I will never forget the email that came about six months after I started LoCoMusings. “I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I’m impressed with your knowledge of the area; I need help finding a house to buy and was hoping you would help me out.” Six weeks after that, my first “blog client” closed on his home, and I was hooked.
Five years later, those emails are still coming in, from both buyers and sellers: “We are relocating to Loudoun County, and we need your help.” “We want to sell our townhouse and buy in western Loudoun, and you seem to know the area the best.” “We want an Internet savvy listing agent, and you fit the bill.” My blog continues to be my best source of leads for business.
1) My blog targets the right clients
One of the best benefits of blogging is that the folks who come to me because of my blog are always a great fit for working together. They already “know” me and my personality from my writing. That connection gives us a running start when it’s time to get moving in the buying or selling process. I’ve already proven myself and my expertise, so we don’t have to spend time covering that ground. We can roll up our sleeves and start working, comfortably and confidently.
If you’re interested in blogging to make money, you need to define your target audience. Asking yourself what consumers you want to do business with” and create content that’s relevant to them.
For me, clarifying my audience was easy: current and future Loudoun County (LoCo) residents. Deciding on a content strategy was equally logical. In Loudon, there is no daily newspaper, and our weekly papers are meager at best. The DC media doesn’t care about local news, so I decided to fill the void. Some of my most relevant blog posts come from the discussions I have with clients or from local events I know about because I live in the community.
2) The blog increases exposure for me
You absolutely can use a blog to drive your real estate business. To be successful, you need to have two things: a well-thought-out approach to audience and content, and a plan for how you’ll reach your target consumers.
When I published my first posts, I felt like I was throwing them out into the ether. After a few months I realized I had developed my own writing style and rhythm to my writing, and over time I developed a process that works for sharing information with my audience of potential leads. Now when I share links to my posts on my Facebook page, I get great interaction and feedback from readers, and it’s easy to track which stories topics strike a chord with my target audience.
Facebook is only one example — agents can find success sharing posts via email newsletters, Google+, or Twitter. The goal is to share in a way that cultivates the relationships you want.
My relationship example: Leads in my market pay attention to the news, and I wanted to fill the local news gap and increase my reach. Writing the blog has also helped me meet that goal and cultivate relationships with local media. Now I am quoted in articles, writing for outlets like The Washington Post’s new real estate blog, and getting exposure to potential clients from across the country.
3) My blog connects leads with my expertise
Consumers now have a wealth of information available to them; as their real estate consultant, you aren’t on board to just help them find information. Actually, your job is to help them interpret all that data so they can make good decisions. Blogging lets you put that expertise on display. Best of all, your blog is open for business 24 hours a day.
My expertise is Loudoun County. Being a local expert is more than just knowing the houses themselves, it’s also knowing the neighborhoods, the culture, the unique offerings of each neighborhood and town. And, that’s what clients see in my posts.
Your blog should be about the expertise you have that’s important to your prospective clients.
And there’s more…
Interested in learning how to make blogging work for your business? I recently spent an hour with Trulia, sharing my strategies for blogging success. Check out the recording of my recent webinar “How to Use a Blog to Connect with Motivated Customers,” where you can learn how to get started, how to create a powerful content strategy, and how to make sure your blogging efforts improve your bottom line.