[photopress:poodle.jpg,thumb,alignright]As a real estate agent, Anna gets 100’s (maybe 1000’s) of letters and emails every week from companies that would love to do her marketing for her. However, we’ve never once used any of these services because I strongly (pigheadedly?) believe that if there is one thing a real estate agent should be good at, it is marketing.
Along those lines, Anna and I have done all of our own marketing. We’ve created all our fliers, CMAs, postcards, brochures, websites, logos, photos, etc.. This may have taken some more time than if we just paid someone to do the work for us, but as a consequence of our hard work we now know exactly what it takes to do something right. I like to think that the high quality of our work products reflects the tremendous amount we’ve learned!
With that said, I’m writing this post under the assumption that you are going to build and market your site yourself. You’ll never be a good blogger unless you know just how hard (or easy) it is to add a link, feature, or feed! You’ll never know just how hard (or easy!) it is to get a good google ranking unless you do the work yourself. (“Impossible!” you say… I say “It is definitely possible” and if you check back in a few days, I will supplement this post on marketing with a post on building a real estate blog using WordPress in this continuing series on blogging advice for real estate agents. Building a blog is not easy (or hard?), and I’ve been taking notes on a possible how-to build-a-blog post post ever since Andy requested it in this blowout, spectacular post.)
Without further ado, here are seven tips on marketing your real estate blog:
- Linkation, Linkation, Linkation
- Personalize your site! Just about every blogging software comes with templates that can be easily edited to personalize your site. Add some photos and some text about yourself. Sites that have not been personalized are boring to read! Great content is good, but it needs to be presented well to become great! Make things colorful. As much as I enjoy it, real estate is not the most exciting topic in the world, so make it colorful. Have fun!
- Leave Comments. Leave comments on other blogs. I happen to know that many people find out about my blog because I leave a comment on their site. I don’t want to give away too many tricks ;), but blogging has opened up tons of free ways to find and interact with people who might be interested in the real estate services that you provide.
- Use Trackbacks. When you write an article that links to another blog, most blogging software is set-up to “ping” the other site. Should the other blogger allow it, a link back to your site will appear in the “trackbacks” section under their article. It is a nifty feature, that can easily be abused. If you want site owners to let the trackbacks show up on their site, then make sure you’re adding something of value to the conversation!
- Personalize your content. Don’t waste (too much?) time on your blog displaying your listings. That stuff gets old quickly and most people reading your blog will quickly tune it out (if they even continue to read!). Instead write about your local market conditions, or local/national news, or real estate search, or whatever interests you… Or better yet, have fun and think up things like nominating yourself for an award that you are guaranteed to win! Most importantly, make sure that the content interests you, because if it doesn’t interest you, I can guarantee that it won’t interest your readers!
- Read other blogs. For marketing information, start with these three blogs: Real Estate Marketing Blog, Seth’s blog, & Matt Cutts. These guys all cover wildly different ground and before you know it you’ll be using the web marketing lingo like SEO and Viral Marketing. (Now that I’ve said these terms, I should probably explain them… SEO stands for search engine optimization and refers to the practice of improving your site so that search engines will locate, like and link to your site. Viral Marketing refers to the very subtle (and quite tricky) practice of creating buzz (and traffic!) to your site without using standard marketing tools.
- Love RSS. Why? Because people are lazy, so make is easy as possible to read your blog.
Want more tips on running a real estate business? II highly recommend Paul Hawken’s Growing A Business. His writing is extremely easy to read and he gives lots of memorable examples from his experience building up Smith and Hawken And best of all, he writes without including all the hype of a typical business-advice book. Just good solid ideas about how to differentiate your business by concentrating (and building upon) your strengths as oppose to spending time worrying about the competition!
On a related note, Anna asked me last night why I was giving so much advice to potential competition. I guess that goes to show that I still have not completely brought her around to my world view yet. In my world, I spend a lot of time thinking about creating interesting content and almost no time worrying about the competition. I’m of the opinion that real estate agents who spend their time worrying about other agents will be smacked up beside the head by some very tech savvy competition in the near future!
By the way, if you are an agent that would like to see me cover any additional topics, let me know. The two ideas that are still on my list are (1) how to build a real estate blog and (2) types of real estate posts…