By Deborah Ball, RE/MAX Times Online Associate Editor
Still not convinced that blogging and other forms of social media can boost business? If you’re not blogging, you’re missing some prime opportunities to capture new leads, market listings and make a lasting impression on your clients, says April Prinz. The Sales Associate with RE/MAX Camosun Oak Bay in Victoria, British Columbia, is an avid ActiveRain blogger and social media user who recently wrote a post on his blog titled 5 Reasons Agents Should Blog.”
Here, in a nutshell, are his reasons to blog:

  1. Garner exposure for yourself by writing insightful, concise articles that will ultimately lead more buyers and sellers to you online.
  2. Position yourself as an expert in real estate or in a certain geographical location by targeting your market.
  3. Successfully market your listings.
  4. Increase Internet traffic to your Web site by creating links back to subjects or people in your blogs.
  5. Generate referrals from clients and other real estate agents.

With millions and millions of users on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube – along with the reach ActiveRain provides through search engine optimization – your name will be in front of potential clients if you’re an active blogger, Prinz says.

“The more you blog and repeatedly use the same phrases, the more hits your site will get through search engines like Google,” Prinz says. “You have to pinpoint your Web message and put it in the blog headline and in the body of your post a few times so that Google picks it up. Blogs needn’t be longer than 300 words and you should use some photos, videos and plenty of links to relevant Web sites and material.

“I dominate my market because I blog. Not only is it a great tool for finding buyers, but you can get listings when you’re able to show a prospective client how well your listings are marketed by using social networks for added exposure.”
Real estate agents who are hesitant to engage in social networking because it’s outside of their tech and Internet knowledge shouldn’t fear it, Prinz, 66, says.

“I’m part of the older generation and I’ve learned how to blog and use all these online tools rather easily,” Prinz says. “The great thing about ActiveRain is that you can sync it with your other social networking sites; your ActiveRain post can be seen on your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. People want instant gratification, and social media sites satisfy that need. If you’re not able to give them what they want when they want it, they’ll find an agent who will.”

As with any marketing or self-promotion tool, Prinz stresses that it takes time to build a following online and to get an effective strategy down to bring in new leads and effectively market your listings via blogging. But it’s well worth the effort.

“This by no means is a silver bullet, but it will help you immensely to increase Web traffic and get your name out in front of potential clients,” Prinz says. “If you can manage your time, this is simple, easy and pretty quick. You have to make time for it and put an honest effort into blogging to make it work for you.”

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