Real Estate Blog

Albert Einstein summed it up pretty well, Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Let’s play the analogy game for realtors that expect to receive quality leads.  For years in the past the best sources were newspapers, magazines, the Real Estate Book that sits on the shelves at the grocery stores and local restaurants.  Any print campaign that is distributed to local ZIP CODES within their market.

Over the past 8 plus years, realtors have relied on their website to get them in front of buyers and sellers that need their services.  This involved getting a website and figuring out how to position their website on Google, Yahoo and MSN for searchers to find when they search by related keywords.  Some have had success others have been ripped off.  Needless to say, numbers don’t lie – over 80% of your prospects search the internet for information that ultimately should lead them to you – or your competition.

If you are an agent, and you aren’t getting in front of enough qualified prospects, what is your marketing strategy to fix this problem.  Should you rent more leads by throwing away your money in print campaigns.  Perhaps you could give top search engines more money to be a sponsored listing (PPC).  That will certainly put you in front of about 5% of their searchers.  Or you can make a long term investment into your business and start reaching consumers directly by marketing yourself in your real estate blog.

Think outside of the box and separate yourself from the standard.  Join the blogosphere and give people what they want – information!

Statistics tell us that close to 80% of buyers and sellers search the internet for information about real estate. Most people rely on the internet as their trusted resource for real estate information in their market. Savvy realtors with strategic online marketing objectives can exploit many internet marketplaces to generate leads for their business.

More consumers are reading information on blogs daily. Blogs have increased in popularity tremendously over the last few years. Consumers continue sharing more information on personal and business blogs daily. The blogosphere has become the internet’s hidden jewel for quality leads. How – the best friend to any realtor is their customers and the referrals they can bring. Word of mouth leads are a realtors bread and butter. A realtor that is willing to think outside of the box can join the blogosphere and give consumers the information they need about real estate. An amazing viral marketing strategy!

Let’s go back and analyze the blogosphere. It is consumer generated content hosted as a WEBLOG containing weekly articles written by people and read worldwide. Articles about anything and everything can be found in social networks, blog search engines, even on search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Triangle Direct’s real estate clients are given a fully optimized blog, blog marketing strategies for search engines, training and customer support, and free updates. Tap into the blogosphere now with your very own real estate blog!

I recently spent a weekend in Chicago. It had been a couple of years since I had been there, and I was amazed by the way the city has evolved. From the loop going South to Roosevelt and West to the United Center, the city is unrecognizable. Building continues unabated. Old neighborhoods that never got a second glance ten years ago, are now turning into upscale urban living centers. It seems like the housing bubble will continue indefinitely. The realtors there have not seen a significant slowdown, and depend on old and tired traditional methods of advertising such as print and local newspapers.  When I returned, I was surprised to see that I had received an egreeting from a Chicago realtor.

This demonstrated that even in strong markets like Chicago, there are realtors who will not be complacent and do not expect the boom to continue indefinitely. They are willing to innovate and adapt their marketing methods to reflect the market and the latest social trends. The egreeting realtor also uses a real estate blog to market to clients.  The egreeting realtor is growing her business and overtaking her competition.

If making a career by earning commissions on a deal that closes interests you – then odds are you enjoy being a real estate agent. The business networking, the relationships that you establish along the way, the excitement of helping someone find exactly what they are looking for in a home. This should really sum up why you do what you do – to help others find homes – to help others bring top value for their homes – and get paid for your time and work once the deal is closed.

The first step for any real estate agent that moves from one deal to the next is simply that. Who needs my help now? This comes from generating qualified leads. Letting others know what you do and what properties you have available for them to purchase. Getting the information to them to help them make a decision is what a Real Estate Blog is designed to do.

Perhaps you already have a website and in your mind “It’s doing fine”. Here is something you should consider. If you aren’t actively providing your prospects with the most up to date information available then chances are you spend most of your face to face time answering questions when your Real Estate Blog could be doing that for you.

I took at look at the Yahoo real estate section today, and used their home finder tool. You enter the city or zip code that you are interested in, and you are presented with a wide array of information. A search for Raleigh returned numbers and median prices of available new homes, real estate classifieds and foreclosures along with price changes from the previous month. You can also see the pricing trends for the previous twelve months along with mortgage information and an interactive map displaying available listings. It is a very handy and useful tool.
It is very easy for real estate agents to compete with this Yahoo tool.  The Secret is  bringing a more personal touch to their marketing. Selling houses is not about stats and numbers, it’s about personal relationships and interaction. A real estate blog helps realtors level the playing field with these larger entities, and allows the realtor to appeal to buyers on a more personal level with insider knowledge and real estate podcasts.

Zillow was in the news again as it stepped up its efforts to attract more ad spend from real estate professionals. The company received an additional $25 million in funding to go along with the $32 million already raised. The site offers free information and tools in the real estate and financial servies areas.

Rich Barton the cofounder and CEO of Zillow was quoted saying “Strong early market response to Zillow has focused us on just how hungry consumers are for real estate tools and information online,”.

This demonstrates to me how high the marketing industry feeels the demand is for online services relating to the real estate market. Obviously Zillow expects advertisers to drop their print campaigns and move the spend into this website. We expect the same thing to happen, but we anticipate the spend not going into directory site, but into blog marketing. Why would you put marketing budget into a site that lists you with hundreds of competitiors, when you can establish your own brand and increase your market share through the use of a real estate blog? The most cost effective way of marketing your company online is with a blog.