In real estate, branding and name recognition is the name of the game. Don’t you agree? Consider this:
- They need to have heard of you before they will call to list with you.
- They need to have heard of you before they will call to buy a home with you.
- They need to have heard of you before they’ll tell their friends about you.
All of the things we need as agents start with one thing…name recognition. Without it, you’re toast.
Getting started in real estate is a challenge, no? Getting leads coming in is the primary concern, and we want results fast. So what do we do? We put up a website, we start doing seminars, open houses, etc. And what pulls results the fastest?
Seminars and open houses most likely! This isn’t a very good argument for the power of blogging, is it?
Let me say this: if your concern is only for the short term gain…then blogging is not for you. Seriously, you can skip it! Unfortunately, I have to admit I see a lot of business owners in this camp. It’s a shame really, because taking the long view is absolutely essential when it comes to building a real, substantive and sustainable business.
If you really just want to live paycheck to paycheck, just get a job! Just my two cents…
As I say so often, yes it’s true that most businesses fail. But that doesn’t mean business is risky. Businesses fail for a reason. And unfortunately they’re usually the same reasons. Over and over again. We never seem to learn! The long view is key. If all you have is a short view (how do I make money NOW), you’re always going to be schlepping for the next closing. In my opinion, that’s not where you want to be!
Taking the Long View
Blogging and web marketing for your real estate business is going to require a long view. It’s true you can get fast results with PPC and other techniques, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you can also sink tens of thousands of dollars and get nothing. I usually don’t recommend fast techniques to business owners unless they have experience with them already. Do it with experience under your belt, hire a consultant you trust to help you, or stay away from it.
Truth be told, building a real business the slow and steady way is, well, slow. And steady. Some might say it’s pretty darn boring. For me, I’m cool with boring. I like my business to be boring. If you want your success to be volatile and unpredictable, go for it dude! Hang ten. But for me, I like to be grounded and sure of myself. I’m definitely cool with acknowledging there are different approaches to business. This is just my take on it. I’m not in business for fast results. I’m in it to build something, help the people I work with and make all the money I need to do the crazy and fun stuff I want to do in my life. Volatility, for me, is for adventure and travel…I WANT my business to be slow and steady 😉
The long view is valuable for the following reason: it builds a solid foundation that continues to feed your business, no matter what you do, no matter what direction the tides take you. Most businesses don’t have this. Most businesses depend on the market being “good”. So what happens when the market changes? The results are not good. But guess what happens if you’ve built a strong foundation, a committed community around your blog? You’re fine. You’re recession proof. In fact, your community will come to you even MORE, because they trust you to help when things get tough.
People need knowledgeable, helpful Realtors now more than ever. And what’s happening? Many of us are going out of business…when we’re needed the most! Why is this happening? We didn’t brand ourselves. We didn’t build a community.
This is why the long view is so crucial. And it’s why building a presence with your blog and web marketing is so crucial.
Skipping Painful Mistakes
Don’t make the mistake of setting up a site, not seeing immediate results and writing off this whole web marketing business as a waste of time. What a painful, short sighted mistake that is! Use your blog to talk to people. Do your short view marketing. Run some ads and get some sales coming in. I’m doing two conferences in the new couple weeks…talking in person. So this web marketing guy definitely still markets offline.
Go to where the people are. Guess what? Most people are online. Don’t ignore the value of blogging just because it doesn’t produce immediate results. Use your blog to talk to people. True, they may not buy from you instantly because of it. But if your business is dependent upon people…and ALL businesses are…then you should talk to them. It’s not just valuable. It’s powerfully, mutually valuable. It requires that you actually care about the people you work with, and over time they will notice that you care. I promise. But if you don’t make the effort…someone else will!