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The Secret To Developing Real Estate Blog Content


Blogging at it's finest is when it is an extension of your everyday business relationships.

I am frequently asked where I come up with content for the Tomato, and specifically for the blogging advice articles that I have written.  I think that the better question is, where should one look for content for their own blog that is going to persevere as much as it is going top impact their target audience? 

When doing business as a real estate agent, your role is much more than that of an educator... but to your clients, this role can often be the most important. 
How many questions do you answer for each client throughout the entire home-buying and/or home-selling process? 

The content that falls under Blogging Advice here on the Tomato is inspired by conversations I have with agents looking to better understand how to leverage the blog as an effective marketing tool.  The questions you all have do not always have concise answers, hence the inspiration for a comprehensive look at these topics.

When I am asked for real estate blog content ideas, the response I give is a series of questions.  How many buyers are you working with?  Sellers?  What is the most common concern you are hearing from them?  What is the greatest challenge you have to overcome for them?  I asked these questions of a new client in Naples, FL today and his response was fantastic.  "We're basically in a Mexican Standoff," he said.  "Sellers are having visions of 2004 and buyers want to wait until the prices come down even further."  "Now that's the best topic for a real estate related post I have heard all week." I told him.

Developing blogging topics is not difficult.  Quality blogging content is swirling all around you with every business conversation you have.  Once you recognize these exchanges with clients as potential blogging topics, simply make note of the meaty parts.  The challenge is finding the time to get it all down in text. 

Related Must Reads:
How Often Should I Blog?
Who Are You Blogging For?
Giving Away Trade Secrets?
6 Strategies To Developing Quick and Beneficial Blog Content

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I have found that one of the more challenging aspects of content creation is using stories inspired by clients.

I frequently don't write about specific incidents, even though they are both great stories and great opportunities to learn. Sometimes I will make a note in a draft and save it for several months and then revisit to give me time to step away from the situation and analyze it properly.

Every conversation is a potential story. Keep a notepad or 3x5 card with you at all times.

There are blog topics all around us. Once we start recognizing them, it's hard to turn them off!

Good advice as always. Much of my content comes from experiences, emails from clients, or questions from strangers. I figure if something is an issue for one person there are probably many more who have the same question.

Sometimes I get too far ahead of myself and depart from what my clients really want to know about. I try to stay away from the academic stuff and write about the "nuts and bolts" of what people want to know in my area.

So many things to blog about...so many days in the week! Good topic, Jim. Thank you for the T-shirt! I'll be sleeping with you again...

After a while it becomes second nature. There are more blogs swirling around in my head every day than I could possible post. The challenge is chosing the better ones and getting them posted.

The other way I find I discover posts is simply by commenting on other peoples blogs. About a third of my posts were started by leaving a comment on someone elses blog, and then fleshed the comment out more on my own blog.

"I was reading XYZ on ABC REBlog, and that got me thinking about XYZ. I agree/disagree/partly right ABC is right about XYZ, because...."

Also worth flaging posts on other blogs on your RSS reader. Then if you're ever stumped you can quicky find a stack of great writing to jump start the noggin. Don't cut and paste of course, just take the general thought, give credit, and make it your own.

We're kind of talking about the scary "Writers Block" demon that writers fear. The solution is always to simply just start writing anyway no matter how horrible it is. Then just save it as a draft and start editing it.

As an aside Jim, it's great to finally see your picture up on the site. :-)

I write three to four blogs a week, certainly not as many as most of you, and from those I spin off pieces of content (sometimes vice versa), and every week I wonder what I'll write about the following week. For all of two seconds. Because then, like monkey boy (yes, Athol, that is a great photo of Jim), I lean back and think about the questions I've been asked, the situations that have happened over the past few days, and I've suddenly got more content and ideas than I know what to do with.

For me, the key is to break these thoughts down to simple elemental ideas. I realize that I tend to lean toward writing about the big picture, including everything there is to say about a topic, when the best writing, as far as I'm concerned, is instead writing about the wall, write that piece of content that talks about one isolated brick in the wall.

In some walls, you'll find hundreds of bricks to write about, all a little bit different from each other. And I don't mean that in a Pink Floyd kinda way.

Wow Jim, this article really nailed it on the head for me... One of the reasons I have been so apprehensive about doing a blog is because trying to come up with content has always been a challenge for me. I have always had ideas, but trying to formulate them into organized thinking is a challenge because it takes time. I guess I just have to get up a little earlier in the morning!!!

Everyones comments have been bery helpful :)

Edde-
Great to see you back. You were the first commentor on the Tomato back in July. I'm pleased that I could be of service.

i tend to write very little personal anecdotes and focus more on other sources. so in essence i am posting relevant news bits about real estate in general and then pertinent info about my neighborhood. what do you think? thanks. i love your blog, very informative and helpful.

http://eastsiderealestate.blogspot.com

I'm currently a french property agent, but before that I worked in Canada. I find that the blog requirements for the two are very different.

In Canada, I was working with people who generally knew about the area they were buying in. Their interests were very real estate oriented: best area to live, types of property available, expected direction of prices, and so on.

As a french property agent, I'm mainly selling to non-french people (foeigners, if you will). Of course they are interested in the property aspects. But they also want to know about French taxes, inheritance, legal considerations, the buying process, climate, and so on. In other words, most of their questions are about the country rather than about real estate.

My point is that the blog topics really need to be based on what the clients are interested in and what they want to know about. Ideally, the blog topics are something that one can drag from one's personal day-to-day experience. However, to meet the clients interests, it may well be neccessary to do some research. By doing so, one sets one's blog ahead of the others.

Thanks Jim...

Mold in florida, a growing Concern

Florida is one of mold favorite places to live in. Although molds can be found anywhere, mold relies on humid environments, or moisture and a food source such as building materials, dust, wood, paper and organic materials. Most mold types are likely to grow on a porous surface with high moisture content within the first 24-48 hours.

A tremendous percentage of all the properties in the state of Florida face some kind of moisture problem, many of those are a result from hurricane damages causing water intrusion in the property, many of those homes with water damages worsen during the period with no electricity, those thousands of homes with no power for a prolonged period of time are unable to run their air conditioner systems and properly remove humidity.

Proper maintenance and functioning of your A/C system is crucial for a healthy indoor environment, having your A/C unit serviced on regular basis may prevent you from a lot headaches in regards to mold.
When an A/C system is not functioning properly, weather is not cooling enough or no removing the humidity like it should, condensation problems may occur. Air conditioner systems should be one of the most important things to inspect during a mold inspection since this possible contamination is being spread out among the entire property possibly triggering allergic reactions, upper respiratory problems and many health hazards to those occupants susceptible to mold exposure.

Indoor air quality assessments in Florida such as mold testing, mold inspections and even mold remediation or removal have become a multi million dollar industry in the past few years due to all the media hype, newer studies on mold exposure and recent hurricane activity. Because of this dramatic growth in the industry a lot of companies have been taking advantage of this demand, and the fact that no laws, regulations or specific protocols for mold testing and or mold removal have been passed. When choosing a mold testing company this are the things you should look for:

No conflict of interest ( do not use a company that does both remediation and testing)

Look for companies that use the latest in technology such particle counters, infrared thermal cameras, moisture meters…

Make sure they are certified indoor environmentalist or at least certified mold inspectors.

Make sure they inspect the A/C system, attic, exterior, behind pluming fixtures, and moisture detection among entire property. Having a specific area tested with out investigation and environmental testing on the rest of the property is no on your best interest (a lot findings are not visible to the naked eye) that is why top of line equipment must be used.

Pick a company that uses a accredited laboratory

Make sure they provide a comprehensive report and lab results interpretation for a better understanding of the results and findings.

http://www.ecotechus.com

http://www.moldtestingflorida.com


Thanks for such excellent ideas and suggestions.
Mark

That's some pretty sound advice. If even one person comes in with a concern, there's about a 100% chance someone else out there is going through the exact same thing.

Thanks for the help, I've had a lot of mold problems

Great post about blogging. I think a great way for real estate agents to look at it would be they can communicate all the questions a first time home buyer would have for an example, via their blog.

I was so confused that whether I should start blogging or not. After reading this post, I am sure about blogging. There is so much around us to tell.

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