Activerain's Bob Stewart threw down the challenge gauntlet searcing for examples of how we use the treasure chest of blog posts to do further good in our day to day real estate operation.There are many ways we take the trip back in to the blog post inventory and assemble a series of them to ricochet email correspondence back to the sender. We have a connection with a past client and these "what is going on in the area newsy blog posts" bee-lined to their inbox help us stay connected. For past happy buyers who decide to sell, or have friends to refer. For sellers to keep us in their mind. We start a relationship that eventually with these emails with blog attachments push them off the fence, eventually.
But probably the two top ways we use the AR library is targeted at relocation and retirement prospective buyers. They are folks that many have never been to this area of Northern Maine before so they have questions. Lots. Just like you would if you were considering a life changing move to a place eight states away that you had no previous experience. We get a visit, get their email and then start slowly launching old blog posts about the topics they need answers on. To get them to move, buy, relocate here. These blog posts help us deepen the relationship. We give them something other than just real estate information. Local information they are starved, thirsty for. It's the connection these past and current blog posts help us maintain with a mailing list to share them without being a pest, not too frequently sent. Slow drip. Careful email mortaring...with the blogs attached to the emails that hit the areas they are most interested in..the schools, health care, crime, etc. That's why you need to know your customer..what they want, what they are worried about and give them what they ask for. Hit those areas with blog posts about those areas. Written especially for them (but used with others like them). Think of a blog post that you send out to hundreds of folks from your email end of the chain. Not just readers, followers from finding it on line on their own.
For starters most real estate websites are set up, and then dust mounts. Oh sure, they have an idx/mls stream for new listings, price changes and the office staff tinkers on the real estate listing section.
But other then a Happy Halloween or a opening image change once in awhile, the site is cold, static, and not up to the minute. Blog posts are real time, like Twitter tweets. Right now, or at least what it is like in your area today, or this season.So we do new round up new, crank out these type of current today local blog posts where we attach them to a new, never been here before emailer or calls that we ping information to so they become acclimated, knowledgeable about our home town. You'll see this blog post has video embed of a local activity..Maine youth picking potatoes to earn their winter coat, their ipods. Southern Maine real estate brokers along the coast could have the same kids learn work ethic video piece with blueberry raking, fishing for lobster, digging for clams to taylor make the presentation to their area of the state. Not cookie cutter fit the entire state but localism, tons of good stuff..the copy, images, video of the local area you crafted. And no mention of selling real estate, just the tag on the end that this guy or gal is a real estate broker for future reference.
So when we get asked the number one question, what is your weather like in winter or the other three seasons, we start out the intial response email with the polite thank you for contacting our office and your interest in Maine. And we send property attachments loaded with more details than they see on the idx or realtor.com, plus indicate all four seasons are fun for recreation, etc. And we also send a teaser line with in winter if that was there big concern, worry that we ski, snowsled, play hockey with our kids at an arena or on a frozen lake under the bright sunshine and we do not hibernate in the winter. And to read more here with a link insertion. Or sometimes, we know the other end of the fiber optics cables has been bombarded with real estate images..the inside, outside and lots of copy, video, images of the property. But what about the area...is there away to just slide in some local Maine eye candy..nothing heavy, just a ten second eyeball scan to reinforce they are going to like it here?
This blog post is one of many we draw from that is a simple extra from 2008 to drop in the real estate bag before it gets taken out to the customer's car so to speak. Like a grocery store stuffs a flyer in the bag to get them to come back. To be different than other stores. To build a connection, a relationship, reaching out with something extra. You got the customer considering your area in to the AR site. And low and behold, they can search other Maine topics and bump in to you again from other posts. They find you have already been there for them, crafting and hammering out other informative blog posts on the area you serve. When you have approaching 1200 blog posts, there should be lots to draw from. You write many knowing where you chamber of commerce "holes" are and beef up the shelves by writing, posting, stocking those shelves.
We have blog posts to send along to real estate sellers sitting on the fence about listing. We have a slow drip campaign to nudge this audience and creative, simple blog posts like this and get them reading, keeping you in their thoughts to turn to as the agent / broker to pick. This post and a slew of others with the same "bent" or slant get tucked in to an email about "Mr Seller, have you thought any more about listing your waterfront cottage that is not getting much use anymore...we are here to help.
Short and sweet and with this type of blog post to get them in to the blog to see you use this vehicle a lot to hit new relocating, retiring propsects. To educate folks about the area, to find buyers, to market property.
Other examples of using blog posts to reinforce your emails, to post on your site as a reference resource are ones we write with helpful links to Houlton Maine area schools, events their kids will enjoy (this one is a good follow up for someone that was here months ago, but as an easy watch this easy video. You hope they can see themselves, their families living here, doing this or that activity.) During the intial visit of someone toying with the idea of relocation, retirement here, we follow up later with an email that could have a few new listings like they wanted, and if you noted they are a rotarian, tack this along as what they will be doing for service club work in retirement here. Make them feel like they already live here. Show them what they don't see because they don't live here now..the stuff CNN, ESPN don't cover but you do on the local level. Hometown, simple, down to earth.
And lastly, this is my favorite way to "show" the new real estate buyer who is a stranger to these parts what the area is like. Instead of making him read and a few images of the area, a few helpful links, video gets rolled in. Embed many local community videos, something for everyone in a buffet fashion and all they do on the other end is push play, sit back and they hear, see, get a feel for what the local Houlton Maine area is all about. Who is the person selling the real estate, reporting and keeping the prospect up to day with emails with attachments to these helpful blog posts..do a three minute video to tell them in your own words, so they can meet you. They want to know about churches, local banks, Maine moose season , the new Maine co2, smoke fire detector law beef up, which school system will my kids go to, so give it to them with a blog attachement of the videos in your emails. You don't have to rewrite these same FAQ answers over and over, attach the well written, link, image, video laddened blog posts to do it for you and save boat loads of time. You write them to reuse them and that drives lots of traffic to the Activerain blog beehive.