Real Estate Blogging Business Plan: Boots On the Ground Will Help You Find and Service Buyers
The growth of Real Estate Blogging, although steady and noticeable,
still has not lived up to the hype, and it never will.
That’s not to say that it is being rejected as a competent means to the end: as an effective lead generation tool. In fact, we’re finding that blogging is not only keeping people in business, saving them marketing spend, and changing their outlook on real estate, but it is actually improving the industry.
Anytime that you force an industry to establish, present, and defend opinion and insight, you’re heading in the right direction.
The reason I feel that a rush to blogging as a marketing tool will never catch fire is because of a major deterrent called: Work.
Writing for most is work. Sitting alone at a computer, being asked to pave the way to your marketing success through writing, is just not a reasonable endeavor for most.
Real estate success, like that of many consulting industries, is very much dependent upon one’s own, solitary efforts. Because of this, agents tend to do look to peers for guidance rather than risk it and forge a path of their own. Blogging is the dark horse in real estate marketing, and curiously this is what has it working so well for the few that have learned to embrace it properly.
So what’s “embracing it [blogging] properly” supposed to mean?
The trick to making blogging work for you, as a business growth strategy, is to build an audience of past, present and future clients. Getting in front of the past and current client group is as easy as setting up their subscription to your blog’s feed.
It’s maintaining the interest of the audience that’s the difficult part.
A concern I frequently hear from potential bloggers is the fear that they will not be good enough or interesting enough of a writer to bother trying. The funny thing is that blogging success does not depend on one’s writing skills. To be a good blogger, you don’t have to be an interesting writer. Heck you don’t even have to be a fair writer. You simply need to know how to present information that is interesting to your intended audience. If they can appreciate your regular message then you will have earned their readership. This is embracing blogging properly.
I don’t coach writing because I feel that real estate bloggers don’t necessarily need it.
Our goal is for our clients to work to place their blogs at the center of their marketing efforts.
In order to have that make sense, the blog needs to be a:
Resource and a
Solid Impression of our clients’ Value.
This takes content, not poetic prose.
The Armchair Blogger vs The Boots on the Ground Blogger.
I’ve read more real estate blogs than I care to mention. It’s part of my job. I know that makes me no expert on what should be blogged, but nonetheless, it has hardened me to a particular style of real estate blog: the Armchair Blogger.
To forge relationships with your audience, it’s important to have them find your content interesting to them. An audience will return if you have a tone, delivery, insight, topic and/or style that they appreciate.
A challenge I see with business blogging is that the blogger often writes from their point of view and not that of the audience they aim to reach. They deliver content as if they are trying to convince themselves that they have a message worth following.
Instead of always showcasing what you know, try taking the perspective of the audience and present the content that they can relate to and care to know. This can’t very well be done just thinking about it.
You need to get out and blog with your ears and eyes, and not with just your mind.
Being a Boots on the Ground Blogger
Boots on the ground is more than just listening to the questions and concerns of your clients.
Boots on the ground is taking the time to do what buyers, sellers and relocators to and from the area do.
Get into the head of a Read-To-Act-Buyer.
What concerns do they have beyond the data found everywhere?
Location, Amenities, Lifestyle, Neighbors, Activities, Views, Schools, Shopping, Parks, etc.
This list is not such a hard group to cover… but is it enough?
Maybe it’s time to think for the Buyer. What should they be considering?
Being one step ahead of them in their considerations is an excellent way to build trust.
If you, someone who has been involved in countless real estate transactions, were to be buying a home in the neighborhoods you frequently service, what would you be looking out for?
What’s beyond the obvious? What’s beyond the impulse?
The 2008 real estate market is a Buyer’s Market – This affords buyers more opportunity to consider their choices, and to learn to look at things beyond the surface, beyond the emotion and amenities.
So what’s beyond the surface?
How about visiting a few listings at night… What’s the neighborhood like at 10PM?
How about looking around at the properties next door… Trees in good shape? (barking) Animals left out? Are their yards tidy?
What’s the traffic around a property like at peak hours?
Talk to the neighbors. What do they like best about living in the area? Worst? Would they have lived elsewhere if they could do it all over again?
Get some experience of doing something beyond the usual, yet still extremely helpful.
Then, you write from these experiences.
The idea is that there is so much more one can learn when they have the time and the insight to do so. Getting out and living the situation of your clients and potential clients can have you understanding how to communicate with them better as well as help you provide better advice for their needs.
This approach will work for whomever your target audience is.
Relocation? Go out and experience your community for the first time.
First-Timers? Now that the bidding wars are gone, on what should they be focusing?
Empty Nesters, Second Homes, Investment Properties…
Recognize your focus and help them help themselves.
It’s time to see things from the passenger seat.