A real estate blog can add more value to your business than you might think. We asked Ryan Fitzgerald of Raleigh Realty to explain why you should set one up now. He represents buyers and sellers throughout the Greater Triangle, NC area and he has a real estate blog which gets plenty of views, not to mention real estate leads!
Every real estate business needs to generate leads – without them you wouldn’t have any clients to work for. I did a lot of cold calling, once upon a time, but the returns on the time I spent were not very satisfactory. Now the main source of leads for my business is my real estate website, and my blog is a huge part of my lead generation strategy online.
When someone searches for information on moving to Raleigh NC they find my article online. This blog article creates a ton of leads for my business, and is responsible for around 4 deals or $30,000/year in commissions.
Where do you go to find information? The same place everyone does, Google. When consumers find you organically, at the exact moment they need your help, they are appreciative and eventually turn into leads. Our real estate blog helps us generate a handful of leads daily.
2. Local Authority Online
If you start using your blog to write about local events, you will soon be seen as the local authority. Articles like ‘best restaurants downtown’ or ‘the 5th annual (insert local event)’ will be read by consumers who will see you as the area expert.
When you become the local real estate expert people seek you out for information and eventually want to do business with you. They will not want to do business with others because you have established yourself as the local authority online.
Using your blog to become the local real estate expert has worked out well for us, for example with articles such as neighborhoods in Raleigh, NC. People searching the web will call us and ask for more information about neighborhoods, and it’s an easy conversation to have with consumers because you simply find out what their priorities are and then give them areas to go check out. Once they find areas they like, you can take them to see homes for sale.
3. Provide Value
Asking for business is not something I’m comfortable doing. In fact, I made it my mission to stop asking people for their business in May of 2015. Instead, I wanted to ‘earn it.’
That mindset shift forced me to take my creativity, online marketing, and lead generation strategies to the next level. It also forced me to provide EXCEPTIONAL customer service for everyone I work with because I know I am not going to ask them for a referral, I’m going to earn their referral.
One of the ways in which I’m able to provide top-notch customer service is through my blog. Buyers are constantly asking the same questions, for example “What happens after my offer is accepted?” Well, if they don’t ask me they will google it, and they will find my article and infographic:
4. Attracting vs. Chasing
As I have mentioned already, there are a couple of different approaches to building a real estate business and generating leads. Some people are more comfortable asking for business, and others are more comfortable attracting people to their business.
A real estate blog is a great way to attract people to your business. By providing value, and being the local real estate authority, people are going to ask to work with you.
My real estate blog has helped a number of people from all over the world who reach out to thank me and ask my advice about how to find a great Realtor® in their local area. I have stopped asking for a referral fee because I noticed that when I ask for it, the consumer is not treated as well. I leave the referral up to the other agent – my only goal is to ensure that the person who is asking me for help receives it.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important aspects of your real estate blog, if not the most important. There are a lot of ways in which your real estate blog will improve the overall SEO of your website, by attracting people and sending signals back to Google that people are engaging with your website.
Some of the world’s leading real estate companies have built their businesses off of SEO. This includes national marketing companies like Zillow, Realtor, and Trulia who have built billion dollar marketing businesses by showing idx listings.
In order to maximize your efficiency you will want to learn as much as you possibly can about how Google works. From technical SEO, to keywords, to user behavior, Google is always changing!
6. Social Media
One real estate agent who is doing an incredible job using his blog to build relationships on social media is Bill Gassett. Articles like 15 Killer Tips for Selling a Home is one way in which Gassett is able to attract local sellers who then want to list their homes with him.
Writing the content is only half of the equation for Gassett. The rest involves a social media marketing strategy that reaches thousands of people.
When you write an article like 15 Killer Tips…, anyone who is considering selling a home is going to want to read it. Not only that, but if someone knows someone who is considering selling a home they are going to share Bill’s article and say ‘hey you need to check this guy out!’
It won’t happen with every article you write, but it will happen more and more over time as you establish yourself and build your real estate blog’s resources.
Final Thoughts on Starting a Real Estate Blog
One of the first articles I read when I started my real estate blog was by a Colorado Springs Realtor®, Andrew Fortune. The information in Andrew’s article shows how powerful a real estate blog can be. The article is Expert Advice for New Realtors: Start a Real Estate Blog and it is a great read for anyone starting a real estate blog.
If your website is brand new, don’t expect to see results right away. It took a full year for Raleigh Realty to really see the impact our blog was making with users and with Google. After a year, we now have over 20,000 users visiting our site monthly to search for local real estate information!
What are you waiting for? Now is the time to start a real estate blog!