Blogging Your Listings

Sisyphus
It is hard enough to maintain one blog.
Why would anyone want to try and develop multiple blogs for their listings?

Below are the options and answers for this subject.

Please feel free to expand upon this topic with your comments.

Options

1.  Blogging your listings within your blog

This is when you write an article on your blog that is about a specific listing.

The real estate blog is not typically geared towards the showcase of listings, but your need for regular content has you figuring that you might as well drop them in there anyhow.

This is the easiest and cheesiest way to promote listings with a blog.  It’s easy because the content is right there (the pictures, statistics, and property details) ready for you to just plop on your blog.  But what it is cheesy about it is that your audience has no interest in seemingly random listings – especially not in their rss feed, inbox, twitter steam, and facebook stream.

However, if you made just a little effort, beyond the regurgitation of listing data, you can get away with posting properties on your blog in an engaging and effective manner.  Instead of making the post appear as nothing more that a listing details page try one of these options:

Take the time to tell a story about the home.

Listings are ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ content and should not be woven in among your pearls of wisdom.

What makes it special?
What is the current homeowner’s favorite thing about living there?
Does it have a unique history?

Leverage the listing as an opportunity to teach something to your audience.

Explain the value of curb appeal.
Talk about getting permits for additions.
Talk about how to get the most out of a showing.

Let them see the home through your eyes.

What runs through your head from the moment you pull up to the house until you drive away after your first walk-through?

2.  A new blog for each listing

Each listing actually becomes a new blogsite.  Generally this is accomplished using a duplicable theme in WordPress and is created as a sub-site of the one’s primary blogsite.

A typical sub-site URL might appear like this: http://123ElmStreet.YourBlogsite.com.
For marketing purposes it can be convenient to purchase a separate domain name for each listing (www.123ElmStreet.com for example) and have it pointed to the address of the listing blog.

If this option is beyond your pay-grade, but you would still like to tackle this, we can certainly help.

3.  One blog for all your listings

All listings are published to an independent blogsite about all your listings.
Think: http://listings.YourBlogsite.com

For marketing purposes, this can also accept a custom domain such as: SacramentoListingsBlog.com.

Create categories for the listings: Price, location, beds, baths, style, status etc.

The blog is the ultimate CMS (Content Management System).  You can add and sort any number of items.  Visitors will recognize the categories and browse accordingly.
Fantasic dump for all your ‘solds‘ as well.  Keep in mind that all blog posts will have a Permalink address as well, to which you can direct a domain name (www.123ElmStreet.com) for independent marketing of the listing.

If you are going to go this route, I would suggest using the same custom template that you are using for your blogsite so that all the navigation and calls-to-action are the same throughout.  Your visitors will be able to navigate both sites easily.  A simple RSS feed of these listings on your main blogsite will make it easy to showcase your newest listings to visitors.

FAQ’s

1.  Will this strategy help my listings be found in the Search Engines?

Of course!  When using a blog that is properly set up to ping the search engines, the content that you publish can be treated like ‘breaking news.’  This phenomenon will increase your reach in the search engines with every word you type.

2.  Will this impress the seller?

It should… but make sure to have the strategy clearly in place before making mention of it.  The idea is to prove the value, not confuse your (potential) clients.

3.  Will this impress the buyer?

If that’s how they found the listing in the first place, of course.

4.  Is it a lot of work?

For the non savvy, it could be.

Adding a listing to a blog can be no more than a bit of copy/paste and a little word processing/formatting, this is the minimal, and something I don’t recommend (see above).

The challenging part for most will be setting up sub-sites designed specifically for your listings.  I recommend having a WordPress expert facilitate this for you, from there it is a breeze to post the listings as posts to the site.

5.  Is it worth it?

If you consider broadened exposure for you and your listings in the search engines, a display of your emarketing savvy and another landing page for lead generation worth it, then yes.

6.  Will it help sell the listings?

It will not hurt.  But the exposure it can generate for you, your services, your commitment and your consulting is priceless.

7.  What’s involved?

You need to be into blogging.  You need to have a professional blogging account like WordPress.

8.  How long will it take?

No more than 30 minutes a listing, and increasingly less as you get comfortable.  Done.

9.  Are these listing pages considered duplicate content?

If your listing information appears anywhere other than on dynamic result pages (IDX, MLS, Trulia, Realtor.com etc.) such as Craigslist, your company website, your personal website, etc. then you may have some duplicate content issues.  But my firm suggestion is that you stay away from using the standard copy of a listing detail, and delve into discussing the listing versus simply regurgitating the pitch.

10.  Can I copy and paste these posts to different locations?

Certainly.  This is just text, being formatted in HTML.  You’ll have no problem using the copy in other applications like Email, Craigslist, etc.

>What do I recommend?

I recommend that you either create a separate blogsite for all your listings or, build an dedicated listing section on your real estate blog that does not mix your regular articles with the occasional listing.

Blogging is about cultivating readership to incubate long-term leads.  Listings are ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ content and should not be woven in among your pearls of wisdom.  So, if you must keep everything on one blog, organize the listings to appear seperately from the general articles.  This can be done by excluding the Listing Category from the main feed, and offering a separate showcase of this content.