Blog it out
Blogging is a great way to market your real estate business, as long as your content is sincere
Robert Hahn, founder and managing partner of 7DS Associates, a management consulting firm that specializes in corporate strategy, product management and strategic marketing for real estate and related industries, has been blogging since 2008. In one of his first posts that year on his wildly entertaining The Notorious R.O.B. blog, Hahn voiced his displeasure with the state of real estate blogging in an article titled “In the Name of All That is Holy, You Should Stop Blogging.” Hahn’s central point, which hasn’t changed much in the almost nine years since that post, is that a bad blog can actually hurt one’s business.
He wrote in part: “Someone who may have been your ideal client might look at your utterly crappy website or horrid blog and conclude that you are a major league idiot, even if you happen to be the most knowledgeable real estate professional in history. They don’t know you; if all they get to see of you is a terrible blog, then as far as they’re concerned, you’re a terrible agent. Period. End of story.” Blog from the heart to be effective Contacted recently, Hahn stands behind that theory, but he also noted a real estate agent can use blogging as an effective marketing tool, but only if what that person writes about comes from the heart. “The best topic to write about is whatever topic the agent is most passionate about,” Hahn said. “The most important thing is to be yourself.” Hahn said many real estate agents are not great writers, but they have strong personalities, which is why they got in to real estate in the first place. For such people, he said a video blog might be a better way to go.
Hahn also suggested that real estate agents be the experts in the communities they serve. Demonstrating their knowledge and interest in the places they work is a great way to attract clients. “If you’re a REALTOR®, if you’re not into your town, why are you working there?” Hahn asked. Kyle Hiscock, of RE/MAX Realty Group in Pittsford, New York, who estimates about 50% of his business comes from his website and blog, said any topic, so long as it is written well, can be effective. And part of writing well is being sincere. “I see REALTORS® try to blog, and it ends up coming across as more spammy or promotional than it does educational,” Hiscock said. “You lose readership. People who might value what your normal thoughts are, if you start getting too promotional and it’s all about me, people start picking up on that.”
There is no shortage of real estate blogs. Unfortunately, there also is no shortage of poorly written real estate blogs.
Get the most out of your blog by staying consistent Real estate blogging also takes persistence. Hahn said he “really didn’t start to see traction on my blog for five years.” Persistence has been a hallmark of Hiscock’s success as a blogger. Hiscock said once he decided to dedicate himself to regularly updating his blog, it proved to be a turning point. “I typically publish an article every Tuesday,” Hiscock said. “The last three years, I think I’ve missed maybe one week.” Just as important as being consistent with one’s writing is making sure the blog is seen by as many people as possible. Hiscock estimates each article takes about four to six hours to write, including formatting and inserting graphics. He also spends about 10 hours a week “curating my content, getting it out to other venues and other platforms, social networks and all that fun stuff.”
Blogging to help consumers

Hiscock’s articles on Rochester’s Real Estate Blog focus on helping consumers. Recent articles include such topics as home improvement projects, finding and choosing a mortgage broker or lender, and tips for buying a rural home. “I think there’s a lot of confusion when it comes to real estate, whether it’s buying or selling a home,” Hiscock said. “So [blogging] gives me an opportunity to educate and show consumers that not only is it not as difficult as it appears, but it gives me an opportunity to show that I’m an authority within the real estate industry, that I have a strong understanding of how the process works. And, ultimately, if they feel I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about, they might pick up the phone and give me a call.” Blogging hardly is a new idea in the world of real estate marketing, but a well-written, entertaining, educational blog still can be a great way to attract clients and grow a business.

“…[blogging] gives me an opportunity to educate and show consumers that not only is it not as difficult as it appears, but it gives me an opportunity to show that I’m an authority within the real estate industry.” — Kyle Hissock
There is no shortage of real estate blogs. Unfortunately, there also is no shortage of poorly written real estate blogs.
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