You know that blogging is the most powerful marketing tool that you have in the properties industry. Companies with blogs produce 67% more leads per month than those without a blog.
Sixty-seven. Percent. More.
But you have been avoiding it. I get it.
You are a busy Estate Agent or Property Manager.
You have your face on a bus stop bench already.
You already closed on your quarterly goals.
(Pssst..I promise I will not tell anyone that, secretly, the reason you aren’t blogging is because you cringe at the idea of writing any more than the 400-500 words you have to do for property descriptions. And figuring out SEO is hard. My lips are sealed.)
But you know you have to do it because:
Your competition is doing it
Your numbers need to go up every year, so you can’t keep doing the same things
Real estate blogs are the future, not benches and flyers
Let’s walk through the stages of getting you to accept that you need to be blogging and how to get you started. I promise to hold your hand all the way through.
Stage One of Blog Acceptance: Denial
“My website ‘has’ SEO.”
SEO has evolved. It used to be something you could shove into your website and forget about.
Now, you, as a property professional, need to get a handle on it. The days of serving up stale content on a website are over.
And while this seems like a doomsday sentence, (one more thing for your list right?) this actually plays to your strengths.
You are successful as a property professional because you know how to work well with people. You put your clients first to make sure that they come away recommending you to their friends and family. Property is a relationship business. Those relationships thrive, you thrive.
That is how search engines operate as well.
Google is so darn successful because it’s algorithms are constantly looking for ways to serve up fresh & valuable content to its users. They are user experience focused, like you. The more people who read, like, and share your content or real estate blog, the higher “organically” you rank in Google.
If you are not delivering FRESH & VALUABLE content, your organic ranking is going to be lower than the estate agent who is blogging.
That means that their name is getting in front of more users. More potential clients. More revenue is coming their way.
Because they are generating an authoritative and helpful presence online thru their real estate blog.
Stage Two of Blog Acceptance: Bargaining
But...but... “GOOGLE ADs”!?
Organic. It's a great marketing word, isn’t it? Sounds wholesome, unsleazy, not sales-y. If you have a choice between an “organic” strawberry or an “ad” strawberry, which one are you going to go for?
You can get to the top of the Google rankings if you want to by paying for GoogleAds. But consumers are getting smarter and smarter, like search engines. They see that tiny “Ad” block and they scroll down until they can get to the organic stuff.
70% of consumers will go out of their way to avoid Facebook ads and Google ads to try to discover relevant content through a search engine. Relying on a Pay-Per-Click strategy means you are missing a big share of the market.
Why are they doing this?
Because consumers care about what they are consuming these days. It doesn't matter if it is organic strawberries or market info. They want it fresh and organic.
Because the “organic stuff” shows that the creator of the content cared enough to use some keywords in their real estate blog. The creator found out what their users were looking for and shared their knowledge.
Like this blog post is doing.
Google Ads are a great way to get to the top of the results but they will not help you build your authority online. Especially if the content behind that “ad” is not what they were looking for.
Stage 3 of Blog Acceptance: Imposter Syndrome
So SEO isn’t a bunch of keywords on my website and PPC is being ignored by consumers. But there is so much out there already...
You are not an imposter. You are the real deal, boots on the ground, seen it all, been-there-done-that property profesh.
Real Estate blogs and STR Blogs aren’t only for big fish like Trulia & Zillow, AirBnB & VRBO. Their topics hold content on a national scale.
Your clients don’t live on a national scale. They don't vacation on a national scale. They live in neighborhoods and cities. They can only vacation on one coast or near one national park at a time, not all the beaches and national parks.
Don’t think of these bigger blogs as competition. Think of them as a resource for a great topic.
So what do you write about?
Blog about a local football club.
Slip in some information about decorating trends and how to stage a house for sale or vacation rental.
Talk about real estate news and how your market is doing.
Talk about the neighborhoods you cover and the new businesses going in.
Pick three places to go near your vacation properties and share the homes near-by.
Dig thru the national blogs and pull out topics from there to write about in your micro-market.
The point is to share your knowledge. That is how you become known as “the expert”.
You care about your community. And when you care, people start to care that your name keeps coming up. Consumers feel engaged with a brand when they read custom content** on their blog.
When they look for a neighborhood description, your name comes up. When they are looking for a good school to send their kids to, your name comes up. When holidaymakers are looking for things to do near the town they are vacationing in, your name comes up.
When you become “the expert” on not only the real estate market or the rentals market but also in the community, you become the go-to person. Your name comes up when someone wants to list a home. Or buy a home. Or find a new property manager.
Stage 4 of Blog Acceptance: Take Action
So what do I do now?
In this relationship dependent industry, playing the long game is the right game. Blogs are a long-game strategy that you can use to create an “organic” client sales funnel.
If you want to build a long-term, authority-building presence online, it's going to take Time and Consistency.
TIME: about 6 months for rankings to start pulling forward
Post at least twice a month, if not 4 times a month.
Keep in Mind When You Are Starting Your Real Estate Blog:
Don’t let your Blog be a thought dump.
You have to structure your content, or there is no value in the post.
300 Words is not enough.
Search engine ranking and being an authority takes MORE.
1100-1200 words is the sweet spot. This post is 1400 + words.
Skip the Industry Jargon
Remember who your audience is! You are the specialist, they are not. Make sure they know what you are talking about!
Long-tail Keywords are Key
Find out what people are looking for and drop those phrases (2-3, don’t “keyword jam”) casually into your post.
Keep it Visually Engaging
See all these images I have floating around? It is so this doesn’t appear as a wall of text on your mobile. Walls create barriers. Put in pictures.
One more time....CONSISTENCY. CONSISTENCY. CONSISTENCY.
You have to commit to this. Just like you go to the gym or water the houseplants, you have to keep going back for more if you want this to work. The top real estate bloggers do it. You can too!
There is Room For You!
I know that it can seem like EVERYONE Has a Real Estate Blog...thing is, only 18% of blogs are assisting with SEO ranking because they are not long enough. That means that 82% of the ENTIRE BLOGGING WORLD is writing themselves short.
Stage 5 of Blog Acceptance: Asking for Help
You might have an assistant who is a brilliant writer. Or maybe this was the wake-up call you needed to exercise your inner Hemmingway. If you have the skills and the time, it is time to crack on.
If however, the thought of writing an article of this length every week makes you feel like you have swallowed a cactus, let me help you.
I write the words for real estate and property management companies so that they don’t have to.
**About Short Cuts, aka, Non-Custom Content**
You can use a blog/content mill to publish on your website as a blog. The trouble is, it doesn’t help your ranking one bit. Because they sold that same blog to another agent across town. And the second you both publish it, both of your SEO rankings plummet. Now imagine that mill allows agencies all over the country to publish that same content. And they will charge you for the privilege. Yes. This is a thing. Doing this will be worse for you than if you don’t have a blog.
Don’t do it! You cannot build authority with short cuts. You have to go the long route. Return to Stage 2 and continue on your journey of acceptance.
A real estate blog is in your future. Let me know if you need help.