November 27, 2010

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Blogs: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part 1

The benefits of agents running their own real estate blogs are many: they can position you as a local expert in your neighbourhood, enhance your credibility as a businessperson, and attract leads that might otherwise have overlooked you entirely.

At least, that’s the theory. In practice, an agent’s blog can have the opposite effect, driving away leads by presenting an image that’s far from professional. It’s an understandable by-product of the accessibility of blogging - everyone can do it, but not everyone can do it well.

So what are some of the pitfalls to avoid with your blog, and what are some attributes to aspire to? We don’t intend to name and shame, but after scouring the web for agent website examples, we have come up with a few hot tips:

The writing has to be up to scratch. You might be a wonderful communicator “in real life”, but the online environment is less forgiving, as typos and poor grammar sit around until you correct them. The trick is to write as if you were speaking to a friend, keeping your sentences as natural and conversational as possible.

Closely linked to the way you write is what you write about. And here’s where you ask that all-important question: who is my audience? Would potential customers really be interested in the latest industry news? Or would they be more attracted by content that discusses movements in the local community - new shops opening, business successes, perhaps even an interview with the local mayor or council member? Put yourself in your readers shoes and consider what you’d be searching for in your online home hunt.

Speaking of mayors, keep this in mind: politicising your content, while tempting, is a sure-fire way to alienate those readers who don’t see things your way. Of course, it makes sense to discuss local issues and the way government is addressing these, but by taking a hard-line stance you’re sure to upset someone, and that someone could potentially have been a new client.

The basics aren’t enough when it comes to blog design. Of course, not everyone can begin with a perfectly designed blog - at first a basic theme will probably have to do. But as time goes on, readers will expect improvements. A poll, more pictures, updated links, a few more pages - anything to make things more interesting for return visitors beyond the daily or weekly posts.

If you give up, take it offline, at least until you’re ready to re-start. If your blog is your only online presence, consider stripping it back to a basic contact and information page. Then, when you’re less run off your feet, bring back the posts. Nothing will bring doubt into the mind of a potential client more quickly than the top post being dated “September 4, 2008″.

Tune in next time for part two of our tips for real estate bloggers. In the meantime, of course, share your own tips and thoughts in our comments.

Click here for Blogs: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly - Part 2.


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  1. Blogs: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Part 2



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