Very few independent professionals put more time, effort, and money into marketing than a real estate agent. And, nearly every agent enjoys considerable support for their marketing from the brokerage firm that employs them. Brokerage support usually includes some web presence, but is that presence really enough to support your own marketing efforts as an independent agent?
Many real estate agencies also have a blog. The agency blog is a fabulous tool for the agency, and is helpful to agents as a group or team. However, because of the agency blog, many agents don’t think that they should have blogs of their own. Relying exclusively on the agency blog represents a lost opportunity for the agent.
The agent/brokerage relationship can be complicated at times, since there are always going to be a mix of mutual interests, compatible interests, and sometimes even competitive interests. Here is the root of the relationship complication:
When you do well, the brokerage does well. Obviously then, your brokerage wants you to do well. And that’s great!
Your brokerage does equally well when any other of their agents does well too. There is not much incentive for your broker to help you become more successful than your peers.
As an independent sales professional, it is necessary to distinguish yourself, independently. The “free” blog on the agency website does not help you to separate yourself from the pack. If your brokerage has one, good. It’s better than nothing. But it is not enough.
There are many real estate companies with excellent blogs. And these blogs bring people into the firm’s orbit. Chestnut Park, in Toronto, has a good blog, that helps the agency stand out. But Chestnut Park has over 300 agents, how much can the “corporate” blog help any one of them individually?
A Blog Just for You
There are two approaches to independent;y blogging for sales people with contractual and/or employment relationships with a parent organization, such as a real estate brokerage firm.
- The Direct Approach
- The Indirect Approach
The Direct Approach
This is pretty straightforward. As a real estate agent, you set up your own blog, under your own name, and start blogging about your work as a real estate agent, your experiences with the properties, and kinds of properties you sell, etc. Basically you become a real estate blogger, blogging about your work and your passion for that work.
If you are lucky, you will get full support for this direct approach from the broker that employs you. They might even set up your personal agent’s blog on their website. You get to blog your own content, and to distinguish yourself as an independent expert, on their dime.
If you are less lucky, you will be faced with technical and procedural barriers, or told to let the agency handles all inbound marketing, and you should just forget about it and leave it to them. Hmm…
The Indirect Approach
Blog about something else! One of the nice things about blogging (and social media) is it allows us to build our personal brand. The people that buy real estate have many other interests, just like the people that sell real estate. There are amazing opportunities to build your brand through other interests. Are you interested in architecture? Blog about the architecture in your city or town. Interested in history? Blog about local history and historical sites in your city. Do you like to bicycle? Start a blog about the best cycling routes in your city. Into gardening? How about a photo blog of the best gardens in the neighbourhood.
Every blog post lists the author. That puts your name on top of every article you write. And of course every post should also contain a link back to your bio on the company website.
By blogging about a passion one step removed from your vocation you build your brand and boost your visibility. You offer value to your clients. You expand your web presence beyond your employer’s website. You let people learn about other aspects of your personality and interests, and become someone that they look forward to hearing from.
Why Blog at All?
Whether you choose to blog directly about real estate (or your industry specialty), or you choose to blog about something else, blogging is a fantastic way to reach out to your current clients, and to potential new customers. A blog may not result in an instant increase in new closings, but it is a great way for you to distinguish yourself from the crowd (in a very crowded field) and great way to provide something of value to the people you care about.
My last post offered a short list of 7 Benefits of Blogging, if you haven’t read it yet, check it out. Remember the goal of blogging is to make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services and buy your products.
…make yourself memorable as a source of valuable content for the people most likely to engage your services
7 More Reasons for a real estate agent to blog:
(even if you blog about something besides real estate)
- Homebuyers (and sellers) think of you first
- Reach potential new listing clients
- Reach potential new purchasers
- Rank higher in Google
- Enhance your reputation
- Share your knowledge
- Stay ahead of competition