While blogging is an essential part of any real estate agent’s inbound marketing strategy, it can do more harm than good when mistakes are made. Mistakes can actually hurt your credibility and reputation. An easy way of looking at it is to ask yourself, “Would I want to buy a house from someone whose blog seems unprofessional?” The answer is no.
But don’t let the high stakes of blogging discourage you. Blogging is an excellent way to become a thought leader in your field, connect to your target market and promote your brand. Address these seven common blogging mistakes, and reap the benefits of a successful social marketing campaign.
No one likes their private information posted on the Internet, yet real estate agents make the mistake of bragging instead of blogging. According to Jon Schildt, Insurance Broker at Calculated Risk Advisors, “While blogging errors are usually benign, funny or occasionally embarrassing, they can take a decidedly more litigious turn. One former client of mine bragged on a blog how they trumped up a particular house’s neighborhood appeal and was able to convince an out of
town couple to purchase the house. The couple happened to read the blog post and threatened to sue the real estate agent for breaking the duty of care owed to them as clients. It took many hours of the real estate agent’s time to smooth things over!” Avoid violating people’s privacy or getting sued by leaving names and business transactions out of your blogs.
The old adage “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say it” works for blogs as well. According to real estate personality and associate broker and Realtor®, Herman Chan, “There is nothing wrong with a strong point of view (after all that is the basis of a good blog), but keep it professional and light. If you trash a competing listing across the street, trust me, your own listing is going to get trashed. While you want your blog to inform and entertain, leave trash talking at the door because it has a way of coming back full circle.
Do you forget where to post your blog? According to Fred Glick, broker and owner of multi-state licensed real estate brokerage U S Spaces, Inc., “My biggest blogging mistake is that I forget I have a blog and I put a post on Facebook where only my Facebook audience can see!” Blogs can appear on your website, in newsletters, on your Facebook profile page and on your Google+ profile. If you find yourself forgetting where you normally post your blog, keep a content calendar handy. Write down where and when your blogs need to be posted. Because people don’t use every social media network out there, you need to post your blog in several places so that a larger pool of potential clients can see it.
People don’t want to read about how much money you made last year, your success rate or even your family’s vacation in Tahoe. According to Bill Handy, vice president of Digital Engagement, “Keep your blog focused on real estate – the market, how to rehab with before/after images, updates on mortgage rates, after move-in tips, etc. The topics are plentiful, but they need to be focused on what your audience/customers are looking for or need.” Steer clear of writing blogs that focus on your professional and personal success. You want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and not use blogging as a bragging contest.
People like to scan information to see if they want to invest time in reading a blog. Give your reader the chance to quickly read your blog by creating a clear format.
Look at successful blogs to get some formatting ideas. You can use one as a template to keep your blog looking organized and professional.
Many real estate agents do not follow any type of blogging schedule. If you find yourself posting blogs without any consistency, you are really missing the boat. People follow blogs the way they watch the evening news or read their favorite weekly magazine. They want to know that new information is available to them at the same time each week. If you post blogs erratically, they won’t remember to follow you. To prevent making this mistake, schedule time every week to write your blog. Consistency shows that you take blogging and your real estate business seriously.
There’s a good chance that you’ll get caught if you use someone else’s content. Stealing other people’s blogs is a quick way to a bad reputation. According to Joshua Dorkin, founder and CEO of Bigger Pockets, “I often see blogs simply stealing content and using it as their own. Many bloggers will just grab and re-publish posts via an RSS feed … thinking that because they got [it from] a feed, it is OK to use. This is nothing but theft and is a fast way to 1) lose your reputation, 2) lose your website and 3) violate your Realtor® Code of Ethics. Using someone else’s posts without permission is a violation of the law, and the penalties for doing so can be very steep, so don’t do it!” Of all the blogging mistakes, stealing content is probably one of the most prevalent and serious. Often, real estate agents steal blogs because they don’t have the time to write. Take some time to write your own original content. It will help your social media campaign and it will also boost your reputation.
There are quite a few mistakes I find real estate agents making including:
1) Writing their own blog posts. It can be difficult to write about a property you are close to. A fresh set of eyes can see things to highlight or write about that you are too close to “see” or care about.
2) Trying to save money by hiring an intern or novice to write blog posts and descriptions. Real estate listings are not a good starting ground for newbies. Do you really want to place a million dollar property listing in the hands of a newbie copywriter? Writing is one business where experience is a precious asset worth paying for.
A realtors job is to get to know their clients to gain a better understanding of what the clients can afford/looking for in a property. However, during these conversations it seems that realtors get off subject and end up talking way too much! They get so wrapped up into their conversation and building trust within their clients, that they often times for the legal aspects of their position. On the Creating Wealth Show we talk to several real estate agents/investors and this would be great advice to share with them! Thank you of this information!
Illuminating post. At our own estate agency we employ Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and firmly believe that Social Media is the way froward for Real Estate Agency marketing.
There is certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I like all the points you’ve made.
I really admire to that of real estate agents and i fix it problem of agents mistakes. thanks for share it.
Good blog! This serves as a reminder to RE agents and an aid to new bloggers.
Always continue learning about commercial real estate and finding
new ways to improve your business. For this reason, realtors should ensure that
their websites are easily navigated with a smart phone, and that they do
not publish too much Flash content. If someone were to walk up and inform you of that they previously had just locked all the way up 20 deals they wanted to pay to you, using a
minimum profit likely of $5, 000 for each property, would the application peak your desire.
I like your blog. You have shared the basic mistakes that normally a real estate agents do. Your article is helpful for new bloggers.
Plagiarism is a huge concern when it comes to blogging. It happens often. It is quite easy to catch, however, just paste a few sentences of your blog into Google. If there is an exact match somewhere else, then Bingo.
I agree, the stolen content and inconsistent posting are far too common in the blogosphere. While it is difficult to create original content on a regular basis, it is just not ethical to steal someones content. You can take inspiration from other pieces, but anything you create should be your own.
Every agent needs to read this!
Blogging is so easy, and really does get you business. I’ve gotten both buyers and sellers off of my site.
From my perspective, the biggest thing you can do is put up KILLER photos. Big, bright, professional pictures that really showcase the house.
Thanks for such a great article!
Some great advice here, especially about the issue with simply stealing content – a big NO-NO! As a real estate specific blog content provider and social media advisor, I disagree with one piece of advice quoted from Digital Engagement about content. Since real estate agents are trying to market themselves to the general public, GhostbloggerMarie advises clients slightly differently about what kind of content to mix in with real estate content. You won’t generate the volume of leads you seek with “real estate only” blog content.
Blogging will extremely facilitate assets agents. this may extremely facilitate them to possess additional patrons in addition as for the folks to grasp that their business exists. These pointers ought to be scan by assets agents.
I agree. Blogging can really help real estate agents. This will really help them to have more buyers as well as for the people to know that their business exists.
Good post. The only additions I would add is: poor spelling, grammatical errors and fuzzy / inappropriate photos.
Good pointers you incorporated in this post! I really wish that someone makes a post like this! Fun to read and I won’t have any troubles finding a Dallas property management for me.
I do believe what you said in this article! Even commercial real estate Dallas is having a tough time to be mended by real estate agents. These pointers should be read by real estate agents.
Great point on making sure to post to your own platform as well as social media. Building a following and directing traffic back to the main website (or listings, or search, etc.) is critical. Use social media to drive traffic to your target! Nice article.
Effective blogging is really educating the reader with kbowledge that the blogger has acquired. It should not be an advertising platform. Bragging and cutting down others in the blog will only hurt your true intentions for having a blog
Thanks for the tips. Sometimes blogs are written with the best of intentions and by the end chaos has ensued. I like to make posts a couple days a week to my blog I am not as good at keeping it scheduled as I would like to be. Maybe I can make that my mid year resolution.
Thanks for the post!
This post has made my day! I really am looking for bloggers who write their posts personally. We don’t have many “bloggers” that are still actually blogging today. But thanks for making these pointers available!
Great advice. We’re an independent agency about to start our own weekly blog, so this article will come in hsndy. Definitely agree chest-beating is not ideal content! We are going to do some research around what our target market want to hear about & more importantly what they don’t want to hear about
Yes copying others work is definetly a no no. One guy I know end up paying over $35000 in court for one paragraph. True Story @! beware
Great comment on the privacy issue. Bragging and not blogging can sure be a turn off to a lot of clients…
Great article. I have been practicing Luxury Real Estate in South Florida for the past ten years, and I’ve been doubting about the efficiency of Blogs Vs Social Networks. I make use of many different marketing strategies, but it is now clear that blogging is also a great way to reach people as well as informing them. Thanks
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Nice Post. The only thing I would like to add here is an agent at first must provide information that is important for a buyer’s interest Example could be property locations, clientele and ofcourse offers. Who would not like them ? For example I was just visiting real estate blogs and I happen to find one previewstay where they offer to provide stay before buying any property if one wants to.
Great post, Faith. I make a point to not copy & paste other people’s work. I am an ABR® and get updates from REBAC which encourages us to use some of their content. That I will use as a template then change the content to reflect my Edmonton market & change some of the dialogue from US terminology to Canadian terminology. I would have added spell check to your list. Thanks for the review!
Mike Muranetz, e-PRO®, ABR®, SRS
RE/MAX Real Estate