By Scott Newman
So here’s where you currently stand: Everyone and their mother has been telling you to blog. They say, “it’s so important to connect with the potential clients in your market.” Or more generally, “put yourself out there!” Even asking, “Why aren’t you blogging already? You’re the best writer I know!” (This last one from your mom).
But what’s a newbie blogging REALTOR® to do? Where do you start? What do you say? What don’t you say?
For these questions and more, I hope this blog post and the tips it contains will provide answers. Because while a blog is arguably one of the more daunting personal marketing tools out there, it’s also one of the most effective. Starting and maintaining a blog is an important endeavor for any real estate professional looking for more ways to reach potential clients and—drum roll please—generate business.
Being yourself is the best advice you’ll probably ever get about almost any problem you’re having in life—how’s that for a tip?—but it also holds true with blogs. People want genuine experience, and if you can’t give that to them, they won’t give you their precious time and they’ll go off searching for another blog written by someone who has the realness factor they seek. Oh yeah, and then, when they’re hooked on some other agent’s blog, they’ll wind up buying a home from that agent and not you. Trust me, it can happen.
When you write, do so in an honest and genuine tone that is reflective of the witty, interesting, and insightful person we know you are. Also, think about verbiage, word choice, grammar, and all the other small details that go into good writing. Your reader should be able to walk away with a distinct sense of you as both a person and a professional, and not get tripped up by sloppy grammar or poor spelling along the way.
Know Your Audience
How well you target a specific audience is directly related to the effectiveness of your blog. Before you even sit down to write, think about who you’re trying to cultivate relationships with and focus with laser-like intensity on owning that demographic.
If you’re trying to appeal to first-time home buyers in a blue-collar suburb, writing about high-end kitchen makeovers will completely miss the mark. On the other hand, an honest and compelling piece on the pitfalls first-time buyers should avoid, or a post about how large down payments are not always a requirement when purchasing a home, would be exponentially better received. Further, both topics would invite follow-up questions and open communication between you and potential clients reading and relating to the post. Don’t underestimate the power of the comment box to connect with those in your niche.
Nothing is worse than a boring blog that just regurgitates the same facts available anywhere else on the Internet. Don’t try to compete with Google because spoiler alert: you won’t win. Use videos, humor, props, guest speakers, anything that makes you stand out from the countless other blogs out there. The more creative your content, the more likely readers will be to keep coming back for more.
Again, figure out what your audience is looking for and then take the extra step to think outside of the box and deliver information so you’ll get a positive response. Always keep your posts relevant and up-to-date; there’s nothing worse than a blog full of yesterday’s news or focused on a tired topic. Remember, you’re competing with social media, e-mail, cell phones, and about 10,000 apps. (Yes, you are now in direct competition with angry birds and animated farms).
So finally, armed with enough advice to begin your blogging adventure, my last tip is this: Don’t be afraid. Blogging is really no different than being in a room full of people handing out business cards. The advantage of a blog is that you have the chance to carefully edit and develop your message before taking it public. If done right, you will be rewarded in the best way possible, with an entirely new referral source you wouldn’t have had access to before.
Scott Newman is the broker-owner of Newman Realty in Chicago. Connect with Scott at www.newmanknowschicago.com or @newmanrealty.