Sitting here at the CyberStar Summit in San Antonio listening to Bill French, founder of MyST Technology, discuss the long tail of the web and how it relates to real estate. We are all so enamored with getting control of the major search terms and phrases by which people find us in our markets. But, statistics show that only 3% of searchers actually use those terms. There are thousands of others that people use to search, including long phrases, like "Saucalito 3 bedroom home with a boathouse and maid's quarters." Difficult to identify all those terms, but there are ways to get to those potential prospects. Blogs may actually provide the best way, simply because creating relevant content about your marketand sending it out the web means that all those phrases, keywords and nuggets of information may bring you up first when someone searches.
I have a Real Estate Blogsite (REB), and can tell you that the results are amazing. I get more leads from my website that come through my blogsite that any SEO I've done on my website every produced. I come up first in my market, for example, when someone types in "National Repertory Orchestra". People who are interested in culture in our market, as well as in real estate, will find me while someone who searches strictly by "Summit County Real Estate" (one of my forwarding domains) may not.
I pay for REB, but the cost is much less than I used to pay for PPC. I get results because REB does so much more than just provide an tool for blogging. It actively pings my messages every hour; it searches for relevant content on the web for all my posts and attaches to it; it prompts me every time for keywords and outbound links; and it provides provides a structured interface for my property posts. Topic Cloud allows simple searches by visitors, and grows as I add content. And the enhancements keep coming.
Ah, well, I'll get off my bias and just say that the ways to reach people are changing, evolving, and smart agents will do their best to keep up.