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Top 10 Ways to Use Blogging in Real Estate [#8]

Top 10 Ways to Use Blogging in Real Estate #8: Stay Ahead of Your “Peers”


Learning Tech Tips

I don’t know about YOU, but I have learned more about technological tips and tricks as a blogger than I EVER did as your regular, run of the mill, non-blogging real estate agent.

No, this is not a direct result of blogging, but it is a very powerful INDIRECT benefit of blogging, and a very important way that I use blogging in real estate.

What Have I Learned?

It’s more like what have I NOT learned. Almost all the things that I do, as a real estate agent, are tied, somehow to what I have learned since I began blogging in 2006. The top 3 technological benefits that blogging has brought to me is: Listing Tools, SEO and Social Interwebbing.

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Listing Tools

My interaction with other real estate bloggers has given me advanced knowledge (compared to my local peers) of awesome tools that I can use for my listings.

  • Real Estate Shows – This has to be my all-time favorite listing tool. It costs just $125 a year and gives me unlimited amounts of “virtual tours” of both my listings and various neighborhoods. My seller clients love them. My potential buyer clients love them and I just think it is one of the coolest things ever. What’s more? Real Estate Shows offers a flyer template that syndicates to different real estate sites and even includes a version for CraigsList. .
  • VFlyer and Postlets – I had no idea what a “virtual flyer” was before I started blogging. Nor did I know how to use it. I figure the more virtual flyers that are out there pimping my listings, the better for me and my sellers. Right?

SEO

As I began to blog, I started learning more and more about SEO. By no means am I an SEO expert, but since I have started blogging, I have garnered enough knowledge on this topic to know:

  • Who to turn to when I have questions ( JackMaryBrian )
  • What to avoid when putting together a SEO-able post
  • Who to stay away from when seeking advice
  • What to read to learn more ( SEO SchoolSEOBook )

This bit of knowledge has given me the upper hand when evaluating my competition. I can smell a spammer a mile away, and am confident that they wont be “competition” much longer. This allows me to focus my energies on building my web presence in a way that ensures my search engine placement, and not waste my time trying to compete with an eventual nothing.

Social Interwebbing

As a blogger I have joined um-teen social networks, and have made many, many friends. These are the friends that I know I can turn to when I have questions or concerns about different technological difficulties that I run into. These are the friends I can turn to when I need advice about a new platform or web application. These are friends that keep me on my toes and ahead of the curve when it comes to ALL things real estate.

So even though this is not a go-and-do kind of blogging idea, staying ahead of your “peers” is an extremely valuable way that you can use blogging in real estate.

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Written By

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    September 30, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Exactly, couldn’t have said it better. I’m mean how many of your competitors know to check backlinks on Google? Really? I check my competition all the time and I learned it all from blogging, as you said indirectly.

  2. Mark Madsen

    September 30, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Excellent article, Mariana. I had a great discussion today with Marcy about your blog and how a lender can team up with an agent for the purpose creating more online business.

    Regarding flyers – check out ClassifiedFlyerAds.com. I think their SEO might work well with your neighborhood articles.

    mm

  3. Ben Goheen

    September 30, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Mariana,
    I’m glad you mentioned Real Estate Shows as doing virtual tours, NOT videos. I can’t tell you how much it annoys me when an agent says they do videos on their listings when really it’s just photos moving across the screen to some crappy John Tesh wannabe music. I’d rather just look at the photos at my own pace and not have to turn down the volume on my computer.

    Rand and the crew over at SEOmoz (https://www.seomoz.org) are another great source of SEO information. Just my 2 cents.

  4. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    September 30, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Ben, you’re right, “video” implies movement in images, not movement of images. In fairness though, Real Estate Shows can be syndicated to YouTube and reformatted for you. Cool, huh? 🙂 So, technically……

  5. Kim Wood

    September 30, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Miz – Can I call you that? 🙂
    So true that I’ve learned *so* much more since I started blogging! Blogging and reading blogs! I’m proud to say that I stay *ahead* of the competition ! (I like it better up here).
    Kim

  6. Jay Thompson

    September 30, 2008 at 11:38 pm

    I can’t begin to list everything I’ve learned from both writing and reading real estate blogs. Tech stuff, real estate things, and lessons on being human. It’s a huge benefit. Huge.

  7. Jack Leblond

    October 1, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Mariana – it does seem to me that bloggers are in general a more helpful and sociable bunch than others I have encountered on the web. In the years I have been building traditional web sites, the owners and developers are typically very tight-lipped, secretive and suspicious when in comes to others in their trade. They worry about giving away secrets. Bloggers on the other hand, just tell you, often without being asked, how they have been successful. Bloggers are just good people (even those of us converted from the olden days).

  8. Mariana Wagner

    October 1, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Missy – This is probably my favorite thing about being a RE blogger … all that I have learned from all of my new friends.

    Mark – Marcy told me that you 2 spoke (Thank You!) and we are both excited that she will be adding to our blog.

    Ben – There are many different ways to enhance the “photo viewing experience” for your listings. Real Estate Shows is one of the BEST ways (IMHO) to enhance photos, and promote my listings, and I would MUCH prefer RES to an ammature with a Flip cam wandering through a house making me dizzy. There are a couple decent home-video vendors out there, but (for most homes) I do not see the value they bring justified by the cost it takes to create a video production like that.

    Yes. SEOmoz is also a great tool for leraning more about SEO. Thank you for bringing that up.

    Lani – Yep. RES can be syndicated to YouTube, and my Sellers love it!

    Kim – (lol @ Miz!) I like it better up here, too.

  9. Mariana Wagner

    October 1, 2008 at 7:40 am

    Jay – You brought up “being human” and that is, by far, one of the BEST lessons anyone can learn. Odd that so many of these lessons I learn from the people who “live in my computer” …!

    Jack – “Bloggers are just good people” … I couldn’t agree more!

  10. Lisa Sanderson

    October 1, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Funny, I was just trying to explain this part of it all to an agent at a local association meeting this morning. I will have to send this to him! Wait…do I really want him to know this valuable secret information? 😉

  11. Ben Goheen

    October 1, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Mariana,
    I see both sides. Using a flip camera to make a shaky, Blair Witch Project style video won’t help at all selling a house. And although I don’t have any personal experience with a production company I’ve seen some great ones made.

    As far as still image videos go, check out Animoto. The free version lets you make 30 second videos with cool image effects and non-boring music. Check out this one I made in just a few minutes:

    video of 12527 24th Street N, Stillwater, MN

  12. Paul Lazarre

    October 5, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Hi Mariana:

    Thanks for the great post.

    I wanted to mention a new product called .Home that you may want to check out (www.dothome.info). (It is produced by us, so I admit upfront a bit of a bias.)

    DotHome does everything that Postlets does, except we have expanded the syndication to virtually any site on the web (if we don’t have it we’ll add in within a week). We are keeping tabs on over 100 advertising venues across the country.

    In addition to online ads, we can also track print ads. Each night, we automatically download your online and print activity and create comprehensive reports that can be sent to sellers. Finally, we track all the marketing in an area and can recommend advertising venues that are worthwhile to increase the expose of your listings (in the Pro Version).

    Sincerely,

    Paul

  13. Mariana

    October 5, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Lisa – Even if you sent it to him, do you think it would matter?

    Ben – I like Animoto, but am not sold on it to market a property. We will video homes for our out-of-state buyers, but it is definitely a video to point out everything good and bad about homes.

    Paul – I will check it out.

  14. Jeff Dowler

    October 5, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    Mariana – it’s always a pleasure to read your perspectives on the blogging world. What more can one say about what blogging can bring to our business. it would be impossible to capture the depth of what I have learned thus far, nor do I expecft the learning to stop. So much of what I read provides inspiration and ideas. And it’s free. The personal relationships? Well, what more can be said. They rock and they are everywhere.

    Jeff

  15. Mariana Wagner

    October 5, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Jeff – It was great to finally meet you *in person* at RE Blog World. The friendships that we make are awesome.

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