With the decimated housing market fueling the Great Recession, savvy realtors have realized they needed to “up their game” with their online marketing in order to keep food on the table for their families. Where did they turn? Why, blogging of course, among other things.
I had an opportunity recently to sit down with one such forward-thinking realtor-blogger, Jamie Miller. She’s actually a former employee of my former company Netconcepts, and she’s the agent for this beautiful property in Madison Wisconsin (yes, it’s my home). I asked her to share some pointers for realtors who want to get into blogging. Here are Jamie’s tips:
- Use your blog’s name to target geographic locations. I named my blog Madison Wisconsin Living.
- Also consider optimizing your blog around condo communities, like Miami Condo Lifestyle does, to target Google searchers. Individual posts can be condos for sale within their respective communities.
- Post all your property listings to your blog, and have a separate property listings category. This provides an excellent source of regular content for readers and the search engines.
- Don’t remove properties once they’ve sold. Simply update the listings with the word “Sold” — it’s a great way to communicate to prospective clients how many properties you’ve sold.
- Develop an authoritative voice in your local market for all things home sales. For instance, The Boston Real Estate Blog publishes local real estate news and stats.
- Leverage your blogging content into Social Media sites, such as your Facebook pages or Twitter profiles. It takes time to source and author content for blogging, this content should be shared across additional marketing channels in order to get the most bang for the buck and maintain message consistency.
- Don’t forget to also incorporate typical Real Estate Website features and functionality into your blog, such as Featured properties to highlight the agents own properties for sale, a Property Search that pulls from a MLS (multiple listing service), and informational pages on buying and selling homes. For example, My Westside LA has great posting categories that feature content targeted to buyers and sellers.
- If you’re a blogging newbie, it’s really easy to get started. Simply purchase a domain or use an existing domain you own (don’t just use a subdomain of wordpress.com or blogspot.com), purchase a hosting package (Ed. note: Bluehost is the one I use), and perform the famous “5 minute WordPress install” (actually it’s more like 5 seconds!)
- There are some great, cost-effective real estate-specific themes for WordPress you can choose from, including RealEstateThemes.com, Agent Press, and Villa Grande. Or, just Google for “wordpress real estate themes“.
- Install the following WordPress plugins: SEO Title Tag, Breadcrumb navigation, Google Analytics, and WPtouch iPhone Theme.
- Before you start writing, first outline your content plan for the blog. The plan can include things like new listings, local real estate news, tips on home selling, etc.