By Teresa Boardman
Our industry is made up of over a million Realtors and some other people too. When it comes to blogs our role models and industry experts seem to be a collection of technology and media companies that are some what removed from the business of buying and selling real estate. They understand how blogs work and even have awards for innovative blogs like the Tomato.
Even though this tomato blog is not a real estate blog it is considered an industry leader. I would agree, mainly because Jim is one of the few in our industry that understands real estate blogs and how they can help individual agents attract clients. Jim attracts clients of his own through his blog because it is an excellent example of a business blog. It is focused and never preachy and he provides us with the information we are searching for. He has strong following but is also found through amazingly well in Google.
My own hyper local real estate blog is not an industry blog. About 64% of my readers come in through search engines and many do not know that they are reading a blog, nor do they care. It doesn’t matter because they find the information they seek, right next to my phone number and email address. When they contact me they say: “I some how found your web site”.. Like me, they don’t care what my page rank is or my Technorati authority rating; they are just looking for information. Some home owners and people who are relocating to St. Paul become regular readers.
The real estate industry has not yet embraced the idea of local blogs built by local agents. Heck real estate is local but when it comes to technology many of our industry leaders are focused on national web sites, and blogs. Agents need to understand that consumers have concerns of their own and are looking for information, advice, homes and Realtors on the internet. They are a different audience than the audience that many in our industry are focused on.
It is all right to have a hyper local blog and it can work just fine even if no one from the real estate industry notices it or reads it. I guess I am getting tired of reading about how my own blog as some kind of an anomaly, especially when the commentary is being written by people who are not real estate practitioners and have never written to my clientele. Writing a business blog is not about wining carnivals or industry awards. In fact it is possible that if content is geared toward real estate carnival winning and national awards, the blog will not attract as many readers who may need real estate services, but rather, attracts others in the real estate industry.
Do people who are looking for an agent care if we have posts that win blog carnivals?
The advice for agents who want to start blogs isn’t very good either. Most of it is written by people who do not have direct contact with the consumer, or who have never written a blog for the general public about but write for business owners and other bloggers.
People who write blogs are more likely to read them so writing to other bloggers almost guarantees a larger audience. Over the last few months I have concluded that I can do a better job with my blog by ignoring most real estate industry blogs and focusing on my own geographic area. It isn’t easy to go against the tide but I have to if I want to accomplish my own goals.
Where are my role models? To be honest they are in other industries, and are small business owners just like me.
Most of all I think it is important for agents who want to have real estate blogs to not get discouraged and to keep the focus on the audience and the goals of the blog. I will admit, I do get discouraged at times. Use tools like google analyitics to determine how well your site is doing and use hittial to decide what type of content to write and read the Tomato.
At the risk of giving tomato man a big head, I have to say that so far he is the only non real estate agent blogger that I have talked to that gets it. He may or my not get it as well as I do, which is O.K. because he lets me write on his blog when I have something to say, and recognizes that even though he is the industry expert an actual real estate agent might be able to add value to his blog. Jim is someone who supports our efforts as individual real estate practitioners and bloggers: another first in the real estate industry.
Thanks Jim, for your support and for having me on the vine.