Why Blog?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

 

That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. Different people blog for different reasons. Some do it to build their brand as a leading and influential voice in their industry (e.g., Fred Wilson from AVC). Some do it to create great content for SEO, which in turn drives clients. I do it mostly for therapy, and because I have stuff to say and my ego believes that people might want to hear it. I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t like, and a blog is like having your own microphone that's always on.

But I was pondering this question the other day from an agent’s perspective, and asking myself: “Would I recommend to a real estate agent that they blog?” And sadly, the answer was “probably not”. The fact is that blogging – especially blogging well – is incredibly time-consuming. It takes ages to build up a sizable audience. And it can be a lonely and discouraging pursuit, until you have a large community.

It is true that the top 1% of agent bloggers (e.g., Kris Berg, Jay Thompson) get a lot of business from their blog. And I’ve spoken with many agents who can directly attribute tens of thousands of commissions to their blogging efforts. But for every successful agent-blogger, there are thousands more who are wasting their time, basically talking to themselves when they blog. That time could be better spent prospecting for clients and working their sphere of influence in other ways, and blogging just isn’t a good ROI for them. Of course, if they're like me, then perhaps that’s ok – I would probably blog even if no one ever read it. In the old days, we used to call that a “journal”, and there’s a reason those have been around as long as cavemen have been writing on walls.

Is blogging working for you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
3,407,520
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Spenser great question, I usually blog late at night when I would not be communicating with potential buyers and sellers anyway. Or days like today when it is a Ball Game that I am watching & multi tasking....BTW Blogging works form me. Talk to Brad A in your company and he will agree with me:)

Oct 12, 2011 12:32 PM #1
Rainmaker
501,565
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Spencer: Yes...blogging is working for me! Like you, I just love to blog---in fact I love to write, so that is more than half  of it and the fact that I have a built in group of critics is a bonus.. I love to engage here on AR and would do it even if  it didn't pay off. By the way, the only way to succeed in blogging is to keep up the dialog with the public so that they can grow to expect your opinion, whether they agree with you or not! Good post and a good question---can't wait to hear what others say about blogging!!! Suggested!

Oct 12, 2011 12:49 PM #2
Rainer
304,573
Ken Brandon
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC) - Jacksonville, NC
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC

I had asked myself the same thing about the value of blogging. Honestly, until I took the IMSD course, I did not realize the impact on SEO and lead generation that blogging can help with. I am about results...you either get them or you don't. I have already had results from my short time blogging and will absolutely continue.

Oct 12, 2011 04:14 PM #3
Rainer
246,537
Daniel H. Fisher
www.FisherHermanRealty.com (704) 617-3544 - Charlotte, NC
MCRP - Charlotte Real Estate, NC or SC

blogging is today's equivalent of "getting ideas down on paper". There is something about reducing thoughts to writing that enhances clarity.  Both in the written and the spoken word. Relationships and referrals are great outcomes of this effort.

Oct 12, 2011 05:37 PM #4
Ambassador
920,701
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Hi Spencer, 

Yes, I have business from my blogs. Mostly listings, my buyers usually come from my PPC. 

 

Oct 13, 2011 03:41 AM #5
Ambassador
804,364
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Nice post and great question Spencer.

I think blogging is like farming the land.  Each post is like throwing a seed out the window into the dirt that runs along the super-information Internet highway.  While it can and does deliver great results for some/few, it does require and consume a massive amount of time and effort. 

Planting seeds does not always produce crops. You have to water, weed, fertilize, spray etc.  Blogging is not for everyone and it is definitely not a sprint to the win...  It can be a marathon to the victory though. 

As long has you have the key skills, tools, and components in place that allow you to create and build community via awesome content, cultivate and capture quality leads from your efforts, and the talent/gifts and ability to convert those online contacts to clients, then I say Blog away my friends.  :-)

Oct 13, 2011 07:28 AM #6
Ambassador
956,493
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Spencer, yes it is working well for me but let me say my outside blogs probable bring me as much business as my activerain blog.

Oct 13, 2011 10:22 AM #7
Rainmaker
1,037,008
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Spencer - my web guy hubby is doing a lot of checking of stats for me lately, from several angles, to see if we should keep it up or not I know I am much busier now but so far I can't prove it was a result of blogging.

Oct 13, 2011 10:34 AM #8
Ambassador
1,337,863
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Spencer, I blog because I just cannot stop.  Honestly I have tried to quit, and the withdrawl is just not worth it.  The ROI is not even a factor unless it can pay for intervention---perhaps Return On Intervention is what I should be looking into.  But then again---so far---blogging is not affecting my marriage, my work, my sex life, or my relationships with others in any negative way (of course I may be in denial and no fair asking my wife:)---so I see no reason to not continue.

Oct 13, 2011 11:00 AM #9
Rainmaker
121,210
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Great comments everyone. Thank you!

Oct 13, 2011 12:03 PM #10
Rainer
109,277
Donna Malone
Waterfront, Luxury, Family, Affordable, Cottage, Deals - Bridgewater, NS
Homes and Property for Sale Nova Scotia

Spencer, Blogging is not for everyone. I do it because I enjoy it. Those who don't enjoy it can easily pay a blogging service, if they think it will get them a good ROI.

Oct 14, 2011 03:31 AM #11
Ambassador
670,774
Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
Marketing in the Digital Age

I recommend to my real estate agent clients that think they need to blog, to listen for awhile first. Many don't do their homework, so those that do jump usually give it up because it is a lot of work. Not everyone needs to blog, but somehow someway need to participate in the online conversation. It helps if what you're talking about is in someway connected to a passion. It's a lot easier to sustain a conversation if you're talking about something you really care about. 

I'm not an agent, I'm in title insurance. I get referrals all the time. I rarely talk about title insurance, I usually talk about events, what's going on in the neighborhood, traffic (like commuting not the web) and social media. I try to make it interesting with something noteworthy or something to think about. 

And like you, I just like to write. I'm convinced from my own endeavors that if you think of it in terms of what people look for online and keep posting you will develop a following and a web presence. If you think of it in terms of the search engine and what it wants to deliver to the searcher, you'll be well on your way. A lot of agents don't have the gift of gab online, but do in person. Those types of agents would be more likely to be successful by not wasting time trying to blog if it doesn't fulfill an innate need to communicate.

The misconception I believe is most think social media is talking to everybody, I think it's more that you're talking to a few and allowing anyone else who wants to listen an opportunity to join in. Thoughtful post and great questions Spencer. Thanks...

Oct 17, 2011 07:43 AM #12
Rainmaker
590,583
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Hi Spencer,

Interesting post of self discovery. Or more accurately, self revelation.

If you like to write, like the process, enjoy putting words together, then blogging has its own internal pleasure.

Irony is, if you really like to write, odds are that folks will find it interesting...

PHil

Oct 26, 2011 11:11 PM #13
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Rainmaker
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Spencer Rascoff

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