It's not your father's real estate market any more. It's not even 2005 any more. In 2005, anyone who could fog a mirror could make a living as a realtor in Phoenix. I have a friend who sold his house a couple of years ago and he received multiple offers even before the sign went up. Today the average time on the market for homes like mine in my neighborhood is 90 days. Within the square mile I live in, there are a dozen homes for sale.
Like any other blogger, a realtor should use her blog to build trust and credibility. People don't do business with your company, they do business with you. Write your blog so that people will connect with you and come to trust you.
That's all well and good, but you often hear me say "Trust comes from demonstrated performance." It doesn't matter how nice your client thinks you are if you don't sell his house. You need to be using every tool at your disposal to promote your client's house as widely as possible. A house-specific blog can do just that.
As an example, I recently put my home on the market. For $4.95 per month, I created a Typepad blog about my house. Once a day I update it, adding a picture or some text. (I don't have to actually sit down and do this every day. I could for example, sit down once a week and create seven posts, each scheduled to be published on a different day.) Within 3 days, that blog about my house was on the first page of Google and has remained there ever since, sometimes in the very first position. (And yes, I've had a few hundred visitors to that blog)
One of the great features of a Typepad blog is that Google is notified the instant you create a new post: No waiting for weeks until the Google spyder gets around to you. That's why you can have such a dramatic affect upon your search engine rankings in such a short time.
A house-specific blog is a great way to get good ad copy in front of potential buyers too. I know that each and every one of you wants to say more about your clients' house that you can fit in that MLS listing. A blog is one answer. There is no limit to the number of words or photos (or video, for that matter). For example, accompanying the photo of my garden, I talked about the sweetness of the cantelope and the freshness of the snap-peas. Any potential buyer trapped in an apartment and harboring a secret desire for a garden is going to say, "Oh Yeah!".
Of course, doing this for your clients probably means you are going to have to polish your copywriting skills. You are probably really good at cramming the right words into that MLS listing. With a blog, you have a chance to stretch, tell a story, and really draw your potential buyers in. I'll talk more about that in another post.
Some of you are saying, The average agent doesn't have time to be keeping up a blog for each of his listings! Yup, you are absolutely right. And that's why the average agen will remain average. In a tough market like we are in now, agents who are only average won't survive.
But what about Buyer's Agents? If you act primarily as the buyer's agent, then you have a whole different set of considerations. And that will be the topic of my sext post.