Real Estate Blog! 50,000 points later, what it has done for my business! Yippee!
This morning I opened up my Active Rain account and realized I was less than 100 points away from hitting 50,000. First of all I didn't want to get past that barrier simply by logging on tomorrow, so I wanted to write a blog to get over it today. It also made me reflect on what writing this Real estate blog has done for my Real Estate business in the last 15 months since I "joined the party".
Agents in my office that are skeptical about blogging want to see direct results where I say this client only found me because of my blog. There has been definitely several phone calls that have come from it and one client that I think was pushed over the edge with my blog, but to me it is so much more than that, that makes blogging worth doing. So I came up with a quick list of items that I think are reasons to blog, even if God forbid I never get that one person that says "I am calling you because I found your blog online."
1. How many times do you wish you had a way to cram all of your thoughts, expertise and stories into a conversation at an open house that makes you seem like you know everything there is to know about a neighborhood, subject or home. Well besides being really awkward and pushy you can never get it all out in one quick casual dialogue while also trying to ask the buyer questions about their needs. Instead simply sliding into the conversation "oh yeah I just wrote a blog about the wildlife here in Stapleton, you should check it out". Gets a lot accomplished. It keeps them interested in you after they leave, and by going to my blog gives them an easy way to check me out and get to know me through my blog.
2. The Real Estate blog can be used by people in my community even if they aren't in the market right now. It keeps my name and company in their mind for future referrals and business when it's time. For instance I still get calls from a blog I wrote about the local rec center opening with people asking me questions like the hours it's open and the facilities it has. Irreplaceable market presence.
3. It is fun. The occasional lighthearted Real Estate blog that's not all business can create a party conversation that other people are talking about without you there. Whether it's about the school auction and some of the crazy parents or hypothesizing about how this community will look when all of the babies in the community turn into teenagers. It is great to hear people talking about your slant whether they agree with you or not. As long as it's in good taste and fun.
4. Advertising Baby! The main reason I can't tell you specifically if someone has come from a blog is that I am everywhere on the web. And having a Real Estate blog is a center peice to all of that outreach. When I have a listing I create an on line brochure, I blog that. Then I write an article type blog about it, walking a potential buyer through the home, I then tweet these blogs which goes to my Facebook fan page and my LinkedIn account. Someone may call me saying they saw my property on Realtor.com but they also say they would like to see "that view" and I know they have read the blog.
5. Listing presentations: Man if you can see the look on peoples faces when you show them that Internet footprint that you have created for past clients. Googling something that is an obvious good search for that home and tell them how you will do the same for them really turns some heads. And of course after you leave, you know they are checking it out and sure enough more times than not, in the last 15 months we have gotten that call back.
6. Becoming the neighborhood go-to guy. This morning someone stopped my out on the street to ask me what was going on with the construction in the vacant lot around the corner. The reason I knew the answer is because of a blog I had done earlier in the month about a water conservation effort that was going to start soon to improve Stapleton's park irrigation. They didn't read the blog but both the husband and wife said "Just ask Damon, he'll know" I was also able to direct them to my blog to find out more.
7. People literally have come up to me with ideas of blogs they would like to see. Giving me great ideas to help me but also having enough of an audience that people are wanting to see more. Who do you think they will call when it comes to sell their house or refer a friend?
8. Keeping me busy. All of the cliches like idle hands are the devil's workshop and on object in motion stays in motion is one of my favorite parts of Real Estate blogging. Even when we are super busy it is still easy to pop together a post that has a photo of a recent closing, thanking that client. Or just filling some time at night with a quick reminder of an upcoming open house. But when you are not busy and the alternative is to click on the tube when you know you should be working what better way fill it then doing 10 minutes of research and pounding out a blog that could sew seeds for future business.
9. Business relationships. Blogging about local places, maybe while I am at those places gets me a special sort of in with that business. Today I was at my laptop doing some work while having lunch at a local restaurant. I Tweeted and Facebooked that I was at that place and sure enough had a lender friend come and join me. I also had 3 of the wait staff come and talk a little Real Estate. This business appreciates me bringing in the business and I am able to get a little free advertising sitting there. There are a couple of other big business around such as builders, that when I blog their inventory for example they will re-blog my post on their site. Wow. I was actually just highlighted by the master developer on their site writing about my favorite place in the community. Where I of course dropped more business names-a vicious cycle.
10. REAL ESTATE BLOGGING WORKS. Again even if I don't hear from someone calling me saying specifically that they know me from a blog I wrote. I hear enough evidence that it confirms everything I am doing. A buyer yesterday commented when they saw a bunny run down the street, I said that was a pretty common occurrence. They had told me they read it already and that was why they were hooked on Stapleton. Another buyer came up to at the gym and felt famous to have their picture of them at the closing table as part of my home buyer series. Another coming from an out of town buyer who found me they said from my website but called with direct quotes from a blog I had written about investing in and around the area they are going to be attending school. It works.
15 months ago, I felt like I was pretty tech savvy and ahead of the overall Real Estate curve but until I went to the Rain camp last month, in retrospect I feel like I was way behind. Thanks to Active Rain and the training and practice. I have increased my business tremendously. I have been named vice president of sales at my company and after hitting the save button on this post have hit 50,000 points. I consider this an Active Rain success story with hopefully a lot more to come.