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Easily Avoided Blunders

I get email from all over the country from Realtors who have started blogs and would like me to look at them. I am happy to do it and I answer each one.

Feedback from a peer with some experience often has more value and I seek it myself when ever I need it.

I am writing today about some of the comments I write to new bloggers. I don’t want to call them mistakes but here is a list of advice I commonly give.

1. The first thing I do when I look at a blog is look for contact information. It amazes me how many times I can’t find it or when I do find it I can’t actually communicate with the Blogger through it.

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2. The header looks like the template real estate web sites of yesteryear. They are among the worst looking sites on the internet. The look is too commercial for a blog. Lose the picture of the keys, the couple and the house. Use a photo of something local and even ordinary.

3. Often it is hard to figure out the bloggers location. Is the blog about Ohio? Alaska? Maybe it is about some county I never heard of. Do people search for real estate by county? I guess I don’t know but am inclined to suggest that a city and state also be mentioned just in case they don’t.

4. Sometimes the content isn’t quite right. No one is all that impressed or interested in reading a 1000 word opinion. Shorter is better, and photographs to break up that text are invaluable.

5. So many real estate bloggers fail to put the name or logo of their brokerage on the blog. They do not identify themselves as being Realtors or which state they are licensed in. One day NAR will do a sweep and who knows maybe the non compliant blogs will start following the rules.

Using the newest latest and greatest design and plug-ins can be pretty cool but if they make the site look cluttered and the reader has a hard time finding the content what is the point? Most readers will glance at a blog or skim it. We only really get their eye balls for a few seconds and if the experience isn’t what the reader was looking for he or she will quickly move on. Blog designs and redesigns should always put the reader first.

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Written By

Full time REALTOR and licensed broker with Saint Paul Home Realty Realty in St. Paul, Minnesota. Author of StPaulRealEstateBlog.com, Columnist for Inman News and an avid photographer.

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Chris Shouse

    December 10, 2008 at 10:37 am

    Thanks T am headed over to look at my blog again through your eyes. You my dear are the master!

  2. Molly

    December 10, 2008 at 11:17 am

    This is perfect Teresa. Thank you so much. I have just been given the green light on a company blog and these suggestions are perfect. Nice to know I am headed in the right direction-but I think that is from reading your blog (and AG) the past several months.

  3. Chuck G

    December 10, 2008 at 11:38 am

    OK Teresa, I’ll take you up on your invitation (even if it wasn’t really one.) My site isn’t new, but I’d love to get the perspective of someone I truly respect in the business.

    (PS — go easy on me, it’s my birthday today!)

    Many thanks,

    Chuck

  4. Dan O'Halloran

    December 10, 2008 at 11:58 am

    Thanks Teresa! I had my contact info but no company name or Realtor® designation on the main page

  5. Charleston real estate blog

    December 10, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    After two years plus, I’m still learning from the best, thanks Teresa.

  6. Joel McDonald

    December 10, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks for the tips Teresa! I almost always get pretty “wordy” and need to remind myself that less is often more…

  7. George McCumiskey

    December 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I’m watching the realtor blogs to see when I can hope to sell my house for full value. Anyways, I’m wondering what you all think of holding an open house. Any good for the seller or just a way to make contacts for the agent? I’ve done one and it was attended by few.

  8. Vicki Moore

    December 11, 2008 at 7:28 am

    George – You might have opened a can of worms with that one. We all have different opinions about the effectiveness and value of open houses. Here are a couple:

    https://agentgenius.com/?p=7263

    https://agentgenius.com/?p=4535

  9. RentonHomeFinder

    December 12, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Thanks Teresa,

    I’m going to revisit a couple of things on the setup of my blog to make it less busy.

  10. Laura Cannon

    December 13, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    –great advice! Thanks Teresa. You have been a tremendous help and inspiration to me, and I am sure to thousands more.

    One of the challenges I regularly face is making my posts shorter. Sometimes it’s hard to get substance into a couple short paragraphs, but I agree that it is essential to keeping readers. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of this. And, of course, pictures! I love a blog with pictures, yet frequently forget to post them myself.

  11. Shailesh Ghimire

    December 16, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Your first point is so so important. It’s true across a lot of blogs in fact. When I come across a good post I always like to see who wrote it. I want to know what I’m reading is credible and trustworthy. A nice bio and background never hurts. A professional pic also helps.

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