How to Write an Effective Real Estate Blog Post

I think that we can all agree that technology has come to the forefront on basically anything that we now do.  This applies especially to the Real Estate space.  Realtors are told that they are to have websites.  They are told that they are to have effective content that answers questions to their potential client’s problems, and educational information about whatever their niche is…luxury homes, first time home buyers, condos, short sales, or a certain subdivision.  This engaging and educational content comes in the way of blogging and videos.  I love to do office presentations in front of large groups of Realtors.  In these presentations I talk about what they need to do to drive more eyeballs to their Real Estate website. When I mention how to write an effective Real Estate blog I get the usual “eye rol”l and objections.  Here they are the most common:

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How to Keep and Convert Online Real Estate Leads

As the Director of Sales/Marketing at Stewart Title and Escrow in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area I meet with Realtors everyday.  We talk about all kinds of things: Contact Management Systems, iPad training, data lists to target market, video, blogging, AND how to convert Online Real Estate Leads.  To me online leads are the holy grail.  These are consumers that have a need, so they type into Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube what they are looking for and they find you.  The consumer then fills out a form, emails, or calls for more information.  I think that we can agree that our society has moved the way of “impersonal” over the last 10yrs where as the consumer doesn’t really want to call you and chat.  They don’t know you or your value and since email, text and filling out a form online is the same as telling you that they want to talk, that’s what they do.  Real Estate agents and Lenders spend money every month on SEO, Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com leads…sometimes large sums of money.  What I have found is that their conversion of these leads are poor.  The latest stat I read was that Realtors convert only 2% of the online leads they get into paying customers.  Why is that??  Lets talk about it…

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Refinance or Short Sale? Why its a Good Idea to Consider Both!

You may not know it but we are currently experiencing a time in Real Estate that has never existed before…EVER.  The market was so hot in 2004-2006, then the market crashed in August in 2007 with interest rates in the 6.5% range.  Housing values took a huge dive!  Some markets were hurt more than others.  At the time I was working as a Title Sales Rep for a National Title Insurance Company in Phoenix, AZ.  If you know anything about the Phoenix market…the property values went up 47% in 2005 alone!  Well what goes up must come down and when the market crashed and the subprime market went bye bye so did the home values.  Let me give you a real life example:  In July 2006 I bought my first home…a condo next to the Raven Golf Course in Phoenix for $145,000.  I was happy with my purchase and no issues making the payments.  By January 2010 the value of my property was $35,000!  Yes…$35,000.  So I did what 75% of the housing market did in Phoenix, I listed my home as a short sale and said…”See ya later!”  I know I made the right choice knowing the value might not ever return to what I owed on the property.  So back to my original statement…we are in a weird place in Real Estate…a time that has never existed before that presents SOOO many business opportunities for Real Estate agents AND Mortgage Lenders.  Here is why if you are considering do a refinace or short sale…might be good to do both.  Let me explain…

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Your Title Company Sales Rep-You Decide

Realtor with a contract Most Title Companies have them…you know who they are.  They call and email you for the primary reason of wanting your purchase and refinance business. They are the Title Company sales rep. They tell you about  the good things that their Title Company offers, like mobile closings, good service, and the best escrow/settlement people in the business!  They say all of this while at the same time offering you bagels, donuts, coffee, pens, pads, coffee mugs, and other gimmicks that absolutely does nothing to help you grow your business…but they expect you to send you theirs.  It’s an interesting dynamic how this all works.  To make it easy for you I have decided to divide the Title Company Sales person into two categories…the “Order Taker” and the “Business Builder.”

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Why Your Real Estate Website Doesn’t Get Traffic

Let me start this blog post out with a question.  Why do Real Estate agents have websites?  Is it because as soon as they pass their license exam they become masters of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or how websites work and drive traffic?  The answer is because they are told to!  When a Realtor gets their license and joines XYZ brokerage they are either given or told they need to have a Real Estate website.  In essence this is correct.  Having a Real Estate website is very important and should be used as your HUB for your business.  Having a website is one thing…using it correctly to have consumers find it when they don’t know you exist, have them stay on your site, and turn them into a paying client is another thing entirely.

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Real Estate Websites and Mobile Devices-Are yours Properly Optimized?

Have you noticed it?  I have…people now days walk around or drive in their car staring at their phones!  If you haven’t noticed this crazy phenomenon just look around you while you are driving, or at the mall, or pretty much anywhere else.  People have their heads buried into their phones.  Millions of people today own Smart-phones(I-Phones, Droids, Blackberry, etc.)  By the end of 2012 over 50% of ALL Google searches will take place with a Smart-phone.  What are these people looking at?  EVERYTHING!!  So ask yourself an important question: Are your Real Estate websites optimized for mobile devices?

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Real Estate Marketing Olympics…Would you Medal?

In the last 60 days since moving to the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area I have met with over 50 Realtors and Lenders.  Each person is in a different phase of their Real Estate career and have different levels of knowledge.  Each Realtor and Lender also have different needs as it applies to their Real Estate marketing.  Thus far I have seen Realtors and Lenders that have specific systems in place and others that are totally lost and need help.  In the spirit of the London Olympics I think if would be good for you to look at your business model as it pertains to gaining new clients, staying in contact with past clients, and getting more eyeballs to your listings and website to ask yourself…if I was in the Olympics for Real Estate Marketing, would I make it up to the medal podium?  Read below and ask yourself…am I doing these things? Do I need to make any changes to my Real Estate marketing?  Would a I respond to my own marketing strategies? 

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5 Ways to Streamline your Real Estate Marketing

There is one thing that Real Estate agents value above all others…TIME!  Time is very valuable because as a busy Real Estate agent you are showing homes, going to inspections, dealing with appraisals, managing your leads and getting back to people, and closing your escrows on time at Stewart Title and Escrow in Fairfax, VA.  With all of these things going on throughout your week where does the time come in to do your Real Estate marketing to past clients, your sphere, and most importantly…to new people who don’t know you or your value? You have to develop systems to Streamline your Real Estate Marketing.  There are several ways in which you can do this…lets talk about them:

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Distressed Northern Virginia Homeowners are Looking for You!

Having lived in Phoenix, AZ for 10.5yrs I witnessed the entire Real Estate cycle.  I saw prices go from $140K on average then a 47% home value increase in a 12 month period…then a HUGE market crash in 2008 and home values fall all the way down to $112K on average.  This left thousands upon thousands of homeowners underwater/negative equity where they either just let their home go to Foreclosure or they tried to successfully short sale their home.  For those of you who don’t know what defines a short sale it is when a homeowners owes more on their home than what it is worth and tries to sell their home “Short” by asking the lending bank to accept less than what is owed on the property.  There are many qualifications that banks look for before willing to accept a short sale but they are getting approved easier and easier in 2012 than they were in 2008 0r 2009.   As of right now there are over 4000 distressed Northern Virginia homeowners that are in the needs of a Real Estate agent.

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How Do I Find your Real Estate Marketing Plan?

When I was a little kid my siblings and I used to play “Hide and Seek” all the time.  Back in the early 80’s that was the kind of things we did for fun opposed to staring at TV screens playing video games.  The object was to hide somewhere where we thought no one could find us and then have our siblings or friends try to find us.  The funny thing about Hide and Seek was that we played to NOT be found but secretly it was always the highlight of the game when we were found.  So how does this relate to your Real Estate Marketing Plan as it pertains to today?

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