Why Every Realtor Should Consider Blogging

A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest panelist on a webinar/conference call for about 50 real estate agents from across the country. I was invited by the course instructor, along with two other real estate bloggers, as part of an online marketing course he was teaching for Keller Williams University (KWU). The three of us were interviewed by the moderator while everyone else listened in and sent questions through a web interface. It was my first time to participate in a web/voice conference like that and it was pretty cool.

We covered a lot of information, and I enjoyed hearing what the other two bloggers had to say, as they have somewhat different approaches to blogging than I do, but their approaches work well for them and mine works well for me.

But the main question was “Why should a Realtor spend time blogging?“, and I’m going to cover that topic in this post.

There two main reasons a Realtor should maintain a blog. First, by having dynamic content on your website, search engines have more content to index, more reasons to visit your website, and therefore your website becomes more visible and easier to find by the people you want to help. Second, it allows prospective clients to get to know you without having to pick up the phone or send an email.

Sylvia and I receive phone calls and emails regularly from prospective clients who have already decided to hire us before we’ve even spoken because they’ve spent time reading the blog and feel like they already know about us. That’s powerful. That’s very powerful. Here are a couple of recent examples.

I received the following email on September 7th.

My name is {Client’s name) and I am looking for a home. I found a link to one of your blog entries. Now, having read several entries and your About Us page, I would like you to be my agent(s)…

How great is that? I love those kind of emails and phone calls. This is why I spend time blogging. After receiving the above email, I contacted this prospect, had him get pre-qualified for a loan right away, started the home search process and found a home. He closed on the sale 2 days ago on September 25th, less than 20 days after I received the initial email contact, and is moving in this weekend. Without the blog, this client may never have found me and Sylvia.

Here’s another on, received September 4:

I found you through your blog on the web, I believe I also met Steve briefly last year at an open house I attended…Having read your blog I’ve found you guys to be highly knowledgeable and rational in your outlook and views of the market…

This email also resulted in a happy new client. Are you getting my point yet? I can attribute many, many clients we’ve helped over the past couple of years to emails or phone calls almost exactly like the 2 examples above. This is why I invest time in maintaining a blog, and it’s why every Realtor should consider doing so.

So, if you are a Realtor (or any business owner for that matter) and would like to become easier to find on the web by those you wish to serve, you may want to consider starting a blog. Here are a few things you should consider before you start though.

1) If you are not a good writer, don’t do it.

Many Realtors write at about an 8th grade level. Sorry, but that’s a fact and I have the emails to prove it. If that’s you, stick with the three core activities of Networking, Prospecting and Advertising to find new clients. Meanwhile, learn to write so you can set a goal of starting a blog in the future.

2) If you cannot commit to writing at least one article a week, don’t do it.
I’ve seen Real Estate blogs with a total of three articles, the first usually titled “My New Blog!”, and the most recent being 11 months old. That gives the impression that you’ve gone out of business. If you cannot commit to at least an hour a week of writing, don’t even start.

3) Make sure you own your content and that it directly benefits your website and business.
Many real estate agents publish blog articles on free, hosted blogging services such as ActiveRain.com, but nowhere else. Or they start a blog on a free site that is disconnected from their website, such as Blogger.com.

If you blog on sites not hosted on your domain, all of the content you create is benefiting the search engine traffic and visibility of someone else’s website. Get your own website with your own domain name, install WordPress blogging software, and host your own blog on your own website domain. It’s easy. If you don’t know how, send me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction.

You might also like to read : What Does it Take to Succeed as a Realtor?

There are many resources on the web that go into greater detail about do’s and don’ts of real estate blogging. I’ve just scratched the surface, but I think these are in fact the three core considerations before you get started. 1) Can you write? 2) Can you commit to keep writing? and 3) Is your website/blog set up properly (self hosted) to fully reap the rewards?


Posted by Steve
9 years ago

Steve is a Real Estate Blogger, Husband and Dad, UT Austin Grad, Runner, Real Estate Broker and owner of Crossland Team and Crossland Real Estate in Austin TX.

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skeltoac » Buying my first house - 9 years ago

[…] It was definitely for me. Just after I wrote this article, I checked Steve’s blog and found a shorter version of my story. I wish him and his wife continued success. This entry was written by Andy Skelton, posted on […]

Scott - 9 years ago

One problem…if everyone blogs, it is likely, considering that few, including myself, know HTML code, that all would
use the same generic templates. Worse, they would prob subscribe to the same services that provide posting material,
and copy it verbatim. In a nutshell, you would see hundreds of look-alike blogs that end up cluttering up the whole
thing. If all agents were creative, wrote well, and put great effort into updating with strikingly original material,
perhaps the clutter, while still present, would not be quite as stifling anyway. To use this Crossland blog, for example,
I feel very few agents could come close. In Austin, prob one of the top 5 tech cities, there are only 4 blogs that pop
up in the search results even remotely worth looking at, and 2 out of the three are lax at updating frequently.
Now, perhaps there are some great ones not popping up in search, but I doubt it, for if someone was a first-class blogger,
they would know how to jiggle the search results properly so they came out near the top, and/or would get enough hits
to bring it to the top of its own accord if it was that good. The real answer to that, Steve, is that the great bloggers
are doing it as a full-time job, and those who are top RE agents are too busy selling to grant much time to it, even
if they had the skill and knowledge. I strongly feel that unless you plan on having a top notch RE blog, better to have none. 3-4 month gaps in updating do nothing to impress potential clients. Finally, I think blogs are peaking now in popularity, and, while they won’t exactly go away, they, like podcasting, which passed out of the cool phase recently,
will be quite passe soon. If everyone has one, it will just accelerate the inevitable fate of blogs going the way of the
personal home page, which was co-opted by My Space pages. Just like not everyone should display their amateur
paintings in galleries, not everyone should display blogs for all to see if they have nothing unique to add or say.
To sum, a rapid increase in blogs, business AND personal, will just exacerbate the inevitable switch to it being passe,
much like personal home pages, which peaked around ’99 when even babies and family pets had one(if the internet
can jump the shark, this was a classic shark jumping). IMHO, let those who can blog and do it well blog, while the other
95% can stick to what they do best….sell.

David Smith - 9 years ago

We recently used Crossland team to sell our home and it was 100% due to being a regular blog reader for several months. After reading analysis of the Austin real estate market for several months, I reached the conclusion that Steve was a competent professional whose judgment and experience could be trusted.

In contrast, another realtor’s website used “code” language that has historically been used to steer white couples out of black neighborhoods. Whether the realtor is illegally steering or not, who knows, but someone who doesn’t have the sense to know better isn’t going to get a chance to earn my dollar.

The other realtors that made our short list of candidates, btw, used different tactics. One was clearly targetting our neighborhood, and I saved multiple postcards from [this person] sent over several months that positioned him or her as the neighborhood specialist. The other was highly recommended by word of mouth, and had sold at least two, maybe three homes from our inner circle of friends.

Jim - 9 years ago

I looked around at sold listings on MLS in various parts of Austin during the least 4-6 months. Very few buyer’s agents (or listing agents) from these sales have any kind of meaningful web presence, and I don’t think I saw a single one with a blog.

The types of people who look for a realtor online are usually young or out of area buyers don’t know anyone to give them a referral. There are fewer and fewer of these as the lending crisis began. More and more buyers are cautious and have an established income and downpayment money. These folks usually know enough realtors already through referrals.

Blogs are tough to write. Eventually you run out of ideas. Every realtor writes pretty much the same things: market stats, comments on the news, talking about how dumb most realtors are.

You’ll get leads that way…people will fill out the contact form. The question is how many of those actually buy anything.

Briggs Christie - 9 years ago

I agree that “canned” blogs are a blight, but also that a blog with fresh and relevant material can be a great boost to hits and lead generation. As readership grows, other blogs cross-post your entries where they’re appropriate and the flow of readers grows. Heck, we get more hits on our blog than we do on our listings. And, as another comment said, there are transactions that can be directly attributed to its existence.

Steve - 9 years ago

> We recently used Crossland team to sell our home and it was 100% due to being a regular blog reader for several months.

Thanks David. It was a pleasure helping you sell your home.

To the other points, real estate blogging is like a lot of other things in real estate and other businesses. It’s no secret, but very, very few agents will ever actually implement it. Therefore, those of us who have discovered the power of blogging can advocate it liberally, knowing that few will really ever do it. The same can be said for agents who advocate door knocking, cold calling, holding open houses, and the various other business building strategies one can choose to follow.

Some wonder why every week at KW in Austin we have top producing agents put on training classes giving away all their “secrets”. Won’t that create more competition? No, becuase agents sit in the class, listen, nod their heads, take notes, then leave the class and don’t do anything they just learned.


Scott - 9 years ago

I hate to add anything more, but one last thing here. You must ENJOY maintaining the blog to make it worthwhile.
A “canned” generica version will just look silly. More so, you must write well, and have something original to say,
to add to the mix, so to speak. A little sense of humor helps as well. I can infer that Steve Crossland loves blogging,
and the site screams that everywhere. This guy, who I’ve never met, obviously loves stats, market happenings,
and pondering issues germain to Austin RE, and, above all, writes quite well. He also welcomes commentary, and usually
gives feedback, sometimes even an e-mail as well. I don’t think many agents have the particular mix of talents and
tastes as Steve, or could even come close to creating a blog such as this. The question is, is any old blog worth
putting up just for the sake of generating business? I say a resounding no if it is in the form of the old homepage in the late
90’s, which just sat there in cyberspace eternity, never updated. If they give the blog life, so to speak, and generate lots of interest with hot-topic posts that hit the buttons that make people respond, sure, it could be a huge boon to your business. Don’t forget, you really have to do it yourself to do it properly as well. This means learning how a reasonable
amount of info per the tech aspect of blogging, and the ability to respond relatively quickly to requests and replies.
If done wrong, which will be the case with 95% of agents, it will sit and collect in the cyberspace refuse heap forever,
with all the defunct home pages agents were told they must have from ’98 on. Selling is ultimately a face-to-face
business, so I don’t thing even the best blogger can hide behind it as an escape from getting out and pressing the flesh.
As a tool amonst many, it could be great, but only if done right.

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