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January 30, 2007

Reasons to Blog About Real Estate

Is blogging really worthwhile? RealTown Community residents pose the question AND the answers!

"What makes a blog a great resource for business? I would like to hear from people who are successful and see their blog sites so I can see what works." -- Donna Elder, Broker Associate, ABR,AHWD,ASP,ASP,C-CREC,CRS,CNHS, Eco-Broker,e-PRO,GRI,QSC,RECS,SRES (Lexington, KY)
"Eighty percent of my business last year came from blogging and at no time since 14 days of blogging have I been without a blog client.  Reason enough?"

"Some write as if it is an article and have a lot of prep time (more men than women based on my polling)."

"I am a "stream of consciousness blogger".  That is easier, think out of your fingers, but creates some problems.  But I find it is also why I have so many clients from blogging.  The stream of consciousness does not appeal to all agents, but clients love it. So, the stream of consciousness works for me.

"Categories are very important and should be worded carefully with good searchable names like Real Estate Advice, Home Buyer, Home Seller, etc. I change my category names from time to time; I am about to do it again, as it resets the counter without losing the previous count.  Easier for me to track growth.  The old category numbers stay static on the stats page, and the new one starts up at 0."

"Identify the reasons why your clients choose you to assist them with their real estate needs and write posts that highlight those qualities.  Blatant advertising on a blog is a no-no, so don't say Choose ME because write stories that point out that people chose you because of those qualities and advice."

"There are much more qualified than I to address technology and blog etiquette, but I can tell you from experience that clients who approach me after reading the blog, come based on content."

"Search engine issues aside.  I find that I am getting "referrals" from current clients to the blog.  It's easier for someone to tell a co-worker 'read my agent's blog' than to say 'Use my agent, she's good'." -Ardell DellaLoggia (Seattle, WA)

"Blogging has helped to drive traffic to my site, and I have engaged in many great discussions with other agents and brokers around the nation. It hasn't yet had much impact on the consumer side, however. That will take time. I'm still pretty new at this as well. I'm guilty of not posting as often as I should, and it does take time. But, results will come, in time." -Michael Trust (San Fernando Valley, CA)

"Blogs are a great self-publishing tool,  but they aren't for everyone. Check out some of our Featured Blogs for ideas about how to use a blog in your business or personal life."

"BlogTalk is a place where people using the RealTown blogs can network with other bloggers and focus their conversation on matters relating to blogging."

"Blogs do not have to center on real estate. A community-oriented blog can serve many purposes, not the least of which is added exposure in your marketplace. Take a look at Mike Bosela's community blog." -John Reilly (Vice-President of Publishing, Real Estate Electronic Publishing Company, home of RealTown.)

"What makes blogs important is that they offer a way of speaking about something that you know.  Often in the process of learning the business, we can become overwhelmed with information, or confused with questions. I find that when I read or experience something that I feel I have an opinion about, I exercise what I know (or believe) with the written word."

"It's also a great way to vent.  Say you have had a repeat pattern of experiences with clients and wish if there was one thing you could tell them, this is what it would be.  It is a process of affirmation.  I find that using a blog isn't (or shouldn't be) about tooting your own horn, but expressing the numerous thoughts about the industry and your experiences firsthand which help to validate what you have accomplished thus far or even correct harmful thinking or actions.  Knowledge is power. I think if we use the power of the blog for the positive change, we can ultimately help shape a better perception of our industry to the population as a whole." --Julie Woodward-Trenker (Chicago, IL)

Blogging will help

"You learn to express yourself clearly and succinctly (I am *not* good at ‘succinct’)"... force (motivates?) you to think about things that may be of interest to your target market (if you do a real estate blog)."

"Establish yourself as a credible ‘expert’ in your mind, in front of your target market?"

"‘breakthrough’ to show your personality (not ‘just another Realtor®’) In fact, I think it forces you to *have* a personality in your business because if you do it at all regularly you will reveal yourself and –- in revealing yourself –- you will have more fun and be more genuine.
"Give you a variety of 15-second-intros ('I just blogged about that; can I send you the link?')."

"If you have not been introduced to a community of bloggers it can seem very artificial. If you stick with it (and read ‘good’ blogs), you will learn what to do, how to do it, and whether it fits into what you are trying to accomplish in your career and/or life."

"If you resolve to keep at a blog regularly for a while, I think it likely that you will discover what interests you; what you project will interest people you‘d like to do business with (The Law of Attraction in action?), and you will enjoy it.  I think it took me a good 50 entries to feel I was ‘getting the hang of it’ (I may be slower than most ;-)." -- Sandy Mattingly (New York, NY)

"I started my blog about a month ago, and so far I have found it a way to keep in touch with leads and prospects. The RealTown blog has a feature that allows you to send out auto-notifications when you have written a new article. My blog targets buyers, sellers, those relocating, and homeowners, which is a pretty wide range. I try to write one article a week, so my prospects and leads hear from me regularly with (hopefully) useful information." -- Margaret Snow, e-PRO (Ithaca, NY)

"I just started a blog at the end of last year. While not dealing with real estate directly, I have found it to be an excellent location to post communications for my clients. Posted newsletters increase my marketing field, and the links have increased my website traffic." -- Mike Fair, e-PRO (Aurora, IL)

"Blogging is a great self-publishing tool, and since the real estate marketing business seems to be in part the great  R&D business, (as in " rip-off and duplicate"), it is a fantastic way that you can now differentiate yourself from the CMG "crown molding and granite counter top" agents. The real estate paradigm is rapidly changing, and the required skill sets will be completely different by mid- 2008. All trends point to fewer agents that can accomplish more."

"At issue is the fact that agents must work very hard to embrace technology, and they must understand blogging. They must know the "how" AND the "why" to deliver their message, and they must know that failure to embrace change will lessen their reason for a purposeful existence."

"I am new to e-PRO but am not new to technology, sales, marketing, or real estate foreclosure investments. Agents that have something valuable to add to the community should do so by blogging. Those agents that cannot yet contribute should watch and observe until they can take ownership of their value proposition. Words written today may not receive immediate notice, but they will remain in cyberspace for years.

"Your words may resurface when you least expect them. Accordingly, your topic should always be relevant, to the point, and your words should be few.  You should be clear, direct, and always remember it is not so much what you want to write, but rather what other people need to hear to get your take-away-point. Ask yourself just how long you could  listen to your written text in a voice mail format?" --Derrick Paine (Pasadena, CA)

ARDELL DellaLoggia (Seattle, WA)

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