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How Does Real Estate Blogging Actually Generate Leads?

Bloggers_connect1I am here in San Francisco at the Inman Bloggers Connect Conference, about to go on stage to discuss the topic of lead generation through real estate blogging.  The most important question, that I know we are about to be asked is: What makes a real estate blog generated lead different from a website generated lead?

This article, which was written weeks ago, was saved specifically for today.

How Does Real Estate Blogging Actually Generate Leads?

HandshakeHere on the Tomato, we've already pointed out a few times how ensuring that you have a clearly visible call to action (read: Home Search, Home Value Report) is a necessary element to acquiring leads through your real estate blogsite.

1. How To Generate Leads Through Real Estate Blogging
2. Your Real Estate Blog Is Bait
3. The Starbucks Mistake

All this is emarketing 101, and something that I have been helping agents understand about their internet presence since my earliest training events back in 2000.

What really has to come to set the real estate blog apart as a lead generating tool has nothing to do with web 1.0 tactics.

The real estate blog is the Realtors' introduction to the Age of Participation: Web 2.0.

Developing a relationship with your audience and peers is the foundation of leveraging the Web 2.0 model to build your business as a real estate blogger.  By simply embracing the relationship you are able to build with your audience, you will gain their trust.  This trust, once earned, will have you earning a client; for all sales are based on this most important element: Trust.

The convenient placement of a home value report form, or the soft barrier to a home search is a ubiquitous effort.  Everyone is doing it.  There is no element of distinction if your site offers something that can be found on any capable real estate template website.

Engage_entertainWhat makes the real estate blog stand out, above the offering of obligatory tools is the regular effort of the Realtor to educate, enlighten, entertain and engage each visitor.  It is this distinction that not only generates leads for their traffic, but clients by means of a relationship.

Tomato graduates are telling stories of how they are regularly contacted by future clients that give them the impression that they’ve already met:

"I've been reading your blog for months." 
"I feel like I already know you." 

Tomato graduates explain how 'funny' it is because the relationship seems to have been incubated in the minds of their reader, but yet, they still have a lot to learn about their newly acquired clients.

This type of contact from a visitor to your website makes the collection of email addresses with standard web forms seem archaic.

Be the passionate expert that stands out in the crowd of cookie cutter websites and online real estate tools.  Consistent dedication to the education of your clients and visitors is the key to building a relationship and winning their trust.  Handling their concerns, challenges, hurdles, worries, confusions and misconceptions with your clearly thought out articles has you almost sitting at the kitchen table with them, one step closer to making what can be considered the most important financial decision of their lives.

Once you recognize how to leverage the blog in this manner, then and only then is a well placed lead generating form of any significant value.  Otherwise, it's just name collecting.  Understand, it's not the collection of leads (names and emails), it's the creation of a future clients when someone contacts you because of your blogging (read: commitment, passion, knowledge, consistency, dedication, experience, understanding and wisdom).  It is that person contacting you, that is ready to work with a someone that is you.

Blogging should be seen as a natural fit for Realtors that choose to embrace it as a their primary marketing tool.  Realtors play the part of consultant, counselor, confidant, and chauffeur well before they close.  Proper blogging allows the Realtor to develop that relationship with their future client, save for the driving around.

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Comments

great post, i cant believe how many agents dont blog or do any social media

Blogging definitely helps bring potential clients to your site and even brigns in the calls. I've had several people tell me that they were reading something on my blog without me asking. Its always reassuring that hard work pays off.

Jim,
I know this post was written awhile ago, and I actually ran across it on a Google search. :)

I think that regardless of the age of this post...WOW...it sure hold true!

Certainly a regular focus on education and engaging customers will bring a well rounded set of visitors that will want to use you for help for their real estate needs. :)

I have been doing some work on http://blog.lakehome.com and started using google analytics. It is great when you want to see how much traffic your blog is bringing in to your site through direct traffic and search engine referrals. Google Analytics has very valuable data, data that tells you quite a bit about who is viewing your websites.

Classifieds and social networking sites are now the way forward to generate leads. Internet is the way forward and we rely on it more and more. It will also take a more important part of our lives.

Hi Jim,

If you don't have trust you don't have anything when it comes to blogging. Just like any other relationship in life, trust is the #1 factor in moving forward in any relationship. Excellent post, and I think more agents could use this tidbit of advice. Posting market reports over and over isn't going to do the trick.

-Lisa Udy

If you do have a great content - an interesting topic perhaps that can catch your target readers attention then, blogging can indeed helps you on Marketing your business. In blogging you must not forget to cite the advantages of buying your property or why they should buy it - the benefit they could get if they buy it. Also, as much as possible include the photos of the property you are marketing.

Google Loves blogs - did you notice the mostly blogs appears to have a higher ranking in Google? giving you more traffic? people also love reading blogs - they find it more interesting. - If they like it, they might be one of your leads. Isn't it great?

Writing a good niche and interesting one is the most powerful advertisement to this day. I really love to be back over and over to this site. I've really learned a lot.

lawrence@Realtors

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