Although blogs, specifically real estate blogs, have increased in number and credibility, many still think that they're "mumbo jumbo". In speaking with other real estate agents, brokers and other industry professionals, we still hear things like:
- "blogs are a waste of time"
- "blogs take too long to write"
- "I don't believe that blogs are a source of marketing and exposure that will actually bring me deals"
To those folks, we say "thank you". Why? Because, by not being a part of the changing face of real estate, they are leaving the floodgates of opportunity and increased market share wide open to agents such as ourselves. The "disbeliever agents" are falling further and further behind in the movement that insightful and marketing-savvy agents are taking advantage of.
In case you think that we're making this all up, we'd like to share with you some facts, figures and real-life experiences using our other two blogs, Loudoun Stats and Loudoun Foreclosures, as examples. These two blogs are specifically geared towards consumers and the media in order to "pull" leads (more on this later) and increase credibility through a presence in local and national media.
Let's start with SEO/keyword searches via Google ("web" category, not "blog" category) relating to Loudoun Stats:
- number 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 on search of "Loudoun County real estate statistics"
- number 6 result on search of "Loudoun County real estate"
- number 6 on search of "Loudoun County real estate market"
- number 5, 6 and 7 on search of "Loudoun County real estate tax assessments"
- number 1 on search of "Loudoun County bank owned properties"
- number 1, 2 and 3 on search of "Loudoun County buyer resources"
- number 1, 2 and 4 on search of "Loudoun County seller resources"
- number 1 and 2 on search of "Loudoun County investor resources"
- number 5 on search of "Loudoun County real estate market conditions" (shared with this real/diaBlog at number 6)
Here are SEO/keyword searches via Google ("web" category, not "blog" category) relating to Loudoun Foreclosures:
- number 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 on search of "Loudoun County short sales"
- number 2, 6 and 7 on search of "Loudoun foreclosures" (and literally rising daily)
- number 1, 2, 5, 7 and 8 on search of "Loudoun County REO properties"
- number 1 and 2 on search of "Loudoun County spec homes" (shared by Loudoun Stats, which is number 1)
- number 7 on search of "Loudoun County real estate deals" (shared by our ActiveRain and other links/blogs, which are number 1, 4 and 8)
Please note that we just turned on the "publicize blog" feature for Loudoun Foreclosures less than 7 days ago so these results are after only 7 days of exposure to search engines. . Prior to that, the blog was not visible to any search engines or crawlers and neither Google nor any other search engine knew that the blog even existed.
Other local agents and brokers who pay thousands of dollars for their web sites and keywords come in way below Loudoun Stats and Loudoun Foreclosures. Since these are keyword searches that buyers and sellers regularly search for, they are getting passed by on a regular basis.
And since Google and other search engines favor active blogs over static web sites in their rankings, our blogs will continue to come in ahead of most web site regardless of how long they've been around. In fact, these static web sites will lose further ground as more agents start blogging.
More importantly, unlike static web sites, blogs are easily adaptable allowing us to focus our post topics on those subjects and keywords that attract the most amount of hits from our target audience. This means that we can adapt to the changing buyer and seller demographic and real estate market conditions as quickly as on a day-to-day basis.
In response to those who think that you can't attract buyers and sellers through a real estate blog, here's an actual email we recently received:
I read your post online.
We already own a SFH in Broadlands and are looking forward to buying another home in Ashburn and rent out the existing home and we are interested in a spec home. Which builder is offering the best deal in spec homes now? We are not in a hurry and would like to start looking and maybe buy in the spring.
"I would be very interested in receiving any lists that you may have on short sale or foreclosed property in the Leesburg or Ashburn areas particularly single family homes. Also any builder inventory would be great as well. I thank you in advance for this information."
These are just two of the many examples of actual emails from serious buyers and sellers who ran across our blogs and contacted us directly without us soliciting them. This does not include all the phone calls we've received from serious buyers and sellers as well.
We also use our blogs as a value-add and to build credibility with buyers, sellers, investors, banks, asset managers, colleagues, the media and other industry professionals on a daily basis. Blogs are also excellent time-savers. When someone asks us a question pertaining to a topic we've already written about and answered, we simply refer them to that specific post(s). We've never actually timed it, but it's safe to say that we've saved hundreds of hours of our time using this method.
We won't go into numbers right now, but we can tell you that we have closed several deals and are currently working with several serious buyer and seller clients as a direct result of our blogs.
So what's the cost? The four blogs we author cost us a total of $15 per month. That's less than $4 per blog per month. As far as time spent writing the posts, it takes about 6 hours per week.
As you can see, real estate blogs can be an excellent marketing tool and can generate real business. Personally, we have yet to find another marketing tool that comes even close to blogging's ROI and effectiveness.
The non-believers are allowing us cater to the new demographic of buyers and sellers without much, if any resistance using "all this mumbo jumbo". That is why we say "thank you".