According to Wikipedia, a guy named Justin Hall, a student at Swarthmore College, began personal blogging in 1994. If he was not the first blogger, he was certainly one of the earliest.
Originally blogs were diaries, but it didn’t take long for them to become sources of all sorts of information, good, bad and ugly.
Entrepreneurs soon found a blog could be an excellent way to market a service or a product.
Today, blogs have become a vital way business people communicate with their customers and prospective customers. Then can be surprisingly effective marketing tools for real estate agents.
What is a blog?
A blog is simply a website or portion of a website where you can post information like news, your opinion, your advice. Blogs are also good places where you can link to other websites that your readers might find interesting or helpful.
Generally a blog is published on a regular basis – daily, weekly, even monthly. Some blogs, however, publish on a more casual or irregular schedule.
Who reads blogs?
According to WordPress, creators of one of the most popular blogging software packages, “Over 409 million people view more than 12.9 billion pages each month.”
I don’t really know what those numbers mean, but I do know lots of people enjoy reading and learning about real estate. Maybe they are planning to buy or sell soon, and maybe they’re just curious, or maybe they’re trying to figure out how to invest. It’s those people, at least in your community, that you want to read your blog if you write one.
You want them to read your blog because those are your clients and potential clients.
What might you put in your blog?
When you’re deciding what to blog about, think like your customers. What do they want to read about? What sort of real estate news do they want?
It’s probably safe to say that your clients and potential clients want to know things like what’s for sale (see below), what’s sold recently, what new stores are opening and old ones closing.
Definitions of real estate terms, discussion of contracts, changing laws – everything and anything that is of interest to a potential client can work well for your blog.
Use blogs to highlight your listing
Posting an announcement and details about your most recent listing just as soon as the listing contract is signed is a wonderful way to use a blog.
Knowing their property will be featured on your blog is a good listing tool. Potential buyers love having inside information and your blogged listings can provide that sense for them.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – just a picture or several of the property and the listing details written out or put in a list, plus, of course, your contact information, is really all you need, at least to start. Later, if needed, you can come back and add to the information or do a whole new post about that property.
Before you decide to blog
When it comes to blogging, it’s probably better to under promise and over deliver than the other way around. A good way to start is to simply make a list of blog topics you’d be willing to write about – or to have someone else write about.
Add to that list over several weeks. How many ideas do you have? Ideally you won’t start until you’ve got at least a month or two of ideas. Those plus your listings have the makings of a good blog.
While you’re working on your list, look at other real estate blogs. You can just google real estate blogs in (your town or city). That will give you a feel for what’s going on in your area.
Think about the process. You don’t have to blog. Your iHOUSE website makes it easy if you decide you want to. A good thing to know, just in case.
What questions do you have about blogging? Ask them in comments and I’ll probably answer them in another blog post.