In this third part of our five part series, we’re going to talk about how you can launch a neighborhood website and position yourself as the real estate expert in your area. By doing some real estate blogging and covering market data, news and events in your neighborhood, you can be perceived and eventually become the top real estate agent in the area. Let’s talk about step-by-step ways to set up your own neighborhood website. And how to start blogging.
Real estate blogging ideas for your neighborhood website
The sheer thought of creating a website and blogging (writing) might overwhelm you. Especially since your task as a real estate agent primarily deals with helping home buyers and sellers buy and sell real estate. Don’t underestimate the value of real estate blogging. Not only is it a great marketing tool that utilizes leveraging to extend your marketing reach beyond your working hours. It will have a compounding effect with each step of marketing you take in your neighborhood.
But what are some of the things you can have on your real estate website, and what should you blog about?
Publish market data and statistics
Real estate data and statistics are readily available on many websites. But what does it mean to homeowners and potential buyers in your neighborhood? This is where you come in. Take the market data and stats. Publish it and make sense of it for your prospective clients. Add value to the interpretation of data. And share your knowledge about the real estate market in your specific neighborhood, and in the city.
Talk about the real estate market and trends
What’s happening to prices? Are they going up, down or sideways? Are home prices jumping? How about price of condos? Does it make sense to invest in a home? How are rental rates in your area? Talk about the market and trends. Home buyers and sellers appreciate a knowledgeable local real estate agent who knows their market. And one who can give them actionable advice based on a deeply rooted understanding of the local market.
Provide tips for home buyers and sellers
Your website will be very useful if you provide information about the home buying and selling process. Instead of your prospects browsing around the internet looking for tips, aggregate the most important buying and selling information and advice. Publish it on your website. In your own words. With your professional expertise and guidance infused into the content. Providing useful information for home buyers and sellers adds value to their real estate experience. It positions you as an expert that can trust and rely upon.
Share insider news about the neighborhood
What do you know about your area that nobody else, including other agents, knows about? If you can share insider news before anyone else, it positions you as a knowledgeable source. Talk to neighbors. Visit local community meetings. Go to your municipal office and find out if anything is happening that will affect the area. Visit local businesses and promote them. These are just a few ways you can share insider news about your neighborhood in your regular real estate blogging.
When blogging on your website, don’t pretend to be somebody you’re not. Be yourself when real estate blogging. Write the way you would speak. Use the words you would use. Keep things simple. Don’t try to impress with big words or concepts your prospects won’t understand. Home buyers and sellers are looking for practical and actionable real estate advice. Simplify the process for them. Provide them with useful information. And be yourself while doing it. It’ll make the process easy for you. And prospective clients will be attracted to you for who you are and what you have to offer them.
How to set up your neighborhood website and blog
Get web hosting
There are many web hosts to choose from. Make sure you choose a reliable one that offers high performance quality web hosting. We host our website and several of our clients’ websites on www.godaddy.com.
We recommend using WordPress as your website and blogging platform. It ranks well for search engine optimization and marketing. You can add plugins and features as necessary. And it performs very well for real estate websites. Web hosts usually have automatic installs for WordPress and offer tutorials on how to set it up.
Choose a responsive real estate theme
You can have a custom theme designed so you have a unique look and feel. Ask a local web designer, or look online at websites such as www.99designs.com or www.fiverr.com to see if you can find somebody who can make you a theme. You can also look for free real estate WordPress themes or buy ready made ones at www.themeforest.net.
Find an IDX solution for listings
There are many IDX plugin solutions for WordPress. These allow you to display your listings, office listings, and your local MLS listings on your website. Make sure you look for a WordPress compatible IDX plugin that is also responsive. It should work with the theme you purchased. Or you can buy a theme made for the specific plugin. One example is www.idxbroker.com.
Manage your website and start blogging
It will take a lot of time, and you should be meticulous when setting this up. But once you have your real estate website and blog up and running, it’s time to manage it. And start blogging regularly. Set up a schedule to blog at least three times a week. Plan ahead using a calendar so you know what to post. (We’ll give you an idea of how to do this in a separate article — watch out for the link here.)
Tomorrow, we’re going old school
We’re going to talk about how to use traditional methods of advertising. And combine it with your online campaigns.