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On Blogging Real Estate Listings

July 12 2011

2557 Ananea thumbWant to start an argument amongst real estate bloggers?

Ask this question: Should you blog your real estate listings?

Short of whether or not to “force” home search registration, nothing seems to polarize real estate bloggers more than the “to blog or not to blog listings” question.

Here’s the deal…

I can’t tell you if it’s right or wrong to blog about listings. For you see, there are no absolutes when it comes to real estate blogging. (Well, you absolutely need the ability to search for homes on your blog. But that’s about the only hard and fast “rule” in real estate blogging. And of course, even that is just my opinion. But if you want to generate prospects via your blog, you need a home search solution.)

It really boils down to personal choice, and what your goals are for your real estate blogwhat your goals are for your real estate blog.

Personally I don’t blog individual listings

I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post about an individual listing. If I have it was long ago in a far away place.

Why not? Doesn’t it make sense to get your listings out in front of people?

Well sure it does. I want every one of our listings to be readily available on the internet. Ideally each and every listing should be able to be found in Google by anyone searching for the property address, the MLS number, the subdivision name, even by long-tail search terms like “3 bedroom home in Phoenix under $200K”. A blog post is one way to do that (assuming your blog has enough authority in Google’s eyes to rank your blog post for such terms).

But I find blogs on real estate listings boring to read. My eyes glaze over, my head fogs up, and I click something – anything – swiftly if I run across a blog post about a listing. Let’s face it, there are only so many ways you can describe a property for sale. I assume if I find posts on listings boring, then other readers will too. And the last thing you want to do is bore your readers.

A different approach might be to write a blog post about the neighborhood your listing is in. This makes for a much more interesting read, and importantly is a far more “evergreen” post than something dedicated to a single listing. You can write about the neighborhood and include such things as nearby local businesses, information on the schools, local area activities etcetera that won’t “die” when the listing gets sold. Feel free to include a link to a single property page for your listing (or use something like the dsIDXPress plugindsIDXPress plugin or the FlexMLS IDX pluginFlexMLS IDX plugin (if available in your area) to populate current listings into your post – which will include your listing. The power of these plugins come from the fact these plugins keep the listing inventory current, automatically. So someone visiting that post weeks, months or years from the publication date will still see current inventory).

It is  lot easier to tell the story of a neighborhood than it is to tell the story of a single home.

With the plethora of third-party listing sites out there, if you syndicate your listings then they will be “Googleable” by address and MLS number. Adding one more blog post to the mix likely won’t matter nor increase the listings visibility.

But it appeases my sellers!

This is the argument I hear most often for blogging listings – “it makes my sellers happy”.

No, what makes your sellers happy is selling their home. It is your job as their agent to maximize the exposure of their home, and to get it sold as quickly as possible, for the most money possible, with the least amount of hassle for the seller. A big part of your job is to educate your sellers on what does and does not work with regard to marketing their property. If a big full-color ad in the Sunday paper makes them happy, are you going to do it? Are you going to hassle them and interrupt their lives and waste your time on the weekend holding open houses? Just to “make them happy”?

Teach your sellers what you’ll do to market their property. Show them data to support your marketing strategy. Rather then spend time, effort and money making them happy, spend that time, effort and money on things that will sell their home. Trust me, no seller on the planet has ever said, “We had a great agent, they sold our home fast and at a good price, but they never blogged about our listing”.

Get the home sold, and they won’t really care what you did and did not do. They’ll simply tell their friends and family you sold their home.

I’d rather my sellers say that than, “You should have seen the blog post our agent wrote…”

PS: If anyone wants to buy the home pictured here, call me….