BLOGGING IS THE "CHEESE"!!...The "Cheese" To Draw The Public In
This is the third in a series of posts about the importance of blogging 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 selling public know that WE are the experts in our areas and not the big syndicated websites!
BLOGGING AS AN *ART FORM
*Art-form--from Websters Dictionary: an undertaking or activity enhanced by a high level of skill or refinement
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.
How is it now that these sites are well established and the market has recognized them as the "experts"? How do we make our expertise known to the masses? How do we handle the many issues arising from the distorted pricing and "Zestimates" in this second home market?
How do we let the buyer know that if you go it alone in the purchase of a home you may face the ravages of obscure local laws and taxes that will make your experience a nightmare? How do we tell the buying public that an advocate for your best interests is the way to go, and that relying on a broker with the best experience for your needs is what created the brokerage business in first place!
It is time to recognize the facts about what it is that is distorting our real estate businesses and 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 syndicates are all a-glow with the idea that they can supply a nation with statistics, ( usually incorrect) 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!
"CONTENT IS KING"--REMEMBER THAT!
We, as real estate professionals, are watching 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--I have been blogging about it for years, 10 years to be exact!
These syndication sites do know what they are doing. They invite all agents to hand over their precious life blood: their original content, listings with photographs and ad copy--all original content that pulls Google searches like a bee to honey! ....And they ask them to pay for the right to appear next to their own listings, and many do just that
ITS LIKE A GIANT SUCKING SOUND AS THESE SITES TAKE BROKERAGE LIFEBLOOD
Agents willingly hand over their original content (listings) without giving it much thought and then pay for the privilege! They pay big time--sometimes as much as $2000 to $2500 a month just to get the cream off the top of the new leads. Does it pay? It must for some because they continue to do it with out any thought as to what is really going on or about the future of their profession.
"They will just scrape it off the brokerage websites if we don't give them the listings anyway!" is what many agents say. But they fail to recognize that the reason Zillow and others like it reach out to the agents is because those "scraped listings" do NOT pull good solid Search Engine Optimization as only high quality, original content can!
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!
IT TAKES A TECHNO-PARASITE TO UNDERSTAND WHY THEY NEED ORIGINAL CONTENT
This original content gives the syndicates an edge since they are run by "geniuses" from Silicon Valley. They are techno-parasites (my own word) from California or Seattle who are only looking to make a fortune off the naive public--not to do a public service! They know they need the ORIGINAL content to pull search engine algorithms!
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 real facts and data that you can uncover and write about to show your local knowledge--here are a few examples of what to blog about:
- A blog post showing the latest sales in a given area--How much higher are prices now? Or, conversely, how much lower? Sales trends i.e., finished lower levels and what is the important ingredient in that new addition to living space--showing great photos of the trend.
- A blog about the hiking or walking trails in your area. There are numerous local maps available in most areas; you can use those as well.
- lOCAL 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 and learning how to knit, or a great organic health food shop. List 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 can inform the buying public.
- 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 sweep of high growing grasses...the flowers growing there....What is the favorite thing to do in the park or a relaxing place? Is there a place to kayak?...a dog park?
- 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.
- A Jewelry making class, a glass blowing class---anything of real local interest.
- A great farmers market or farm stand---Farm to Table and organic foods. Mention the care taken and how these farmers changed their farms when offering their healthy wares.
A BLOG POST IS BEST IF IT IS SHORT, TO THE POINT.
Original content is the key and great photographs help as well. If you have a link to an interesting shop, school or other place of great interest, add that to your post--it all adds up to great Google juice and cheese!! Search engine optimization (SEO) comes only from the algorithms that are set up by search engines; Google Juice is a term humorously given to good content; original and high quality content!
BLOGGING CAN BECOME A PRIMARY FORM OF MARKETING FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS
You don't have to be a literary genius, just write like you talk. you write ad copy, no? Keep that in mind!
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: