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5 Blogging Mistakes... and How to Fix Them
Blogging has been a pillar of a powerful marketing plan for some time now, and has the staying power of a long-term, sustainable strategy. It helps drive traffic to your site, effectively nurtures leads and can be an incredible brand enhancer by helping to position you as a thought leader. However, you can't just blog for the sake of blogging, nor can you think to cheat Google's algorithms with keyword stuffing just to get ahead in the search engine race for its coveted number one position.
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111 Blog Ideas for Real Estate Professionals
Running a real estate blog can be a really great way to increase traffic to your site--and position yourself as an industry expert at the same time. But it isn't always easy to come up with blog topics, especially when you're always on the go! So to help you kickstart the creativity, here's a handy list of 111 ideas for when you just can't think of something your clients and potential clients will want to read.
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The Dos and Don'ts of Content Marketing in Real Estate
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December Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
Don't waste hours trying to come up with new topics for your social channels and blog! We've compiled a list of ideas you can expand upon for every month of the year. Find December's topics below to get started or click on any month for additional ideas! January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November Tip: Don't fall into the same old content patterns. Use a mix of text, links, images, videos, gifs, and downloads to keep your pages fresh.
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Blog Reboot: 5 Ways to Revive a Tired and Neglected Real Estate Blog
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November Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
Creating fresh, unique content is an important part of growing your social media audience. However, coming up with new content ideas can be hard! Instead of spending hours trying to come up with new ideas for your social sites and blog, check back with us each month for a list of ideas you can expand upon. Find November's topics below to get started!
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35 Awesome Blog Ideas for New Real Estate Agents (Part 2)
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October Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
Creating fresh, unique content is an easy way to make an impact and grow your social media audience. However, coming up with content ideas to write about can be hard! Instead of spending hours trying to come up with new topics for your social channels and blog, check back with us each month for a list of ideas you can expand upon. Find October's topics below to get started! Tip: Set measurable, attainable goals with clear start and end dates to help you stay focused and grow your online presence.
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35 Awesome Blog Ideas for New Real Estate Agents (Part 1)
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How to Use Your Real Estate Blog for Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing--consistent and targeted communications that move your leads further down the customer journey--is a necessary part of any successful marketing campaign. A study by Forrester has shown that marketers see an average 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured vs non-nurtured leads, meaning if you aren't doing lead nurturing now, you should be. One of the best resources a real estate agent has to nurture their leads is their blog—it's the perfect place to publish your real estate knowledge that targets every phase of the customer journey. We'll walk you through developing targeted blog content, distributing it to your leads, and how to start marketing automation for a strong lead nurturing campaign.
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September Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
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Combine Your Blog with an Email Newsletter for More Leads and Traffic
How can real estate blogging generate leads with a newsletter? And, how can you create a newsletter without spending time or money creating content for it? To get to the answer to these two questions, let's first look at what you can be discussing and offering on your real estate blog.
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August Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
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How to Leverage Content Marketing for Lead Generation
No real estate agent is going to turn down an opportunity to generate new leads. An agent's business lives or dies by acquiring new business leads and converting those leads into customers. In today's real estate market, one method of lead generation reigns supreme: content marketing.
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Why You Should (Really) Start Your Own Blog
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July Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
Nothing can make an impact and help grow your business like fresh, unique, local content. However, it can be hard to come up with new content ideas each month. Instead of spending hours trying to come up with new topics for your social channels and blog, check back each month for a list of ideas you can expand upon. Find July's topics below to get started! Tip: Don't spread yourself too thin. It's better to use two or three social sites really well than nine or ten poorly. Download a printable version of these topics here! Holidays and Occasions
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June Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
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What Do I Blog About, Anyway?
Adding a blog to your website is a great way to stay in contact with a wide audience looking to buy or sell real estate. Your blog can help you increase your online profile, gain valuable contacts, and build your business. But getting started can be a challenge. How to Find Relevant Blog Topics Whether your blog is brand new or well-established, at some point you'll run into a problem every blogger struggles with at some point: "What do I blog about, anyway?" We've got some great ideas below, not just for topics, but also for where you can find inspiration for future content that will put your blog ahead of the pack:
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Document Your Day-to-Day to Become Your Market's Thought Leader
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May Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
Grow your social media audience and attract more blog followers by creating fresh, unique content for your audience. If you need some help coming up with content ideas, we've got you covered! Check back each month for a list of content ideas you can write about. Find May's topics below to get started. Tip: Engaging with your followers' posts on social media is a good way to stay top of mind. Download a printable version of these topics here!
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April Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
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March Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
If you want to increase your online presence, creating fresh, unique content is a great way to make an impact. However, coming up with content ideas can be hard! We can help; instead of spending hours trying to come up with blog and social topics, check back with us each month for a list of ideas you can expand upon. Find March's topics below to get started! Tip: Pictures of recognizable, local landmarks will be more appealing and meaningful to people in your community than generic images. Download a printable version of these topics here!
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February Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
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January Content Ideas for Your Blog and Social Channels
The start of the year inspires the best of intentions in us all. It's when we decide to make all the personal and business changes we said we'd do last year but never got around to. But that doesn't have to happen this year! If one of your goals is to improve your content strategy on your blog or social media, we can help. Instead of spending hours trying to come up with content ideas, be on the lookout for a list of topics from us each month that you can explore in your blog or social networks. Find January's topics below to get started! *Tip: Don't limit yourself to real estate specific topics. Be a community expert and source of interesting area information to appeal to a larger audience.
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8 No-Fuss Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Try this June
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10 Technologies and Tools for Real Estate Agents
Armed with high tech tools and technologies, real estate agents have ventured out in the virtual world to simplify their lives and attract more customers. Read on for our picks of the top 10 tools and technologies that can boost your performance in real estate. Ten Tools for Real Estate Agents 10. Boomerang: Boomerang is a tool for Gmail users who want to keep track of the important mails and manage their cluttered inbox. It helps you compose a mail and schedule the time when it should be sent. It even offers reminders in case you get a lead. Setting up the Boomerang email scheduling tool allows you to mark mail to be sent at a later date. The Boomerang button next to a message brings the mail back to the inbox with the reply from the recipient. 9. DocuSign: Real estate work involves a lot of documents and paperwork that can be really cumbersome to manage. This is where DocuSign comes into the picture. It manages and integrates with the major CRM systems allowing you to save the documents on cloud storage. This simplifies data storing and retrieval considerably. An effective, reliable and responsive tool, DocuSign helps in exchanging documents and get past records with just the click of a button. 8. Evernote: Evernote helps users keep track of their expenses and other important pieces of information. A great platform to store all your tax files, documents and client information, Evernote offers cloud storage facilities at a very minimal charge (about $5 a month). From old receipts to important deals, you can manage it all here.
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6 Real Estate Blogging Tools and Gadgets Worth Considering
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20 Time-Saving Real Estate Blog Ideas for Agents
Even the most talented writers will tell you coming up with fresh new content can be tiresome, but they'll also note there's a trick to get around this stagnancy in developing original ideas. By choosing one or a few series of blog post types that easily fit into topics you know well, you can create a plethora of articles on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Take a look below at 20 distinct kinds of series of articles you can put into play for your real estate agent blog so you can consistently (and easily) provide content you know your audience enjoys consuming and gets tremendous value from. 1. Frequently asked questions answered Arguably one of the easiest real estate blog topics you can cover in detail is offering answers to frequently asked questions from your leads and clients. You assuredly receive a number of questions on a daily basis from home buyers and sellers you work and meet with. So, why not answer these distinct queries with exhaustive responses on your blog? New York-based Realtors Keith and Kyle Hiscock provide in-depth answers to commonly asked questions from both buyers and sellers looking to purchase homes in the Rochester area on their well-run real estate blog. Aside from giving lengthy, helpful responses to help guide their niche audience, the Hiscocks also clearly take advantage of popular keywords related to their local market, helping them drive the right kind of traffic — those looking to purchase and offload properties in their area — to their website.
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The Top 5 Digital Marketing Hacks for Real Estate Professionals
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40+ Winning Real Estate Blog Ideas for Agents
Last month, I shared a handful of tips, tools, and strategies for getting more ROI from content marketing as a real estate agent. It's a great article for anyone who has been regularly blogging and experimenting with content marketing, but it's not an ideal resource if you're just getting started. If you're new to content marketing and blogging, your biggest challenge will likely be coming up with new blog ideas every week. When it comes to content marketing, consistency is key. It's really the only way you'll ever be able to build an audience, boost your reputation, and get any sort of ROI from your efforts. To be consistent, you have to publish content on a regular basis—daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever cadence is most realistic for you. When you choose to invest in content marketing, you have to go all in. You can't be inconsistent and you can't put blogging on the back burner when things get busy. The easiest way to ensure that you're consistently blogging day after day, week after week, and month after month is to spend time regularly coming up with and storing more blog post ideas than you need. For a lot of people, this is easier said than done. When you're new to content marketing, the idea of coming up with an endless amount of ideas for blog posts can be intimidating! The fact is, there's a lot of noise on the internet these days. You're not the only real estate agent who is creating and publishing content on a blog. There are thousands of people just like you developing content for the same type of audience you're going to be developing content for. So where do you start? Here are 40+ winning real estate blog ideas that can help you kick things off.
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Blogging for Dollars: Cha-Ching! (7/20)
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Blog-O-Rama! Everything you need to start blogging (7/13)
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Create your first blog post and learn best practices for winning real estate blogs. You'll learn how to write eye-catching titles and choose informative content that will keep your readers engaged all the way through. These tips will help build your online presence and generate additional traffic to your website. You'll learn how to: Create your first blog page How to make your blog work with your community pages not against them with great titles Find the right content to keep people coming back Register now!
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Blogging BootCamp: Keywords and What to Blog About (5/19)
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Top 5 Questions Realtors Have About Blogging
Are you a real estate blogger? Online marketing has taken off in the past few years, and many real estate agents are considering the benefits of blogging. The idea is appealing, but some agents are intimidated by the idea of starting a blog of their own. I hear a lot of questions from real estate agents about the value of a blog, and how to successfully maintain one in a reasonable amount of time. Here are the answers to your top 5 questions about real estate blogging: "Will a real estate blog actually benefit my business or is it just another task for me to maintain?" There are a few different ways that blogging will benefit your real estate business. First of all, blogging is an important part of content marketing, which is the act of creating content that your prospects want to see. The goal of content marketing is to meet a need and ultimately become a trusted source of real estate information. You establish your image or brand online, and eventually people come to you for your real estate services. Secondly, regularly posting content online is a good way to increase your ranking in search engines. Blog updates show Google that you're active online. The better you rank in search engines, the more real estate prospects will find you when they search online. Plus your blog is a good way to show prospects that you're knowledgeable and tuned in to the real estate industry.  Each of these positive points can drive more leads for your business.
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5 Post Ideas to Kick Your Blog or Newsletter Into Gear
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Your Blog and Creating Content That Will Serve You in the Future
As a real estate agent, the idea of starting a blog and finding the time to keep it up-to-date may be very overwhelming. On one hand, a blog can be an integral part of your marketing plan and can help you to build your own brand as an agent. On the other hand, blogging can also often become a time consuming activity. As a busy agent, you may question the amount of time that you spend keeping your blog current if you're not seeing results. I recently attended a blogging and social media conference, and one of the key points that I took away from it was as follows: everything you do on your blog should be something that will serve you now and in the future. Whether it's next week, or whether it's five years from now, your content should always be beneficial to you in some way. When crafting a blog post, going viral should never be the end goal. Instead, think about how you can create good content that will serve you on a continuing basis. Some questions you may want to ask yourself are: Will creating this resource now save me time in the future? Will this topic help establish me as the expert in my niche? Will these keywords help me with search engine rankings? Asking yourself these questions should help you determine which topics and resources would get the most good from your time. Ideally, you would want to create resources that you're going to benefit from on an ongoing basis. What are some ways that you can do that?
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4 Topic Ideas to Get You Back in the Blogging Game
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4 Back-to-School Marketing Ideas for Agents
Ahhh, do you smell that? The scent of freshly sharpened pencils and crisp notebooks can only mean one thing... it's back-to-school time! Any change in season is a good time to take a closer look at your real estate marketing efforts. Are you still seeing results? Are there campaigns you can freshen up? Opportunities you can take to reach new prospects? This time of year is especially great for reinvigorating your referral network and connecting with people who are new to the area. Here are four back-to-school marketing ideas that you can put to work for your real estate business in the coming weeks: 1. Host a Back-to-School Party It's back-to-school season and parents are in a celebratory mood. Why not throw a back-to-school party as a client appreciation event? You can organize a family-friendly picnic on a weekend that takes advantage of the last of the warm weather. Or you can host an adult-only cocktail event where everyone lets their hair down and has fun. (One tip: don't force the conversation to real estate too often, but be ready and willing to answer any questions that come up!) You can also make it a school supply drive to benefit the community. You cover the cost of the event, and ask guests to bring a donation as their admission ticket. This pairs extra well with idea #4.
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4 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Real Estate Blog
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Real Estate Blogging Tips for Beginners
While some want you to believe that blogging is an art, it really isn't. Anyone with thoughts in their head and a keyboard can construct a blog post. Being a successful real estate blogger, however, requires being mindful of the topics you choose and the construction of your blog posts. Blogging is time intensive. But then, so is mailing out 1,000 postcards, cold calling or door knocking. If you're considering ramping up your blogging efforts to reel in new clients, read on for some helpful tips. Why Should Agents Blog? The biggest advantage to blogging is that – aside from what your time is worth – it's free. If you waste that time by publishing garbage, or not posting on a consistent basis, then maintaining a real estate blog is actually quite expensive. This is why it's so important that when you commit to the process, you follow through. Once you're up and running and consistently posting content about your local market, whether strictly real estate-related or not, local consumers will begin to visit your blog. You'll also be able to show them your personality, so that they get to know, like and trust you. If you've been in the real estate industry for over a week, you should know that there is no such thing as an overnight success. The key to blogging, as in most real estate lead generation techniques, is consistency. New leads probably won't appear after your first post, but keep plugging away at it. It will take time for blog posts to generate web traffic – and leads. Be persistent and your efforts will pay off.
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The Best Worst Sales Call I Ever Received
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7 Must-Know Ways to Kill It Online
With more than 90 percent of home buyers searching online for their new home, how are you capturing these online buyers? Here are my seven absolute must-know tips for becoming a killer online real estate agent. 1. A Vibrant Blog: Having a vibrant blog means you post consistently, which is once a month at minimum, but I suggest between two and four posts per month with posts that address your real estate specialty or niche neighborhoods. The key is to make sure you are consistent. 2. Answer FAQs: You know your niche, so you know they ask similar questions all the time. Answer these questions on your blog/website. You already tell your clients these things individually, so why not share it on the Internet and let your expertise work for you? 3. Share Your Content: If you want your blog and articles addressing your niche to be found, you must share them. Choose your social media platforms and be consistent. Share every blog post, you can even share an older blog post with a new graphic or put into a new context. 4. Nichify: Make sure you are always talking to one niche market or audience at a time. Don't try to write an article including every neighborhood you specialize. Write a separate article for each neighborhood. Make your niche feel understood; be the expert of your neighborhoods! Here's an example of a new article I wrote about moving to Chandler, Arizona. This area is a new niche for me, so my first article is broad but the next articles will touch on topics that are more and more narrow.
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10 Reasons to Start Blogging
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Develop a Killer Online Strategy
Having a blog can be a killer online strategy for your real estate business. A vibrant blog can be the very top of your online funnel. But your potential clients must feel understood when they first arrive at your site. Last month, I talked about creating a niche to strengthen your online presence. By all means, you can address several niches on your blog. However, you have to start somewhere, so start with one niche. I believe all real estate blogs should be as community oriented as possible. Your blog should show that you're a resource for the community. For instance, you could publish articles on your market's parks, schools, or restaurants. Write articles about community activities or local places. Think about anything your potential clients would want to know before they moved to the community. Here are four tips for creating a vibrant blog: Address your niche; always address your niche. Think about what people in your niche market would want to know. Write consistently. I generally say posting one article a week is ideal, however, if you know you can't commit to once a week, commit to every other week. Answer questions. You are the expert, so answer questions your clients ask regularly. Create lists. Create lists of information your potential clients would want to know if they are moving to the area. For example: 7 Things You Should Know before you Move to Phoenix 5 Things You Should Know about Moving to Scottsdale 5 Best Restaurants in Old Town Scottsdale What to Expect in an Old Town Scottsdale home
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What's So Great About Your Real Estate Market?
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Blogging for Real Estate, Profit, and Fun
The Evolution of the Blog Blog. A word that has only recent come about due to the introduction of the web. A word Frankensteined into being by sewing the words web and log together, an unholy creation was born, the blog. At first primarily used for private use, such as journaling, it has metamorphosed into something far more powerful and sinister. Now it is commonly used by major businesses to generate interest and traffic for their products, and generate an online image for the company. It has also turned into a gerund, a word which is both a noun and a verb, meaning both the online log and the act of maintaining the log, which is how you really know that something is here for good. Since it is here for good, it would behoove the savvy agent to use a blog for their own benefit, to set them apart from their competitors. I am here today to teach you how you could twist the dark powers of the blog into use for your own benefit. Blogs. What are they Good for? ABSOLUTELY SOMETHING. Before you up and start blogging, you should know why you want to blog. Although blogging nowadays can be accomplished easily, it will still need a decent amount of effort to make your blog effective. Here are some possible reasons of why you would want to keep a blog.
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December Blogging Plan: 5 Topic Ideas
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November Blogging Plan: 5 Topic Ideas
Did you know that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? The idea is for participants to turn off the excuses for just 30 days and commit to putting pen to paper. While we're not asking you to write a 50,000 word book this month, how about committing to writing just 5 posts and shaking the dust from your blog? We promise you'll feel accomplished by the time Nov. 30 rolls around. Here's a productivity hack to get you moving that NaNoWriMo participants use. It's called a "word sprint" where you set a goal to write a certain number of words within a set time limit (usually 10-30 minutes). The idea is to just let the words pour out without second-guessing them or yourself. You can save that critical eye for later, when it's time to edit! You can follow this Twitter account to easily participate in sprints. Below is this month's list of topics. Sprint on, real estate bloggers! 1. Post-election Round-upThe votes are in and (mostly) counted. The best thing about the election being over, besides not having to watch those terrible campaign ads anymore, is the topic fodder for your blog! In most places, something significant will have changed, be it a new property tax, new elected official, or new law. Summarize these in a blog post for the areas you serve. Who's your new representative? How much of a tax change will the owner of an average-priced home in your area expect--and when? You don't need to offer your opinion on election outcomes, but do recognize it as an opportunity to show off your community knowledge. 2. First-time Homebuyer ProgramsFirst-time homebuyers are at a 30-year low, according NAR's newly released 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Nearly a quarter of first-time buyers in that survey said that saving for a down payment is difficult. As we've talked about before, while down payment assistance programs are out there, few buyers know that they exist or how to take advantage of them. Use this post to highlight programs in your city or state as a way to move qualified first-time buyers off the sidelines. Don't forget to add a call-to-action that asks readers to contact you with questions or to learn more!
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Four Ways to Increase Blog Traffic
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October Blogging Plan: 6 Topic Ideas
We got off to a bit of a late start with this month's blogging plan, so let's dive right in! Here are six topic ideas to scare away writer's block and keep your blog updated with fresh content. Choose some or choose them all--there are enough ideas here for two blog posts a week through the end of October. 1. Staging Your Home During Halloween - Halloween can be an incredibly fun time of year, but there is such a thing as too much holiday spirit. Potential buyers don't want to tour a home full of fake cobwebs or actual skeletons in the closet. Guide your sellers toward a "less is more" mentality. Pumpkins on the porch add a nice autumn feel, but tombstones in the yard are something to be avoided. If you have sellers who are diehard Halloween enthusiasts, advise them to up their decoration ante for one night only--but on November 1, their home should immediately return to saleable condition. 2. Q3 Market Highlights - The third fiscal quarter just ended a week ago. Take this opportunity to toot your own horn a bit! Success begets success, so don't shy about talking about the sales successes you achieved over the summer. Bonus points if you have customer testimonials or stories to share.
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Anatomy of the Perfect Real Estate Blog Post
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September Blogging Plan: 8 Topic Ideas
The seasons are changing, but that doesn't mean your blogging habits should! If you've been keeping up with our series of monthly blogging plans, your real estate site has grown into a valuable local resource. Every month, we offer topic ideas for each coming week. This month, we're offering two topics per week. Choose one or choose both--the point is to keep posting regularly to provide your site with fresh content that draws more potential clients. Ready to get started? Here are this month's post ideas: Week 1: What does $250,000 buy in [Your Town]? This is an easy way to showcase listings while simultaneously introducing newcomers to your local market. Include three to five properties in this price range with basic information like square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage, and year built. This topic is easy to repurpose in the future--just switch to higher or lower price points! Additional or Alternative Topic: Why buyers should use local lenders As a real estate agent, you probably have relationships with local lenders. This blog post can help build on those relationships by including a list of reasons that local lenders are better than faceless lenders from outside the area. Here are a few ideas to get you started: Local lenders are able to meet face-to-face They have a thorough knowledge of your market They have relationships with local appraisers
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Tips on Making the Most of Your Real Estate Web Space
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July Blogging Plan
It has been a busy time here at RE Technology - lots of new and exciting things going on! So we're keeping this month's blogging plan a little short, offering just one alternative/additional topic to our weekly posts. You'll see that this month's themes are neighbors and local expertise. Now get out there and blog, my friends! 1) Good Fences Make Good Neighbors Whether your readers are thinking of selling property or not, there's plenty of value in a sturdy, attractive fence. This post can be short and sweet, but quite helpful. The basic idea: "If your fence is in poor condition, don't feel like you have to take on the full burden yourself – if it's bordering someone else's property, that is. It's a great time to chat with your neighbors and see if they'll chip in. Most of the time, they'll offer to pay some (if not half) of the cost." 2) Buyers, Get Nocturnal While we're on the subject of neighbors, how about this topic? How many of us have moved into a new home only to discover that one or more of our neighbors are noisy night owls? It happens all too often. If your buyers are looking for peace and quiet, you may want to suggest in this post that they do a nighttime drive-by of a property they're considering. They might even want to bring a snack and sit for a while near the house, listening to what's going on around them. Helping them avoid these problems before they buy will earn their loyalty.
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4 Techniques for Generating Blog Topics
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May Blogging Plan
You know the drill, so we'll get right to it. Here are this month's blog topics. As usual, we've provided additional topics that you can use to replace a topic you don't like or to write an additional blog post for the month. Topic 1: So, Your Neighbor's House is Trashy Unfortunately, almost all of us have encountered this. We take care of our home and make sure it has nice curb appeal – only to have that curb appeal ruined by a neighbor with a messy yard and run-down house. If you've had this problem, many of your clients have, too! In this blog post, you can provide your suggestions for dealing with this issue. Provide special emphasis on tactics for readers who are considering selling their home. Alternative/Additional Topic 1: Home Improvements with Your Tax Return If your readers are lucky, they'll be getting some bucks back from Uncle Sam. In this blog post, you can provide suggestions for home improvements they could make with that money. Focus on improvements that will make the home more appealing should they wish to sell it in the near future. Topic 2: It's an Open House – Go Inside! As a REALTOR®, you know that many open house visitors are simply looky-loos, people from the neighborhood that are just curious to get a peek inside the house. In this blog post, you can acknowledge this and – more importantly – tell them that it's okay! It's reasonable for them to be curious. You can also provide a suggested list of questions they might ask the listing agent. For example: Why have you chosen this listing price? What trends have you noticed in this neighborhood? How is the overall market doing? In addition to learning about the property and the real estate market, they may meet their future real estate agent. Suggest that, if they really like the listing agent, they ask the agent to come over when the open house is finished and give their thoughts on their own home's value.
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ActiveRain Has Moved: Why You Should Care
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March 2014 Blogging Plan
We're back on track with our monthly blogging plans! You can check out last month's ideas in our February Blogging Plan. Now, let's get on with this month's topics. As usual, I've included two topics for each week in case you'd like to post twice a week or aren't crazy about one of the topics. Topic 1: Tax Benefits for Homeowners Here's a great opportunity to collaborate with a local CPA, or to do a little research on your own. This blog post would cover the tax deductions that homeowners are entitled to. For example: Mortgage interest deduction Exclusion on sales gains Home office deduction (I take advantage of this one) Energy savings deductions Alternative/Additional Topic: Tour Our Parks - As the mom of a toddler, I know how important parks can be. Spend an hour driving around to the parks in your city. Take photos. And, as a bonus, mention any interesting properties listed near those parks. Topic 2: Furry Friends Showing a home when you have pets can be a challenge. Provide tips for managing the logistics of selling a home when you also have pets, especially dogs. You should include: Tips for getting the "wet dog" smell out of carpets and furniture Managing a barking, aggressive dog during a showing or open house Keeping the backyard dog poop free for showings
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February 2014 Blogging Plan
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Resolutions to Improve Your Business in 2014: Beef Up Your Website
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: No matter where you are at this point in your real estate practice, chances are good that you'd like something more next year. More website hits, more referrals, and everything else that brings in more clients. The end of a year is a good time to think about what you can add to your business plan to help you move up a notch or even to an entirely new level. To help you out, your friends at Market Leader will be offering up new resolutions in the coming weeks, any one of which will help to improve your real estate business in the year ahead. This week, we'll look at ways to make your website a lead magnet in 2014. The Truth About Agent Websites While 70 percent of Realtors® have a website, their sites generate only 4 percent of their business, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Member Profile. Sure, some agents generate over half their business from their websites, but those kinds of numbers take effort and money. If you're looking for a better way to drum up business, consider taking the time and spending the money necessary to make 2014 the "Year of the Website." Most agents in the NAR survey spend an average of $220 a year to maintain their websites. Agents who "invested more heavily in their website reported a greater number of inquiries and business," according to the study. How much more heavily? Agents who spend $1,000 or more a year on maintaining their websites are an astonishing six times more likely to generate half of their business from the site than those who spend between $100 and $499.
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Michelle Obama, a Gown, and Blog Comments Gone Bad
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Best of 2013: 6 Web Properties You Need to Own Now
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down the most popular articles of the year. This article was posted back in January and is #7 in our countdown. See #8 here. You know all about real estate, but what do you know about digital property? When it comes to building an effective internet presence, there are a handful of online "places" that you must leverage. Your "web properties" are online points of contact, like websites, blogs, and social media profiles. In our overview below, we list the different types of property you need, according to their importance. CRITICAL The following web properties are absolutely crucial to your online success. If you don't have them, you could seriously be hurting your business. Website - Don't have an agent website? Stop. Red light. Without one, you're making yourself invisible to the 90% of homebuyers who use the internet during their home buying search. At minimum, your site should have IDX property search capabilities, neighborhood information, contact info, your listings, and links to your other digital properties. Explore real estate website providers here. Facebook - Surprised to see Facebook on the "Critical" list? Don't be. With over 500 million active Facebook users, if you're not on this social network, you're invisible to potential clients. Agents with a weak (or no) website can use a strong Facebook presence to fill the gap by adding listing information, photos, open house announcements, and posting updates on local events.
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Your 2013 Holiday Blogging Plan
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6 Tips for Realtors® to Build Brand Across Social Media Platforms
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: Building your brand across various social media platforms has many advantages to your business. As a real estate agent, it's important to get your listings out to as many people as possible. Also, it's important that people know where they can find you so they can look up information about your company, consider the services you offer, and find a way to contact you. With that said, here are six tips every real estate agent should take to heart in order to build a prominent brand across a variety of social media platforms. Connect to Your Potential Clients Through Facebook Facebook is a great tool for real estate agents. Whether you reach out to family and friends to get referrals or connect to potential clients, Facebook is perfect for expanding your network. When using Facebook, it's important not to come across as too much of a salesperson. Instead of forcing yourself on potential clients by bombarding them with messages about your business, take part in natural conversations and let those conversations lead into the services you offer. Never post status messages like, "I'm taking new clients, so call me now." Instead, take the "top of mind/awareness" approach by posting, "I'm grateful to have so many great clients." You could also post pictures of your home listings with comments like, "Super excited about this new house – could you live here?" Whatever the case, remain strategic and consider how your audience perceives you.
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Statistics: The Content That Keeps On Giving
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There's Blogging, and There's Blogging for Leads
This post comes to us from the Diverse Solutions blog: REALTORS® blog for various reasons. Typically, blogging in real estate consists of blogging for blogging's sake, or blogging for leads and commissions. Or, maybe you think you're blogging for leads, but you're just not getting any. Why waste time and effort if you're not ending up with qualified leads that result in transactions and commissions? You can balance your other lead generation activities, like networking and traditional advertising, with your blogging. It can be a valuable resource for more deals every year. We decided to consult with some real estate agents who make more than half their commission income from leads they generate on their blogs. Here are some tips they shared with us that you can use. Blogging Tips From Real Estate Professionals 1. Blog for Your Site Visitors: Buyers and Sellers You will be using SEO-friendly strategies, keywords and phrases, and stuff like that, but your blog posts should be written to meet the needs of your visitors. They need to be easy reading and informative.
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Guest Blogs and Other Content Strategies to Enhance Your Web Presence
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3 Tactics to Position Yourself as the Neighborhood Expert
A lot of agents attempt to position themselves as a neighborhood expert just by claiming to be one. To fill this real estate niche effectively, however, requires more than a statement on your business card or a line of text on your website. Let's take a look at some of what goes into becoming a true neighborhood expert. Online Presence Your online presence is made up of a combination of all of the places you promote your real estate business: blog, website and social media platforms. It is through this combination that, hopefully, potential clients find you and get to know you. Strategy number one is to focus your online presence to brand yourself as the neighborhood expert. Start with your website. If you don't have a blog, it's time to start one – a hyper-local blog that is full of interesting, useful neighborhood information. Beef up the blog with the following types of content: Videos – Interview local experts, do community tours and preview hot new listings. Photos – Even a snapshot of a neighborhood restaurant is considered hyper-local content, especially if you include a written review. Don't neglect including photos of interesting local architecture with a story about a building's history, photos of historic homes, local sports teams and merchants.
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99 Blog Topic Ideas for Real Estate Agents
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What NOT to Blog About
Here at Point2, we spend a lot of time thinking about real estate blogging. And blogging about blogging. After all, real estate blogs are a great way to build your personal brand, establish yourself as a local expert, give your SEO a boost, connect with your audience and much, much more. In the past we've written a lot of helpful posts on the topic, including sharing 5 blogging tips and creativity strategies, but it occurs to us that we've never broached the topic of what NOT to write about. Getting consumers excited about your real estate blog can be a challenge from the get-go; you certainly don't want to turn them off before you've even had a chance to show them what a wonderful agent and person you are. With that in mind, here are blog topics that are more likely to alienate readers than to inspire potential customers: Client Details It seems silly to say this, but we've seen it happen, so please, please read your blog posts before publishing to make sure you didn't accidentally share any confidential client information. This includes mortgage details, incomes, offer and counter offer amounts and more. Give your clients and transactions some privacy by leaving names and addresses out of posts. If you want to write about a particular sale, be considerate and ask the parties involved before you post!
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Real Estate Blogging Success Profiled
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How to Write a Real Estate Blog: For Beginners
This post comes to us from BrokerageU: The Dreaded BLOG I could never quite understand why, but it seems that the more real estate agents I meet, the more it becomes apparent that there is some sort of consensus among most agents that they have decided to avoid blogging as if it were an infectious disease. Blogging could actually be one of the single most impactful steps that you could personally take to improve your website's rankings in your spare time (go ahead and insert the inevitable groans and eye rolls here). Stay with me for a minute. We all make the time for what's important. The fact is, that if capturing online leads is important to you, you have got to set aside enough time to blog, or else your website will be left in the wake of other sites who are cranking out the content. Let's even out the playing field. Think about it; you have loads of thoughts, opinions, and resources all rolling around in your mind. Let's make use of those! Search engines rank websites based upon loads of different metrics and you can improve your chances by featuring as much verified, unique content as possible on your website--on an ongoing basis. What is one way to continually add new content to your site? THROUGH BLOGGING.
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RSS for Real Estate
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Content Marketing that Generates Leads
Think beyond content that is simply informative or self-promoting. Create content that will encourage audiences toward action, boosting your business while promoting your brand. Develop a digital social neighborhood. What is your audience reading? Where are they going? Find contacts in your areas of interest and form a relationship with contacts in those respective fields. Arrange guest blogging agreements, link sharing and other networking tools so that you are visible to your audience through numerous lenses. Open the doors for easy access. If your content is behind a gate—any sort of registration process that must be completed prior to viewing the content—you're likely losing leads to non-gated competitors. Even the simplest registration may seem like a waste of time for members of your audience who have access to other sites offering comparable information without registration.
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Blogging On-the-Go With WordPress Apps
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Time to Dust Off That Blog?
There's no getting around it: Photos, video and other visuals are dominating social media and the web. But the core of your real estate agent marketing—or your brand—is its voice. In other words, you still have knowledge, experience, data and information to impart to your clients and prospects. And there's no better way to establish that than a blog, or regularly maintain the one you already have. Whether you read it on Facebook, heard it at a real estate conference or were advised by a colleague: Start a blog. And it really is simple. Set it up in Wordpress or another free program, add your bio and start cranking out the posts. But once you get into it, you soon realize it does take some work. What do you write about? How often do you post? How do you get traffic to the blog, and where do you promote it? Basically, how do you turn the time, money and effort into something that stimulates your real estate business and your marketing?
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5 Real Estate Blogging Tips
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What Every Real Estate Client Is Looking For
It's late afternoon Friday, and still he hasn't called. What's a real estate agent to do? Potential clients are out there, reading your ads, Facebook pages and other forms of real estate agent marketing, yet they are not contacting you. You've met them at the open houses, offered your business card, followed up with friendly emails, so what do you have to do to get them to get in touch? It's simple: An attitude adjustment. While agents may work hard to get potential customers to contact them, customers have no real interest in doing so. Rather, home buyers and sellers have a fairly one-track mind when it comes to their real estate path. In a nutshell, buyers want new homes and sellers want to know what their homes are worth. They are really not interested in you. So how do you stand out from the crowd? In their real estate agent marketing efforts, too many real estate agents make the mistake of talking about themselves instead of directly addressing and offering solutions to a prospect's needs. A content strategy helps you stay focused on what you have to offer and what your clients are looking for. REALTORS® should start each day asking themselves the following three questions: Who do I want to reach? What do they want? How do I get what I want by giving them what they want?
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5 Real Estate Content Marketing Ideas
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Google Reader is Dead?! 4 Alternatives to Ease the Pain
Google broke sad news to fans of its RSS reader today. The company announced that it would discontinue Google Reader on July 1, leaving users scrambling to find new solutions. Good alternatives will be hard to come by, though. Reader has the benefit of Google's massive data infrastructure behind it and is readily available to anyone with a Google account. Users have the ability to easily +1, star, or share any article to their Google+ circles. Did we mention the web based interface that lets you access your favorite blog and website feeds from any computer, or the mobile app that lets you browse on the go Sigh. While you can count us among Google Reader's many mourners, we're ready, willing, and (dare I say it?) even eager to explore replacements. Since we know that many real estate professionals use Reader to keep up with their favorite industry, news, and local blogs and websites, we've compiled a short list of promising Google Reader alternatives. 1. Feedly The most proactive of the bunch, Feedly saw the writing on the wall when it came to Google Reader's demise. They've announced that they're readying a "seamless transition" that lets Reader users easily transfer their favorite feeds to the service. The application itself is clean and beautifully designed. You can visually display your feeds in multiple ways--mosaic, titles only, magazine style, full articles, and more. With social sharing features and iOs, Android, and web accessibility, Feedly is our top Google Reader replacement.
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Blog With a Purpose
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Marketing Listings: DIY or IOU?
Guest contributor Erica Christoffer of REALTOR®Mag says: You've got a great new listing. Congratulations! But you know it's not enough to post it on the MLS and cross your fingers that it'll generate buyer interest. You need to get the word out through a marketing plan that will impress your clients and get the property sold. And whether it's mailing out listing flyers, using social media, or creating a video tour, you need to decide whether to do it yourself or go to an outside vendor for help. How do you decide between outsourced and DIY marketing? "It depends on what you're good at," says Daniel Webster Johnson, broker-associate with ­Resort Brokers Real Estate in Breckenridge, Colo. "Use your strengths." Johnson is all about doing what he's best at—­networking, writing, and Internet marketing. He outsources other marketing tasks, such as photography, video, and staging, which he used to handle with the occasional help of a full-time assistant. Last spring, he realized he no longer needed full-time help. Without it, he still made 2012 his most pro­ductive year since the beginning of the downturn. Finding the Right Professionals Fueling Johnson's success is his skill at building ­vendor relationships. He hosts monthly gatherings called "People We Trust," with other real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, contractors, and local business owners. The idea is to get to know one another's trusted associates and to generate mutual business.
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Unlocking Fresh Ideas for Real Estate Blogging and Content Marketing
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6 Web Properties You Need to Own Now
You know all about real estate, but what do you know about digital property? When it comes to building an effective internet presence, there are a handful of online "places" that you must leverage. Your "web properties" are online points of contact, like websites, blogs, and social media profiles. In our overview below, we list the different types of property you need, according to their importance. CRITICAL The following web properties are absolutely crucial to your online success. If you don't have them, you could seriously be hurting your business. Website - Don't have an agent website? Stop. Red light. Without one, you're making yourself invisible to the 90% of homebuyers who use the internet during their home buying search. At minimum, your site should have IDX property search capabilities, neighborhood information, contact info, your listings, and links to your other digital properties. Explore real estate website providers here. Facebook - Surprised to see Facebook on the "Critical" list? Don't be. With over 500 million active Facebook users, if you're not on this social network, you're invisible to potential clients. Agents with a weak (or no) website can use a strong Facebook presence to fill the gap by adding listing information, photos, open house announcements, and posting updates on local events.
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Your New, Weekly Content Plan
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Using WordPress for Real Estate: Part 1
Guest contributor Robert Larson of Diverse Solutions says: WordPress is now the website platform for more than 75 million sites worldwide. You don't reach a number like that, as well as being lauded as one of the most popular website creation resources, without a lot of evidence of success and positive reviews from users. Why has WordPress grown like this? It's simple to use, easy to create content for, a snap to do media from images to video, and there are thousands of third party themes and plugins/add-ons to customize sites to your specification. WordPress can be tailored for any business, but with many real estate specific themes, IDX plugins built for adding MLS listings to WordPress and other real estate features available, it's the perfect platform for the REALTORS® looking to build a website. In this series, we'll cover the steps involved in setting up a WordPress real estate site. So, let's assume that you're on the edge or you've made the decision to use WordPress to construct your real estate website ... what next?
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December Blogging Plan
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November Blogging Plan
From elections to Thanksgiving to Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, November presents a wealth of blog topics. We've rounded up eight more for you to help you jumpstart your writing. Week 1: What You Need to Know About Filing Insurance Claims In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, this is an especially pertinent topic. If your business is located in an area affected by the storm, be sure to urge homeowners who experienced damage to file a claim right away. Because claims are processed on a first-come, first-served basis, the high volume of claims is sure to delay payments significantly. For areas outside of Sandy's reach, offer practical tips for dealing with common issues in your area, whether floods, fires, or other problems. Let your readers know why it's important to make sure their home is not underinsured, and advise them to get their own repair estimates from a contractor before the insurance adjustor arrives.
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Tips for Creating and Distributing Blog Content
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To Delegate or Not to Delegate
Guest contributor Scott Newman of REALTOR®Mag says: I think Jay-Z put it best when he said, "I'm not a businessman; I'm a business, man." He understands, as do all the top-producing real estate professionals out there, that in order to be a success in any professional endeavor you need to run your business like a business. That means controlling your empire from the top down in a well-defined and well-managed hierarchy. Why is this important? Simple. In order to continue to grow your business and thus your earning potential, you need to make decisions on how your organization will function—which means making some tough decisions on what tasks to handle and what tasks to delegate or outsource. I am going to break down some of the tasks and responsibilities that have many agents struggling to decide whether to delegate or outsource in an effort to make best use of time for the long-term health of your business. Web site With so many of our buyers turning to the Internet to search for properties, having a great Web site is no longer a luxury—it's a must-have. I constantly come across Web sites that are nothing more than a template thrown up on a domain, and that is a recipe for disaster. Those types of sites have absolutely no SEO value whatsoever, and are seen as cheap and unhelpful by consumers.
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The 4 Ws of Guest Blogging for Real Estate (and one "H")
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Web Psychology 101: Practical Lessons
Whether you're building a website or crafting the perfect email subject line, understanding how and why people use the internet is key to connecting with them successfully. If you knew, for example, that only 16% of web browsers read an article all the way through, how would that change your approach to, say, blog writing? If your answer is to make the post more scannable, you're on the right path. By considering the behavior of your online audience, you can create a web presence that visitors respond to. Tips for Scannable Content It's true--a whopping 84% of web users will only skim your blog, website, or email. In fact, researchers estimate that you have only 3-8 seconds to capture a visitor's attention. If browsers don't find the information they're looking for, they won't hesitate to move on. So how do you create content--whether a blog post, email, or web page--that draws a reader in? By visually breaking up plain blocks of text to make it scannable. Visitors want to know, at a glance, that your content is relevant and worth their time. Create a reader-friendly experience by integrating the following tips.
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Elements Of The Perfect (Longer) Article
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Minimum Effort to the Perfect Real Estate Blog Article
This article by Jim Cronin was so full of great blog-related information, that we've split it into two parts. Today, we focus on the minimum amount of effort it takes to create a "perfect" real estate blog post. Tune in tomorrow to learn how to craft the perfect, longer blog post. In order for something to be made perfect we need to determine what criteria we're aiming to satisfy. For me, when you publish an article, you should aim to accomplish at least the following: Help you be found by the target audience, including search engines and your social media reach. Communicate an effective message to your visitor as quickly as possible. Bring your audience closer to doing business with you. Sounds easy enough... So what's the least amount of content you can create in order to satisfy all the above? Minimum Effort To Perfection: 1. Write a Great Headline. If you fail at headline writing, you will never be a successful blogger. Why? If your blog headlines aren't compelling, no one is going to click to read them. Fail to connect with your audience and they will never visit in the first place.
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October Blogging Plan
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How Much Ground Should I Cover With My Real Estate Blog?
Biting off more than you can chew will be the death of your real estate blogging. But I hear it all the time: "My blog needs to showcase that I specialize in these 10 communities." You have two hands, 10 fingers and only so many hours a week to dedicate to content creation (blogging). How can you possibly create enough content to come off as the expert, equally, for all 10 communities? You can't. Not alone, anyhow. "But I want to make sure that people know how much ground I cover." The best way to do this is two-fold: 1. Write up profiles for as many communities as you reach. Showcase this group in either a carousel or a sidebar group/list linking off to each profile. 2. Leverage your IDX functionality to offer property searching in a wide range of locations. This can be done in a quick search dropdown and/or in a sidebar list, not unlike the profiles above. But successfully covering this range of communities with blogging content is another story.
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7 Ways To Instantly and Greatly Improve Your Real Estate Blog
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Promotion is Key to a Successful Original Content Strategy
I have repeated this statement so many times, I feel many of you are sick of hearing it. I'm going to say it again though: "Creating a blog is 20% of the work you need to do when promoting your services online. Actually promoting that blog post is what 80% of your time should account for." Easier said than done, right? Well, today my friends, you're in luck. As promised in my last post, I'm going to give you a few proven, realistic ways you can promote your online content, and get that exposure your great material so richly deserves. 1) Your WordPress blog is GREAT, but don't ignore other blog options Even if your website is set up on the very best WordPress set up, with the most killer theme, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't consider other blogging platforms. There are two, very easy to use platforms that can supplement your blogging efforts that will bring you great exposure. ActiveRain and Tumblr are great examples of this. ActiveRain is a Real Estate community blog that gets lots of eyeballs (both industry people and homeowners). The platform has an HTML authoring option, so it's super to post to your ActiveRain blog quickly, right after you create your blog in Wordpress. Simply copy the HTML of your post and paste it into the window. Set your keywords and then save it. As a last step, select "Edit Post" and then add a link to your original WordPress blog post. That's it!
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99 Problems, but a Niche Ain’t One
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How to Use Your Real Estate Website and Blogging to Attract Seller Leads
Most real estate business generated through the internet is capturing interested buyers. The reason is simple: Buyers are generally very active online while searching for property. With the internet, one can dig through hundreds of listings before making a decision to go see one in person. This process can take months as they get more and more serious about the decision. Up until that moment, they are usually guiding themselves through their search online, using multiple sources to browse property. At every turn during this stage, if you have the tools they need, there is an opportunity to engage the buyer. Sellers on the other hand, although anxious to sell their property when the time is right (or the time is right now), are not nearly as active as the buyer. Their need is to find the agent that can get them the best, serious offer for their property. Their goal is to make the right decision with an agent so that they don't have to guide any of the process. As an agent, build the trust that you are that best resource and you win the business. How To Improve a Website's Ability To Attract and Engage Sellers Firstly, one needs to put themselves in the shoes of the seller. What are the most common concerns/questions that you have to address when you are looking to win the business of a potential seller client? What are the most common challenges that you have to overcome with sellers? What are the most common services that are expected of you by a seller? And finally, what are the most common reasons you fail to win the business of a potential seller client? Address all of the above quickly and easily through your website and you'll start to win seller business.
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