SEO

Getting Real Estate Agents to Adopt Blogging for Enhanced SEO

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.

9b20a761f58e1e00667ac49761179640 64 Getting Real Estate Agents to Adopt Blogging for Enhanced SEO
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.

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10 thoughts on “Getting Real Estate Agents to Adopt Blogging for Enhanced SEO

  1. Thanks for some news from SEO world btw. when someone from commercial real estate domain comment the first think is ” is it’s spam?” so I know it must be hard to comment by Real Estate Agents.

  2. Patrick,

    Your six reasons apply to many professionals holding back on getting their feet wet in blogging.

    It’s amazing that even with tools like WordPress (and others you mentioned), people continue to hold back.

    Great post!

  3. Great article.

    Having been a real estate agent for several years and pro blogger for 3 years I can whole heartedly vouch for your analysis here.

    It can be tricky fitting in blogging around agency work but the exposure benefits online have proven to be enormous for me. The major problem is immediacy. Agents want to see results now. I think all serious bloggers know that it takes time and patience to see the tremendous benefits a blog can deliver.

    Persuading fellow agents of this, can prove to be a real stumbling block in my experience.

  4. I’ve seen a lot of spammy looking real estate blogs in Google blog search. Posts often read like a classified ad or a cheap PPP style advertisement – quick and surfacy. Similar to spam, blog comments are likely to use multiple and sometimes duplicate links to make a single point.

    I wonder if some of the hesitation about blogging comes from bad results due to self sabotage. Maybe they need more understanding of what indicates trustworthiness and good citizenship in the blogosphere.

  5. Pat! I didn’t know you wrote here! cool.

    Immediate gratification complex – “I want to see an immediate ROI”

    The execs in my company cannot see beyond the end of the year. I tell them that if they invest the efforts this year, the ROI will come next year and for years to come.

    Not to mention the QUALITY of the relationship gained when a reader does happen by the company blog. It shows openness and transparency (sorry) in the company, and for a builder, that is essential.

  6. We notice that the housing recession has caused agent paralysis in their marketing initiatives. In other words, many agents will only work when they perceive a market exists, otherwise they don’t even try. So even though they have time, agents still don’t adopt blogging when the timing is right to do so.

  7. I just came across this post. Unfortunately, the platform our site is on doesn’t allow us to add a blog. I certainly understand the importance of blogging, however, and plan on integrating one somewhere/somehow.

    You may be surprised how many agents there are that do have a very strong hold on SEO. Though, I do understand there are many more that have no clue.

  8. I think every kind of worldwide business will need SEO in marketting their products or services through their website. thanks for your post.

  9. I think every kind of worldwide business will need SEO in marketting their products or services through their website. thanks for your post.