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Looking For Ready To Act Buyers? Blog These Proven To Succeed Real Estate Topics

Ready-to-act-buyerAs promised last week, Monday Real Estate Blogging Advice Posts will now be the result of the collective collaboration from our own Clients, the Tomato Bloggers.

This Week’s Collaborative Blogging Advice Topic:
What Should Realtors Be Blogging About In Order To Attract Ready To Act Home Buyers?

As a disclaimer, I don’t know that there is an objectively correct answer to the question, given that every target market is different, be it urban or rural, or beach front or mountain living.  Nonetheless, it made for a fascinating conversation in the Tomato Forum.  Here’s what we made of it:

The Internet Lead is generally considered to be a lead that is going to take some time to incubate. 
The length of time thrown around is usually 6–18 months.
Can real estate blogging help a lead develop more quickly, or rather can blogging attract leads that are further along in their own incubation?

Blogging about the Neighborhoods is an obvious choice, but it is how and where you choose to write about that brings the quality of leads.

 As Cyndee Haydon Described:

“Neighborhood Posts

I have found that when I write about the area, for example Tampa Bay (2 million+ people)- I get prospects that are 12-24 months out;

When I blog about a local City - like Clearwater (100,000 people) I get more 12 month and under buyers;

When I blog about a neighborhood / condo complex like Sandpearl (100 to 1000 residences):
I get what I call NOW buyers 1-6 months out.

Why? My experience has been that if they have drilled down to where they "know the neighborhood they want to live", they appreciate and value finding a real local expert. [I find this] especially true with relocating buyers.”

Blogging for the Relocation Buyers and Tourists also proves worthy.

Relocation Buyers most commonly come from two sources: Career Transfer or Tourist.

Selling-the-dreamThis has the topic of relocation represented broadly across 2 elements:
      Things To Do While In Town
             Dining
             Entertainment
             Lodging
             Events
             Local Business Highlights
             Recreation and Parks
             Shopping
             And on and on…
And
      Things To Consider To When Moving To Town
             School Systems and Scores
             Job Opportunities and Big Employers
             Religious Services
             Civic Groups and Clubs
             Sports Facilities and Gyms
             Local Political Issues (tread carefully)
             And on and on….

And most importantly for both groups: Lots and Lots and Lots of Pictures.
Take them yourself – Never leave home without your camera – Shoot everything!

HOWEVER:

The point with the most impact of the conversation was revealed in a question:
What Do Buyers Dream About in Your Market?” 
If we are Selling the Dream, would not blogging about the dream in your market be a winner?

Again, I quote this weeks MVB (Most Valuable Blogger): Cyndee Haydon

“Lifestyle Posts

I have found if I can start a dialogue that includes lifestyle and hobbies - I am on an "emotional level" and can help sell the dream versus being seen on a commodity level - (for example: Ever see buyers not value your MLS feed? - They think the computer did all the work…what's your value?)

Because of where I live (Florida, Beaches, Golf, Boating, Biking, Birding), if I can offer info or get a dialogue around these things I totally differentiate myself.  [These topics] create "rapport" since we found a common interest/expertise.

I am using local experts to bring unique info to my blogs not found easily anywhere else.
For example – I just interviewed a local kayak company about kayaking here in the Clearwater area.

Lead-incubation-through-bloggingAudience Impression – It’s How You Are Blogging, Not What You Are Blogging.

It used to be that when Buyers were ready to buy a home or condo they drove the neighborhood and called the agent with the sign in the yard. Now buyers are driving the internet to do their research and they're contacting the real estate agent with the most knowledge and expertise in that neighborhood and/or lifestyle.

Showcase Expertise and Understanding

Write from the Buyer’s Perspective:
Illustrate that you understand what is in it for them.

Provide Social Proof:
Links to Written and Video Testimonials at the end of articles. 

Blog What You Know: – Be seen as an expert, because you are the expert.
Why Blogging Makes You A Better Realtor, Part 1
Why Blogging Makes You A Better Realtor, Part 2
Why Blogging Makes You A Better Realtor, Part 3

Stay On Top Of Local Issues:
Your local rag as well as the real estate sections of the newspaper are topics buyers will be discussing.

Develop Useful Calls To Action

Appear Approachable:
Asking open ended questions invites the dialogue

Provide FREE Value:
MLS Searches, Home Value Reports, Real Estate Reports, etc.

The Downloadable eBook:
Compile useful posts into downloadable guides: Dining, Park Review, Market Trends, Neighborhood Breakdowns etc.

Be Positive

Buying A Home Is A Very Exciting, Happy Time
Blogging about the positive and the awesome opportunity is going to gel well with this audience

Handle Objections
Regularly bringing clarity to common concerns keeps buyers on track, and avoids issues that can linger.

and finally…

Beware

If you blog it they will come… So don't blog about markets or neighborhoods or issues that you don’t want to develop inquiries about.

—  —

Related Must Read Articles:
How Does Blogging Actually Generate Leads?
9 Examples of How Blogging Will Have You Overcoming Real Estate Objections
Of Blogs and Bricks

Tomato Co-Authors

Armyoftomatoes2

Cyndee Haydon - Sandbars To Sunsets
Terry McDonald – Charlotte Communities
Paula Henry - Indy Real Estate Talk
Chad Lariscy - The Front Porch View
Daniel Bates - My McClellanville
Kevin Warmath - Live In Alpharetta
Tracy Thomas - Blog Calabasas
Gena Riede - Sacramento Real Estate Voice
Marty Van Diest – Valley Market
Mary De Luca - Beltway Ramblings
Janis Gagliardi – Port Orange Juice
Maggie Dokic – The Blog That Ate Miami

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Comments

The business that we get from our blogging is not in the form of LEADS ... but in the form of CLIENTS.
There is absolutely NO selling involved - no pitches - nothing. These people contact us with the "We have been reading your blog and we NEED to use YOU." attitude.

Right On Mariana! That's what we're talking about.
I know we use the term Lead quite a bit above, and it is in the sense that they are Leads, up until the moment that they come to you with that 'needing you' attitude.
Blogging is Business Building, no doubt.

Mariana hit it. The people email or call and say they have decided that they want me to list their home, or help them find a home. I didn't have to convince them of anything, they are already convinced.

That's the beauty of blogging. Of course, we don't know how many people have decided not to use us because of our blog :-) They didn't call us, and it's probably just as well.

The blog is self-regulating. We end up working with people who already like us and we generally already like them because our personalities have already meshed online.

I love working with buyers who contact me through the Internet because they are better educated, smarter and a lot more fun to work with. They have a good idea what they want and where they want it, because they've invested energy into finding out more information online. Internet buyers realize the value of a good Realtor and rely on that individual to aggressively negotiate for them, point out good opportunities, and share product and market knowledge. I also show fewer homes to buyers who have responded to my blog because those are ready-to-act buyers.

I think you've said it all. The readers, the Home Buyers want to know as much as possible about an area and if they find it on your blog...it only makes sense that they contact you. Cyndee did a great job nailing that one!

Congratulations to Cyndee and Jack!! Hard work pays off...YOU DESERVE IT!!

Heads up,
the link to SandbarstoSunsets.com is missing a D.

It's ironic to me that the graphic Jim used for this post says: "I'm ready to buy a home" because today i received an email from a prospect in England. The subject line of the email was: "We are ready to start!!!"

I guess they aren't a prospect any more ;->

Blog on.

k.

Hello Mr. Tomato from Helen at EWM in Miami. You are the BEST! I am speaking to our Relocation 'division' today on blogging at Sherrie's invitation and this post is so perfect, it's Plato's perfect! Thank you thank you thank you and I hope all is well with you in Sack-a-tomatoes. It was great to meet you all.

Jim - this is a topic that's near and dear to my heart and I agree 100% with Mariana - when people contact us they are like receiving the best referral from someone who knows us.

I had a gentleman call yesterday asking us to list his waterfront condo - which had been listed with a family member for 6 months - he said everywhere he goes on the internet he just keeps coming back to us being the local experts and asked if we'd be willing to help him.

Then later today I had a buyer contact us about purchasing a piece of waterfront land in the Clearwater area.

For me it's semantics - whether they are "a client" or "a lead" - it gets blurry for me - since we work with a lot of people that don't end up "closing" in today's market - in my lexicon I tend to refer to clients as people who we've actually closed a transaction with while I understand that signing a listing contract or buyer agency technically makes them a client - I am investing the time and money until they actually buy or sell something. Maybe I need a new word for the "tweeners" - those between lead and client! :-)

All I know is that we're excited to be having 5 new "clients for life" who are buying a home or selling a home with us this month (4 of the 5 found us on the internet) - Cyndee Haydon

I agree, its not just what you blog but how you blog.

Hi Jim,

Terrific post. I would agree with everyone in the fact that when someone contacts you from your blog they are set to go.

Question for you...

In the post you mentioned downloadable ebook. Any leads on where to go for this?

Keep up the great work!

Cyndee,
Great post! I like the analysis of what to talk about in relationship to how long someone generally looks for a property. This is a great post that we can share with realtors we teach when they state that internet leads just take too long. :) Thanks for sharing.

Great topic! I'm new to blogging and you've have given me some great ideas for articles/marketing.

Thanks!

Great ideas! I'm going to start focusing more on my local area, and condo buildings in specific.....as well as local activites. I recently did a post on a local event I attended, and my post is the 3rd item if you google the event. How cool is that!

I can't speak with experience on generating leads from blogs. We are a new company with a new blog. I can say that we have had wonderful responses from our blog. Complete strangers have called and connected with us because of our blog. They haven't become clients yet. However, I do believe in the purpose of blogging, which is to connect and build relationships with people to form future business relationships.

Thanks for the article! It’s always important to narrow ideas and goals down to a specific focus point, and this material helps do exactly that. Keep up the great advice!

Brian Wilson, Zolve.com

I have experienced the same thing as most of the others. I have not recieved any leads but four actual clients that called and said "I am thinking of selling my home and would like to meet with you." My 1st response is always - How did you find me? Since I started my blog in July I have four new listings directly attributed to having my blog.

Thanks for bringing some clarity to blogging topics, it certainly makes sense to blog about the dream especially selling here on Roatan. Sometimes it is hard not to throw in information about the hot deals. Guess it just needs to be balanced out.
Philip

Philip,

Great to hear from Roatan. My wife and I had the pleasure of spending Christmas there in 2003. What a great spot. West End Rules.

What Cyndee said about the time frame for people looking at neighborhood posts is absolutely right. These neighborhood posts can be about many things, not just real estate. Schools that serve the neighborhood, ameneties, drive time to downtown, etc. are all relevant and good things to post about

Blogging is such an excellent way to showcase an area for incoming people. Personally I love being an unofficial Ambassador for my area. Blogging helps get us in touch with each other.

Get thoughts Cyndee!
kk

The Real Estate Tomato is great for reading what's going on nationwide.

A couple of other suggestions that I have written posts on have been "20 Reasons to live in your city and state" and "Is your city and state a good place to retire to"

Great post Cyndee & Jim. Blogging really helps develop that rapport that is so important in building client trust. Instead of being told by you that you are the expert, they can see it for themselves in your blog.

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