Advanced Real Estate Blogging Tips to Take Your Blog to 11

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.
https://activerain.com/droplet/PK9

Inman Blogger Panel

Learn four unique content techniques from the preeminent real estate bloggers and writers at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Curbed.com, and The Real Deal.  (For those of you who did not catch the Spinal Tap reference, watch this clip on taking your blog to 11.)

We at ActiveRain spend a reasonable amount of time coaching and training the real estate industry on the "basics" of real estate blogging: what is SEO, how to write a hyperlocal blog post, how to drive leads, and how to capture leads.  Check out ActiveRain University for social media webinars and tips.

It was refreshing to hear the panel at the Inman News Real Estate Connect New York 2013 conference with four top real estate writers talking about how they think about their stories and how they develop content.    Brad Inman hosted a great panel called "What Makes a Great Real Estate Story?"

The Panelists were:

The New York City real estate market is unique in the United States (high priced, no universal MLS, lots of pocket listings), but there are INCREDIBLE learnings that the average real estate blogger can apply to get more exposure and differentiate from the *average* blogger and/or the listing aggregator sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.

1) Behind Every Story is a Real Estate Story

I was very impressed with Amir Korangy of The Real Deal.  He said something simple, but profound, "Behind Every Story is a Real Estate Story."   The Real Deal develops content by looking at major news headlines and then looks what is the real estate insight from it.   Look at the headlines in your local news and then write a real estate story around it.  

Benefits: 1) You will be perceived as knowledgeable and insightful on major market trends and news. 2) You will attract consumers searching for local news (assuming you target your keywords properly).  3) You will be attracting consumers over a broader market area (which may nor may not be a benefit depending on how narrow your local market area is).

For example, the top news story in Seattle right now is the return of the NBA franchise Seattle SuperSonics and the creation of new basketball arena in town.  

Potential real estate blog posts: 

  • How will the new NBA arena affect home values in South Seattle?
  • How will the new NBA arena affect traffic patterns and commute times?
  • How will the new NBA arena affect real estate values where the OLD NBA arena is on Queen Anne?
  • Where do professional athletes and coaches live in Seattle?
2) Curate Important Content & Provide Service to the Community
 
Given that the conference was in New York, Hurricane Sandy was on everyone's minds.  We at ActiveRain have seen consumers turn to blogs for information when the government or major news media is not being responsive to big natural disasters.  Sara Polsky of Curbed talked about how Curbed "live blogged" Hurricane Sandy, aggregated pictures and videos, and then posted helpful resource links for more information on their site.
 
Obviously, hurricanes and natural disasters do not affect every community all the time (thank goodness).  Instead, find an important topic to your community and create a blog page that aggregates important links, content and pictures.  Add your own content to this page.  Encourage community interaction on this blog post.
 
Benefits: Evergreen content will continue to generate search traffic.  You will be providing a benefit to the community.   If your content is topical, you get coverage in the news and will be perceived as a local real estate expert by local media.
 
For example: In Seattle & Bellevue, there are plans to connect Seattle to the suburbs in the East Side by train.  This train service will impact real estate prices in some of the most expensive neighborhoods in Bellevue and could have environmental implications.  Every home owner & home owners association is meeting to discuss this.  

Potential real estate blog posts: 

  • Single blog post that aggregates all current information, news and resources for local communities and home owners
  • Questions that home buyers and sellers should think about when considering real estate investments in the Seattle metro area due to the Light Rail project.
3) Find a Relo & Write About their Experience
 
The Wall Street Journal is getting great responses from their Mansion section and their real estate stories.  Here is a good example: the WSJ wrote an interesting article about NCAA football coaches.  They tend to be the highest paid person in a small college town.  They buy large houses, custom built for entertaining.  NCAA coaches move very often and no one else in town can afford the house when they try to sell.
 
Here in Seattle, you could write a blog post or a series of blog posts on homeowners who relocate to Seattle to work for Microsoft.  At a Christmas party, I met a Microsoft finance manager who moved to Bellevue from the Netherlands.  We talked about their decision to buy vs rent, where they wanted to live, and how Microsoft relocation works.  All of this is GREAT content for a blog post.
 
4)  Make It Visual - Include Slideshows Whenever Possible
 
The Internet is becoming more and more of a visual medium.  Whenever you write about houses, communities, and/or real estate, include LOTS and LOTS of pictures.  Consumers are spending more time on slide shows.    So take out that iPhone or SLR Camera and start taking pictures.
 
There are MANY MANY MANY slideshows that work with your ActiveRain blog.  Here is a sample that I put together using Kizoa.  I had used Google's Picasaweb Slideshow but found it would only render in Chrome.  Note: when you upload pictures to Google Plus, they seem to show up in Picasa Web. (Sharper Agent & Market Leader have a feature called Marketing In Motion that has music along with a home tour or slideshow).
 
Slideshows like this will increase your stickiness and time on site with consumers.  Don't blog without images and include slideshows where possible.
 
Happy Blogging!  Take your blog and blogging to 11!
 
Posted by

Nikesh Parekh

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Winston Heverly 04/25/2013 02:45 PM
Topic:
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Rainmaker
2,677,247
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great insights, Nikesh.  I guess there's a story everywhere.  Oh, and great video.

Jan 23, 2013 06:15 PM #13
Rainmaker
974,759
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Thanks for another awesome and informative posts... Tons to learn... will Bookmark and study later... Beth

Jan 23, 2013 08:15 PM #14
Rainmaker
594,825
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!

Makes me think, thanks for bringing this info to us, I too have bookmarked and will use some of this info later today!

Jan 23, 2013 08:29 PM #15
Rainmaker
1,518,992
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Of all this information presented here I think the last point is the most important...add a visual component. We all like a good slide show!

Jan 23, 2013 08:39 PM #16
Rainmaker
1,110,999
Barbara Michaluk
Weichert Realtors | Silver Spring, MD Phone Direct 240-506-2434 - Silver Spring, MD
Top Producing / Full Service REALTOR in Marylan

Thanks Nikesh! This is good information to keep us on top of the best ways to stay on top.

Jan 23, 2013 08:40 PM #17
Ambassador
1,207,409
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Great info Nikesh.  Thanks for the info!  Let's turn it up to 11!!                                                                              

Jan 23, 2013 08:58 PM #18
Rainmaker
256,342
Susan Jackson
America's Network Realty Group, Inc - Sandy Springs, GA

Good point  regarding headlines and looking at them from a real estate prospective.  Will bookmark this blog to re-read and capture the ideas.  Thanks for the post

Jan 23, 2013 09:20 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,794,277
Ginny Gorman
RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate - North Kingstown, RI
Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond

Nikki, what great share to enliven our blogging along new avenues...just love the ideas they talked about & believe videos and slideshows make the difference!

Jan 23, 2013 09:25 PM #20
Rainmaker
657,948
Pat & Wayne Harriman
Harriman Real Estate, LLC (203) 672-4499 - Wallingford, CT
Broker/Owners, Wallingford CT Real Estate

Some really good tips here, thanks for passing them along! We've been especially interested in #2, about content curation. Makes me wish I could have attended that conference, but business just wouldn't allow it!

Jan 23, 2013 10:26 PM #21
Rainmaker
329,866
Mahesh Mike Patel
First Team Real Estate - Anaheim Hills, CA
Call Me And Consider It Done!
Thanks for the update... I will try out the slide shows..
Jan 23, 2013 11:14 PM #22
Rainer
139,841
Ridhi Raheja
Movement Mortgage (Illinois) - Naperville, IL
FHA, 203k, VA, Jumbo, PreApproval, Jumbo Home Loan

This is a good list of blogging tips Nikesh..
I usually add visutal to my blog to make it more attractive to visitors.. ;)

Jan 23, 2013 11:59 PM #23
Ambassador
1,549,873
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

There are so many opportunities to grow our blogs, we just have to do it!

Jan 24, 2013 12:13 AM #24
Rainmaker
1,314,048
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Hi Nikesh - this is great information - thank you so much for sharing. I really need to learn how to create slideshows and then share them in a blog - I've yet to find a simple solution so if there's anyone reading this that can help me out, let me know!!

Jan 24, 2013 05:59 AM #25
Rainer
148,164
Nancy Lamb
Home Smart LifeStyles - Fountain Hills, AZ
& Loving AZ Team-Fountain Hills AZ
Nikesh. Thank you for sharing the Inman Connect and blog panel tips. The information is excellent for those of us green to the process of blogging and the seasoned blogger as well. Now the difference is to actually produce using this knowledge.
Jan 24, 2013 08:50 AM #26
Rainer
500,951
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Nikesh,

There is an OLD NBA arena on Queen Anne? Never noticed it.

Jan 24, 2013 10:38 AM #27
Rainmaker
844,157
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Thanks Nikki for Active Rain and for sharing this great info!

Jan 24, 2013 07:12 PM #29
Rainmaker
798,535
Judith Ritter
Dirt Road Real Estate - Prescott, AZ
Rural Land & Homes Specialist

Another great, quickly usable post!  I can see so many ways to do this.  I will go out and do some interviews about the people who buy and live on rural land sucessfully.  I will also start reading the local media more.  thanks for the kick in the butt.

Feb 14, 2013 12:40 AM #30
Rainmaker
187,013
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Great to hear Judith!

Feb 14, 2013 12:44 AM #31
Anonymous
building inspection nyc

 

Actually your creative writing skills has inspired me to start my personal BlogEngine weblog now.

Apr 08, 2013 12:23 AM #32
Rainmaker
187,013
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Thank you!

Apr 08, 2013 01:12 AM #33
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