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Real estate bloggers rock the social media world

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Real estate bloggers rock the social media world

Published: October 15, 2009

Just what exactly IS the value to your business of posting photos to a blog of the local youth football league every week? Or blogging about local charity golf tournaments or intriguing new local restaurants? Apparently, plenty.

Heather Elias,* a mom, real estate agent, and recovering journalism school graduate is the blogger in question, who lives in Loudoun County, Va. She is also a busy tweeter and Facebooker who seems to take her camera with her everywhere. She collects her lovely photos of the local countryside on Flickr, and drops a few on her real estate blog regularly.

And yes, she does post about her business as well. What she hears about the local housing market, what she sees, trends, analysis. [She focuses on just numbers and statistics on yet another blog.*] There is no more intense topic than real estate in her community, a fast-growing exurb of Washington, D.C. that has seen extreme price volatility in recent years.

Heather mixes it all up in a smart and engaging way, and keeps all of those outlets humming. Heather was named one of the top 12 real estate bloggers,* a group singled out by blogger sellsius* for 'exemplary efforts in publishing local consumer-centric content across multiple channels, building brand identity, awareness and trust and, most importantly, for their community involvement and service, both online and offline.'

Many of these blogging and tweeting real estate agents have plenty to share with those in other small businesses about the power of integrating social media into their daily work.

'I generate 75% of my business from my online efforts,' Heather told me. 'Typically I get an email or a phone call that says, 'I've been reading your blog since last October, and I would like to sell my house, and I want to work with you.' Or 'I have been reading your blog, I'm looking to relocate to the area and would like you to help me find my new home.' It's a warm introduction the first time I meet them in person. I don't have to establish my expertise with them.

'They already 'know' me from my blog and can get a sense for my knowledge and how I do business before I ever walk in their door. At this point I get enough of those contacts to keep my business very busy.'

So why does real estate seem to be one field that attracts such social media energy?

'Real estate agents are leaders in using social media because they are in a relationship-based industry,' says Joseph G. Ferrara, the publisher of the sellsius blog who is also an attorney and broker. 'They are used to connecting with people. Their success depends on it.'

And there is plenty to learn by listening, not just by slinging masses of content, Ferrara points out. 'They may be using social media effectively in receiving information they can use to improve their business,' he says. 'It may be a new tech app, or tool they learned from a twit.'

Real estate professionals who are successful online 'are fearless about new media,' he adds. [The sellsius blog also includes a long list of real estate-related blogs here.*]

On her blog, Heather found a style and a mix that works for her. Blending posts specifically about the local housing market with others about all sorts of facets of living in the area results in a truly engaging experience for any reader, and certainly for anybody looking to find someone to assist in what can be a stressful transaction.

And so then, the question for anybody considering investigating use of social media in business: Aren't nearly ALL of us in a 'relationship-based industry'?

'Any small business getting started should think first about where their customers/clients are, and what information they want or need, then craft a social media strategy about building relationships with them by being a trusted resource,' Heather says.

'When you first get started you will feel like you are throwing it out into the wind, and no one is noticing. But truly, if you build it, they will come. If you stick with it and give it time.'

And pointing* to the occasional fine local Cajun restaurant would not hurt either.

Craig Colgan is a technology and media writer and blogger based in Washington, D.C. Find him on the web at CraigColgan.com. Follow him on Twitter: @ccwriter. His email address is craigcolgan@ymail.com.

* This link is to a non-government site.

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Comments:

I am happy that I found a post related to real estate. I found this really good post todayI will have to tell my friends about this website!
Real Estate is considered really one of the fastest growing industry. In recent times after the crisis now their seems the real estate industry is getting back on its track. The big realtors players like REMAX has their great share in bringing the real estate back on platform. Real Estate Franchise India
I totally agree with the article. As a top producing real estate agent in beautiful Sedona, Arizona, social media is paramount to the growth of my business. About 80% to 85% of my business is generated by web marketing of which social media are a great part.Users don' just browse big, well known real estate centric sites, but also local blogs, posts and feeds that really have the pulse on local markets. From my part I dedicate a good portion of my work week to keeping these updated, fresh and full of interesting, relevant content that I would want to know, if I were searching for real estate to buy. SedonaFineHome.com
What a terrific post, here in Charlotte social media marketing and blogging are becoming very popular forms of marketing in our current real estate market. I have been blogging for some time now and have found great success. I recently switched to a new site to better utilize the newest blogging technologies. Charlotte real estate blog is my home for all your real estate needs!--disabled commercial hyperlinkMessage Edited by NicoleD on 02-01-2010 10:55 AM
Fantastic Post !!! I am happy to be a part of this community. Very informative blog. Thank you, keep posting.
Very nice story Craig! I know it's not 100% pure, but there is a growing industry of Ghost bloggers that perform writing on behalf of some very busy real estate agents. Our real estate marketing firm is creating a career development program to teach people who are out of work or have a passion to write on how to master the art of blogging on behalf of our clients who don’t have the time to do what Heather is doing. If anybody is interested in a real estate blogging career check out this link Real Estate Blogger Jobs. Right now we are working on a new HyperLocal blogging system and would like to find experts in hundreds of communities around the country who would like to blog about their community... and get paid at the same time. *also a link to non .gov websiteMessage Edited by ChristineL on 01-04-2010 06:40 PM
Real estate community is definitely getting more active in the tech spaces. Trulia now has an iphone app.Message Edited by NicoleD on 11-13-2009 09:32 AM
Hello all, great forum. I've made sure to stay informed on as many social forums and search platforms. I still attribute the biggest percentage of my prospects for purchase or listing on mls condos in Mississauga to organic activity on google. Has anyone had more success online from social as opposed to search?

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