Blog standard? Why every estate and letting agent should have a great blog

Blog standard? Why every estate and letting agent should have a great blog

Here are some mind-boggling figures for you. There are currently over 1.9 billion websites worldwide and over 600 million blogs. When you consider that there are approximately 210 million global companies, one could guestimate that just over 1 in 3 businesses have a blog. That’s rather a lot.

The million-dollar question, however, is whether these blogs actually do any good? Stacks of companies start a blog but soon run out of energy and things to write about. Therefore, their blog soon starts gathering metaphorical cobwebs in an irrelevant corner of the Internet with little hope of bots ever ‘crawling’ it again. 

On the other hand, companies that successfully utilise the full power of the Interweb have vibrant blogs that attract thousands of visitors every week. The result? Their blog becomes integral to their marketing and business development strategies and central to their ongoing success. 

So how do you make sure that you end up in the latter camp? And how can estate and letting agents, in particular, use a blog to their advantage? Read on, my budding bloggers, and all will be revealed…

The advantages of a property blog

Let’s start with the obvious: a great blog will enrich your website and give existing customers, not to mention potential customers, a reason to keep coming back. This can do for your web traffic what funny cat videos did for YouTube. Purrfect.  

What’s more, a blog can address infinite property subjects and attract people at different stages of the moving process: a buyer who needs help with conveyancing or a tenant in dispute with their landlord, for example.

Whereas your home page will sell your services to people at the beginning of their property journey, a blog reaches out to everyone. This puts you top of mind when they next need an estate or letting agent.

The other big advantage of blogs is that they help enormously with SEO - that’s ‘search engine optimisation’ for the uninitiated. Google’s algorithms prioritise websites that are active; therefore, sites with regularly updated content usually feature higher in the search results.

Search engines also prioritise sites that other people have linked to. So look no further if you want an incentive to write useful content that people will share. Each link is like an endorsement or vote of confidence in your site.  

A good blog will also bring additional website traffic over time. Every blog post eventually becomes a new indexed page on Google. And the more it’s read, and the more it’s shared, the higher it will climb up the rankings. Do you see how this can snowball? 

Blogs are therefore amazing tools for ‘inbound marketing’ where people find your content online through organic search and visit your website as a result. This is a fantastic investment because other than the initial time it takes to write the blog, the extra traffic costs you diddly-squat. 

A blog builds your brand

Successful estate and letting agents use blogs to bolster their marketing activity and boost their brand. This is because all good blogs are written in the company’s own unique tone of voice, which reinforces their brand personality. A blog also gives individuals within your company the chance to position themselves as an expert in their field. 

Blogs are also a great way to start a conversation with customers and colleagues, especially when they’re promoted as part of your social media activity. If you create content that’s interesting and helpful to readers, whether they’re potential customers or other people working within the sector, you’ll come to be seen as an industry leader that’s worth listening to. This will translate into new business opportunities down the road. 

Creating useful content that’s shared by home-hunters also gets your name out there. And when people feel like they know you, they’re more likely to do business with you later on. You can also invite people to subscribe to your blog (they’ll get new article alerts via email) so you can build a list of consenting contacts. You can then email those contacts about new properties coming to market. 

What should you write about?

The key is to write useful or helpful content that people will share. So think about what potential customers might want to know. Good subjects include advice about mortgages, tips on choosing a removals company, or articles about tenants’ rights or landlord responsibilities. There’s so much information that you, as a property expert, can share. You can also give insights into the local market and react to breaking property news. 

What you mustn’t do, however, is use your blog to show off. Always keep the end-reader in mind. Telling the world how many houses you’ve sold above asking price might turn some people on (most likely sellers) but turn other people’s stomachs. Obviously it’s ok to talk about your services, link to them within your blog posts, and even include the odd call to action, but don’t make ‘selling’ the centre-piece of your content. Readers might question your intentions and authenticity if you make this mistake. 

Finally, a word about style: the best blogs are written in clear English so that they’re easy to read. Don’t try too hard to impress by using wordy language or long words. You might come across as stuffy or unapproachable. A conversational style usually works best (depending on your brand, of course) and remember not to waffle on and on and on and on.  

How often and how long?

There are few hard-and-fast rules about how often you should blog and how long each blog should be. The short answer is: as often as you can and however long it needs to be.

Having said that, the following’s a good guide: blog at least twice a month (if you can) and up to three or four times per week (if you have the resources). Length can be anything from 300 words - Google won’t index anything shorter - or up to 2,500 words or even longer for SEO-driven articles. It depends entirely what you’re writing about and how much detail is required.

Overall, your average blog post should be between 600-1,500 words. This one’s just over 1,200. However, you could also consider Vlogging (video blogging) if writing isn’t your strength. It’s another great way to raise your profile, especially if your agency uses Instagram, YouTube and TikTok for marketing. There is one drawback though: search engines can’t index video clips, so blogs are better for SEO. But you could always do both.

Becoming a property influencer

Many estate and letting agents could benefit from a blog but aren’t sure where to start. They also worry who will write it and whether they can commit long-term. The thing to remember, of course, is that any blog, even if you only update it once per month, has its benefits. After all, you’ll still be adding fresh pages to your website and will attract increased web traffic over time. 

Obviously those who invest more time (and money if they pay a freelancer or content agency to help) should get the biggest returns. But if you get the balance just right, and make a blog central to your marketing strategy, then you’ll eventually be rewarded in spades.

Who knows, you might even attain the Holy Grail of property blogging: becoming a fully fledged property influencer with a community of engaged followers who hang on your every word. You’ll be amazed how many adoring devotees become customers down the line. 

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