Whenever I’m at a real estate conference, I suggest to agents that they should
consider starting a blog as a marketing tool. And there are usually a handful of
businesses on hand who specialize in managing blogs for real estate
professionals, so getting started is just a matter of signing up at one of the
However, what’s often missed is what to blog about. The impression I get is that
inexperienced real estate bloggers think they need to write marketing-type
content on their yet-to-launch blog, much like they’d write for a brochure,
postcard, or other form of print advertising.
When it comes to blogging, this would be a terrible mistake. A successful blog
generates loyal readers who subscribe to your content. A successful blog’s
content is quoted by other bloggers. Neither of those will happen with content
that’s making a pitch about how great the real estate agent is.
So, what works? Providing valuable information that demonstrates your expertise.
Don’t market yourself. Helpful posts written by content experts prove that
you’re an expert without coming out and directly saying it.
Here is an example of this type of writing from a mortgage broker based in
Minneapolis named Alex Stenback. He runs a blog called Behind The Mortgage where
he writes about the Minneapolis / St. Paul real estate market, interest rate
fluctuations, and other things real estate finance related that may be of
interest to his readers. In the post quoted below, he explains the dangers of
option-ARMs for people with poor credit:
Concern, Lenders Still Pushing Option ARMS
These loans, in
our view, are suitable for a only very small slice of the borrowing public;
specifically, those of very high credit quality with high net worth, who use it
as a tool to manage cash flow. An option-ARM should NEVER be used simply to be
able to afford a mortgage that under normal circumstances would be out of reach;
that is just stupid and asking for disaster.
Options-ARMs is a
topic he clearly knows something about, being in the industry. His post provides
valuable information to his readers, and he shares his professional opinion
about who this type of financing may be appropriate for. What he doesn’t do is
directly pitch his readers on why he’s the guy to call for your next home
finance transaction. And why should he? The content of the post speaks for
itself without blatant self-promotion.
In the case of real estate agents, things like market reports, updates on local
developments, real estate finance and opinions on other local real estate news
would set you apart from other agents in your market. By proving your expertise
on a blog, you’ll get more phone calls from highly qualified buyers and sellers,
more referrals from agents who get to know and trust you through your blog, and
possibly more media mentions from local reports who know they can turn to you
for a quote when writing on a subject you’ve previously shown an interest in.
Picking a blogging platform is the easy part. Picking appropriate content to
write about and actually doing it is the challenge.