Starting a blog isn’t rocket science. Just spend a few minutes on Blogger
or WordPress, and you’ll quickly see how easy the technology is to use.
Your real challenge may be to figure out what, exactly, to put into it.
Here are some tips from two experts: Teresa Boardman, a REALTOR® at Keller
Williams Integrity Realty in St. Paul, Minn., and Charles Turner, a
REALTOR® at Prudential Northwest Properties in Portland, Ore.
Pictures Pull in New Business
Boardman’s St. Paul Real Estate Blog, www.stpaulrealestateblog.com,
contains photos, human interest stories, community resources, and
answers to questions about buying or selling a home. The photos show off
St. Paul’s properties. The stories personalize the blog. The resources
draw in buyers. And the answers create connections with readers. The
common theme is that all the elements support Boardman’s business
“I took a lot of pictures of converted lofts and condos, and I am getting
business from that. I also did a series on architecture, so I’m getting a
fair amount of business from people who have historic homes that they want
to sell,” she says. “There is a very human side to real estate, and that’s
what I like to focus on.”
What’s absent from Boardman’s blog may be just as important as what’s
included: no hard sell, no property advertisements, no front-and-center
photos of Boardman.
Boardman doesn’t write much about herself, yet her posts are quite
personal. “There are a million postings about real estate every day,” she
says, “and the only thing I have to offer the world is what’s uniquely
Comments Let Prospects Participate
Turner’s Portland Real Estate Blog, www.portlandrealestateblog.com, is designed to spark
conversations about real estate in the Oregon city. Comments are
encouraged, and are neither moderated nor even censored.
“If I didn’t allow comments, it would be pretty useless,” Turner says. “The
blog works when there is discussion.”
The strategy can be risky, Turner admits, but he believes his blog would
become “irrelevant” without unfettered discussion.
“Don’t put in anything you
aren’t willing to discuss,” he advises. “You should be prepared to defend
Turner’s blog is a marketing tool, but one that’s deliberately not
promotional or personal, apart from an occasional post about a local
charity in which he is involved. Instead, he offers plenty of housing
market data, some of which is national, but set into a local context. In
lieu of listings, he’s included a link that takes readers to his Web site,
which has a property search function.
“If I said anything like ‘buy now,’ I would be shredded,” he says.
Widgets and plug-ins are also off limits. Some can be a distraction, while
others require constant attention, which is “not realistic for a REALTOR®,”