I’ve been writing a residential real estate blog for about a year. There have been some great blogs, and there have been some blogs where I cringe when I read them now. Within the real estate space, there are many reasons to blog. I think I will save that for another post by itself, but today I want to focus on some things I’ve learned along the way that might help you in your efforts. Here are 14 tips on writing a residential real estate blog.
- There’s only so much time. When I first started learning about blogging, I was worried I needed to write like Shakespeare. I’m not a great writer as it is, and trying to write Shakespeare isn’t what anyone is really looking for on the web. Most of my readers are looking for real estate news or they are already in a real estate deal and they are checking up on what their real estate agent should be doing. Given that I have many daily time commitments as a real estate broker in St. Louis, I only have so much time to write daily. It’s not going to be perfect, but you can’t keep that from letting you start.
- There’s a lot that I know about residential real estate sales, but someone always knows more about every topic. Often, real estate agents will try to position themselves as the most knowledgeable agent, and that they are right on everything. I think this comes from an area of insecurity. I approach my blog like this: I’m happy to share what I know. If someone else knows more about a topic, I’m sure they will rank higher on Google than I do. We can’t let our perfectionism getting in the way of production. You aren’t always going to be right. Get over it and start writing.
- Any advice given should be predicated with “It depends”. If someone is reading my blog from Nevada, their real estate laws and customs are different than those in St. Louis, MO. If a real estate agent is working in St. Louis on a deal and there are special considerations on that deal, a broad piece of advice may be the absolute worst information you can supply someone. It depends on the situation of the reader.
- You will learn a lot about residential real estate when you blog about it. It seems like every time I write something, I show my ignorance on a topic. This makes me want to learn more. To constantly improve, every day, we have to assess where we are. A blog is a perfect way to do it!
- Writing a residential real estate blog can be therapeutic. Have you ever had a client or real estate colleague who drove you nuts? If you have, writing about the experience and the things you’ve learned can be therapeutic. Just ask yourself, “What good is this awful experience doing in my head?” I’d venture to guess that it’s not doing anything up there other than limiting you and your interactions with your clients. One blog post I wrote, real estate and the rake, did me a lot of good for my own mental health.
- You will learn about yourself and others’ perception of you. I tend to be a very happy fellow. I like to laugh with my clients, and I’ve got a great situation. There are times, however, when I look at my blog posts, particularly the titles, and they can come across negatively. In this sense, who I am is not aligning with my writing. Be cognizant of how you are coming across in your blogs. I don’t think any real estate client wants to work with a gloomy Gus. If you are writing negative things day after day, you need to figure out why and what you can do to change it.
- Topic ideas will likely come to you when you aren’t actually writing. On my phone, I have a list of blogs that I could write at any given moment. I had to do it that way because I seem to come up with ideas when I’ve doing other things way more often than when I am blogging. If I’ve driving to a clients’ house and running late, an idea is sure to pop into my head. When I take a shower, two or three ideas will come to me, which is terrible because I have to try and remember them until I get out. While we’ve made inroads into how the brain works, we don’t know everything, and I’m always surprised when I get a blog idea anytime other than when I’m actually writing.
- Write your ideas down when you get them or they will disappear. As I mentioned in #7, my real estate blog ideas come when I least expect them. If I don’t write them down almost immediately, they disappear. At first, I would write them on my legal pad, but I found that when I went back to read my ideas, I wrote the idea so quickly that the handwriting was impossible to read! There’s at least 40 blogs that we’ll never know what they would have been about because they are forgotten.
- Set up a time to write, don’t write if you are overly emotional. Sometimes, I’ll be working on a deal and something might go wrong and make me absolutely enraged. That isn’t a good time to write. There are other times when I don’t feel like I have much to say. Those times are a little easier for blogging, because I can always go back to my list and pick something. The key is to keep writing or at least try to on a daily basis. There will be days where that doesn’t happen. It’s OK
- You will be tempted to write clickbait. If I write a blog titled, “how to list your home for sale in St. Louis”, that post will not be seen by many people. If I write a blog post titled, “list your home for sale, insert political issue here”, that post will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of people. When you learn this, you’ll see what’s happened to civil discourse in America. The worst of the worst titles will get the most clicks. I’ve resisted the urge to write clickbait titles for the most part. Does it hurt my blog? Of course it does as far as total viewership. At the end of the day though, I think that the vast majority of my readers want to learn about myself, Deerwood Realty, and the real estate services we provide in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.
- It’s OK to make mistakes. When you write about something, you are bound to make mistakes. It’s part of the writing process. It is very hard to write something original, and it is much easier for someone else to criticize something that they see in front of them. That’s just the nature of the game. If you make a mistake, say you’ve made a mistake, correct the error. Don’t let the fear of making mistakes silence you from writing about residential real estate.
- Other real estate agents are going to have blogs. The last time I looked on activerain.com, there were something like 400,000 real estate blogs. Blogging isn’t new. You aren’t going to be exceptional just because you wrote a blog. Therefore, don’t worry about how you rank with other real estate bloggers in your city, state or country. Write your blogs from where you are comfortable. Oftentimes, some of the other bloggers are going to be paying for content, or have some other advantage that you aren’t aware of. Your goal should be production, not where you rank with other real estate bloggers.
- You aren’t going to rank page 1 position 1 in Google for a major keyword. This is ok. Write blog posts about the things you know, and the things you see. You shouldn’t approach your blog looking to rank page 1 position 1 for a phrase like “houses for sale”. There are many, many corporations spending millions of dollars trying to do the same thing. Write something that you or your readers might like, and don’t worry about the rankings.
- Long pauses are ok. There are times when you have 10 or 12 deals going on at once and you really aren’t doing anything than working through those real estate deals. Write when you can! The only person looking over your shoulder is you.
So, 14 tips that I’ve learned in about a year of blogging on residential real estate issues. That’s not too bad! I’m convinced any real estate agent or broker who has been in the business for a few years will have plenty to offer. The key is to get started. What are you waiting for?