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The 7 Reasons Why Your (Future) Clients Should Care That You Are a Real Estate Blogger

Balance of trustOur Monday Collaborative Posts are back (we were on vacation last week) with a topic that proved as interesting as it was slippery:

Why Should Your Clients and Potential Clients Care That You Blog?

In the collective discussion that took place on this topic, there was lots of writing on why blogging helps you gain the trust of your audience, and how blogging helps you connect to your potential clients, but pinning down why they should care took some time to uncover.

Paula Henry from IndyRealEstateTalk.com broke through with the concept that a well executed real estate blog gives clients a sense of the agent “beyond the slogan.”

Many real estate agents use slogans such as:
“Knowledge Is Power”
Service You Deserve. People You Trust”
“Experience Is The Difference”
“Always There For You”
“We Care”
“Your Local Expert”
…and so on.

Without the substance to back up these slogans, they are nothing more than sentences.  Your clients and potential clients are in fact looking for an agent that has superior knowledge, rich experience, is trustworthy, offers excellent service, knows the area and cares about them.

It is through blogging that your audience is able to recognize that you are the embodiment of the aspects they are looking for in the agent that will guide them through the most important financial decision of their lives.

Knowledge:

Your ability to cover relevant subjects in well organized and rich articles reflects your knowledge first-hand. 
This should matter to them.

Experience:

You deliver inexhaustible content around the topics that are relevant to your audience’s interests and concerns. 
This should matter to them.

Care:

The act of regular blogging itself shows your interest, passion, and commitment to your clients’ education and understanding of their needs.  In addition, it shows that same commitment to the development of your own education and business. 
This should matter to them.

Local Expertise:

Delivering the scoop on local real estate trends – and – reporting on the community, one photo and one article at a time illustrates your roots.  
This should matter to them.

Visibility/Accessibility:

The blog that is regularly updated illustrates an environment that is approachable.  Dialogue involving the author in the comments illustrates participation and attention. 
This should matter to them.

You've set the stageInternet Marketing Savvy:

Chances are, your current and potential clients do not blog.  Your management and mastery of your broad online presence is impressive, and is the difference when they are judging your skills to embrace the internet as a marketing tool – the #1 most important tool in 21st century real estate. 
This should matter to them.

If your (potential) clients do blog… well, now you have more in common than you could ever hope for: You’re both crazy.

Trust:

Of course, the above list clearly works towards building your clients’ trust.  However, there are other avenues to streamlining that trust through blogging.  Our next post will cover it in depth, but here’s a taste based on the banter in the Tomato Forum.
Courage To Expose
   Publishing your thoughts online for the world to read and criticize.
The Effort to Demonstrate Reliability & Integrity
   Bringing the facts, and boosting your accountability
Transparency of Personality
   Your readers ‘get to know you’

Home buyers and sellers have a choice when selecting an agent to represent them during the purchase or sale of their most valuable financial asset.  Rather than relying on static branding and ubiquitous online tools, seasoned real estate bloggers are able to illustrate their value to their potential clients through focused daily writing.  Once a potential client has uncovered your blog, you have set the stage for winning them over.

Related Must Reads:
How Does Real Estate Blogging Actually Generate Leads?
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

Tomato Co-Authors

Armyoftomatoes2

Paula Henry - Indy Real Estate Talk
Cyndee Haydon - Sandbars To Sunsets
Sandi Bauman – Chico Home Search
Karl Burger – Pensalcola Real Estate News
Terry McDonald – Charlotte Communities
Chad Lariscy - The Front Porch View
Daniel Bates - My McClellanville
Mary De Luca - Beltway Ramblings
John Coley - Lake Martin Voice
Joe Peffer - Columbus Homes Blog
Charles Woodall - Dothan Home Search
Daniel Bates - My McClellanville
Eric Ransom - Real Estate Laundry

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» Marketing 101: Substance from PlugMyListing.com Blog
Marketing without substance is like fishing without bait or a lure. Anybody can throw out words like, "Investor's Dream House" "Great For First Time Buyers" "Your Local Expert" "Connecting You to the Power of the Internet" Without the substance to [Read More]

Comments

Jim - you're right Paula Henry really nailed it - blogs really give people a window into the real estate agent - they can see in at a safe distance - when they find they can trust you they're comfortable choosing and contacting you. We had a great example of that this week and I gotta tell you it makes all the "work" worth it when you do make that connection! Congrats to Paula on MVB - great choice!! - Cyndee Haydon

Jim this is great information for any blogger. Paula really nailed it on this one. - Ashley

I have to laugh when I see all the slogans the agents use. Blogging proves you are the expert. Instead of selling them on the fact, customers come to that decision all by themselves.

Paula - CONGRATULATIONS on a very well written post! I believe your wise clients already know you're a blogger and go beyond the slogan... You truly put your skills and knowledge in writing so there's no doubt! What a great "paper trail" for them to follow. ~Susie Roscoe~

Paula--Congrats on being featured. I think you really understand what sets blogging real estate agents apart from the rest.

Boy...putting all of the ideas that came from the forum together really makes for quiet a powerful punch. The biggest ah ha for me after reading this article really boils down to caring enough to blog and being internet savvy. These two go hand in hand a long way in Real Estate. Great job Jim and all you Tomatoes!

This sounds good, except there is one problem in practice. In fact, *most* agent blogs spend the large majority of their time a) defending their commissions and b) bashing Redfin. Just spend a week reading Bloodhound Blog to see what I mean. It's all about agents telling other agents how dumb their clients are for not wanting to pay big commissions for moderate service. The poster child for this is Kris Berg.

As a client, it really bothers me. I read a dozen RE blogs a day and my opinion of agents has decreased significantly. The net effect of their blogs is that they look like ignorant and unethical goofballs who should go the way of travel agents. My advice to the RE blogger community is: You looked better when you kept your mouth shut.

Of course there are exceptions. Steven Leung in Silicon Valley has a nice blog that is purely aimed at clients, and gives great info about local communities. However, for every Steven Leung, you have ten Kris Berg's who are all about the 6% commission and nothing more.

"Ron"

We appreciate your input and would love to respect your opinion... but popping in here anonymously, in an environment of habitual transparency, sure makes it difficult.

I doubt you have taken the time to read all real estate blogs (in fact you mention that you read only a dozen or so) so making any assumption that most are damaging the image of the agents that author them is just reckless.

The group that helped write this article, for example, is a small sampling of the large, nationwide gang that are our clients. I know for a FACT that the picture you are trying to paint simply can NOT be applied to them. Testimonial of success after testimonial of success from our clients, in this challenging market, prove otherwise.

Troll the comments anonymously if you must, but please come in here with some better facts as opposed to personal attacks and rants.

Great effort folks!

In an effort to acknowledge the efforts of the gang, and at the same time, take nothing away from Paula... The article is a completely collaborative effort. Paula is being recognized as the MVB for making the connection of slogans vs bloggers, and providing some support of that idea.

The article, however, could not have been written without the input of all those mentioned. Thanks everyone. Looking forward to next Monday.

Excellent. It was a good question, and the combined answer is just what my email clients have expressed. They approach me with confidence that I am just what they need, and with the attitude that I am an old friend they can trust.

Great Article...the reason I started blogging was because my clients told me that my website was good, but didn't capture my "personality" or "knowledge"...I think I have achieved that with The Real Estate Sizzle...and more!

Paula- Congratulations! I love your thoughts on "beyond the slogan"-- very well put. Our blogs do give clients insight that they might otherwise receive only after spending time with us one on one.

This is inspirational

Greetings! I am an Ann Arbor , Michigan real estate professional. Thank you for these terrific ideas. My eyes are open wide to this very fresh concept of communicating with our public. I am sure that it no secret the challenges that we are having with our local Ann Arbor marketplace. This tool is going to allow me to really keep our community abreast of the most current information. I am in the process of catapulting myslef into what I thought was going to be the vast darkness of BLOGGERS IN SPACE...... instead I now have a wonderfully helpful group of people and a network of people sharing information, and providing tools that make sense! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Caitlin A. Phillips
Prudential Snyder & Company Realtors
Ann Arbor MI.

Paula, is correct, I was just interviewed by a national magazine, because they found my slogan "Old Fashion Service with Modern Technology to meet your Realty Needs". But, she found out during the interview there was so much more to me than the slogan.

Great topic and interesting comments.

Of the thousands of posts I've read by agents, few if any really resonated with me on any level. Many or poorly written, uninteresting and beckoning me to enter an agents world without any context.

As an example, on a Miami agent Blog, I read about the agent's father and his bout with intestinal cancer. She described the yards of internal part removed during the operation. Her sadness oozed from the monitor. As a buyer I refrained from contacting her. After all how would she be able to deal with my petty real estate needs at a time like this?

The dilemma facing real estate Blogs is how its function is perceived. I think most agents view a Blog as a window into their soul. As a way to get to know them on a deep level. As indicated here in the article as a way to lend credibility to the grab bag of tag lines agents use.

But I disagree with this. Consumers do not wake up Sunday morning, lean over to their bedmate and say, "babe, let's search the web for a deeply insightful agent that can write flowing narrative about homeless in America.

A Blog is, and might very well be, the greatest or the worst medium to advertise your business, your product and your service. Greatest in that if done right, you can build a mountain of business or it can serve to embarrass you to no end if done wrong.

Using a Blog as window into your soul as many agents do is frightening for a host of reasons. The two that matter most is the idea of bearing your soul to someone a) so early into the relationship and b) to a consumer simply looking to buy a home.

The mistakes most Blogs make and the reason why do not rate on the things consumers say they look for when searching real estate is that most Blog focus on what the agents think about rather than focusing on the consumer thinks about.

A successful Prada campaign, a successful iPhone campaign has nothing at all to do with what the manufacturers think about. They score big with the consumer because the message taps into the soul of the consumer.

I think the advent of Blogging for real estate is both wonderful and scary as it appears there are far too many taking digital pen to digital paper and rambling on and on about things that don't matter to the American real estate customer and thus creating a negative stigma about Blogging that is fast becoming similar to the stigma around the lack of value of an agent website.

The best any agent can do Blog wise is:

1) Focus on a place. Neighborhood. Community. Subdivision.
2) Focus on the homes. Blog about listings. There is so little info about homes available through IDX, use the Blogs to tell stories about that home. About the neighbors. Use it to sell your product!
3) Let sellers post on your Blog. They want to sell their homes and they just might have stories and angles about their home that will serve you efforts.
4) Poll your readers. Ask them what they want to learn more about. And write about that.

Target your Blog like Madison Ave targets an ad campaign. All fingers point to that being the ticket to a successful Blog.

Hi Marc,
Thanks for the pointed comments from someone who I believe is not a REALTOR.
As a RE blogger the number of topics one can write about are limitless. I believe it is so important to understand what your audience wants to hear and give it to them. The personal information should not be overdone but an occasional comment that personalizes your blog so it is not "canned".

Especially in Canada where consumers are resistant to "glitz" and more conservative, people do not want to feel they are being "sold" when they read a blog, but they are happy to be educated, engaged and occasionally entertained. They especially do not want to be patronized or the target of too many self-serving comments on the part of the blogger.

Hilary Shantz, Oakville, Ontario www.theoakvillebuzz.com

We need to remember that not only our clients and potential clients are reading our blogs. Since they've available on the web and discovered through search engines, when we're tempted to get too personal, we need to ask, "Do I want everyone to know this about me?". None of which is to deny that we need to have a voice and a personality.

We need to remember that not only our clients and potential clients are reading our blogs. Since they've available on the web and discovered through search engines, when we're tempted to get too personal, we need to ask, "Do I want everyone to know this about me?". None of which is to deny that we need to have a voice and a personality.

HIllary,

"Especially in Canada where consumers are resistant to "glitz" and more conservative, people do not want to feel they are being "sold" when they read a blog, but they are happy to be educated, engaged and occasionally entertained. They especially do not want to be patronized or the target of too many self-serving comments on the part of the blogger."

Yes, it's the same in Reno,NV. I guess human nature never yearns to be sold whether you're in canada or nevada. Great post and comments..

-Ian

Excellent. My real blog is contributed to serve my customers. However, to improve more number of customers, I try to do like you told.
thanks for sharing

Good this is nice information for any blogger.

Great Read. Real Estate blogging is a great way to generate new and retain old business.

Great article, I always get great pointers and tips from you.

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