Many real estate agents are so focused on obtaining actively searching leads, they neglect the tons of people in the early stages who hop online to research the answers to their questions.
It’s not news that home buyers no longer need an agent’s assistance to find listings and open houses. However, they do need your help with market research, local area knowledge, and advice on mortgage and interest rates.
Maintaining a real estate blog that attracts and educates home buyers and sellers in your area will build your reputation and credibility, providing you with a chance at closer engagement with potential leads.
Basic First Steps
First things first.
Do you already have a website for your business? If so, you can simply add your blog as a new page on your domain. Take Cassina Group’s blog for example. It’s a clickable option on the navigation bar at the top of their website.
If you don’t have a website or want your own blog to be independent of your brokerage’s shared website, you can easily set one up on one of the many hosting services out there, like WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, etc. If you don’t want your url to include your hosting service’s name(such as .wordpress.com or .blogger.com), you can purchase a unique registered domain name. For example, your blog can be AllAboutAustin.com.
Create a Content Schedule
Just as with starting a business, you’ve got to develop a strategy before jumping into action. Create a content schedule for your real estate blog that plans out your posts for each week, month, or quarter.
The key to maintaining a real estate blog is consistency. If you’re not posting content regularly, people will notice that you latest post was from months or even years ago and your readership will drop off. We suggesting posting 2-3 per week.
How to Schedule Your Blog Posts
You can schedule posts based on holidays, upcoming events, and current events. It’s also good to have “evergreen” content. This is content that’s relevant and applicable all year round, so long as you update it periodically. An example would be a topic like “The First Time Homebuyer’s Guide to the Real Estate Process.”
What Do I Write About?
So now that you’re ready to start scheduling and strategizing your blog posts…what do you actually write about? Your blog should be a go-to source for relevant, local content. Figuring out what subjects appeal to your audience requires a little research.
Firstly, who is your audience? And it’s not just “people buying or selling homes in my area.” You could have first time home buyers to people looking for second or third houses. Millennials to older families. People looking for something simple to luxury homes. The list goes on.
Most market areas will span several different audience demographics, so your topics and marketing method for your blog should not be one size fits all. Pay attention to what questions your clients are asking. What do people search during their initial online research?
Doing this will give you great insight into the best subject for your blog that will attract the most readers. Answer questions and address concerns that your prospective clients may have long before they ever meet with a real estate agent.
Blog Topic Ideas
- A guide to the home buying process
- Home value projections in your area
- Mortgage rates and lending strategies
- How changes at the FHA affect interest rates
- What’s happening in the area that may affect value (construction, new business developments, etc)
- Pros and cons of living in certain areas
- Up and coming development areas
- Home design and staging tips (there’s a reason why Fixer Upper is so popular!)
A Few Tips on Writing
Sometimes the biggest hurdle to writing blog posts is just getting started. In the words of Nike, just do it. You want your post to be easy to read, and have a catchy headline that piques interest and makes people want to click. You are, in a way, “selling” yourself (and your experience and expertise), but keep it subtle. Keep in mind that blog posts are not blatant ads.
Our Best Tip to Get Started Writing
Adding images to blog posts is akin to staging a home before a showing. A blog post with images is 94% more likely to be read over those that only contain text. People are naturally drawn to pretty visuals.
This is partly the reason BoomTown’s consumer websites attract and convert leads so well. Our clients have noticed that clients and visitors prefer searching on their easy-to-use websites with large photos over other real estate searches with tiny graphics.
Promote Your Blog
Your blog isn’t going to promote itself (no matter how great the content is).
Share and promote your posts through social media. You can pay to boost or promote your posts to certain audiences on your Facebook business page, as well as sharing across all your personal accounts.
You can also send a newsletter to your contact list with a weekly round-up of a couple of your latest blog posts. Another idea is to add a link to your blog to your email signature for easy access.
Strengthen Your Reputation
By providing helpful tips, responding to feedback and comments, and answering questions submitted to your blog and social media, you build credibility and solidify your reputation as an approachable and knowledgeable local expert of real estate.