Fortune Magazine's 2009 Top 100 Best Companies to Work For Provides A Lesson In Blogging to Real Estate Companies- Part III

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Fortune Magazine's 2009 Top 100 Best Companies to Work For Provides A Lesson In Blogging to Real Estate Companies- Part III

In Part II of this blog post series I discussed how real estate companies can use Multiple Blogs/Team Blogging to lighten their load and keep their blogs' consistent with fresh content.  I also discussed how a Corporate Blog should be an extension of a company's corporate brand and provide its consumers with extensive information. 

Now I am asking you to buckle up and continue your ride on the blogging train as we discuss the last two categories addressed in Part I of the series- Social Responsibility Blogs and Participation from Target Markets Blogs.  All we go.

Social Responsiblity Blogs

Real Estate Companies who have social responsibility programs or regular charity events that they sponsor or contribute to should have a social responsibility blog.  Consumers of all walks of life like to know what businesses are doing to give back to their communities and what charities they are sponsoring.  

Think about celebrities, if you thumb through any pop culture magazine (i.e. People) you see photos and short stories with stars participating in charitable events.  On television the Reality show Extreme Makeover:Home Edition brings many families to tears with its remarkable transformations of families in need.

One more reason to pause for thought.  In interviews I have done with real estate professionals in the past not all could name hobbies and interests that existed beyond their profession but almost all could name charities which they chaired, sponsored, contributed, or lent their time.  

Why not use these opportunities as content for a blog?

Take a look at Fed Ex's Citizenship blog.  It is broken into four individual blogs off the main blog home page:  Community and Disaster Relief, Economics and Access, Environment and Efficiency, and People and Workplace.

You will also notice that the brand identity of the Fed Ex Corporate website is carried through to the Fed Ex blog,

Fed Ex Shows it Cares

Here is the blog's mission statement I took directly from the About Page of the Fed Ex Citizenship Blog.  Listen closely:


"Thanks for visiting the FedEx Citizenship Blog. We are excited to be a part of this important and ongoing conversation. To this point, we have been listening, reading, sharing and responding to the blog community on the progress of our corporate responsibility programs. The FedEx Citizenship blog is our opportunity to actively contribute to the dialogue. We look forward to growing our community with your feedback and participation."

Please also take a look at the Quicken Loans Blog, What's the Dif.   This is the corporate blog located off Quicken Loans Careers web page.  It's theme is "...the things that make the difference in business and in life". Charitable endeavors and technology are two topics of interest on the What's the Dif. blog.

Im thinking that with the increasing amount of real estate companies and real estate professionals blogging about technology and how they use it, this type of theme would be an easy fit.

If you choose a similar route to the Quicken Loans blog make sure the technology posts are relative and useful to your target market or the market to whom your blog is trying to attract.

Participation from Target Markets Blogs

Can you imagine allowing your customers to be guests on your blog?  What about a blog that receives regular contributions or has bloggers writing content from their target markets?  Dream often and carry a soft can happen and why shouldn't it?  Real estate consumers have a lot to say as evidenced by the popular real estate communities Zillow and Trulia.

When I was a corporate blogger for a real estate advertising company I interviewed a few consumers on their real estate stories and boy were they willing to share.  One interview was with a consumer in California about selling her house in a neighborhood of at least three other foreclosure listings.  One interview with this California real estate seller produced three posts of useful and unique content. 

Since each state has different laws governing real estate and you are bound by your COE I would discuss this concept with an attorney before proceeding beyond interviews.  You can start with consumer interview which will allow you to maintain control on your blog.

S.C. Johnson and Son has a blog titled Family Economics in which three mom bloggers are the S.C. Johnson bloggers.   Each of these mom bloggers has their own separate blogs:   House and Home, Food for Thought, More with Less, Getting Organized.  

  • What kind of credibility and content do you think this approach lends to the S.C Johnson brand? 
  • Does this method of blogging provide a unique selling proposition for S.C. Johnson?
  • Is S.C. Johnson still able to maintain their brand identity by hiring consumers from outside of their company to be their bloggers?

S.C. Johnson Embraces Mommy Bloggers

Action Item For Real Estate Companies

We have reviewed all four of the categories explained in Part I of this series so now your action item will be a little different.  Subscribe to both the Family Economics Blog and Fed Ex's Citizenship blog.  Read the posts of the blogs that you have subscribed to as a result of this blog post series.  Create a rough football goal post outline for each of the blogs you are following and Label it Likes/Dislikes.  Do this  for each of the blogs you visit. Determine each blog's Unique Selling/Value Proposition, who its target market is, and how it is reaching its target market by the content on its blog.  

Pay careful attention and make written note of what each of these companies is doing on their blogs in order to have two way conversations with their target markets.

The blogging train has now arrived at the depot.   Its last stop will be tomorrow in Part IV which is dedicated to the microbloggers of   Fortune's Top 100 Best Companies to Work For List.

Do you need a blog marketing strategy? Whether you are just getting started blogging or have been blogging for awhile consider a blogging tune-up.

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Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

HI Rebecca - More great information and great examples.  I will come back to this series of yours on several occasions and do what I can to improve my own blog.  Thanks!

Oct 06, 2009 09:33 AM #1
Kate Elim
Dockside Realty - Spotsylvania, VA
Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a

Hi Rebecca...I just finished reading all three in this series and wlll be sure to catch the fourth. 

You always provide helpful information.



Oct 06, 2009 11:16 AM #2
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Rebecca - You have lots of great information to use in this post.  I will have to re-think how I write on my blog after this.

Oct 06, 2009 11:39 AM #3
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Hi Susan- Awesome and glad to hear it.  I am going to offer a PDF version once they are all published.

Hi Kate- thank you so much your readership.  It is ALWAYS appreciated.  I am excited to publish the fourth post also, lol.

Troy-  Thanks for sharing that with me.  That is the thing about is such a journey.



Oct 06, 2009 01:09 PM #4
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Rebecca, it is so much about branding and image and crafting the right mission statement. Great overview on this topic.

Oct 06, 2009 01:21 PM #5
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

You write such professional blogs.  You should write a social networking book.

Oct 06, 2009 01:23 PM #6
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Hi Gary- Yes the digital imprint is as important as the offline one.

Jane- Thank you Jane I appreciate your kind words.  I enjoy doing this type of writing.  Marketing is a passion and being able to communicate to an industry I have called home for 17 years just makes it that much sweeter.

Oct 06, 2009 01:40 PM #7
Kathy Knight
Intracoastal Realty Corp - Wilmington, NC

Good idea for future blogging Rebecca - i like it...

Oct 07, 2009 01:33 AM #8
Kate Wheeler
Country Homes and Land Murphy NC Realtor - Murphy, NC
CCIM - Murphy NC Real Estate for Sale

Rebecca, You've approached this topic in a thoughtful and organized fashion - an excellent example of how to write.  I look forward to reading more of your work.

Oct 07, 2009 03:07 AM #9
Dianne Hicks
Realty ONE Group - Poway, CA

I love it when I run into a post that is well written and full of useful information. Thank you so much for your insight and views, just beginning the blogging area so this is definitely food for thought here!

Oct 07, 2009 03:51 AM #10
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I post on my Activities which are mainly youth organizatins or activities with my kids.  I also use questions from customers as sources for blog material.  If I am going to do research for a client or write an answer to some questions I might as well do it for everyone.

Oct 07, 2009 06:22 AM #11
Jason Burkholder
Weichert, Realtors - Welcome Home - Lancaster, PA
Associate Broker, Realtor, e-Pro, CMS

interesting, looks like we have more work to do!  thanks for the tips!

Oct 07, 2009 09:18 AM #12
Lyn Sims and the Blog Dog
Streamwood, Elgin IL Real Estate - RE/MAX Suburban - Bartlett, IL

I wish that I could find 'guest' bloggers that would want to write some fresh perspective content for me. Most people are scared!  I've asked great attorneys and inspectors that I know and they just won't do it!

Oct 07, 2009 12:20 PM #13
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision - Lake Geneva, WI

Kathy- Good I am glad that is served a use to you.

Kate- Thank you so much.  I am always so grateful to the readers of this blog as they inspire me of which you are included:)

Dianne- My goal from this series is that real estate professionals, companies, franchises will have a framework for how blogging can be lucrative.  Thank you for your kind words.

Gene- Right on.  Repurposing information is a great marketing strategy.

Jason- Blogging- always, always a work in progress.:)

Lyn- You can try interviewing Lyn, that might make them feel more at ease.  Even just writing the interview questions and emailing where they can complete them on their time.  I have done both and both methods worked quite well.  If you map out an editorial calendar too, you can provide guest bloggers with the subject....if they balk, go to the interview route where you have the subject and the questions.  Then they get to be the experts with the answers.

I am going to be writing about guest bloggers very soon.  Next week those posts will be published.

Oct 07, 2009 04:20 PM #14
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Commercial - Whittier, CA
Top Producing COMMERCIAL Team 30+ years experience

Very great idea Rebecca. I will consider other types of blog forums.

Oct 08, 2009 01:55 PM #15
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