Forums are frequently seen as passé and as a thing of the past, but some markets, especially in the Midwest still need forums because consumers understand them and are too passive or nervous (or not committed enough) to pick up the phone to ask an agent. If you’re already using a forum like CityData or engaging in Trulia Voices, perhaps you need a forum on your own website?
This article was originally published on April 22, 2010.
Demonstrate your expertise by inviting conversation back to your own safe haven and help people locally. On a public, third party forum, when someone asks a real estate question about your market in Seattle but a Miami lender chimes in, maybe you need a place to invite people to.
We’ve learned about a new embeddable forum that takes only a few seconds to install on your blog. If you know how to embed a YouTube video, you can do this.
Here are the steps:
- Create a new page on your blog.
- Go to Tal.ki and copy the automated, unique embed code.
- Paste the code into the body of your new page.
- Save the draft and preview it.
- In preview mode, the forum will allow you to be the administrator by being the first to log in (with Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Google or a bevy of other sites) and you don’t even have to create a new password or account anywhere.
Easy enough? This is all free and doesn’t require a computer science degree. There are upgrades offered, but a simple real estate forum for local real estate should do just fine on a free account. And if you’re really fancy, they also launched a WordPress plugin worth checking out (although we have not tested it).
Forums as communities
Why not call the page, “Of course I want to be your Realtor, but you can ask me questions even if I don’t end up representing you. This is a safe place.” Use something to suit your personality, but you get where I’m going with this. “Ask a broker” or “ask the historic homes specialist” or “let’s talk about Amarillo, y’all” would all be great forum titles.
Remember, forums are like any community and take work to get people to attend and adopt, so be sure to tell locals about it, add it to your email signature and be responsive to all questions or comments.
What you see for the first time when you embed:
Use one of these credentials to sign in as an administrator:
Basic and clean, this is what the forum looks like:
What users (including you) will see when posting a question:
What the question looks like once posted:
You can customize your avatar and add a signature:
See all of your members at a glance:
Your administrator control panel:
Although we have not currently opted to use Tal.ki on AgentGenius, it is perfectly suitable for a local real estate blog. We’re not affiliated with Tal.ki and we don’t even know anyone there, but this is a pretty cool tool we wanted you to know about.
What will YOUR forum be called?