Question Details

Patti Philli…,  in Carlsbad, CA

Blogs- Agents, do you have one? Has it helped your business? Do you feel it gives you credibilit?

Asked by Patti Phillips, Carlsbad, CA Thu Dec 27, 2007

y? How do you promote it and let people know when you have added a new article?

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Hi Patti,

::Raises hand:: My name is Andy, and I'm a blogger. Ditched my stupid template site years ago and switched over completely to a site built in WordPress, an open source blogging platform.

All my non-referral business has come through my blog. I've met so many amazing people and made tons of important connections through blogging. Participating in the various social media sites (MyEastBayAgent, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Voices, AR) absolutely helps me establish my credibility.

You can promote your blog by including it in all your marketing, and participating in the Real Estate blogosphere (We call ourselves the by reading, blogging & commenting on other blogs.

That being said, it's not for everybody. Blogging is a mindset and needs to be done with passion and authenticity in order to be effective. If you're still thinking about it, I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
Patti, I've been blogging for over a year, and it is probably one of the Top 3 things that I've ever done with regards to return on investment. Now, some might say the investment is ZERO for dollars and while that is true, I think one also has to value time. It takes time to blog, think about topics to write and to respond to comments.

I have blogs on several platforms and each one has yeilded results. I am focusing my latest blogs "Grand Rapids Real Estate Musings" on local content of what's happening in the Grand Rapids, MI area. However to get started, I would recommend Active Rain. The network provides a lot of support and information about how to blog and can help build an audience.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
I have had good luck with my blog. I try to focus on local subdivisions and cities. One of the best ways I've promoted posts is to feature a subdivision then send out a notification to all the residents letting them know that their neighborhood has been featured in an online artical.

The best way to do this is door to door for small subdivisions otherwise send out postcards. Another thing I do is make my presence known when visiting the subdivision. Knock on a few doors ask homeowners what they like most about living here and some of the things that make their subdivision special. I've even taken pictures of the people I've interviewed and and post it in the blog with a quote!

When taking pictures use a tri-pod or other professional looking equipment and hang out around busy front entrances during rush hour etc. try to stay there for a while even if your done taking photos people still stop and ask what you are doing. This is a perfect time to meet residents and give them your card!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2008
I also have a wordpress site. I've been blogging on it for about a month and a half (I was doing Active Rain before that) and I am already starting to get leads from it, even thogh the traffic is still low. Like the others mentioned, I'm also integrating the blog into my offline business. I email a weekly newsletter to the Realtors I work with, and send article links to prospects.

It is a way to add credibility and differentiate myself from other lenders. As to promoting it, I'm still early in that process, but it's now on my business card and part of my email signature. Being part of the RE web and commenting on other sites is also in the plan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 18, 2008
Hi Patti:

Yes, I have a blog site, yes it's helped my business and yes it gives me credibility. I use the Wordpress platform and love it! It has definitely helped our business. One way (which was not foreseen nor planned) is that when I write about a topic, I can reprint that information our buyer packets, listing packets, newsletters, print advertising, etc. In other words, a major benefit has actually been a time saver for us all the while increasing the professionalism of the information we provide to clients and customers.

Another way it's helped is by allowing a resource of fresh content and a way for me to constantly report on what interested our clients and customers. We have Feedblitz set up on our blog and once a week it emails a weekly 'newsletter' to our clients and customers of the posts I've written throughout the week. This has been phenomenal as far as our connection with our clients and customers.

The blog very definitely gives us credibility. I'm a stickler for factual information, not fluff, heresay or opinion. When I provide facts, I also provide my analysis which I stress as my opinion. I'm very tired of in accurate reporting and 'lump' reporting (lumping all areas into one and all price ranges into one, etc) most commonly done by the media. I have been able to counteract the media in our area by consistently providing accurate, relevant and up-to-date information via our blog.

The best way I have found to promote it to clients and customers is to allow them to sign up to receive the weekly email. I also promoted it to our clients and customers to whom we already had a relationship with and already had their email addresses. This was very successful for us. Every day I add people to our database and to our email database. People love this.

Hope this helps!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
Like Andy, I use Wordpress to build and maintain our blogsite. There were many reasons that went into the upgrade: SEO benefits of a blog, easier user navigation, opportunity to get out poor design habits, focus the content, change keyword and page hierarchy, implement new MLS search feature, give users something fresh to look at. Since the redesign, took me 2 months of non stop work, the blogsite has increase traffic by a few thousand percent, increasing user retention and generating more qualified leads for my office.

If you are contemplating getting your blogsite then you probably already know the answer. Do it but one main thing is to use an existing domain instead of creating a new one. Why? You probably have already invested time into marketing/advertising a current domain and by using a new domain all past efforts are lost. Another reason is search engines value the age of domain. Older domains are seen as having more trust associated with them then a brand new domain.

Upgrading may sound like a big chore but its just takes some time and effort proof is in the results it generates. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 17, 2008
Yes it helps but you have to be different and spcialize in something for it to be effective.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 27, 2007
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