Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials – To Blog Or Not to Blog?

To blog or not to blog? That is a very important question if you are a luxury real estate marketing professional and you are serious about surpassing your closest competitor. A blog can be a significant lead generation tool, which is the biggest reason so many agents and home loan consultants are jumping on the band wagon and launching their own blogs.

Here are the pros and cons about blogging in a nutshell:

The Pros:

1) Competently executed, blogging can help you create the perception, in the minds of your target market, that you are the leading authority in your field;
2) Blogging can significantly improve your search engine ranking, and;
3) Blogging can even help you gain celebrity status.

The Cons:

1) Done incompetently, publishing a blog can be like eating crawfish: a lot of work for very little meat;
2) If you do not like to write or do not have anything interesting, helpful or newsworthy to say about your marketplace (even with the assistance of a ghost writer) do not bother to blog, and;
3) You can bore potential readers and waste your valuable time that could be put to much better use.

Becoming a Self-Publisher

First, let’s demystify the blog by separating the medium from the message (or the content of your blog). As a medium, a blog is an interactive website that allows you to instantly self-publish (or post) time-stamped content such as text, photos, audio clips, videos and links to external content on the internet.

Your blog also allows visitors to post comments and forward your blog to their friends. Other blogs can be linked to your blog so your posts can appear in many places at once like a syndicated newspaper columnist. This interactivity is what makes blogs a social media versus printed newspapers, magazines or TV. There is a plenitude of free blogging platforms. Just Google blogs and you will find the best ones. It only takes minutes to set up your blog and publish your first post. It is that easy to become a self-publisher.

The shift in power that is taking place in the world of traditional publishing represents an unprecedented opportunity to become a popular source of real estate or mortgage news in your marketplace through self-publication. Can you begin to see why the current market leading agents and loan consultants are vulnerable? A competitor can readily seize this opportunity to become the local expert, the go-to columnist that is repeatedly quoted in other publications and other people’s blogs.

Becoming a Syndicated Columnist

Now, let’s take a look at the message side of the blog equation. Have you ever watched Andy Rooney’s spot that is aired at the end of every 60 Minutes TV program? He usually gives a two or three minute commentary on something that interests him. His inimitable style is charming, humorous and witty. A very distinct personality is exactly what your blog needs if you want to stand out in a sea of blogs. Your blog needs a unique slant to build readership/viewership. Most importantly, it must be authentic.

A successful blog should be like a thoroughly engaging editorial or news column in your local newspaper that is somehow tied into the subject of real estate or mortgage services. The theme of your column must be centered on something that you are personally enthusiastic or even passionate about in order to sustain your own interest over time as a publisher/columnist. If the message is not newsworthy, entertaining, informative or a solution to their problems your readers will quickly lose interest, too.

Blogging for Dollars!

The more traffic you can generate for your blog the more leads you can generate for your business. To accomplish this you must promote it everywhere you promote your current website. It must be prominently featured in all of your collateral material. Your blog is the new local media in your field and you are the new syndicated columnist. That means you need to maximize the use of local publicity as well as internet publicity, especially if you are in a second home market.

Best of all, if your content is truly original and compelling it will generate word-of-mouth marketing. For some of your referral sources it is easier for them to forward a clever or informative blog post via email than it is to recommend your services directly.

Getting your blog to sync up with the search engines, e.g., Google, Yahoo and MSN, in order to achieve the highest rankings is paramount. This is where all of the hoopla is coming from on the subject of blogging. The search engines are continuously looking for new content so that their user’s search results continue to be relevant to the search query. If the content of your blog posts can consistently answer the question that searchers are typing, the chances of your blog being found first increases dramatically.

Your search engine ranking for your website itself can steadily improve by blogging. Blogging allows you to add new content on a regular basis that is picked up by the search engines, versus the static content on your website. The more visible you become to the search engines the more you will be recognized as a website (and as a personality) worthy of a high ranking at the top on the search engines. This can take time.

To blog or not to blog? Do your due diligence before you decide. If your answer is yes, make the commitment to publish the best, market leading blog in your area. And, be sure to seek professional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services. This is critical to your success. Good luck blogging for leads and for dollars!

This is part of an ongoing article series entitled, Luxury Real Estate Marketing Essentials. It is dedicated to luxury real estate marketing professionals worldwide.

Luxury Real Estate Marketing – Maintain Your Visibility – Part 1

It has only been a few months since the 2010 Winter Olympics. An American won the gold medal for figure skating. Can you remember his name? Can you picture his face? Achieving top of mind status is quite an accomplishment. Staying top of mind is a whole other matter in our attention-deficient world. Studying how celebrities maintain visibility can reveal personal branding secrets that can give you a competitive edge as a luxury real estate marketing professional.

You might remember Evan Lysacek’s stellar skating performance in Vancouver, BC. But, just in case you forgot his face or name you can find Evan appearing on TV in Dancing with the Stars. Is it a coincidence that he is a featured dancer on the show just after his Olympic triumph? Chances are he has hired a talent agent to keep his name and face in front of your face.

Why is visibility so important and what is at stake? Product endorsements and skating show gigs are some of the ways that Evan can cash in on his celebrity. For luxury real estate agents, being visible and achieving top of mind status in your marketplace means more referrals. The higher your recognition and appeal factors are, the more likely you are to secure the lion’s share of the market.

In media, marketing, advertising and public relations the measurement of your familiarity and appeal is known as your Q Score. The Q stands for quotient, as in recognition quotient (amount, share or percentage) within your target market.

An example of a luxury real estate professional who has achieved a very high Q score is Barbara Corcoran in New York. She certainly stands out as a celebrity real estate expert whose opinion is continuously sought out by the media.

With the advent of social media and self publishing through multiple media channels, the opportunity to build a personal brand and achieve celebrity status in your marketplace has never been better. If market leadership is your quest, seize the opportunity to gain and sustain visibility.

Authoring a follow- worthy blog that is buzz-worthy is one way to get you there. See part two of this series for more details.

Disadvantages of Investing in Real Estate

Whenever we talk about the real estate economy, we use nationwide data but talk locally. On the flip side the stock exchange is dependent on the national or perhaps the entire world economy. Real estate markets depend on regional or even local economy. What is occurring in Chicago might not have an effect on what is occurring in Toledo. What impacts all markets together would be the home interest rates.There is absolutely no single barometer to evaluate the overall housing market in the US.

Even though research data and financial factors are relevant, using your common sense is more important. We should keep our eyes open and take a peek around and find out what is happening. Speaking with realtors, investors and loan providers in a specific region could be a huge help to gain access a marketplace. These are specific problems you must think about when dealing in real estate.

One serious problem facing commercial real estate professionals are how to successfully control real estate investments in the present marketplace. The second thing is, realtors provide details about utilities, zoning, educational institutions and so forth. But two typical problems a purchaser faces while shopping are, will the home provide you with the proper environment we would like for a house? Another question is will the house have a good resell value when we are prepared to sell?

Another significant concern that any investor encounters is the legal situation. Housing laws and regulations differ between states. You have to seek advice from a lawyer certified to practice law in the state where the home is located.From time to time, the home a purchaser is looking to get is available but is not properly marketed. It might take you some time and energy to look for and identify the best house. Another topic is the significant issue of funding. We should know our financial reserves as well as our borrowing capability. If we understand our present financial savings, earnings and debt, then we can consider assistance from loan providers, banking institutions and mortgage loan companies, which provides some options based on your financial capacity.

In The United States, some real estate organizations and commissions have backed legislation that requires all real estate agents to supply a minimum degree of services, which pushes sellers to purchase products and services they do not want or need. There is the problem of refunds on transaction costs. Some states the united states allow refunds of commissions or charges on housing transactions however, many states have mandated laws which forbid refunds.

Next is definitely the issue of buyer involvement. The Consumer Federation of America unveiled a study that real estate panels and commissions are centered by housing professionals and they suggested better involvement by buyers, which happens to be opposed by professionals, this works in opposition to the interest of normal sellers and buyers. Finally, a great deal of media hype has been going around in the news about the ‘bubble’ concept of real estate and that the housing marketplace is likely to burst, this might have a mental influence on the prospective consumer.