Blog Marketing

Yes, I know that I have promised the rest of the interview with myself but at the request of all of my adoring readers, I have been asked to write something of value first. ( Is that better mom? )

We’ve all heard that Patience is a virtue but what about it’s much maligned and oft- neglected first cousin from the other side of the tracks, Persistence?

…..Oh, you remember Persistence know, the one that requires knowing your market and clients/prospects so well that you add value each and every time you contact them . The one that insist you keep up with and master the latest opportunities like local search for Realtors, blog marketing and real estate blog marketing programs so you’ll have a reason to contact them. Persistence is the one that has you scouring the web for the freshest ideas and information while your friends get to watch “Deal or No Deal “.

Untamed and unbridled, Persistence becomes that pesky, embarrassing relative causing us sales agents, a.k.a. , business consultants, sales reps, account executives, to rank somewhere between eel slime and an IRS auditor, as to whom most people would like to have a conversation.

Coupled with Value however, Persistence becomes a formidable ally in winning the hearts and minds of your clients and prospects by achieving their goals…and ultimately yours…or you can just go back to watching TV and let your competitors worry about all of the “new stuff”…I’m sure Howie will be calling any minute!

Part two of the interview with myself will return tomorrow.

After much cajoling, threatening and upon pain of withholding all deep fried food , I managed to get myself to sit down for the previously announced and much awaited interview.

I arranged to meet myself at Cup O’ Joe in Hillsborough, NC- a local hangout which has become a bastion for well known writers, poets and the father of two screaming kids who is trying to convince his wife that he’s a “writer” and not going there for the danish.

For the sake of clarity …and because I saw an Oprah interview in a magazine and they did it this way , I’ll put questions from me in italics and the response from myself in bold.

Me: Bruce is there anything off limits…topics we can’t discuss?

Myself(smiling): My pet iguana’s spending habits. Not willing to talk about that…and besides, he’s had his own blog for years.

Me: What makes Real Estate Blog Marketing experts in Real Estate?

Myself: If you’ll notice, our name is Real Estate Blog Marketing, not Real Estate Experts or Facts and Figures for Realtors—not that we don’t provide valuable information specific to the Real Estate and Home Building industry…just more from a marketing and emerging media perspective.
Me: So you don’t have a real estate background ?

Myself: Look , let me ask you something. Do you think Hendricks Motorsports hired Jimmy Johnson to drive the Lowes car because he is a home improvement expert? No …they hired him to drive because he could get to the finish line first. With the break-neck pace at which new technologies for real estate marketing are emerging, we saw a need for a firm which has a track record of success in new media in general and blog marketing specifically that realtors can count on. Many times we’ve seen real estate marketing companies heavy on real estate knowledge and traditional media channels like radio ,TV and print but are still trying to figure out things like local search , paid search and how to effectively use the web. Prior to starting Real EstateBlog Marketing, we were pioneers in the whole search marketing and interactive media industry.
Me: What exactly is a blog, how does it differ from a website and can’t people get one for free ?
Myself: Well, not to make you feel like an idiot but you’re writing in a blog. They can be very much like a website but are more immediate in nature and provide a vehicle which allows our clients to become publishers….not to mention instant feedback and market research.Procter and Gamble just launched two blogs for market research…The really cool thing is, if you can hunt and peck, you can blog! And while many of our clients had been writing volumes in their free unoptimized blogs before coming to Real Estate Blog Marketing, none of their blogs were impacting the search engines, developing leads or increasing brand awareness.Quite frankly their blogs were just not making money for them the way our optimized blogs have.A free blog is fine…as long as none of your competitors are utilizing an optimized blog .

Me: What makes your blogs optimized or different ?

Tune in tomorrow ( maybe ) for the exciting conclusion.

After returning from a very exciting 63rd Annual International Builders Show in Orlando last week , it occurred to me to answer a question posed repeatedly by attendees ….” Now Bruce tell me again just what the @#!*%! do you do ? ”

Duh ! Being caught up in the excitement from all of the people I interviewed and new product demonstrations, I forgot to plug our own company, Real Estate Blog Marketing

Real Estate Blog Marketing is a division of Triangle Direct Media, a blog marketing company. We create innovative blog marketing programs as a cost effective solution to impact brand awareness , influence purchase intent and generate leads for Realtors , Builders and Developers .

Simple , huh ? Glad to have cleared that up ……Oh, still not clear? Well in that case you’ll have to stop by tomorrow ( or the next day….maybe ). I’m trying very hard to get an in-depth, shamelessly self promoting interview with myself. Stay Tuned !

CNBC recently did a report on the real estate video market and mentioned one of our realtors in their story.  In fact, they displayed the video that we filmed for them and helped them optimize it on youtube.  He’s loaded three video’s in the past three months and 800+ people have viewed these three properties.  How important is that from a competitive stand point?  In recent posts, I mentioned the importance of video search and realtors willing to adapt to this new technology will stand to be more competitive in the market.  Do me a favor and search the video engines for properties in your area and tell me how many real estate agents are using this for a marketing tool.  Chances are, the agents that are using this are in the top 5% in transaction sales.  It just proves that you have to do everything to stay on top or atleast attempt to get there.

Zillow a site We love, has begun to develop an open API to share data on 67 Million Homes.
Zillow I think has one of the coolest interfaces for viewing home values, and with an open API web designers and online real estate marketers  have the ability to incorporate the data and cool graphics into their blog or website making for a cool experience for both buyers and sellers researching online. (78% of consumers start their search online)
Here are a couple examples of it in Use:

At Yahoo:

Real Estate Home Value

Zillow result

Zillow Example Home Value

Recently I sat down with Keith Boutwell VP of Sales at Real Estate Blog Marketing and asked him a few questions about the value of a real estate blog, blog marketing and the effects on both local search and branding in the blogosphere.

Have a Listen.

icon for podpress  Real Estate Blog and Local Search [3:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

With housing across the country slowing down it’s essential that agents in hot markets keep up on their marketing.  Where are the most affordable suburbs in the Untited States?  It’s extremely important that you raise your family in an area that will allow you to prosper.  The following list will help you with your search.  “Affordable Suburbs”  If you need any information on Real Estate in your area, do a google blog search and you’ll find what you’re looking for.  One of our clients is a featured realtor on that page.  Note the “Related Blogs” on the top of the page.  The only way for you to grow your business online as an agent is to reach people in everyway possible.  Where do you show up when millions of people across the country do a search on a blog search engine?  It may be time to take Blog Marketing a bit more serious before it’s too late.

Fixed rates on 30 year loans last week dropped to their lowest rate in ten months and now average 6.15%. American homebuyers have rfeacted by applying to refinance at a rate faster than any week since early 2005. This certainly does not qualify as a boom, but all the signs are there for the trend of lower mortgages to continue. Certain analysts on Wall Street are predicting that rates will go as low as 5.75%. Good news for the housing market. And a great time for realtors to get in front of a new audience of buyers by instigating a blog marketing campaign.

When one thinks of a professional usally a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, a professor or similiar career that involves years of study or advanced education comes to mind. Not a real estate agent. Real estate agents are mostly viewed as salespeople trying to earn a commission. The majority of a real estate agent’s training and education involves closing deals. Convincing your prospect/client to buy from you and not your competition.

Real estate agents that want to separate themselves from the standard agent stereotype has to market themselves differently. They have to be willing to prove that their knowledge of the local market is superior to any of their direct competitors. This will enable them to earn the business of buyers and sellers that search and research the internet for local real estate information.

When consumers search the internet, they are looking for information. They aren’t looking for awards won, credentials earned, classes taken etc. Most consumers know that real estate agents are highly competitive and will do most anything to close a deal. Marketing strategies and campaigns are a direct reflection of how an agent views themselves. Those that market themselves with ads and pictures of themselves in magazines, newspapers, real estate publications etc. are using their image to earn business. Those that provide INFORMATION as proof of their knowledge – earn business by proving that they truly are an educated PROFESSIONAL. Prove that you are superior to your competitors by educating your prospects. Start using a professional Real Estate Blog today!

I saw an interesting article on Realty Times the other day that talked about how the media is contributing to the slow market for sellers. It seems like every time you pick up the newspaper or turn on the TV you see another piece telling you how terrible the market is. This seeps into the consciousness of potential buyers and influences them to hold off until prices drop just a little bit more. Even though there are some great deals out there, perception is reality, and talking about a slowdown feeds into more gloom and doom about the market.
So how does a realtor counteract this negative talk in the media? By producing their own media pointing out all of the great buying opportunities in their local area. The easiest way to to that is with a real estate blog with up to date and highly localized news and opinion. Give people the inside scoop on what’s really going on in the housing market and point out all of the great buying opportunities.

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