Blogs, short for “weblogs,” have been around since the early ’90s and were originally used as more of a personal webpage where the author logged their thoughts on life and their opinions on products, activities and services. Today, blogging is a full-time job for people around the globe, some earning millions each year. These sites have evolved into information hubs, where people go to learn more, get tips and find sources of truth. Because of this, blogs serve as integral pieces of a business marketing plan.
Why Your Real Estate Business Should Have A Blog
There are several ways a blog can be beneficial for your real estate business. Blogs can be a great way to gain new clients, stay top of mind with current ones and maintain relationships with those you’ve worked with in the past. Here’s how.
Search Engine Optimization
Blogs help with search engine optimization (SEO) and online traffic, meaning your blog can help put you in top search results for answers to questions your clients are asking online. It does this by supplying your website with fresh content, employing keywords people are searching online, keeping visitors on your site longer and creating more links to your site through interlinking and, possibly, backlinks from other websites. When your site’s in the top search results, it will get more visibility and more organic (free) traffic.
“Our biweekly blog post has dramatically increased organic traffic to our website,” says Brian Burds, owner and team lead for The Brian Burds Home Selling Team. “Since instating an effective blogging strategy, we have doubled our organic traffic to our website. This additional traffic has contributed to our record year in sales even during this thing that is 2020.”
Blogs build trust and brand loyalty. If your content is relevant and ranks high on search results, it can help build your credibility and help people view you as an expert. People want to work with experts in the industry and good content that provides them with answers, entertainment and tips will keep them coming back for more. With comments enabled, it can serve as another way to communicate with your audience and provide a place for them to share their thoughts and experiences, which can help them feel more connected.
“[Our blog] has become a useful tool to engage with our audience. It’s become another trusted way for people to learn about the company,” says James Prendamano, CEO of Cassandra Properties.
For Richard Schulhoff, CEO of Brooklyn MLS, the ability to reach out to more clients has been a positive result of his company’s blog, too. “Consumers are able to speak to us and ask questions on platforms they use on a daily basis and we are able to communicate any information when needed. As for our REALTORS®, [it] gives them an opportunity where they can have a voice and an opinion,” he says of the blog that has content for both agents and their clients.
Blogs also fill your site with relevant, timely and quality content that you can share other places as well – as long as you’re posting the right kind of articles to your blog.
What To Post To Your Real Estate Blog
Before you start planning your blog topics, figure out who your audience will be and what type of information they’ll be looking for. Remember, it’s not about you. It’s about your readers.
“Try to keep the blogs informative and helpful,” suggests Prendamano. “Oftentimes, people slip into a habit of self-promoting, which is certainly part of the equation, but the content must be useful and interesting.”
To keep content useful and interesting, you must know who you’re writing for. To find that out, consider the following questions.
- Are most of your clients sellers, buyers or a mix of both?
- Do you want to use your blog to maintain a relationship with past clients so you’ll be top of mind when they are moving again?
- Do you serve a specific area?
It’s OK to have more than one audience, but make sure you provide equal amounts of relevant information per group and organize your posts into different categories (for example “Home Buying,” “Home Selling and “Homeownership”), so clients can easily find what they’re looking for.
“Because the company covers the full spectrum of residential, commercial and consulting, there is a wide variety of topics to opine on. We have a wide range of readers,” says Prendamano. To help find the right topics to include for this diverse readership, the company listens to its readers and pays attention to their needs. To find relevant content, Cassandra Properties relies on audience feedback and suggestions and also researches the most frequently searched topics related to the industry.
While your best topics may range by the type of services your business offers, the audience you have and the locations you’re in, the two kinds of posts you want to include on your blog are how-to’s and local insider information.
Tips And How-To’s
The most successful posts Prendamano has seen on the Cassandra Properties blog are those that are “centered around the ‘how-to’ as it relates to the real estate process,” he says.
Buying and selling a home can be a confusing and frustrating process. The easier you make it for clients, the better their experience may be. By providing this useful information, you won’t just show off your industry expertise, you’ll also show the caring, supportive side of your business. One that is there to help make the process as simple as possible for clients.\
Here are a few examples of “How-To” posts:
- How To Determine The Initial Asking Price For Your Home
- How Curb Appeal Helps Sell Your Home And How To Enhance Your Home’s Exterior
- The Home Buying Process And What To Expect Along The Way
- Tips And Tricks For Finding Your Dream Home And Having Your Offer Accepted
Local Insider Information
Along with “how to’s” and tips for the real estate process, one other topic seemed to be successful for many professionals with real estate blogs: local content.
“I write several articles about the neighborhoods that my team and I serve,” says Tony Mariotti, owner and REALTOR® at RubyHome. “The posts offer insights that only an on-the-ground expert could know. This helps set the material apart from content posted on national real estate websites, where it is easy to tell that the writers do not have an intimate knowledge of [the various locations they’re writing about].”
According to Mariotti, these posts give his blog up to 6,000 organic visitors per month. That’s why he suggests other REALTORS® take the same approach and “write about neighborhoods you know and give details only an insider would know.”
This tactic has been successful for Brooklyn MLS, too, which focuses on Brooklyn, New York streetscapes, homes and news, according to Schulhoff.
When thinking about local posts to write, use these examples as a starting point:
- A Guide To The Different Neighborhoods Of [City Name]
- The 10 Best Outdoor Restaurants In [City Name]
- Where To Celebrate 4th Of July Around [County Name]
- Why [Your Location] Is A Great Place For Young Families To Live
We can tell you what others in the industry have seen succeed and recommend certain topics for your blog, but the best posts, the ones you should be using on your blog, will be the ones that you deem most successful. So how do you gauge whether a post is successful? There are several ways – and it will depend on the goals you’ve set for your real estate blog.
For Schulhoff, a post’s success is gauged by “the viewership on each of the social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Google Business.”
For Burds, it’s much of the same. “We watch analytics on our website for the action of the post. We normally gauge a successful post by it click-through rate from social media sites and from Google,” he says.
If your goal is to improve the SEO on your site, you may gauge the success of your posts by how high it ranks on Google, how long a reader stays on the page or how many links it gets back from other sites. If your goal is to get a loyal following and produce useful content, you may gauge its success by the amount of returning visitors it gets or how many people share it on various social media sites. If you want to use your blog as another way to interact with clients, head to the comments to see how many people are interacting with the post, sharing ideas and asking more questions.
Once you determine what posts are successful and why, try to write more blog posts that are related to that topic, employ the same type of keywords or connect with a specific type of audience.
When To Post To Your Blog
When it comes to posting to your real estate blog, consistency is key. When and how often you post will depend on a few factors, including how long each post will take and how much time you’re able to give to this project. You may choose to post a few times per week, biweekly or monthly. Whatever schedule you choose, make sure it stays consistent so your readers know when to expect a new post. This is another way to build trust within your audience.
Where To Share Your Blog Content
Once you have content for your blog, don’t just wait for clients to stumble upon it. Share it through email and on your social media sites. When answering your clients’ questions, direct them to a blog post that covers that topic so they can learn even more. The great thing about blogs is they give you content for your other marketing efforts and provide a reason to email a client or post to your social media.
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