Bloggers are writers. You don’t have to be a great writer at first but as you practice and learn from your mistakes, you will continue to grow. I never used to think of myself as a writer, but in today’s marketplace if we don’t blog often then people will forget who we are and what we do. That’s no way to become #1 top of mind in the of eyes those ready to buy.
My friend Scott Ginsberg @nametagscott writes for one of the worlds top 100 business blogs and says that “Writing is thinking on paper.” We think a million thoughts a day, and have many conversations face to face but the impact is minimal unless we write it down. Writing regularly becomes a habit. It becomes a way of life. It is a priority for anyone who wants to compete in today’s market.
Think of all of things you learn about real estate and try to explain them as posts on your blog. If I’m a new agent I would blog about the home buying or selling process. If I’m an experienced agent I would blog about supply/demand, effects of unemployment on the housing stock, or the investment analysis of a specific property. There are more things to blog about than you can possibly think of so please share what you would or have blogged about that has been successful.
Still not sure what to blog about?
Blogging compared to email
- What is the shelf life?
- How many people does it reach?
- How many people can be influenced?
- Email shelf life is 1-5 seconds since the most worn out button on your keyboard is Delete
- You can send out an email to only those who belong to your list.
- The only people who are influenced are those who click on links.
- Shelf life of blog posts are forever unless you remove them.
- The blog can reach the world via RSS reader, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
- An infinite number of people can be influenced since it is available on the world wide web.
The fact is that during the course of the day you hopefully receive and reply to 10 emails per day pertaining to questions that your consumers are asking. Visit your sent items of your email software and browse through what has been sent on your behalf. The chances are other people can benefit from reading the long answers that you type out for one client. Just be sure not to include personal information, specific details of the transaction and edit the email to become more conversational.
Blogging doesn’t have to be limited by text. Use these tools to add more content specific to your niche.
Types of Content
Every blog post should have at least one picture.
Hire a temp to run around town with your digital camera and take 300 photos of landmarks, restaurants, schools, public transportation, etc. Also you can use screen capture images from your website using Snag-It. Take these pictures and upload them to other picture social networking sites like Flickr, Picassa, or Animoto which gives you the HTML code to embed picture slideshows into your blog.
Cost = FREE to $100
Presentations can be uploaded to SlideShare, a social networking site for PowerPoint presentations which gives you the HTML code to embed your PowerPoint presentations into your blog.
- Sales presentation. These could include buyer counseling session, listing presentation, or relocation PowerPoints. Use anything that leads people to action.
- Process. Select from the 10 Steps First Time Home Buyers Make in Buying Their First Home, 7 Steps to a Successful Sale of Your Home, or 8
- Lists. Consider What are the 10 Things You Look for in a Home Inspector, 8 Types of Creative Financing for Military Veterans, or 4 Things You Must Bring to Closing.
Insert a final slide with a hyperlink to your web page that offers some consideration of value. Attempt to collect their name, phone number, and motivation for moving using a lead generation form.
Cost = FREE (unless you have to buy PowerPoint or Keynote)
Videos can easily be uploaded to YouTube but what kinds of videos can you make?
- Video testimonials from past clients who recommend your service. The best videos are in the coaching.
- Video screen capture videos of the latest MLS statistics explained using your voice , your computer mouse, and whatever appears on the screen all together in real time. Perhaps you event create video explanations of how to use your blog.
- Neighborhood videos with you driving around in your car talking about the area, styles of homes, median price range, and potential opportunities. Be sure to follow Fair Housing guidelines when making these videos. Talk about the house, not the people who live there.
- Video tours. Take your Flip Camera, iPhone 3Gs, or any video recording device with you on a listing appointment and shoot the video right after the agreement is signed. How many agents put their listings in video while at the owners’ home? Answer, not many…
Cost = recording device + software. You may already own both and don’t know it. Check your digital still camera to see if it has the video option and see if you already own Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
If I see someone else’s blog and they have something that might work well in mine can I copy and paste the entire article and post in my blog?
NO! In media they look for the sound bites, the one or two sentences that appear in an article or interview and appear somewhere in the article twice. Locate the sound bite, copy the sound bite to your clipboard, paste into your blog, locate where the online article was found, and link back to the article. This gives you credibility, thanks the original author, and allows you to agree, dispute, or expand on their comments.
Rule of Thumb
If you didn’t create it, buy it, or ask for permission then you might not want to use it.
Where do you find content for your real estate blog and how does it work for you?