Real estate lead generation can be tricky, costly, competitive, and sometimes confusing. If you want a less expensive alternative that is still highly effective and helps you stand out from the crowd, then you need to start a blog…like, now!
It’s no secret that over 88% of homebuyers look online for information during their home search. And as a result, digital content marketing has become a new opportunity for real estate agents to find new leads. This type of marketing channel is relatively inexpensive, highly effective, and less competitive than other channels like online paid advertising.
Within 6 months of starting a focused blogging effort, you'll be able to outshine other agents in your local area. Anyone who is searching for home-buying information in your area is going to find you!
Continue reading to learn about 4 reasons why blogging is a smart strategy for real estate lead generation.
Pulling is easier than pushing.
I was a physics minor in college and I clearly remember the debate I had with one classmate about which is easier…pulling or pushing an object. Here’s a quick tidbit from the debate:
When you push anything, there is one component of “force” that adds to the weight of the object, which will create “friction.” However, when you pull something, ironically the vertical component of “force” is against the weight of the object, thus creating less overall friction. Thus (scientifically speaking of course), it’s a lot easier to pull than push an object. (And remember from my webinar, you want the least amount of friction in your funnel as possible).
This concept challenges traditional thinking about real estate marketing. We've always been told to push potential leads into the funnel—“you take the home to the potential buyer.” It’s your traditional sales model...cold calls, email blasting purchased lists (which is frowned upon and a big no-no), bench ads, billboards, you name it.
In this age of real estate marketing, potential leads don’t want their attention snarled away from what they're doing. Instead, you must implement a pull marketing strategy to create positive experiences with your new leads.
You’ll achieve this pull mechanism when you provide enough value for the new lead to arrive at your listings or seek your expertise of their own free will.
And the perfect platform for providing useful, high-value information that will pull in traffic? Your real estate blog.
When your content is good, people will want to be leads.
Creating great content that pulls readers in can dramatically improve the size of your email subscription list (and, therefore, your contact management database or real estate CRM). I have found that email subscribers are a good “funnel filler” for any online business!
The key is getting them to opt in.
Simply asking them to sign up in order receive listings won’t suffice (this is further down the funnel). In order to get more opt-ins from potential leads, you need more blog visitors, and to get more visitors, you need high-quality, informational content (and, of course, a well-placed Subscribe button).
I’ve been following Bill Gassett and he is one agent in particular who continually publishes really helpful articles on his blog. As a result, he’s grown a sizable audience. In fact, his article “Buying a Home at Auction: What You Need to Know” has generated over 1,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter, Buffer, LinkedIn, and Pinterest!
With this amount of traffic coming into his site, you know that his email subscription list has grown exponentially. People want to hear from him. They want to be updated every time he publishes something new.
This is how you stay top-of-mind, folks. (I’m kinda hooked on John Hall’s book Top of Mind. He stresses how to use content to grow your influence and engage in the right leads or clients).
Your blog is proof that you know your stuff.
Buyers and sellers are looking for an expert and trusted advisor, and your real estate blog is the perfect platform for demonstrating your knowledge. It's where you can consistently provide proof that you know what you're doing (because social proof is something that needs to be continuously affirmed.)
A real estate blog is one of the best ways to increase the authority you own. And your perceived authority is the main reason why a homebuyer will want to work with you over other realtors or agents.
Your blog will also increase your authority within search engines. Again, let’s look at the example I shared about Bill Gassett. His blogs generate thousands of views and thousands of social shares. Search engines LOVE this and consider the content a trusted authority on the subject, so it rises to the top of search engine results pages.
(Bill is actually responsible for the top content on just about every real estate-related online publication…and he has over 30,000 followers on Twitter! That’s more than a lot of brokerages out there.)
Providing value deepens your connection with potential leads.
I remember as a kid that we’d drive around our favorite neighborhoods and when my parents saw a house for sale, they’d write down the phone number of the agent. As soon as they would get home, they’d make a call to the listing agent.
It’s a sad reality, but now-a-days, homebuyers no longer need your help to find listings and open houses. But what they do need is your help with information about that specific housing market, knowledge of the area, and advice on the home-buying process.
This is especially important for first-time homebuyers. And with a real estate blog, you can provide this information and start conversations. True, your online content will provide quick, simple answers that will satisfy the merely info-hungry buyers. But for buyers who have additional questions or are ready to take the next step, your real estate blog will provide the opportunity for them to reach out. And that's where the magic happens.
A cleverly placed call-to-action (or CTA) will encourage folks who visit your blog to leave their email, make a comment, call you directly, or send you a text message. Then you can start to really nurture that relationship.
This strategy can create a deeper level of engagement with a potential client and will result in a much stronger connection. So even if they decide not to sell or purchase a home at that exact moment, when the time does come, your name will stand out as the one who helped out the most.
These deep connections can’t be accomplished through traditional marketing. They can only take place by providing value (and expecting nothing in return), by making yourself available for conversations, and by building relationships with your new leads. And it all starts with your real estate blog.
The Benefits of Blogging for Real Estate
As you can see, blogging has many benefits for your real estate business. When you pull (rather than push), lead generation is easier. When you provide valuable information, people will actually want to hear from you. When they read what you have to say, they'll feel confident that you truly are an expert in the real estate realm. And once they feel like they can trust you, they'll fill out that Contact form, and you'll have the opportunity to start a conversation with them.
It all starts with a real estate blog...something that's much more cost-efficient and effective than traditional paid advertising. So what are you waiting for? It's time to start blogging!
Check out our 7 Blog Topic Ideas for Real Estate Agents for some inspiration!