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Local Blog Traffic, The Old Fashioned Way

I didn't coin it (Burke Smith did), but I love to use it:
Technology won't replace agents; agents with technology will replace agents.

There's a ton of talk about the next generation of Realtors and their unique approach to the business.  The most common theme is that their use of technology and embrace of the collaborative culture will change the landscape of the industry so drastically that it will effectively bury the Old Guard.  This prediction is most likely true; it's hard to turn back the clock when a tidal wave of change is bearing down.

Don't be so quick to embrace what's new without taking along what's tried and true.  Learning from what worked well for the Baby Boomers will help you best understand how to not only reach them but also how to improve on these new tools.  Your local audience responds to your local effort. 

The farm you have carved out for yourself and the neighborhood you live in may not be responding to the traditional post cards, notepads and 'items of value' as much as you like.  You would gladly trade all that printing and paper and pavement pounding for a few hours a week of blogging.  Don't be so quick to completely jump ship.  There still may be some  success in your efforts.

Google is not the local cafe, it's not a doorknob, not a postcard nor a welcome mat.  These are still ways offline to reach out locally.  An offline campaign coupled with the appropriate call to action will help create exposure to the new tools you use to educate, incubate, cultivate and communicate.

It's all in the call to action.

Blog an Open House or Just Listed:

Now, using the tools of the past (fliers, post cards etc.), advertise to the immediate neighborhood, not just that there is said event, but rather that there is a destination to give their opinion about the property.  Let them talk about it's amenities, location, value etc.  Let the community pull the curtain back on the property.  Their participation is valuable on so many levels; awareness, branding, exposure...

"Open House in Your Neighborhood"  Join your community online at www.123ElmSt.com to discuss the value and amenities of this property"

It is in the best interest of a community to support the perceived value of the property for sale.  Being invited to participate and encouraged to give their opinion is refreshing and compelling.
If, however, there is something to be uncovered that is not cheery (Nightmare on Elm St? - Related: Scary Real Estate Stories) it's best that this information was disclosed before any offers were accepted.

Blog a topic of current or enduring interest. 

Home Owner's Association dues are rising, a development is being planned next door, should speed bumps be installed?

Beyond the "minutes" at the Town Meeting, everyone is given an equal platform to express their opinion and concern

These unique approaches to using the old tools make your marketing efforts stand out as useful and less disposable by involving the audience's voice.  This is a true benefit of Web 2.0.

Audience participation allows for:
Better incubation
More effective branding
Greater data to shape
The 'Reason' of the Many.

Be the one developing the dialogue.  Get the community involved and you will grow your readership.  It's not always your direct pitch of service as a real estate agent that keeps you in the minds of the community, it's your involvement.

And finally, a sure phenomena not to be overlooked: When the noise dissipates, it's easier for your voice to be heard.
The less frequently that these traditional tools are employed, in turn the more effective their application will be.  If a territory is over saturated with marketing collateral, the noise cancels out the individual's message.   This trend to online marketing by the masses may just open the door for more success offline.

    Related must reads:
Is Big Brother Dead - Examining how the voice of the many will shake up real estate.
The Trend Wave, Grab Your Board - The real estate blog is the now, and building.
The Starbucks Mistake - How they could rule the world if they would just advertise to us.

Given that we specialize in online marketing for real estate, it would interesting to hear other examples of success that our readers are experiencing when it comes to driving traffic to their online resources through their offline efforts.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Local Blog Traffic, The Old Fashioned Way:

» Open House Blogging as Killer Real Estate Marketing Tool from Altos Research Real Estate Insights
We've been talking a lot about online real estate marketing tools and strategies in this blog lately. Tomato Jim's article of the other day really nails another angle that we discuss all the time with our clients - a powerful, integrated marketing stra [Read More]

Comments

Brilliant. And simple. Stories such as this keep me coming back. Thank you.

I'm on board with what you've said here, but I'm not sure the world will buy it until somebody becomes a millionaire from having done it.

I've just ordered marketing materials inviting my farm neighborhoods to "get to know me" by participating in my blog. They should go out next week. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I agree, hybridized marketing to bridge the marketing communication between traditional and innovative. I have been planning on something like this with how I see Localism and AR. Thanks for the wider view.

This one got my attention, last Friday someone in my neighborhood keyed in West Plano Realtor in google, I came up... site pages and blog, interviewed Sat. sent electronic docs for listing agreement today, photos on Tues. that's it. They are baby boomers like me and my husband and found us online, no nonsense, she liked us because we lived in the neighborhood. No postcards, sign etc. just a few keywords, it is a $410K listing at full commission. Now, I have been blogging since late
August, I am working with 4 new clients from these efforts now...you just have to keep posting and using your keywords.

The more we can integrate different phases of our marketing, the greater the whole will be. We want the "I see you everywhere".

The ability to integrate both technology and older style marketing concepts can really help you stand out from the crowd. As mentioned it provides a greater tool to help develop relationships, brand yourself, and be seen as the local expert. I have not yet used the open house or just listed blog idea yet, and I would be curious if anyone else has and has it been successful.

In case the trackback above was overlooked, Mike from Altos Research has a nice follow-up piece on the above concept.
Check it out:

http://www.altosresearch.com/blog/archives/206-Open-House-Blogging-as-Killer-Real-Estate-Marketing-Tool.html

Add a coupon for a free pizza and you got me hooked. Or maybe the free pizza coupons are at the open house? All kidding aside, it is a great piece of marketing.

I really believe that utilizing your blog to promote listings & open houses, along with having valuable informative type posts and injecting some more conversational offerings can be a very powerful combination. Now with sites such as www.WellcomeMat.com allowing the use of video to showcase listings, builders, and neighborhoods things are getting really exciting.

John,

Thanks for the link to WellcomeMat - It seems like a nice service for l;isting video presentations. Heck it's Free, Easy and Slick.

Thanks for this wonderful ideas. Same of this are very original.

Great article. Keep 'em coming. It's very helpful stuff.

I totally agree with this article. Realtors that do not embrace the internet and all it has to offer will soon be out of the business. More and more people are using the inrternet exclusively to search for homes and choose their next Realtor.
http://www.ilovemynewhome.net

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