5 Tips to Getting Your Real Estate or Mortgage Blog to Generate Leads

Services for Real Estate Pros with Kaleidico.com

There are very few great real estate blogs on the Web. But, what does "great" really mean? For most that use the term it probably refers to the appearance, traffic, or lively industry banter in the comments section. I challenge you to change your definition. Start making "great" mean I actually generate sales and closings.

It is really easy to get side tracked by false indicators of Web/Blog success. Let's make our metric really simple--generating the right traffic, traffic that generates sales leads. Here is my 5 step K.I.S.S formula:

1. Keep it local. By concentrating your blog content, pictures, and context local you will easily seize top ranking in search engines for your real estate market. This will feed you less traffic, but very targeted traffic.

2. Use local communities and cities you serve as categories. Categories in most blog software (like Wordpress) create a well optimized internal linking architecture. This puts great "link pressure" on your keywords--more well targeted Google love.

3. Add alt-tags to all your photos. This is simple, but often neglected step in maximizing your keyword search opportunities. Especially with the advent of Google images and other images searches--your local pictures and listings are potential back-links, again strengthening your local search.

4. Meet customer expectations. This is the biggest mistake I see in most real estate blogs (actually blogs in general) make--missing customer expectations. Think about what people expect when they arrive at your website. Here are a few basics that I think are critical and easy ways to get them on your website or blog:

5. Ask for the deal. This is certainly the second biggest mistake I see--ask them to call or contact you. And, make it easy. Your telephone number, email address, and contact form should be on every page.

5a. My traffic to lead conversion recommendation: Place your contact information in the upper right-hand corner of every page and at the end of every post. Both should be banner images with name, telephone, and email that clicks through to a contact form landing page--maximizing your conversion opportunity.

Give these tips a try on your website or blog. I would also love to hear feedback, more suggestions, and success stories. I would also love to have examples of blogs you consider great meeting customer expectations--either link to them in the comments or send them to me via Twitter. I would love to do a post on "great" Real Estate and Mortgage blogs and websites.

If you have any questions follow me on Twitter: @billrice and ask away.

Comments (44)

Scott Sambucci
Altos Research - Mountain View, CA

Hi Bill - Thanks for the link to Altos Research your blog.  We've found that providing local prices and housing trends is almost a necessary component to an agent or broker website.  There's really three questions that need to be answered on an agent/broker website:

1. What's for sale?

2. What's my house worth?

3. How's the market?

Provide those three, and buyers/sellers that find you won't have a need to go elsewhere for their local real estaet market research.

Dec 19, 2008 01:24 AM
Bill Rice
Kaleidico.com - Flat Rock, MI


Put those conversations on the a blog. Not a far reach--blogging started as journaling. That is still a worthy approach.

Good luck, give it a try.


Dec 19, 2008 01:36 AM
Bill Rice
Kaleidico.com - Flat Rock, MI


My pleasure! AltosResearch is great stuff!


Dec 19, 2008 01:37 AM
Debra A. Jason
Na Pali Properties, Inc. - Hanalei, HI
Kauai Realtor - Kauai Homes For Sale, Kapaa to Haena

Thanks for the tips. Number 5 is an important one. As a marketing copywriter (as well as a Realtor-Associate), I have often seen those who leave out a "call to action." When I teach marketing seminars I always remind people to "tell you customers/prospects what you want them to do" - should they call you, email you, place an order, etc.? Then, believe it or not, some folks forget to include their contact information.

As I said a "call to action" is simple, sometimes seems obvious, but is always important in any type of marketing piece - real estate or other wise.

Happy holidays and here's to a great 2009!

Debra A. Jason, RA, ABR
Vision Realty All Islands Kauai

also known as

Debra Jason

The Write Direction - specializing in Web & direct marketing communications


Dec 19, 2008 05:31 AM
Barbara Delaney
Park Place REALTORS, Inc. - Roanoke, VA

Dear Bill,

Thanks so much for your post! I am an old timer in real estate, but new to blogging.

I have decided to take a "Just Do It!" approach to blogging on ActiveRain. I just started blogging on ActiveRain again this month. My previous post was January 2008. I was waiting to learn how to do it right!

I will still wait a while to establish my area specific real estate blog.

Thanks to all who made comments. You are helping to educate me.



Dec 19, 2008 09:22 AM
Tim Hart
VanDyk Mortgage-Branch Manager - Fort Myers, FL

Bill- Thanks for the great post. I do have something that has been on my mind and maybe you can help me if you would like to.

Being in the mortgage business I am primarily targeting realtors and buyers. I have my ActiveRain blog and then an outside blog with Google. Both are fairly new so there is not much going on there as far as content goes.

I am thinking that my best way to work thsi would be to have my AR blog target realtors and buyer and then my Google blog being mainly for buyers while leaving out some of my realtor targeted information. 

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks for your help!

Dec 19, 2008 12:51 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Great post! On-line marketing is instrumental in the business field today. Your points are great. Thank you for sharing!

Dec 20, 2008 12:40 AM
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Found It, LLC - Manassas, VA

The tags to photos are important even on outside blogs to generate the most traffic.

Dec 20, 2008 06:01 AM
Andrew Birchall
Birchall and Company Real Estate - Saint Augustine, FL
Broker / Owner

thanks...good info!

Dec 20, 2008 06:57 AM
Keith Pound
Realtor, Auctioneer - Louisville, KY - 502-645-5950


Great post, just started myself, but didn't put in the call to action, the next will have it. 

Keith Pound Broker Associate EXIT REALTY CRUTCHER Louisville ky

Dec 20, 2008 12:32 PM
Greg Wilson
1st Cornerstone Realty - Schaumburg, IL

Hello Bill, thanks for the posts to generate more leads.  I'll try to use your tips.

Dec 20, 2008 12:34 PM
Linda Bourgault
lulugraphix-creative photography & fine art - Flower Mound, TX

Bill, Thanks for the tips, especially #3 & 5. I hadn't thought of alt-tags to photos. I'll need to figure out how to do that ASAP. I'm in the process of creating a badge with the info you suggested for #5. I'll let you know how iit works.

Dec 20, 2008 02:56 PM
George Bennett
Inactive - Port Orford, OR
Inactive Principal Broker, GRI

Bill thanks for tips and techniques. I appreciate your help.

Dec 20, 2008 05:12 PM
Kelsey Barklow
Hurd Realty - Johnson City, TN

Thanks for the ideas. I would love to have some business from AR but I also just enjoy the posts, the replies and replying. I have learned so much from AR. Happy Holidays.

Dec 20, 2008 11:56 PM
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

I like your idea of having the ultimate goal of leads and closings.

Jan 03, 2009 03:44 AM
Kim Hamblin
Bella Casa Real Estate Group - McMinnville, OR

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the great tips.  I got my blog and my website up and going, now I need to go back in and streamline the info.   I like the mortgage calculator widget, very cool.

Jan 03, 2009 03:26 PM
Bill Rice
Kaleidico.com - Flat Rock, MI


The blog looks great--I like the blend of art and real estate. You make a great point on the mortgage calculator--this step is critical. If you want more inquiries on your listings you need to help the online customer feel comfortable they are qualified. By the same token, if you want more qualified online lead inquiries you need to let them help qualify themselves.

Mike and Kelsey,

Every online website, blog, or other asset should have a purpose and objective--in my mind you should not be wasting your time producing great content, setting up mortgage calculators, or publicly listing your properties unless you are passionate about making it part of your marketing strategy--business model. Having said that it take time and focus to get it flowing, but when it does--wow!

Happy Year!


Jan 03, 2009 11:10 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Thanks for the great post. Basic simple ideas that make sense!!

Jan 04, 2009 11:37 PM
Tim O'Keefe
Spider Juice Technologies - Torrance, CA
Social SEO And Reputation Marketing

re:local pictures and listings are potential back-links, again strengthening your local search

I am not sure how you believe pictures can be a source of backlinks. They certainly can be a source of traffic, although how targeted is arguable. Furthermore if these pix do pass on page rank in back links they dilute meaning. Because without text the picture is  telling Google that this page this picture is linking to is about nothing. In other words it dilutes the  interpretation of the meaning of the page.

This is why using pictures as links are best nofollowed on your own website and a substitute recreated in real textual link form somewhere else on the page. For those of you wordpress blogging that means your home link and logo or header picture that is typical in most wp themes.

Tim O'Keefe
Real Estate SEO
Real Estate Marketing Blog
Spider Juice Technologies

May 13, 2009 03:32 PM
Bill Rice
Kaleidico.com - Flat Rock, MI


Many bloggers are now using services like Zemanta that properly cite and attribute photos to the original source. This can provide both traffic and backlinks to a site, much like a widget would. Consequently, there can be some value to offering your photos into the Creative Commons arena.

I do agree that pictures, and most links on your home page should be no-follow to avoid leaking link juice. However to most real estate sites this is focusing on the details before they get the simple things right--like posting good consistent content that is linkable.

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.


May 13, 2009 10:06 PM