If you are working as a broker or agent in commercial real estate brokerage, you should think about how you can build a solid and professional personal platform online. WordPress is a remarkably clever online business tool to use in that way.
Why do this?
WordPress is basically a blogging platform and a very professional one at that. It can be used in addition to your current website activities with listings. If you continue to list and promote your property listings in your current websites online, the WordPress blog becomes an additional online tool of marketing and exposure.
This additional layer of online marketing can be used by the brokerage or by individual agents. The best application in doing so is through publishing property market updates, comments, and useful tools. If you do that in a regular and ongoing way, the search engines soon see the online activity and start to rank the relevance of the WordPress site (quality of content is important). As mentioned, this can be a marketing activity at either a personal agent level or something that a brokerage would do.
Is this for you?
So if this is a marketing idea that is of attraction to you in commercial real estate brokerage, consider the following strategies as you prepare to blog on WordPress:
- Domain name choices – You will need a good domain name to position your blog as a relevant online platform for you and or your property focus and location. Think about your property market. Consider how the search engines work; people go online to Google to find information and the search engines will always try to satisfy that enquiry. People go to the search engines and type in a location and a phrase to find the property information that they want. For example they could type ‘Los Angeles industrial property leasing’. It stands to reason that your domain name will be more effective for the search engines if you incorporate your location and or property type into the domain name. That simple strategy is highly effective in building an online profile.
- Two types of WordPress applications – There are two different ways to go when you have decided to use this blogging application. You can use either the .com or .org version of WordPress. The distinct difference is that the .com version is hosted online by the WordPress platform (and it’s free). The .com version is easier for most people to use given that they want to make things easy for you in the setting up phase. By contrast the .org version is still very good but it is hosted in a location of your choice (that is something you would have to arrange) and requires a bit more setting up and therefore online experience. Many people in real estate start with a WordPress .com version of their blog, and later move to the .org version of WordPress to gain further flexibility and control. So you have some choices. Choose the easy version first if you do not have reasonable online experience.
- Keep it relative – When you start a blogging platform in commercial real estate it can be a very powerful business tool online for any brokerage and or agent. Every top agent should consider having this marketing process active online. Make sure that your articles are specific and useful to people searching online. Understand what help they may be seeking through the search engines and then write about it. If for example you specialise in ‘industrial properties’ then you could write an article about ‘the top 5 characteristics of industrial warehouses in Newtown’. See how the topic is matched to the property type and the location?
- Mix and match – People like information to be presented and provided in different ways. You can therefore format your information to be provided differently and include written articles, pdfs, photographs, audio (podcasts), video (YouTube), statistics and charts. Mix up your information and reframe a single piece of content in different ways in the same blog portal. Make sure that you post information frequently (at least 3 times per week).
- Integrate a database – There are some very good auto responders online that you can and should integrate into your new blogging platform. People can then sign up for your newsletter for property updates and or local property information. Make your blog ‘informative’ rather than a platform where you push listings. People online want property help and ideas. That is what you can integrate into your blog platform. Leave your listings on another general website or the industry portals. If you must refer to a listing in your blog then link to it only for those interested people to go and look at it. Keep your blog platform interesting and information based first and foremost.
- Integrate social media links – In closing on this marketing idea, and if your blog is of high quality then you should be promoting it back through your social media strategies. Keep your information healthy and relative to the people that you help online. Great headlines and high quality content will pull in the people and the interest to your WordPress blog.
This blog process is a very effective marketing process for those agents that have a high level of skill and knowledge for an industry type and a location. Are you ready for the challenge?