A real estate marketing blog is one of the most under utilized methods of real estate lead generation in Australia.
Real estate marketing blogs aren’t all that new. But they have been slow to be embraced by the majority of agents in this country.
It’s surprising when you thing about it. Overall, as an industry we are full of people who like to hear their own voices and who often have big egos and aren’t afraid of the limelight.
Yet real estate blogging has been slow to take off here when compared to other countries, particularly America.
But if you’re a forward-thinking agent who’s prepared to blaze your own trail and think outside the box then starting a blog may be the best thing you ever did for your real estate career.
When done right, your own agent blog is one of the best, in my opinion, the best, real estate marketing methods that you can implement as an agent.
You may also find that it’s a method of prospecting that you actually enjoy!
1. Blogging for real estate is 62% less costly than traditional methods of real estate marketing
If you’re a real estate agent, there are many reasons why you should start your own rea; estate marketing blog.
For one, the savings!
The costs of running a blog are small when compared to other methods of real estate lead generation.
Think about that for a minute.
How much do you spend each year on printing costs?
Then on top of that you have to invest either time, or more of your hard earned money, to pay someone to drop your DL’s and brochures into your farm area.
2. You can reach more people with far less effort
When you’re walking the streets shoving flyers into people letterbox’s or knocking on their doors, you are limited to the number of people that you can reach in one day.
But a blog is different. Instead of marketing one -to – one you can repeatedly market one- to- many.
This gives you a genuine opportunity to explode your prospecting efforts.
Think about the multiplication factor. When you’re out prospecting it doesn’t matter whether you are door knocking, making calls or letterbox dropping. There are only so many people that you can physically speak to in one day.
Even if you work a 12 hour day, you are still restricted to the number of people that you can move into your pipeline.
You could work a 12 hour day every day, for months on end. I know many agents that have done this, myself included. But at some point you will reach capacity.
3. a blog is scaleable
Unlike other real estate lead generation methods, a blog is scaleable! That’s the beauty of it.
In fact, the more work you do on your blog the further your reach within your local community.
Your blogging efforts will compound each day, week, month and year. And just like compounding interest it continues to grow as you add more to it.
So by adding regular, relevant content you are constantly building on your previous blogging efforts. This has a snowball affect as each of your efforts builds on the previous.
Blog traffic builds over time. The more content you produce the more momentum you will gain. This means more ‘traffic’ which is effectively ‘eyeballs’ on your site.
This is in total contrast to other prospecting methods used by agents. Those methods will have you exhausted, frustrated and working long hours for little reward.
4. google rewards content
If you aim to be found on Google as the best agent in your area you need to start sharing valuable content online.
This is how Google determines, in their mind, who the best local agent is. They really don’t have any other way of knowing.
When you deliver up valuable content Google will share this with your mutual audience. They do this via their SERP (search engine results page).
So to rank as the best agent in your area you just need to be the best in Googles eyes.
The difference between a blog and a website
Think of a website as a set of static pages. These pages are often set up when the site is built and rarely if ever, updated. The vast majority of websites are about as effective as a brochure. Read once and never looked at again.
A blog is like having a library full of content. With a librarian that you can visit whenever you need new information or help on a particular topic. You can go into the ‘library’ as many times as you wish.
If you get stuck on a particular subject the friendly librarian is there to assist you by pointing you in the right direction or referring you to similar content that may help you with your issue.
A website is generally more business-like. With a blog you can impart a bit of your own personality to potential clients and let them the real you. This starts the know, like and trust factor.
Think about your own on-line experience. When you need information on something you Google it. Right? If you want to know how to make more sales, how to cook your favourite dish, or how much it costs to fly to New York, you’ll generally begin to search on-line.
Your potential vendors are no different. They start to do their on-line research way before they are ready to speak to an agent. By posting your own real estate content, via a real estate marketing blog, you have the opportunity to form a relationship of sorts before they ever think about interviewing potential agents.
NOTE: Websites that share up-to-date content, via their blog, do much better in search engine rankings. If you want your current website to bring you more leads start blogging!
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How to start your own real estate marketing blog
It’s really not that difficult to set up your own real estate marketing blog. Just follow the steps below.
Purchase a Domain Name – around $20
Firstly, you’ll need a domain name – a domain name is basically the name of your blog. It’s the URL that people will be sent to when they search. For example, karenwardleblog.com
Domain names are relatively cheap to buy. Usually around $20 Australian. You can buy a domain name from hosting sites such as Ventra.
As an agent, I’d suggest using your own name. If that’s not available, try using your name and perhaps your area. Or failing that maybe your name with ‘real estate agent’ after it. Think about the long term. You don’t want to build up an online presence and then move agencies or area and find that your domain name is no longer relevant.
A good option would be to have your name and then ‘blog’ afterwards. For example KarenWardleBlog.com
Get hosting – Roughly $100 per year – or pay monthly
You’ll then need web-hosting. This is where your website will be held. Web host companies rent out their services and host your site on the internet. This is what allows a user to type in your web address, i.e. your URL and view your website. The hosts computer connects to the server that your website is hosted on.
When it comes to web hosting, I use Ventraip They are an Australian company. They were referred to me by a WordPress Expert after my husbands business site was hacked. We’ve had no issues at all and their support is great too!
I’d personally try to get an Australian based host. If your Hosting Providers Servers are overseas you can sometimes, though rarely, have site speed issues. I’ve found this with GoDaddy, though I’ve had no issues with Siteground. Both GoDaddy and Siteground have overseas servers.
I have used Siteground in the past and was exceptionally happy. But be warned, they get you in on a great introductory offer, then the yearly costs go up enormously!
If you already have a real estate website you can always add a blog component to it without having to create a whole new website.
BUT POSTING REGULAR AND RELEVANT CONTENT WILL ATTRACT YOUR IDEAL CLIENT
IT WILL ALSO FILL YOUR PIPELINE AND KEEP THE SEARCH ENGINES HAPPY.
ONLY 5% ARE BLOGGING VIA THEIR OWN WEBSITE
READ THAT AGAIN…..
HOW WILL YOU STAND OUT?
BY DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT OR BY BEING LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE?
How much will it all cost?
You may want to grab some month by month hosting. This way you can see if you enjoy blogging and if it’s really for you.
This gives you a way to start your blog for minimal cost. With all the free options available to get your blog live on the internet you can be up and running for less than $50.
If you do start small you can always add plug-ins, templates and increased hosting options to give you more flexibility in what you can do with your blog or website.
As mentioned you can purchase hosting on an annual or monthly plan. Significant discounts, anywhere around 40%, usually apply for committing to the 12 – month option.
As a ballpark figure hosting will set you back around $100 for the year. Factor in an SSL certificate also. This gives you the s at the end of your http:// address, which ensures users that your site is secure. As a professional agent you really should take that extra option. This will be important if you decide to sell a product, like a book, from your site in the future. At the time of writing Siteground includes SSL certificates in the hosting.
A real estate marketing blog is your very own lead generating website
How to create the actual site
At this point you have a domain name and somewhere to host your blog or website. But at this stage that’s all you have. How do you turn that into a proper blog where you can see all your details and content laid out in an organised, logical way that people will want to engage with?
That’s where WordPress comes in!
WordPress.org, is an open source software which is free to download and use any way you choose. You can install on your own web host to create a website that’s 100% your own. I use and HIGHLY recommend WordPress.org for creating your site.
Now don’t panic and think that you need to build out your site yourself, you don’t. There are tonnes of free templates that you can download and edit to your own taste. And I promise you that you don’t need to know a single bit of code or be at all technical.
There are lots of paid template options that you can buy if you want a bit of variation. Prices are very inexpensive, and you can get a lovely template for less than $50.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a template.
Make sure that it;
- * Has a fast download time – important for users when searching. If your blog takes a long time to load, they will leave and go elsewhere
- * Is mobile optimised – you want to be sure that your content displays beautifully across all devices; mobile, iPad, laptop etc
- * Is SEO friendly – if you are putting effort into keyword research you need a theme that is optimised for that. This is how you will be found online and come up when your potential client does an online search.
- * Can be customised without code – you want to be able to make changes to your site easily without needing to learn code or hire a web designer.
The WordPress Theme that I’d recommend is Astra. It complies with all of the above and more! There’s a load of free Astra templates that are customisable. There are also many free and inexpensive add-ons that offer additional functionality.
Once you have a domain name, hosting and a WordPress.org theme then you are good to go. Once your real estate marketing blog is set up you will need to customise your site and then start doing your keyword research and creating content.
If you’ve never considered blogging before I hope that I’ve inspired you to give it some serious thought.
It is the ideal way to reach your target audience when they are beginning their on-line journey.
I’m sorry, I think that the word journey is grossly overused, thanks to the reality show overkill at the moment. But I couldn’t think of another suitable word. If you can please let me know. Or just add it into the comments below 🙂
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