Posts Tagged ‘real estate blogging’

Capture Your Online Audience With Infographics for Free!

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

 

We’ve all seen our fair share of infographics popping up all over our social media feeds and in our favorite blogs.  They’re eye-catching, give you a quick synopsis of the information you want and are easy to share.  And you may wonder how people create these fun graphics and how you can jump on board!

I recently ran across an article that showcased three free infographic tools that are simple to use.  Did I mention they’re FREE?  Take a look at this quick round up and each tools features.

1. Infogr.am 

This free tool has six layouts to help you get started. You can insert your data into each of Infogr.am‘s pre-set boxes, or you can delete or add boxes. Choose from more than a dozen graphic options, add text boxes, photos, maps or even video. Finished infographics can be instantly shared though social media or use the embed code to place it on your own website.

2. Piktochart 
Piktochart starts with only three free themes but don’t let that discourage you. Its customizable editor allows you to change color schemes, fonts, add basic shapes, pre-loaded graphics and your own, uploaded images. The template has grid lines to help you line items up evenly and resize images on the fly. For more customization options and 100 templates, you can upgrade to Piktochart Pro for $29 per month.

3. Easel.ly 
With Easel.ly you start with one of a dozen free templates or begin with a blank canvas. You can remove any object on a template and replace it with modern graphics from 10 categories including people, transportation, animals and icons. There are also common shapes, connector lines and arrows.

Upload your own graphics, clone and position graphics with a single touch, use the grid for a perfect layout and change the color of any item on the page. Customize the text with a collection of fonts, text styles, sizes and colors. The finished infographic can be downloaded or shared with a link or embed code.

 

I thought I’d be fun to try one out and see how user friendly these really are.  In a matter of just ten minutes I…

- Created an Infogra.am account

- Gathered a few stats from our client Janie Bress who we blog for on a weekly basis

- Picked a template

- Figured out the basic features of creating the graph

- Finalized the information and look

- … and here it is!

 

Now doesn’t that just look better than typing out the same stats in a Tweet or a Facebook update?  And it really was easy!

In our visual culture, I’d encourage you to take a few minutes to think about how you can incorporate infographics into your online presence!  Whether you use it them for social media, on your blog, or on your website; you’ll find them to be a powerful tool and others will find worth sharing!

Added perk?  They also make great calls to action!

If you have questions about infographics, would like help with getting started, or are interested in customized graphics; contact your virtual assistant!

We’d also love to hear your thoughts!  Have you use infographics?  Have you found them to helpful?  Why or why not?

Thanks for your feedback!

 

 

Carrie Gable and the team at RealSupport, Inc. are our “VA Quick Tip” columnists offering expertise in real estate marketing, technology and more. RealSupport’s office and team of 15 full-time staff members is located near Chicago, IL. Their successful team works virtually for many top real estate agents and brokers nationwide. Pioneers in the Real Estate Virtual Assistant industry, RealSupport offers marketing, branding, website and logo design, listing marketing, lead generation, technical support, transaction management, social networking, blogging and much more… Just ask!

The Power of Blogging

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

 

Social media.  It’s all around us, everywhere we look and on the tip of of our tongues in conversations.  We all understand the importance of it, but it can be hard to keep up with the latest and greatest app, or the ever changing rules on how to use it most effectively.

As Real Estate Virtual Assistants, our goal is to keep you up to date with what’s on the cutting edge, and are constantly making necessary adjustments for our clients that have given us the reigns on their Facebook and Twitter.  They love that they don’t have to focus all their attention on staying up to date with the social media world, and we enjoy putting our experience and expertise to work for them!

Today, however, I wanted to talk about the oftentimes forgotten, yet all important media outlet: blogging.  When done right, blogging can be one of the most effective tools for real estate agents!  Here’s why:

1. Making it Personal- Highlighting your blog on your website gives potential clients the opportunity to “dig deeper” and learn more about who you are and the services you provide.  It gives a more personal approach to your business.

2. Providing Pertinent Information- While you’ll have information on your website concerning buyers, sellers and some local information; blogging opens up a whole new realm of information to your current and potential clients!  Instead of them having to do research online about tips on dealing with low-ball offers, what they can do to help sell their home, what questions to ask when buying a home, what the city they’re relocating to has to offer and a myriad of other questions; they can find everything they want to know right on your blog!  They’ll appreciate having all their questions answered in one place, and you’ll look like the expert that you are!

3. SEO- These three letters mean a lot in today’s world. Being found online through search engines is key!  Blogging consistently shows search engines your relevancy and linking key words and phrases gives your posts the “Google juice” you’re after!

Now, these are just three perks of blogging but there are many more!  Chances are, you’re well aware of the importance of blogging already, but you’ve come to realize it’s not realistic for you to take on blogging on a consistent basis to make it effective.

Here at RealSupport, we have a team of experienced bloggers who only handle blogging for our clients.  They know the ins and outs of what it takes to create a customized and powerful blog post and hone in on each clients’ specific needs, location and style.

Here are just a few of the elements that we include in each of our posts:

Variety:  Many of our clients want us to create both real estate related blogs, as well as community driven blogs.  We’ll switch off weeks to make sure the blog remains interesting and covers a wide variety of topics.

Research:  We then research either a real estate topic that we feel will reach out to our clients readers, or a local event that will show that our client is a great resource for the area in which they work.

Key Words: The body of each blog is filled with the clients key words that are linked back to the correlating page on their website.  Here’s an example from our clients at Shoreline Property Advisors.


Signature:  Each blog post is signed with an SEO rich signature.  This not only gives an extra boost for SEO, but provides a uniform look to each blog post.

Extra Boost: We then submit each blog to Google so that it’s indexed.  This helps the post show up more quickly in a Google search.

This way of blogging, as you can see, is much more involved than it may appear at first glance!  Our blogs are effective because we’re:

- Creating variety in our routine to maximize results
- Feeding our blog with relevant information
- Using resources to enhance the blog
- Blogging consistently!

If you’d like to learn more about our real estate blogging or already know you’re ready to get the task of blogging off your plate; you should delegate this to your virtual assistant!  We would love to talk with you about your blog!

Don’t have a blog yet?  Let us set one up for you!  From creating a customized look for your blog, to set up and blogging on a regular basis; we can handle each aspect of your real estate blog so you’re free to focus on your work.

 

Carrie Gable and the team at RealSupport, Inc. are our “VA Quick Tip” columnists offering expertise in real estate marketing, technology and more. RealSupport’s office and team of 15 full-time staff members is located near Chicago, IL. Their successful team works virtually for many top real estate agents and brokers nationwide. Pioneers in the Real Estate Virtual Assistant industry, RealSupport offers marketing, branding, website and logo design, listing marketing, lead generation, technical support, transaction management, social networking, blogging and much more… Just ask!

4 Ideas to Unblock Bloggers Block!

Friday, February 11th, 2011

So you’ve committed to blogging consistently in the new year and, so far, so good!  Whether you’ve had your blog for a while or are just starting out, you may have started to notice one of the hardest parts of real estate blogging: finding a topic.

We all know there are endless topics in real estate, but sometimes you just don’t feel like talking about the steps in buying a house, the latest social media news or what updates to make in order to sell a home.  Whether your blog is geared toward other agents or potential clients; you want to make sure that what you’re saying in your blog is interesting and something people want to read.

Getting “bloggers block” or writing the same type of articles week after week can cause frustration and, this is usually how blogs become abandoned over time.

So how can you break the cycle and come up with intriguing posts week after week?  Here are 4 great tips for unblocking bloggers block as pointed out by RSSPieces.com!

1. Hold a contest-  Call out to local photographers and house hunters alike to take pictures of local attractions.  You can even notify a local newspaper of your “blog contest.”  If your town is small enough, it may even get picked up!  Judge your entries and post the winners on your site.  This kind of contest, keeps it local and engages the community as a whole.

2. Give a Lesson- Give a solid lesson on how to stage a home for sale.  Or provide a “top 10″ list of things to do before a closing.  People like to learn things that directly relate to their lives and how to be successful at their tasks.  Spend the time to write a solid tutorial at least once a week.  It is a sure fire way to keep your readers engaged.

3. Be Entertaining- Even if you are telling people how horrible the market is in your area, make ‘em laugh. If you can make the boring content entertaining, people will line up (subscribe to your RSS feed) just to hear what kind of wacky thing you will say next. Another option is to pick out a local happening or news related item and make it come to life in your own words!  Relating it back to real estate will give it a twist that people may not have expected, but it’s a creative way to get their attention.

4. Make Complex Topics More Understandable- Make sure that no matter how complex the topic you are writing about is, you make it understandable.  Many people have questions about finding a home mortgage, but nobody likes to feel confused and stupid because they read a post. If you are writing on a complex subject, have another agent in your office review it- get a second pair of eyes to see if you wrote intelligibly.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking every blog has to be the same!  The great thing about having your own blog is that you have the freedom to post whatever you want to talk about! Telling other people about your blog whether it’s on your business card, email signature or promoted on your website will drive traffic to your blog.  The more interaction you have on your blog; the easier it will be for you to come up with topics as you’re responding to comments and getting feedback on what’s on people’s minds.  Your blog will come to life and, before you know it, your bloggers block will be unblocked!

Happy blogging!

P.S. If you’ve started your real estate blog and realize you just don’t have the time to do it; let us know!  We take care of many of our clients blogs and love helping them out with this great marketing tool!

Carrie Gable and the team at RealSupport, Inc. are our “VA Quick Tip” columnists offering expertise in real estate marketing, technology and more. RealSupport’s office and team of 9 full-time staff members is located near Chicago, IL. Their successful team works virtually for many top real estate agents and brokers nationwide. Pioneers in the Real Estate Virtual Assistant industry, RealSupport offers marketing, branding, website and logo design, listing marketing, lead generation, technical support, transaction management, social networking, blogging and much more… Just ask!

Contact Carrie
Visit us Online at RealSupportInc.com
Join Our LinkedIn Group
Become a Facebook Fan
Follow me on Twitter

Blogging Weekly or Weakly Blogging?

Friday, October 29th, 2010

The good news:  Real Estate agents are catching on to the need for having a real estate blog.  We see more and more agents popping up online with blogs as they see the importance of this ever-growing medium.

The bad news: They’re wasting their time with sporadic posts, lack of keywords and poor content.

Before going any further; we do know there are a number of you who “get it!” But we want to encourage those who are weakly blogging to begin blogging weekly, which means creating (at least) one great blog post per week!  As Real Estate Virtual Assistants our goal is to offer tips, advice and hands on help that will launch agents into the next level of their real estate business.  We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we’d like to think that, from our years of experience in the industry; we have some pretty good ones!

Let’s take a look at a few of the key differences between weakly blogging and blogging weekly…

Weakly Blogging:

Sporadic Posts: There are a number of real estate blogs out there that look like abandoned warehouses.  The blog posts are few and far between and, while you might see hints of the purpose behind the blog; it’s pretty empty.  You begin to wonder who owns it, where they went and what will become of it.  You leave the blog feeling a bit confused as to its purpose.

No Keywords: Perhaps you’ve stumbled across blogs that are posted to often.  You see a small blurb on the side that notes the real estate agent, has a small picture and gives a brief description.  Yet, there are no links within the post and you can barely find their contact info.  While the blog is great, you begin to wonder if it acts as more of a personal, creative outlet for the agent.  They don’t seem to mind that their blog won’t show up in search engines and that it doesn’t seem to sync up with their business at all.  Did they even have a real estate website?  If so, you never were directed to the view the site.  You leave the blog feeling slightly bothered that the agent completely missed the point.

Lack of Content: These types of real estate blogs can be easily found.  You begin reading a blog because of an attractive blog post title, yet as you get into the “meat” of the post; you find yourself a bit confused on the main point of the post.  There are a lot of linked key words and the blog is posted to regularly, but the lack of rich content makes you want to avoid the blog completely.  You leave the blog feeling like you’ve been scammed into visiting the site and it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

If you find that you fall into one (or more) of these categories with your current blog; don’t despair.  There’s hope!  Our challenge to you is to make note of the areas that fall under blogging weakly and begin a fresh start with your blog.

The first step is to commit to blogging (at least) 1x per week.
One great post per week!  Now, of course that’s the bare minimum.  (Anything less and you’ll begin to fall under the abandoned warehouse category).  The more you blog, the better.  We recommend two to three times per week, but you have to make sure each post has all the elements…

What are the elements to a great blog post?  Well, as you can guess, the opposite of a weakly blogging post!  But let’s just go over these points as a quick refresher course:

Consistent Posts: Whether you choose to blog one or seven times per week; it’s ideal to keep it consistent.  People want to know they can count on your posts as a source of reliable, interesting and consistent information!  We’ve found that picking a day each week to blog is key.  It keeps you accountable and consistent with blogging as you get in the habit of setting aside time on that day to write.  Being consistent in blogging can also subconsciously tell others that you’re organized, on top of your work and are reliable.  Who knew blogging said so much about you!

Key Words: Find three to five key words that describe your target market and use them religiously.  Think like a client and go to a search engine, such as Google.  If you were looking to buy or sell in your area; what would words would you put in your search?  Andover Real Estate, Homes for Sale in Andover, Andover Real Estate Agent, First Time Home Buyers in Andover, MA – you get the idea.  These words, when linked back to corresponding pages on your website will make the search engines see your blog as relevant and will rank your website and/or blog higher in the search results over time!

Rich Content: This is the fun part!  You can be as creative or professional as you want to be!  Why not a mixture of both?  We write real estate blogs for a few agents who only want real estate related news, market reports and tips for buyers and/or sellers.  We then have agents who enjoy highlighting their community in each post.

They want to be seen as a resource for events, news and highlights from their community to build more of a personal relationship.  The majority of agents that we blog for enjoy a happy medium.

We’ll write custom SEO’d blogs from real estate news one week to local events the next and home tips the next!   This mix of information reaches a wide range of people; from those interested in diving into the housing market now, to those thinking about buying or selling down the road.  Each group finds relative information that keeps them coming back for more!

If you have a blog…now is the time to evaluate which type of blog you have.  If you have been blogging weakly because you don’t have the time or you’re not a writer, we can help!  If you are succeeding with blogging; we encourage you to keep going!  Try adding an additional blogging day to boost your SEO!  There is a budget for everyone so let us know if we can help turn your weakly blogging into blogging weekly!

Carrie Gable and the team at RealSupport, Inc. are our “VA Quick Tip” columnists offering expertise in real estate marketing, technology and more. RealSupport’s office and team of 9 full-time staff members is located near Chicago, IL. Their successful team works virtually for many top real estate agents and brokers nationwide. Pioneers in the Real Estate Virtual Assistant industry, RealSupport offers marketing, branding, website and logo design, listing marketing, lead generation, technical support, transaction management, social networking, blogging and much more… Just ask!

Contact Carrie
Visit us Online at RealSupportInc.com
Join Our LinkedIn Group
Become a Facebook Fan
Follow me on Twitter

To Blog or Not to Blog – That’s No Longer the Question

Friday, October 8th, 2010

A few years ago real estate blogging was the big question.  It seemed that the creative outlet for avid writers, beginners to novices on any topic or those just wanting to journal their thoughts to the world, was making its entrance onto the real estate scene and agents began to wrestle with whether or not to jump on board.  After all, who had time to sit down and write for an ambiguous audience and, ultimately, what would be the point?

As 2010 begins to quickly draw to a close, the question today isn’t if you should blog, but how often, what are your key words to boost your SEO, who are you delegating this to in order to keep your time free, and when can you expect return on your investment. The option for blogging is no longer an option; that is, if you want to stay at the forefront of your real estate market!  Let’s quickly look at the answers to each question:

How Often? The absolute minimum is once per week.  Ideally, 2-3 times per week!  The key to blogging is consistency and frequency.

A recent study showed that: businesses that published at least 5 blog articles in the last 7 days draw 6.9 times more organic search traffic and 1.12 times more referral traffic than those who don’t blog at all. Out of the masses of business, relevant content (1 post per weekday), blog readers will likely find something engaging and proceed to learn more about a company that is actively posting (2-3 times per week).

It’s simple:  more blogging = more traffic = more readers = more leads = more clients.

What Are Your Key Words? Blogging for the sake of blogging will not get you anywhere unless you enhance your relevant content with key words that reflect your market, niche and target client.

These are the words people type into a search engine (such as Google) to find what they’re looking for.  “Evanston Real Estate,” “Homes for Sale in Evanston,” etc…  Don’t believe us?  Try typing “Evanston Real Estate” in Google and see what comes up!  Did you find JudyNewton.com on the first page?  We blog for her every week and her blog has moved her up the Google ladder to the page ONE in less than a year. (Oh, and we also designed her custom real estate website!)

Who Are You Delegating Your Blog Writing To? If you don’t know what to write about, don’t have the time to blog consistently, or wouldn’t know where to begin with creating a blog, linking key words, formatting, etc… your Real Estate Virtual Assistant can help!

Not only can they set up a custom blog that effectively boasts your brand, but they should write custom SEO/keyword rich content for each blog!  A VA should understand the importance of current, local and personalized real estate blogging that will draw traffic to your site.  Sadly, we’ve seen blogs where a canned article has been copied/pasted.  This won’t help your search engine ranking!  You should never see the blog that your VA writes for you anywhere else!  They will use your key words and link them to your website so that the content is, not only interesting and pertinent for your local readers, but it will increase traffic to your site!

When Can You Expect a Return on Your Investment? It all depends on how often you let your VA blog for you!  If we only blogged once a week, linked key words throughout your blog and submitted to Google after each post; you can increase your SEO significantly in less than a year!  If we are blogging for you 2-3 times per week, your Google rank will get higher a little faster. Increase your exposure as a key resource within your community which will keep readers coming back for more!

“87.4% of respondents successfully increased measurable SEO objectives as a direct result of blogging.” – TopRankBlog.com

Of the 12.6% that didn’t find measurable SEO results from blogging the main reason given was a lack of time to blog consistently.   We’ve seen a blog for one of our clients that we created in June reach the first page of Google due to blogs being posted 2-3 times per week!

A few more blogging statistics…

Many of you understand the value of blogging as you know it’s a sure fire way, when done correctly, to power up your Google Juice and drive traffic to your site.  Further research proved the correlation between blogging and SEO.  Statistics gathered by Hubspot put a quantitative approach to the growing medium.  They found that those who blog have:

- 55% more visitors to their website.
- 97% more links to their website which is a primary factor in where your website shows up in search results. (Want a higher ranking; get quality links to your site).
- 434% more indexed pages. This is the number of pages that show up in search engines. Just because you have a site doesn’t guarantee it is being indexed (findable). Just because some of your pages are in search engines doesn’t mean all of your pages are.

Additional studies show that a blog can be indexed by Google in less than 5 minutes!  Geoff Karcher, held a conference in which one session he wanted to prove the power of blogging and search engine results.  He wrote a blog about the phrase “search engine marketing made simple experiment” and a mere 4 minutes later, Google had indexed and ranked the blog.  Now that’s powerful!

The bottom line…

We could go on about the power of blogging as there are many websites, articles and our own personal experiences with our clients that prove its worth!

The bottom line is this:  Blogging is imperative for the growth of your business.

If you haven’t started blogging yet, now is the time!  If you’ve been blogging but are experiencing the frustration of not having time and not seeing results, delegate this on-going project to your VA!  View our real estate blogging samples for ideas…

You’ll thank us later….

Carrie Gable and the team at RealSupport, Inc. are our “VA Quick Tip” columnists offering expertise in real estate marketing, technology and more. RealSupport’s office and team of 9 full-time staff members is located near Chicago, IL. Their successful team works virtually for many top real estate agents and brokers nationwide. Pioneers in the Real Estate Virtual Assistant industry, RealSupport offers marketing, branding, website and logo design, listing marketing, lead generation, technical support, transaction management, social networking, blogging and much more… Just ask!


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