There’s no denying that we are being swept up into a technological revolution with all manner of quirkily named gizmos and gadgets for the web… blogs, podcasts, social networking, forums, widgets etc. But what do they all do and mean and more to the point why should you consider them for your marketing strategy?
Before we go any further let’s fast forward 5 years and try to predict where estate agency will be. Sad to say that your average high street estate agency that has relied purely on window cards, a ‘Prime Location webpage’ and word of mouth may be a thing of the past, no doubt replaced by a highly profitable charity shop or such like. This isn’t written to scare you BUT you do need to start understanding the knock on effects that the internet and modern consumer behaviour will have on the high street. You are not alone, pretty much every high street retailer will struggle with increasing rents coupled with the fact that bargain hunting consumers are becoming reliant on online retailers who can afford to sell with big discounts.
So where and how does new 2.0 internet technology fit in to estate agency exactly?
FACT – It’s no longer viable to rely solely on a static website. Yes I know you are just marketing properties at the end of the day but where’s the value in that if 10 other agencies are doing exactly the same in your high street alone. Let’s not forget that the majority of prospective purchasers head straight for either Right Move or Prime Location first too. So how can you increase your presence online and start attracting more prospects?
For reasons listed below I want to concentrate solely on one particular element of new web (2.0) technology – BLOGS.
What on earth is a ‘blog’?!
A blog is like an online diary, basically an easily editable (by you) website. They can be used for anything including news, reviews, products, properties etc. They are simply and easily updated by the editor who doesn’t have to have any technical experience at all (dependent upon the platform it’s written on). Ideally they are managed daily thereby increasing the number of keywords and pages on your site – ultimately leading to more chance of you being found through search engines.
Out of all the new web technologies blogs are clear winners for a number of reasons:
1 – Cost. They’re very cheap to integrate into your website and often FREE!!!
2 – You’ll become an industry expert with a loyal following. By sharing your opinions on the market and views on topics related to estate agency and property, reporting on trends and so on, you will ultimately position yourself as an expert in your local area.
3 – You’ll discover new channels to market. When you start writing about your passion it’s incredible just how many doors open and new angles appear out of nowhere. You quickly become a pro at spotting new and exciting opportunities.
4 – You’ll save money on search engine optimization. If you use the right ‘blogging’ techniques you can improve your website’s natural ranking on search engines. Your articles then become hugely valuable as part of your ongoing marketing campaign.
5 – Keeps you focussed on your industry and business. Researching exciting and cutting-edge stories for your blog will ensure you start speaking to all the people who matter within your industry and learn more about your market and the forces that drive it.