On Blogging Real Estate Listings

2557 AnaneaWant to start an argument amongst real estate bloggers?

Ask this question: Should you blog your real estate listings?

Short of whether or not to “force” home search registration, nothing seems to polarize real estate bloggers more than the “to blog or not to blog listings” question.

Here’s the deal…

I can’t tell you if it’s right or wrong to blog about listings. For you see, there are no absolutes when it comes to real estate blogging. (Well, you absolutely need the ability to search for homes on your blog. But that’s about the only hard and fast “rule” in real estate blogging. And of course, even that is just my opinion. But if you want to generate prospects via your blog, you need a home search solution.)

It really boils down to personal choice, and what your goals are for your real estate blog.

Personally I don’t blog individual listings

I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post about an individual listing. If I have it was long ago in a far away place.

Why not? Doesn’t it make sense to get your listings out in front of people?

Well sure it does. I want every one of our listings to be readily available on the internet. Ideally each and every listing should be able to be found in Google by anyone searching for the property address, the MLS number, the subdivision name, even by long-tail search terms like “3 bedroom home in Phoenix under $200K”. A blog post is one way to do that (assuming your blog has enough authority in Google’s eyes to rank your blog post for such terms).

But I find blogs on real estate listings boring to read. My eyes glaze over, my head fogs up, and I click something – anything – swiftly if I run across a blog post about a listing. Let’s face it, there are only so many ways you can describe a property for sale. I assume if I find posts on listings boring, then other readers will too. And the last thing you want to do is bore your readers.

A different approach might be to write a blog post about the neighborhood your listing is in. This makes for a much more interesting read, and importantly is a far more “evergreen” post than something dedicated to a single listing. You can write about the neighborhood and include such things as nearby local businesses, information on the schools, local area activities etcetera that won’t “die” when the listing gets sold. Feel free to include a link to a single property page for your listing (or use something like the dsIDXPress plugin or the FlexMLS IDX plugin (if available in your area) to populate current listings into your post – which will include your listing. The power of these plugins come from the fact these plugins keep the listing inventory current, automatically. So someone visiting that post weeks, months or years from the publication date will still see current inventory).

It is  lot easier to tell the story of a neighborhood than it is to tell the story of a single home.

With the plethora of third-party listing sites out there, if you syndicate your listings then they will be “Googleable” by address and MLS number. Adding one more blog post to the mix likely won’t matter nor increase the listings visibility.

But it appeases my sellers!

This is the argument I hear most often for blogging listings – “it makes my sellers happy”.

No, what makes your sellers happy is selling their home. It is your job as their agent to maximize the exposure of their home, and to get it sold as quickly as possible, for the most money possible, with the least amount of hassle for the seller. A big part of your job is to educate your sellers on what does and does not work with regard to marketing their property. If a big full-color ad in the Sunday paper makes them happy, are you going to do it? Are you going to hassle them and interrupt their lives and waste your time on the weekend holding open houses? Just to “make them happy”?

Teach your sellers what you’ll do to market their property. Show them data to support your marketing strategy. Rather then spend time, effort and money making them happy, spend that time, effort and money on things that will sell their home. Trust me, no seller on the planet has ever said, “We had a great agent, they sold our home fast and at a good price, but they never blogged about our listing”.

Get the home sold, and they won’t really care what you did and did not do. They’ll simply tell their friends and family you sold their home.

I’d rather my sellers say that than, “You should have seen the blog post our agent wrote…”

PS: If anyone wants to buy the home pictured here, call me….

About Jay Thompson

Jay is a Real Estate Broker (Phoenix, AZ area), father, husband, friend to many, enemy to a few. Author of the award winning blog, Phoenix Real Estate Guy, he is also a serial blog commenter and social media fan boy. Jay abhors yard work, but love kittens and driving too fast.

This entry was posted in Philosophical Musings and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to On Blogging Real Estate Listings

  1. Jim Gatos says:

    Thanks for addressing this issue, because I've actually sat in blogging classes where I've asked this question to the trainer, and I have gotten wildly differing answers with nothing to support their opinion. It is simply their opinion. You've field tested this issue and I have to say it makes no real sense putting up a post on a single listing.. Thanks

  2. J. Philip Faranda says:

    You touch on one elementary truth: posts on listings are mind-numbingly boring. It's the same thing with open houses. The odds that the bulk of the readers are actually interested in a 2 bedroom, 2 bath townhome or a 3 bedroom ranch in <blank> schools are long.

    I seldom post on a listing, but when I do I try and make it interesting, and it does make for a good reminder to readers/possible clients that YES, I don't just blog about real estate, I list and sell it also. So I don't think the occasional new listing or open house post will do much damage, and can help some-IF done in moderation. The blogs that are unappealing to me are the ones where they are 90% postlets or V-Flyers about opens and listings with scant commentary. Those people strike me as blogging to be "found," but they can't be building much of a readership.
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    • I agree with including listings in blogs in 'moderation'. Blog readers aren't looking for listings – there are plenty of places to do that. Worthwhile content creates value in a blog and is a lot more fun for the readers (and writers!) But there's nothing wrong with 'a word from our sponsors.'

  3. Jim Gatos says:

    Philip, what you've just described is about 70% of Activerain Blogs LOL.. (Don't know if it's 70% but it sure is a LOT!)

  4. Jon says:

    When I first started my online adventure in real estate I started blogging about individual listings. When I figured out it just doesnt pay off I stopped. Great info thanks!

  5. Liz Benitez says:

    I don't blog about my listings, I agree, how many times can you say "must see home" and still be attractive to a reader. I do however have a permanent tab for a few featured listings on my blog site. I don't smooze about the home, you can look at some pics and leave. I just recently changed it to a scan of the sign flier so all I have to do is change that out when I want to post a new listing.
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  6. Wailea says:

    Interesting post, Jay. I would say that there must be a ratio of listing vs. non-listing posts (maybe 1 listing to 3-4 non-listings), as it becomes very spammy, self-promotional to ONLY blog about the 'screaming deals' that an agent listed.

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  11. Averyjohnson50 says:

    Thanks for the information on blogging about your real estate listings. I think it could be a matter of opinion, but if it helps than I say do it. This is just my take, please share your experiences with this.

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  15. Nick Curcio says:

    It certainly makes a real estate blog easier to read when you don't have to sift through all of the listings. This is especially the case for visitors that necessarily live in an agent's home city…or state, for that matter. I think you're right to say that it totally depends on what your goals are for the blog. If it's to provide info to first-home buyers, then it shouldn't direct them to look at your new million-dollar listing. Thanks for the post.

  16. I like posting a featured listing here and there to make people aware of a property or neighborhood in general. I think an occasional post is ok. Some people do not just want to read news but learn about properties.

  17. There are blogs built for people to read and there are blogs built for search engines to read. It just depends in who the audince is and intent of the blog. Listings are boring for people but great for the SE.

  18. Great!!!
    Thanks for the information on blogging about your real estate listings. I think it could be a matter of opinion, but if it helps than I say do it. This is just my take, please share your experiences with this.

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    You said "A different approach might be to write a blog post about the neighborhood your listing is in. " I think this is really good advice for your readers.

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  30. Andy Fulton says:

    I think blogging about real estate listings is a poor idea, unless the listing is historic or particularly notable for some reason. Instead, real estate bloggers should focus on real estate market trends, the merits of their local markets and, if they write agent-focused posts, disseminating their expertise to other agents.

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  62. Hi Jay, I am just coming across your post and found it interesting and relevant. I think I agree with your idea of putting neighborhood info around the listing so that is becomes evergreen, so to speak. I have then been know to go back and edit the post removed the direct link to the listing after it is no longer available and putting the link to the website or a category similar to the listing. Good points!
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    Thank you raising the points which makes the blogs more informative and thought provoking to read. I think the different approach and about neighborhood news will be helpful for writing the blogs about real estate.

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