How to Use New Media for REALTORs: Day 1 Blogging

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Last week I read an interesting post by one of my favorite bloggers, Chris Brogan.  In, “If I Were a REALTOR,” Chris shares 9 ideas on How to Use New Media for REALTORs.

Over the next few posts I’m going to expand on each of Chris’ ideas and I’m even going to try to provide you with some examples.  The problem most Real Estate agents have is getting out of their own head.

It’s time to STOP thinking about you and start thinking about who you want to attract.  That means letting go of what you think you know about marketing and embracing the power of the new media to help you provide value.

NAR statistics show that 84% of home buyers begin their search online.  Are you doing everything you can to stand out from the crowd?  If you’re just sharing listings and advertising your business chances are you’ll get lost in the shuffle along with every other real estate agent doing the same.

Blogging

The first thing that Chris mentions in his post is blogging.  He recommends starting a blog about the  area where you’re selling.  Tons of REALTORs are missing this amazing opportunity to prospect on the web.

Basically you can break this down into a very targeted area which is sometimes referred to as your “farm area.”  If this task seems daunting at first, try thinking about it as a newsletter.  You don’t have to be the best writer to create good content.  Some of the things you can include in your weekly blog are:

  • Local Events Calendar
  • Local News
  • Legislative Updates
  • School Calendars
  • New Restaurants and Stores opening

It’s not too hard to come up with content ideas weekly when you’re sharing neighborhood specific information.  I recommend you blog at least once a week because it helps with your search engine rankings as well as keeping your page up to date and relevant.

Blogging Tools for REALTORs

I thought I’d also include a couple of blogging tools to help you get started.  I’ll also give you my thoughts on each one of these tools.

If you want an easy to start blog which requires ZERO skill then I suggest you go with Blogger.com.  This platform is easy to use and gets indexed by Google very quickly.  The downside is that you’re limited on customization (which makes branding a problem.)

Another platform that REALTORs are using for blogging is Active Rain.  The AR community is full of smart Real Estate Agents using Blogging as a prospecting tool.  This is a great way to get ideas on how to create that “neighborhood newsletter” type of blog.  The downside to this network is that you have to pay to make your blog public (indexed by Google) and customization is limited.

My favorite platform for blogging is WordPress.  You have two options:

  1. WordPress.com is the free hosted version.  This gives you a blog which is semi-customizable and indexed by Google immediately.
  2. WordPress.org is a free download, but you’ll have get it hosted.  There are tons of advantages to using this version including the fact that you’ll own the domain, you have an unlimited amount of plugins to customize the look and feel of your site, and it’s built to be indexed by Google quickly. (By the way, this site is running on WordPress with a custom Thesis theme.)

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This was installment number one in a series of eight posts to help REALTORs leverage New Media in their Real Estate business.  Get the next 7 delivered to your email inbox by subscribing to our feed.

  • karinj

    Thanks for this timely info. My concern is coming up with the time to do the research on
    * Local Events Calendar
    * Local News
    * Legislative Updates
    * School Calendars
    * New Restaurants and Stores opening
    I find myself spending hours pouring over what to post, how much to post, feeling like the post is sufficient. We are busy people and I can't seem to find a quick and efficient way to get this info and get it posted quickly. Any ideas please?

  • Yeah, sure I have some ideas:

    1. Do the research ONCE online, when you find the right sites Bookmark them for future use.
    2. Come up with a regular posting pattern that spreads events, info, and other updates throughout the week.
    3. Systemize your posting pattern so you can outsource the calendar stuff to a VA and then all you have to do is work on one post per week. (your informational or promotional post)

  • “The first thing that Chris mentions in his post is blogging. He recommends starting a blog about the area where you’re selling. Tons of REALTORs are missing this amazing opportunity to prospect on the web.”

    Halleluia Brother! I have been attempting to teach Realtors this very basic Blogging technique for close to 3 years, and I constantly get the same “excuses”, but a simple “Geographical” blog would be uber effective. Most Agents could C&P info from their own websites, in just 15 minutes. The Agents who did follow my lead saw PAGE 1 results on Google in just 30 days…30 days!

    So nice to hear you (and Chris) re-enforcing the idea! Thanks! greta post, looking forward to the series 🙂

  • Karin

    Thank you Jonathan. You are one organized person! Perhaps that should be my goal for '10. Thanks again.

  • It's definitely a missed opportunity amongst REALTORs everywhere.

    The smart agents are getting on board now claiming their web “real estate.” It'll take some time for the masses to realize old marketing is dead and jump online to grab the leftovers or compete for the top spots.

  • Karin

    Thanks for this timely info. My concern is coming up with the time to do the research on
    * Local Events Calendar
    * Local News
    * Legislative Updates
    * School Calendars
    * New Restaurants and Stores opening
    I find myself spending hours pouring over what to post, how much to post, feeling like the post is sufficient. We are busy people and I can't seem to find a quick and efficient way to get this info and get it posted quickly. Any ideas please?

  • Yeah, sure I have some ideas:

    1. Do the research ONCE online, when you find the right sites Bookmark them for future use.
    2. Come up with a regular posting pattern that spreads events, info, and other updates throughout the week.
    3. Systemize your posting pattern so you can outsource the calendar stuff to a VA and then all you have to do is work on one post per week. (your informational or promotional post)

  • “The first thing that Chris mentions in his post is blogging. He recommends starting a blog about the area where you’re selling. Tons of REALTORs are missing this amazing opportunity to prospect on the web.”

    Halleluia Brother! I have been attempting to teach Realtors this very basic Blogging technique for close to 3 years, and I constantly get the same “excuses”, but a simple “Geographical” blog would be uber effective. Most Agents could C&P info from their own websites, in just 15 minutes. The Agents who did follow my lead saw PAGE 1 results on Google in just 30 days…30 days!

    So nice to hear you (and Chris) re-enforcing the idea! Thanks! greta post, looking forward to the series 🙂

  • Karin

    Thank you Jonathan. You are one organized person! Perhaps that should be my goal for '10. Thanks again.

  • It's definitely a missed opportunity amongst REALTORs everywhere.

    The smart agents are getting on board now claiming their web “real estate.” It'll take some time for the masses to realize old marketing is dead and jump online to grab the leftovers or compete for the top spots.

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