Blogging is a necessity for many companies trying to brand themselves, establish themselves as experts, and keep engaged with their clients. For us, blogging has brought us immeasurable success on all fronts. NAR reports that over 90 percent (99 percent for millenials) of home buyers start their search online, and that only 11 percent of Realtors reported having a blog. If I had to guess, even less blog regularly. With these statistics it would be easy for a Realtor to really stand out from the crowd by leveraging the benefits of blogging.
1. Google Juice
When it comes to SEO, content is king. Blogging is a great way for companies to add a ton of google juice to their website. For many local service professionals, this is pretty simple. A home inspector, for example, would want to show up at the top of google results when a consumer searches for “richmond home inspector”. For Realtors though, the competition is tough. Between Zillow, Trulia, and the thousands of other agents in the area, ranking well for a generic keywords can seem impossible. If you’re creative though, you can easily land yourself at the top of a home buyers google search query. For example, if you blogged about “Best Neighborhood Pools in Midlothian” your blog could help you land a buyer searching for neighborhoods with pools. If you blogged about “10 Best Midlothian Neighborhoods with Sidewalks” it isn’t likely that you will have much competition on google with buyers searching for these types of neighborhoods. The key is for your blogs to rank well, and the best way to do that is blog regularly. So, blog regularly, improve your SEO, get found, get more buyers.
2. Grow Your List and Get More Referrals
Referrals are still the number one way home buyers and sellers choose a Realtor, and NAR reports that about 54 percent of buyers, and 64 percent of sellers use a Realtor referred to them. About two thirds of home buyers and sellers are willing to refer the last Realtor they worked. For Realtors who rely on referrals, keeping in touch with past clients is crucial to receiving future referrals. Knowing your audience, and blogging about topics they actually want to read about, provides you a way keep them engaged long after the sale. Consumers today recognize spammy content immediately, and they’re not interested in market statistics, or generic content from a monthly newsletter. Blogs about the community are much more likely to be read. A regular blog about family events in Richmond, a blog about The Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in Midlothian, or even Best Summer Water Activities in Richmond, delivered to your clients email, weekly or monthly, will keep them engaged and increase your chances for referrals! If you’re really saavy you can add a subscribe link your blog and grow your list of contacts. That is money in the bank.
3. Generate Leads
Paying thousands of dollars a month for Zillow leads is certainly one way to do it. If you’re like me though, paying someone else for leads based information you provided seems wrong. Blogging can be a powerful lead generation strategy for Realtors. A well ranked blog with a lead capture form is a sure winner. NAR reports that over 90 percent of home buyers start their search online and 50 percent search for information about the neighborhoods. Let’s say you’ve been blogging about all the neighborhoods in your area. “Everything You Need to Know about Living in Brandermill” for example. For all the neighborhoods you’re targeting you make a blog listing the schools in that district, the amenities in the neighborhood, the HOA fees, the restaurants and stores nearby, the average sale price in that neighborhood , etc. A home buyer searches for information about Brandermill and clicks on your blog. In the side bar, you have a scrolling lead capture form: “If you would like to see all the homes for sale in this neighborhood, fill out the info below.” They fill out their name, number and email, and you’ve generated a free lead. Cha-Ching.