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Breakthrough Ideas for Greater Real Estate Success!
In this issue...
  • Can Blogs Make You Money, Save You Time?
  • The Ultimate Way To Bond With Clients and Stimulate Referrals
  • QuickTip: Give Buyers A Quick Tour In 30-Seconds
  • 6 Ways To Make Foreclosures Show Like Fresh Homes
  • Horror Story: How To Handle An Embarrassing Situation

Can Blogs Make You Money, Save You Time?

Everyone these days is telling you to get a blog.  But is it right for you?  Or if you already have do you avoid getting suckered in by the biggest lie involving real estate blogs?

In this article I'll give you the skinny on how to use a blog for your real estate business...and quickly attract high-quality clients from the web.

A blog is nothing more than an easy place to post regular content on a focused topic.  Somewhat like keeping a journal, only publicly where others can see it.  And you'll want to post more valuable stuff than just your thoughts (more on that in a minute).

Blogs have become popular for TWO primary reasons:  1) they are easy to set-up and maintain (even by non-techies), and 2) unlike a web site, a blog “talks” to various other sites and search engines in a way that creates automatic marketing and exposure for you.

Every time you make a new post to your blog, it will PING (techie-language for “talk to”) various other sites and search engines – thereby creating a “buzz” about what you are posting.

This is important because if you only have web site, you could be missing out on a lot of free traffic (and new clients) that search engines will give to regularly-updated blogs.

Search engines love the fresh content posted on blogs because it's their job to serve up relevant and timely content to the searcher.  And if you keep you content focused on real estate in your local area, they'll gladly reward you with a high search ranking...netting you more exposure and more business—that is, if you avoid...

The Biggest Real Estate Blog LIE Revealed...

What is the biggest lie you've been fed about using a blog?

That it should be about YOU!

Yes, a blog should be should give visitors a feel for your personality and uniqueness.  But its content should focus on your this case your blog visitor.

What are they are looking for?  What real estate information did they click on your blog to find?  And how do you best help them with their real estate problems?

You become helpful to blog visitors by posting quality, local real estate information that gives them a flavor of what's happening around them.  Especially by sharing updates on changing property values.

Keep these questions in mind to build a blog that gets noticed, gets repeat visitors, and makes you money.

Now that we've cleared up the confusion...can you save time by blogging or is it a waste of time?  And how do you get started – or know you've set up your blog to pull in clients?  I'll show you how to get this done with the right tools in 4 simple steps...

How To Set Up A Blog in 15 Minutes...

STEP 1:  Choose A Blog Platform That Is Easy To Use
If I didn't mention it yet, rest assured, blogs are FREE!  There are several blogging systems (or 'platforms') you might consider, but the quickest and easiest one is...

POSTEROUS (You can learn more by going to

If you can write an email to yourself, then you can have a blog!  Posterous is by far the easiest platform to use a blog.  All you do is email them and their online system posts to your blog for you.  Their service is FREE and makes your blog look professional (with no web designer fees, and no programs to learn).

Here's an example blog post I did so you can see how my blog looks:

Real estate blog tip:  With Posterous, you can take a bunch of pictures of a new listing, email them to yourself as attachments, and Posterous will automatically put the images on your blog in a great looking “slide show”.  Talk about a huge time-saver.

Here are two other easy-to-use (and free!) blog platforms you could also investigate:

STEP 2:  Set Up Your Blog To Attract  Local Prospects
What do you put on your blog before you start posting content?  As I mentioned...your blog should be about your site visitor (your prospect), but you do need to include a few tid-bits about yourself, what you do, where you do it, etc.

Here's a checklist of initial items to add to your blog:

  • Testimonials
  • Reviews of local places
  • Helpful resources area
  • Your photo (perhaps a family photo)
  • ...and a BIO about yourself (should make you sound professional and knowledgeable, but not a know-it-all or uppity expert)

CRITICALLY IMPORTANT:  Add your LOCAL keywords, terms and phrases with your bio and services description, and in a natural way.  Especially your CITY and local area paired with real estate terms.

Above all, your blog should be a friendly and helpful place that visitors come for local real estate information.  You should have a way for visitors to contact you.  And also an easy-to-see OFFER to join a newsletter or get some valuable report in exchange for an email address.

Once you get a visitor's email address... you can send them notices about updates to your blog or follow up with the information they requested, and start to build a relationship.  If you don't offer something to visitors, they may never come back to your blog and you've missed out on business.

STEP 3:  Post Great Content To Convert Visitors To Clients
Here's where blogs really save you time.  If you had to add a new page to your web site every time you wanted to post news about the local real estate market, you'd have to create the page, send it to a designer (or take the time to do it yourself if you know how), and then upload it to your site.  This can take days.

If you're using the right blog platform, all you have to do is login, write up your content, and press “send” (or “publish”)...and it's now live to the world.

What types of content do you post do your blog?  Here are a few ideas...

  • Local (and some national) market news
  • Local events
  • Real estate tips and how-to articles

Remember to lightly pepper your posts with KEYWORDS, TAGS, and LOCATIONS with every blog post.  Yes, there are umpteen other “strategies” and things you should do to make it an “authority blog” - but you can get lost in that for weeks and my goal is to get you going.

How often should you post?  As a general rule, make a post at least once a week to maximize the full search engine benefits of blogs.

STEP 4:  Add TAGS to Your Blog For Maximum Visibility
You are likely familiar with Google (as a search engine), but blogs have their own search engines.  One great blog search engine is called Technorati and if you post to your blog, you'll likely show up in numerous such blog related sites here.

To make sure your blog shows up in the right CATEGORIES in blog-specific search engines, you can add TAGS to every new post.  These clarify what a particular post is about   Instructions for using TAGS are at this link:  Technoriti Tags

At this point you may be asking, “So what do I do with my web site?  I say forget it.  Blogs are cheaper, faster, and work better at bringing you clients from the web.

If you already have a website – use it as another place to put your business profile and give you credibility.  If you don't have a web site – get started online with a free blog service.  Either way, your blog should be your central “hub” where people learn about you and what you can do for them.

Start implementing the 4-steps in this article and you will quickly be “up-and-running”...dominating search results for your local area, connecting with more prospects, and harvesting more business from the web – while spending a fraction of the time money most spend on traditional web sites.

Happy blogging!

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Look Who's Now the Proud Owner of a
Brand New FLIP Video Camera!!

Flip video camera winner

Why is agent Terry Hassett smiling these days? Because he just won a brand new FLIP video camcorder! You can see his idea, “10 Low-Cost, High-Yield Alternatives To Knocking On Doors” in issue 1155. Congratulations Terry!

Want to get your very own FLIP camera? It's easy. Just submit your very best marketing or success strategy (or QuickTip or Horror Story) by Clicking Here. Then, about every month we select the ideas we used in the last few issues and throw'em into a hat where the winner is selected randomly. The better your idea (examples help!), the more likely we'll use it, and the greater your chances of winning – just like Terry here.

The Ultimate Way To Bond With Clients and Stimulate Referrals

Do you want a fun way to make an incredibly positive impression with your network?  Think about holding one of the special events listed below once or twice a year and watch your referrals shoot through the roof.

Holding special events is just one powerful bonding strategy I teach in the 3-steps program.  Here's the description of how agent Jackie Maxfield is using this system in her practice...and below I outline the key steps to implement this in your practice.

Here's Jackie's brief description in her own words:

“The first Thursday in May of each year, our team Maxfield and Associates, holds a 'Client Appreciation Party'.  We rent the local theater and have a live performance put on for our clients, past clients, affiliates and their families.  During the main break of the play we serve refreshments and after the play is over we have a drawing for the many door prizes we have accumulated through the year.  The clients have become our friends and look forward to attending the play every year.  Not only do our clients come but they bring their friends who eventually turn into new clients.”

Here's the step-by-step process to use a
SPECIAL EVENT to get more business:

Step 1:  Identify an event to recognize

Here are some examples to get you started:

  • A special wine or beer Tasting Party.  Just locate one of your favorite distributors or retail stores, and they'll set it all up for you.
  • Hold a Fashion Show with a local high-end boutique.
  • Create a Family Picnic once a year for your network.
  • Hold a Sports Clinic if you find many of your clients like a certain sport such as: walking, running, cycling, etc.
  • Hold an Art Show with a local gallery.  This is very classy way to meet with many network members at once.  Consider holding a Wine Tasting with your art show.
  • Coordinate a New Automobile Preview with a local high-end or exotic auto dealership (BMW, Lexis, Mercedes, Infinity, Porsche, Ferrari, etc).  They'll be ecstatic you're promoting their cars, and will gladly participate with your inner circle network.

Step 2:  Make the arrangements
Contact local businesses in your area that would be thrilled to get a group of local residents in their restaurant, shop, or business.  This way the event costs you little to no money.  And many times they will share the promotion costs if you intend to send printed invitations to your network.

Step 3:  Send out the invitations
There are two critical components when sending the invitation.  Notice how the event examples above target certain INTERESTS?  This is very important.  You FIRST want to invite the right people from your network.  Many times you can invite your entire network, but if the event is limited in size, choose members who have told you what they like.  This communicates that you've listened to them and bonds them to you.  Also, you want to make sure you don't offend someone by inviting them to something they have no interest in.  SECOND, tell them to invite their friends...this is how your network starts to multiply.

Step 4:  Hold the event and offer a prize
Jackie does a great job of collecting contact information by offering 'door prizes' to all attendees.  You can even use the prizes as another incentive to attend the event.  You don't have to spend a lot of money here.  Raffle off something from the business that you're holding the even with, or work with other sponsors to give prizes that don't cost you anything out of pocket.

Step 5:  Follow-up with people with regular contact
Most of the people who attend your special event will not be in the market for real estate services.  After the event, add attendees to your regular mailings to continue to stay in touch and provide value until they're ready to buy or sell.  If you use a tool like Service For Life!, you can follow-up every month with valuable information that's not all real estate related (so it gets read), and also provide offers for real estate reports that identify when someone is getting ready to need your help

Step 6:  Put this as a regular SYSTEM in your practice
You can hold events annually, seasonally, or anytime you need a boost of business.  Keep holding the same event every year.  This way it's not a “one hit wonder” and people will start to remember it, look forward to it coming each year, and tell more friends.  This is one powerful way top producers earn consistent and high-incomes each year.

QuickTip: Give Buyers A Quick Tour In 30-Seconds

“When farming an area on foot, I maximize the use of my time by taking photos of the 'areas of interest.'  These can be of recreation areas, libraries, shopping restaurants, schools, etc.  I can use the photos if I get a listing from that area and can give people a 'tour' of the surrounding neighborhood.  I've found this visual to be valuable to buyers as it quickly shows them if the home is located around areas they like, and it makes my listings stand out at the same time!”

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6 Ways To Make Foreclosures Show Like Fresh Homes

“Foreclosures and short sales are a pretty gloomy part of our business.  I have recently pulled up the shades and let the light shine in!  With a very small budget, I have purchased marketing props that make the house appear to be more 'lived in' and welcoming.

Here are 6 ways to spruce up foreclosures and get more offers...

Tip #1:  A laundry basket with a bright towel draped across it sitting on top of the washer adds some pop!

Tip #2:  A cookbook with some brightly colored napkins strategically placed on the counter gets buyers hooked into what they would cook in the kitchen.

Tip #3:  Add a small green silk plant in a colorful planter to give the home a lively feel.

Tip #4:  Maybe a few plastic lemons in a small bowl beside a cutting board to make the home feel more alive.

Tip #5:  A few wine glasses or goblets and an interesting book added to the side of a soaker tub or vanity get buyers' imagination started.

Tip #6:  I also use bright beach prints in an otherwise dark and drab bedroom.

All of these props can be picked up cheaply at Big Lots or Dollar Stores.  And some items I find at garage sales, estate sales, or in my own attic!  With a little imagination, and a few minutes, you will create an atmosphere that says, 'Hey, buy me...I'm a great deal and I have a lot of potential!'

We are finding this to be a great marketing tool that also helps in your MLS and advertising pictures.  You'll be surprised...your buyers will often want to keep the props you place in the home.  And then you already have a great settlement gift!”

Flip video camera

Could you use this cool Video Camcorder in Your Business?
Share Your Best STUFF!

Real estate can be a tough, lonely business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your best stuff with our community, everyone wins!

AND…remember, each month we hold a drawing to award one amazing FLIP video camcorder to an agent who submits an idea we use. So submit your best prospecting, marketing, horror story, or other real estate idea that makes you more successful, and you'll automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW FLIP video camcorder. Be sure to include an example if you have one! Click Here

Horror Story: How To Handle An Embarrassing Situation

“This really happened TODAY and I have the clients to prove it!...

This afternoon I had a listing appointment with a somewhat mature couple to begin gathering my listing data, part of which included walking through the house and taking notes.  We went all around the house, chatted a bit and things really couldn't have gone any better...that is, until I was at the front door and saying goodbye.

At precisely that moment my waist-to-ankle, really cool skirt fell to the floor, pooling around my ankles.  The problem was I couldn't find the waist in order to bring the skirt back up where it belonged for an eternity of 5 excruciating seconds that seemed 5 days long.

Well, you only have TWO choices in these away or laugh.  I chose laughter and I WILL be getting that listing.”

Issue #1157