Blogging is no longer optional

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with HomeFinder.com

We have had a lot of focus lately on mastering Facebook and Twitter. One aspect of online marketing that sometimes gets overshadowed, but is just as important, is the power of a blog! While at one point it may have seemed that only the super tech-savvy agents were blogging, it has become something that should be a staple in your marketing plan.

We recently sponsored a Webinar presented by Chris Smith, with InmanNext, called, “Blogging is no longer optional”, and we agree! Blogging is necessary to maintain an online presence. However, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you think. Here are a few ideas to help you along the way.

You think you don’t have the time to blog and don’t have anything to say.  The fact is that content is all around you. Restaurants, parks, schools, local news…. the options are endless. So make an effort to keep your eyes and ears open to what is happening in your area.  This will help you come up with content.

Each blog entry can be as short as a video or a few comments on a picture you post and it doesn’t need to take up a lot of your time. However, for the entries that will require you to sit down for an hour and write,the end result is worthit. Not only are you creating content for your blog and establishing your online presence, you are educating yourself on the topic in the process. This will make you better at your craft in the long run.

After researching your topic and writing your blog post, you are going to need somewhere to publish it.  There are tons of great options to share your content. Here on ActiveRain is a great place to start. Another common platform is is WordPress, which Chris highlighted in the Webinar.  

On WordPress, you can pick from different themes to give your blog the look and feel that you think will best represent you. One thing to keep in mind is don’t just limit yourself to the free themes. You can choose a low, one-time cost theme that represents you; just make sure it has a good support system that goes along with it. That way if you have
questions, you will have a great resource to go to for help.

When you have decided on your theme and written your content, make sure you are setting up your blog for success. You can do this by giving entries easily recognized titles for search engines, e.g. “Homes for sale in Orlando, FL” or “Bike trails within 10 miles of Chicago”. Categorize them correctly and tag them with your key words. This will set them up for search engines to index properly. The more eyes you can get to your blog, the better!

Another great idea once you have your blog going is to add in additional widgets or plugins. Useful tools that Chris discussed included a live chat option, Zopim. This allows readers to contact you directly (and let’s you see who is on your site!). This can be a great way to convert readers into direct leads.

We know that’s a lot of information to take in. If you want to see even more, take a look at the whole Webinar. Tip: Have your pencil and paper ready to take notes! There are a lot of good take-home ideas you can use to better your blog.

 

As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have!

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Comments (16)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Blogging is no longer an option for real estate agent - well said Chris. Also, with that, I'd add - ActiveRain Platform is no longer optional - one must start blogging on ActiveRain ASAP.

Nov 06, 2011 12:50 PM
Delores Campbell
Keller Williams Realty - Chesterfield - Wildwood, MO
Your St. Louis Real Estate Resource

I was on the webinar last week and it was chuck full of great information. 

Nov 06, 2011 01:00 PM
Ken Brandon
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC) - Jacksonville, NC
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC

Thanks for sharing this information. I bookmarked this post so I can come check out the webinar later. I am particularly interested in hearing a little more about some of the items you mentioned.

Nov 06, 2011 01:05 PM
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

This is an interersting post I am bookmarking for future reference. 

Nov 06, 2011 08:12 PM
Janis Borgueta
Key Properties of the Hudson Valley - Newburgh, NY
LIC RE Salesperson

I am having fun getting started with all this! I know a great number of people in my area that started with AR when it first came out, but NEVER did anything but sign on. Now it seems that a few are starting again, but not many as they don't see the value in this. To many negative people out there these days. They sit around and complain how back the housing market is. I needed to take a proactive stand in the market, and this will be a new focus for getting my marketing to take off in a new direction. Thanks AR. and i look forward to reading up on what you all have to say!

Nov 07, 2011 12:24 AM
HomeFinder.com Real Estate
HomeFinder.com - Chicago, IL

Glad to hear this info was useful for you all! Bookmarking it and coming back when you have time to watch the Webinar is great. There is a lot more info and takehome tips! 

Nov 07, 2011 02:41 AM
Margaret Pereira
Moving Forward Home Staging & ReDesign - Mississauga, ON

Thanks for the information. I am fairy new at blogging and every bit of information is very helpful. Will check the webinar later.

Nov 07, 2011 04:56 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Nicely done post.  Amzing how many agents in our office totally against blogging.  Ar has been a great tool to help newbies enter the mainstream.

Nov 07, 2011 05:47 AM
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Nice post. One thing I do not understand about wordpress is that there is a .com one and a .org one. Which is the one to be using? Thanks.

Nov 07, 2011 07:01 AM
HomeFinder.com Real Estate
HomeFinder.com - Chicago, IL

Hey Sandy! They look to be the same company-- just owning both domains of .org and .com. WordPress.com has the info about getting started though! Hope  that helps!

Nov 07, 2011 08:08 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Thank you so much for your great tips. Look forward to listening to seminar as well.

Nov 07, 2011 08:17 AM
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

You are so right!!  And the list of things to blog on goes on forever!!

Nov 07, 2011 09:27 AM
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

It is very catchy, maybe as catchy asit is wrong.

take AR. It represents about 20% of all REALTORS. How many of them are blogging? I don't think it is even 20% of AR membership. I would be darn surprised to see even 10% of the membership.

It is a pretty much neglctable number. So, why we keep fooling ourselves here?

the other thing is that any agent not high on BS knows that top producers are usually do not blog at all. Just look around, check who do most in your local boards, and see for yourself.

No, guys. Blogging is just one of many marketing tools (or better that it could be used for this purpose), but it is not a mandatory thing and whoever keeps saying it is taking us for more fools that we are.

Or it is just my hope?

 

Nov 07, 2011 11:24 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Jon- If I did not have Nestor's support and help I would never be able to blog. We are super busy success agents and that means that we are working deals. I coach and speak to the REO crowd, these agents have 170 to 200 REO listings in their inventories, they don't even have time to sneeze. I help them by setting it all up for them, they do know that the future is on line and that REOs won't be so many for so long. But you are right, top producers don't have time to blog. I broker owner just hired me to teach his marketing manager how to blog and write content. That is what the smart ones are doing. They get their marketing managers the training to take on this task.

What I have an issue with is that homefinder.com is one of our top competitors on google SERPS. So while I think it is really nice that they are blogging about this, what is the real reason for the post? Katerina 

Nov 07, 2011 01:06 PM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Different people have different platforms for sources of business and blogging started for me and I'm glad it was. However, here was my reaction just a few months back: Blogging is so 2008 but everyone is chasing after "Social Media". I just smiled.

Nov 07, 2011 10:33 PM
HomeFinder.com Real Estate
HomeFinder.com - Chicago, IL

Katerina, the real reason for the post is spreading the wealth! Everyone may "compete" for top Google search results, but we are in the business of helping agents and brokers succeed. We like to give tips, sponsor these webinars, etc. and engage in coverstations with you to see what's working and what's not.

Also, you make a great point. Getting marketing managers, assistants, social media managers, etc. involved can help lessen the load on a top producing agent who literally might not have the time to sit down and write. Having said that, it's not for everyone. You need to decide what you are seeing the best ROI on and what gets the most engagement.

Nov 08, 2011 02:37 AM