In my previous post on Search Engine Journal, I discussed how blogging was ideal for real estate marketing, boosting natural SEO and lead generation opportunities. Yet, real estate agents have a hard time starting a blog, even when shown evidence that showing up on Google’s top pages is tantamount to being the next generation full page Yellow Pages ad. Here are six main reasons why agents are reluctant:
1. Tech dysfunctional – “I focus on real estate and have no time learning about search engine marketing / blogging / technology”
2. Immediate gratification complex – “I want to see an immediate ROI”
3. Lacking confidence – “I can’t write (a blog)”
4. Lacking time – “I have no time to write (a blog)”
5. Lacking creativity – “I’ll run out of ideas for articles”
6. Conservative – “I’ll write a blog when its efficacy is proven”
Real estate agents are employed by brokerages, and it behooves a brokerage owner to promote blogging because it enhances both the agents’ and the brokerage’s online visibility… and that means more deals. In order to get agents to blog, a brokerage must:
1. Convince agents, in layman terms, that blogging will enhance their marketing and lead generation capabilities.
2. Provide education and coaching to overcome the three hurdles blogs present to agents – learning the blogging application, writing content and understanding how to develop a successful blog through networking, etc.
3. Provide a system whereby agents only need write one or so articles per week, instead of the daunting 3-5 articles per week that are characteristic of many real estate blogs.
[This works beyond the real estate agent market and almost for any group of employees you want to encourage to blog - Loren]
One solution for brokerages is to create a new type of blog-enabled website that aggregates a number of its agents writing blog articles, so each agent doesn’t have to write so much. This new type of broker blog from Florida based EWM Realtors was unveiled yesterday by Tomato Blogs, a real estate web/blogsite development company.
One consideration – real estate agents want to have their own blog properties – after all, in the long run, their blogs will be their personal marketing vehicle for the rest of their career. At EWM, agents will be blogging on the EVM domain name, but they would lose any SEO or accrued traffic advantage from their published content if they decide to leave EWM. A multi-user blog platform, perhaps based on WordPress MU or Drupal, would allow agents to develop their own personal blogs for marketing while contributing to a main broker blog. Their own blog becomes “portable” and that is what the agents will want.
NOTE : Real estate and search engine optimization don’t seem to mix. I spoke with a real estate participant at last week’s Search Engine Strategies conference, and he noted SEO strategies for verticals like real estate weren’t discussed. At Transparent Real Estate today, I’m profiling a unique, small group of managers who work within large real estate organizations and are leveraging their knowledge of search engine marketing to real estate.
Pat Kitano authors the Transparent Real Estate blog and is Managing Principal of the Domus Consulting Group, a management consulting firm working with real estate brokerages, title insurance companies and Web 2.0 companies to develop technology marketing strategies, and with venture investors on new business models.