4 Steps to a Successful Brokerage Blog

Blogging is a tool for communicating information about your market and your business.

April 1, 2009

It’s also an increasingly effective means for helping consumers find you and your sales associates.

As a manager, you have special knowledge of what’s really happening in your market, and a blog is the place to share that knowledge. Jonathan Washburn, cofounder and CEO of ActiveRain.com, the nation’s largest social networking Web site for real estate professionals, offers strategies for doing it right.

STEP 1. Pool your people. Contributing consistent, quality content is the ultimate key to any blog’s success. By creating one central blog for your brokerage, you can leverage the collective time, energy, and diverse talents of all your associates. Individually, a salesperson may simply not have the time to post regular entries. Pooling the talent of your sales staff allows them to combine their knowledge to create rich content about the markets they serve. You can help to direct and focus your team by giving specific ideas or topics for the blog. With your vision, your team can create digital archives of highly relevant and informative articles that consumers can easily access.

STEP 2. Be hyperlocal. There’s nothing that buyers and sellers desire more than fresh and relevant information about their neighborhood. And there’s no one more qualified to deliver this content than the professionals who canvas these neighborhoods on a daily basis. Treat your blog like an ultralocal newspaper and take hold of the opportunity to own your ZIP code.

STEP 3. Use social networking to spread the word. You probably know that SEO stands for search-engine optimization, but have you ever heard of SNO? Social networking optimization is a smart way to drive traffic to your blog using sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Start by creating accounts on these sites, if you haven’t already, and post headlines and links to all of your brokerage’s latest blog entries. SNO allows you to increase your sphere of influence on the Web and reinforce your expertise with all of your online contacts. If your social networking friends like an article or video you’ve posted, they’ll send it along to their sphere as well—and you’ll benefit from the magic of viral marketing.

STEP 4. Don’t take it personally. Now that you have a flood of visitors coming to your blog, make sure to reinforce your real estate expertise. Give real-life examples of how your brokerage and sales team has helped buyers and sellers meet their goals (just be sure to do it in a natural way; no one wants to read an overly promotional blog). It’s also imperative that you make a “Home Search” feature readily available on your site—for a quick solution, there are some widgets that offer this capability. Be sure that the blog is integrated into the rest of your brokerage site, too, so visitors can check out other tools and resources you offer. At the end of the day, your company’s blog should be attracting prospects and converting them into clients.