Everyone loves to read stories. That’s why stories about buying and selling real estate and those about dealing with issues like renovation or finance tend to draw great traffic to a real estate blog. Asking your readers, clients, and service providers to contribute their stories can help you create community as well as attract readers.
Any of these can make a good story and there are tons of ideas out there.
In other words, anyone who has an interesting story that may also provide valuable ways of seeing and thinking about real estate to your readers.
For the most part, stories like these should be around 300-500 words. For example, this blog is just over 600 words. As a way to get started consider the outline below as a guide.
Tell us about you – this is where the person gives some personal details like “I’m 72 and was born in this neighborhood.” Or “I opened my mortgage company on Main Street in 1996. A sentence or two is usually enough.
Something about their work – this assumes the person isn’t retired. If they service real estate clients, this is their chance to say a little bit about their services. If they are retired, or a buyer or seller, they can tell about past work or talk about how they volunteer locally, etc.
How they connected with you – it’s always fun to find out how folks met and came to work together. Everything from Chamber and church mixers to running into each other, maybe even literally, at the grocery store counts.
Words of wisdom – sometimes people have real wisdom to share about life, real estate or who knows what. It’s a revealing question to ask and in this context should be kept short. And the article will be fine without this.
Remember, this is only a suggested outline – feel free to change it to suit your exact needs. It’s also okay to use it just the way it is; if you do, after a few stories you’ll know what changes you want.
It’s always nice to include a picture of the people telling their story. It doesn’t have to be a professional shot – snaps from your phone will be just fine.
There are basically two ways to get stories: ask someone to write their story for you or to interview them.
Keep in mind that many people don’t like to write, particularly about themselves. Keep it as an option and if someone agrees, let them know you’ll have to edit it for space – and plan on doing some significant editing.
Interviewing puts you in charge. You can do a quick interview and write up what you want from it for your blog.
If you hate to write, but want to get stories on your site, consider a freelance writer. You might find a reporter at a local newspaper willing to do these pieces for you on a ghostwriting basis – which means they write it under your name. Even high school students can do an excellent job if they have some writing ability.
Your local craigslist may have several writers advertising under ‘services.’ Pricing for professional writers is all over the map, literally. Although some folks will tell you there’s a ‘standard rate’, there isn’t. You may be able to tell what the going prices are in your area by taking a look at Writing gigs on your craigslist. Or ask the writers you contact what they would charge. Be generous, but don’t over spend your own budget.
If you have questions about stories for your website, ask them in comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.
Before Anne Wayman became a writer she sold real estate in Southern California. She worked with her father who learned the business from his father. Not surprisingly she learned a few things along the way. Since then, she has been freelance writing for over 30 years – she is a grandmother, loves cats and writes about a wide variety of topics including real estate.