About six months ago, I started blogging and have really enjoyed the process. It gives me a chance to put down in writing and in an organized fashion some of the questions I get asked on a regular basis. As the day progresses, I make a mental note to settle my thoughts on the issues that I get questioned about. It is great to sit down at the end of the day and logically draft an answer that I can post. As that post gets comments on my blog, it gives me an idea as to whether I have explained the topic clearly and I can make changes to further clarify my position to the readers.
Not only has the readership of my blog increased as I add more content but by adding a lot of that content to my web site, even in December and January, I have noted a 20% increase in visitors and also a 20% increase on the amount of time readers stayed on my web site (the bounce rate).
As other Realtors see the success of the local Blogs in getting the loyal attention of the consumer, the questions that I get asked are: who writes it for you? when do you get the time? what do you write about? what if you don’t like the comments? What if I cannot write well?
So here is my Blog about Real Estate Blogs…
Write about what you know or want to know about and things that are happening in your neck of the woods. You may not be an F. Scott Fitzgerald but if you are a Junior Hockey Coach in your spare time, and you have been keeping up with the local games, write about it. People want to hire someone they can relate to and who they feel they know. If the City just issued a new bylaw and you know where readers can access that City directory, provide it to them. Become the go-to person for neighborhood information, to clarify the neighborhood gossip and to post upcoming events in your hood.
Write your blog in your own voice.
The blogs I like to read give you an idea of the writer’s personality and isn’t it what people want when they are choosing a Realtor? When I sit down with a client now, they often remark on something they picked up about the services I provide by reading my blog or web site. It’s always nicer to work with people you know or who know you and gives you that unfair advantage over your competitors.
Be Transparent. (Today’s Word)
Don’t be afraid to update that 15 year old photograph of you on a very very good day. I recently changed mine when I caught a client looking down at the card and up at my face three times before finally inviting me into their home. Don’t be afraid to let your audience know who you are, worts and all.
Getting the time to write the blog is definitely a challenge but look at it as time savings.
After years of answering the “When is the best time to list my house?” question, I can now say: “I have written an article about that exact question on my blog with graphs and links to supporting information. Check it out…and while you are at it, sign up for my RSS feed and my newsletter”. In the long term, I look at blogging as a heavier front-end commitment…However part of me thinks that by opening a Pandora’s Blog, a monster might have been created!
Comments are the heart of Web 2.0.
If your audience is not engaged and does not comment at all, that is not a good sign. Rudeness is easy to delete but sometimes the comment can help you make your point even when it contradicts your position. Much like Talk Radio, comments give you a view of what other positions are, even when it may boil your blood from time-to-time, contrary points of view educate us all.
Don’t be afraid of BLOGGING!
Realtors are at the center of the major decisions people make. We get asked our advice, even when we don’t want to give it or… when we should not give because of Agency conflicts. Like a doctor, we seem to be the public’s walking encyclopedia of answers to do with the marketplace, schools, parking issues, development, family therapy and so on.
Conscious of our REALTOR Code of Ethics, you can win your clients trust … and ideally win lots of repeat and referral business by blogging. The Bonus as seasoned blogger Bruce Lemieux says, “Those agents who make a dedicated effort to do the business and blog, add client value at a much higher level”.
No really good blog would be complete without a “call to action”, so here it is: There is no time like the present to start, so get blogging!!