BLOGGING IS THE CHEESE! If Not Now, When? If Not This, What?
This is the third in a series of posts about the importance of bloggig to those of us in the real estate profession. We risk losing everything if we don't take the bull by the horns and use the platform of blogging to let the buying and sellng public know that WE are the experts in our areas and not the big syndicated websites!
Blogging can be our salvation! I mean that!...how else are we, as a profession going to combat the rise and explosive growth of the syndicated websites? We can join them and many agents are.. every day. But how is it, that now that they are well established and the market has recognized them as the "experts" (including the President of the US, by the way) how do we handle the many issues arising from the distorted pricing and "Zestimates" of these two sites? They do affect us you know--it matters not if the price (zestimate) is too high or too low; it matters only that the buying public, in their thirst for information about real estate, read these stats and believe them!
BLOGGING IS THE CHEESE IN THE TUNNEL OF MARKETING:
It is time to recognize the facts about what it is that is distorting our real estate businesses; what is causing the questioning of the need for a local agent with local knowledge in a transaction? "Who needs to use an agent anyway?" is a question that is being asked more and more, especially by the young buyer who surfs the syndicated websites all the time. Since this same buyer is already on the web, chances are they will find one of our local posts and read it.
The blog post is the cheese and the buyer will take the cheese if it is there and if it is interesting and if it is about an area where they may want to buy a house!
The syndicates are all a-glow with the idea that they can supply a nation with statistics, ( usually incorrect stats at that!) a high volume of sales listings and claims of local expertise...all to give validity to their claims of authority over the whole world of the real estate market! They are accomplishing that more and more each day.
We, as real estate professionals, are watcing as the giant syndicated websites cut deeper and further into our brokerage businesses. I for one have observed the "taking" of our content with complete distrust and disgust--These sites do know what they are doing. They invite all agents to hand over their precious life blood: their listings! Agents willingly hand it over without giving it much thought. "They will just scrape it off the brokerage websites if we don't give it to them anyway!" is a familiar refrain when I remind my fellow agents of what they are doing. There is a "Brain Block" when it comes to the facts about these syndicates....there is also a fear that some other agent will get the position if they don't take it! ...A more thorough sales pitch could never have done as good a job as the fear these giants have engendered in the mind of the real estate agents out there! The result? ..An enormous gain in good content and great listings for their websites!
THE TIME IS RIGHT TO TAKE A STAND AND CLAIM YOUR LOCAL REAL ESTATE MARKET---Claim your market place by writing about it! Find the obscure and the fascinating things about your area. Those things are there; they do exist! There is a wealth of little known facts that you can uncover and write about to show your local knowledge--here are a few examples of what to blog about:
- A blog about the hiking or walking trails in your area--maybe even a free hand map that you have drawn and colored with the trails and walking paths marked in red or another bright color---I use the primary colors of markers to create a colorful and simple map, marking the head of the trail or path and and other points of interest along the way like a berry patch. It's ok if you can't really draw--primitive art is a good thing and a map with a child-like drawing can be just the thing to catch on.
- Restaurants that you love and why--listing the food and what you like about it--the crunch of the crust of fresh bread; the creamy, rich flavor of the soup or pasta.
- A blog about the best book store, or a place for yarn for knitting, or a great organic health food shop, listing the items that are the best from those shops and why you keep going back.
- A blog about the latest new shops or stores that have opened and what you have noticed about them: hours of service, a terrific sales person who helped you out, anything that you can say to impart the feeling of the shops and what it is that they specialize in.
- A blog about the oldest church or school in your area---remember the first pastor? Blog about him/her...Remember a special teacher? Interview them to see how the school has changed or stayed the same..
- A blog post about the most beautiful park or a place to go to relax in your area---what it is that you notice the most? The color of the grasses?...the flowers growing there? ....What is the favorite thing to do in the park or the relaxing place? Is there a place to kayak?
- Blog about a little known cooking class or if there is one, a cooking school---talk to the students to see what they love about cooking and their classes.
BLOGGING CAN BECOME A PRIMARY FORM OF MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS! ...But it needs to be treated as a primary form of marketing for your niche area. Time spent blogging about your area is precious--you need to allow for it. I find first thing in the morning with my coffee is the best time to get into it---fresh from sleep and usually with a new thought to put toward your blog post...
The proof of the fact that blogging can be THE primary form of marketing is in the responses we all get on our local posts... Try it---give a 100% commitment to doing a perfect local post for your area and publish it. Keep it clear, concise and interesting and you will have rich content that Google algorithms love.
Keep at it because once you do it, it will be very easy the next time....and the next time.
**ALL INFORMATION AND CONTENT IN THIS BLOG IS ORIGINAL TO PAULA I. HATHAWAY. The views expressed herein are my personal views and do not reflect the views of Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Paula I. Hathaway, Senior Broker Associate, Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Southamtpon Village Real Estate Specialist since 1995; Also Specializes in North Sea, Noyac, Water Mill and Bridgehampton, New York
Diamond , Gold and Chairman's Circle Awards; Top Producer since 2005
Click here to see my Hampton's website to see all my listings; please email me or call me for all your real estate needs in Southampton, Bridgehampton and Watermill: http://www.elliman.com/paulahathaway
MY REAL ESTATE SHOWS: