for real estate agents? That’s a loaded question. And for most sales agents the answer is, and should be, no.
Back in 1998 when I first got into real estate sales, I was one of the first people in my market to have a personal website. Soon after, many, actually most, agents followed suit.
Sites were mostly used as tools once you were in contact with someone (“I’ll keep you posted, but be sure to check out my site for the latest listings”, OR “Your home will be featured on my personal website when you list with me.”). Back then, no one really knew much about search engines, key words and how to be in the top 5, etc. I don’t even think Google existed back then.
All that being said, I could count on 1-2 actual sales a year from the website, so it was definitely a good ROI (return on investment).
Today it seems like every realtor has a personal website, and something like 1 in every 15 realtors has a blog.
That’s good because more than 80% of today’s buyers start their search on the internet. However, 50% of them aren’t ready to buy now or within the next 6 months. And, you need to realize that they aren’t just contacting you, they’re contacting everyone. And that’s why if you can convert 1 in 10 internet leads into actual buyers you are doing a tremendous job and should sell your methods to other agents for huge dollars.
Now if you are thinking about blogging, ask yourself a) what do you hope to get from it? and b) are you committed to blogging regularly?
What you want to get from it: If you can get the web presence that will have you show up on the search engines in the proper key words associated with real estate searches (discussed below), you have an advantage of being one of the first to catch the internet lead. But that means you have to learn some blogging tips and be committed to blogging regularly. So instead of spending lots of money on people who provide SEO (search engine optimization), you’ll be spending time.
In order to get a web presence, and be noticed, experts say you need to blog 3-4 times a week. The search engines like the changing content. If you blog once a week or once a month, you won’t get noticed and you’ll be wasting your time.
You also need to focus on key words that you want to put in your blog. Words like sales, real estate, real estate sales, your market/city names, and other real estate sales related words should be prevalent throughout your blog.
*Don’t just post an entry with those words running amok through the blog. You need to actually have real content.
**Also, don’t be so focused on pushing your name. Think about it, if someone’s searching for you by name, they already know you. Sure you want your website to turn up when someone does look for you and doesn’t have your site, but look at reality. If you’re trying to find a buyer out there that’s searching in your market, they’re most likely going to type in “MY CITY real estate” or something of the sort. The odds that they’ll randomly type in an agent’s name in their search are miniscule, unless of course, they already know the sales agent.
Being in a blog directory can help because they’re dedicated to getting search engine optimization for the whole directory, so by default you could be seen easier. Try this one, if you’re interested:
<a href="http://www.real-estate-blogs.com/">Real Estate Blogs Directory</a> - Directory of real estate blogs and blogs of industries affiliated with and serving the real estate industry.<BR>
Also, be aware of your content. Who is your intended reader? I have to try to balance my blogging with real estate and other sales because I have readers and subscribers that aren’t just in real estate, even though a large group of them are.
As an agent, are you writing to potential buyers, potential sellers, the general public, other agents? You need to develop a voice and stick to it. Just remember, what you write in cyberspace stays in cyberspace forever. If you post a blog ripping on sellers, watch out it doesn’t come back to bite you when you go on a listing appointment. Even if the seller doesn’t know about your blog, your competition probably does and will be showing it to that seller.
So, if you want to write regularly, and you put the right key words in your posts, and you get into a directory, and you figure out your audience and your voice, then blogging might be for you. But it’s going to take time for you to see results and you won’t get a lot of results. So, by all means don’t spend all your time on your blog. Set aside 15 minutes every other day and post something and be done with it.
Then spend your time door knocking and making phone calls to get your business.
In the current market able buyers are gold, yet it’s always going to be the agents who can get well-priced listings in large quantity that are going to thrive. Having the inventory means that buyers will come to you whether through other agents or because of the listings themselves (sign, website, print ad, etc.).
Chasing buyers takes a lot of time, because it’s a longer process, and you have no guarantee they’ll buy from you (exception is those that use buyer broker agreements, but they buyers still take more time than getting a listing).