Top 5 Ways to Develop Online Leads

YMLS brings you the top 5 best practices to develop online leads. For our third post in our new “Best Practices” blog series we will discuss how to write an engaging blog. Because, the real estate market is very competitive, having the best practices when developing online web leads is critical. This series is also a helpful guide for new agents who are finding it difficult in this industry or are pushing for more publicity and productivity. These helpful tips will demonstrate how to attract online real estate leads.

Write an Engaging Blog

Writing an engaging blog is arguably one of the best avenues to generate leads online. Don’t expect an old corporate blog about your company’s events to generate real estate leads. To attract prospects and convert them to home sales, you must provide your readers with valuable and actionable content. These include real estate news, tips about working with REALTORS® to list their home, guides to help buyers find a home, or mortgage tips on getting the best mortgage.

As a Best Practice, make sure that all your engaging blog posts are well written. Have your blogs contain SEO tags to better direct the search engines to send you more website traffic. What are SEO tags? They are the keywords, and meta descriptions that help the search engines identify what your page content is about. Last of all, don’t forget to share them with your social media accounts too. This will help to increase your blog’s reader base and increase your lead traffic. With more traffic you will have an easier time developing online leads.

Provide solutions to problems your readers have.

Write an engaging blog that you want your users to sit down and read. It is important to make sure that it is something they want to read. When someone searches for something on the web, usually that person is looking for answers to questions or solutions to problems. How do I handle multiple offers on my home? Should I sell my own home? What renovations will get me the most money? 7 questions to ask when attending open houses. What neighborhoods have the best schools? These are real life questions that people will put into their favorite search engine for answers.

The biggest goal of your blog will be to answer these questions and solve the problems of potential readers. The more useful your content, the more likely you are to have visitors and to get referrals from your site.

Write for the web.

A blog is substantially different from your college essays. When you write an engaging blog you want to ensure that you are not only writing for your audience but for the search engines too. search engine optimization or SEO means you write your blog with key words to help the search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing understand what your post is about. Remember you want to get the search engines to help drive potential lead traffic to your blog. The more you can help the search engines understand your blog content the more traffic they will drive traffic to your website.

In an engaging blog, text is broken up into easily scanned blocks, with titles and formatting that guides the reader. Writing is more informal. You have less time to grab the reader, so titles are very important, as is formatting. Don’t save the best for last – or at least make sure you have interesting material up top to keep people reading.

People like to call an unattractive blog post a “wall of words”. This is because there is no semblance of any structure to the writing. A good real estate blog article should be broken down into ideas with a specific heading. Under each heading you should share your wisdom in a clear and concise fashion broken down in short concise paragraphs. Here are some great tips on creating a nice layout. When writing your blog try to have less than 300 words under a specific header.

Add some pictures.

Having awesome graphics is one of the most important aspects of having a successful and engaging blog. Your graphics will quickly propel you into being remembered by a significant amount of people. In fact, it is usually the graphics that will cause someone to want to share your article on their social media channels.

While you can find stock photos that you can use for free ideally you should take some pictures on your own. By using your own photography, you will show your audience that you are a local REALTOR. There is a saying in real estate “Location, Location, Location” so think local! If you are going to use photos someone else has taken be sure to have the copyright to use the image to avoid any infringement issues.

Once you get your feet wet, you can take your graphics to the next level. Social media sites, like Pinterest offer an incredible opportunity for real estate agents to expose their work. Having amazing images encourages your readers to share your blog posts increasing your social media audience.

Focus on your areas of expertise.

Choosing broad topics is a great way to flesh out your engaging blog. This will help attract a wide range of readers. Chances are the most valuable help you can provide centers on a more niche area. If you have spent 10 years working with home buyers in NE Minneapolis, MN, you have a unique perspective that not many other real estate bloggers have. Use this knowledge to help boost your local blog readership.

The more you can translate your knowledge into real estate blog material, the more attractive you will be to readers who need specific, accurate information on the subject you are covering.

Blog regularly.

When you write an engaging blog, you are making a commitment. If you do not make regular blog posts your audience may see your blog as stale or dead all together. Having a blog with infrequent posts can often be worse than no blog when developing an audience of real estate leads. There is an ongoing argument about which is better – blogging frequently, like daily or almost daily, or blogging less frequently but focusing on more in-depth material. Bloggers have been successful with both strategies, so it is up to you and how you want to do things.

But whether you blog once a week or every day, you do need to maintain some consistency to keep readers around. The more erratic your schedule, the bigger risk readers will forget about your blog or become frustrated and go somewhere else. Keep them in the know by having a solid real estate social media strategy. While creating fantastic content is crucial, so is promoting it. So make sure you have a campaign of posts to back up blog like e-mail and social media. MailChimp is a tool in the YMLS MarketPlace which can be used to advertise your blog.

Encourage conversation.

When you are looking for clients, you want to have some interaction with the visitors to your blog. Consider adding a comment section to your blog posts and encouraging your readers to discuss topics or give you feedback. This allows you to develop relationships that may lead to work in the real world. There is a risk of undesirable comments, but you can always delete anything you do not want to stick around on your blog. Invite your audience to comment on your blogs. Be quick to engage them and start the conversation. Make sure you have alerts turned on to quickly respond to comments on your blog.

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Another idea is to offer or provide them with a free report, like a property valuation report or a neighborhood community report. When offering reports ask your reader fill out a contact for proving their information in order to receive the said report. This is an effective way to have your blog work to develop online leads.

If you are looking to write a blog with the YMLS Website Editor simply create a page for your blog. At YMLS we can turn that page into a portal. This way each new page that is added to your website and organized in your blog portal will display as a blog post. To learn more check out the YMLS Help Center.

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