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Blogging Effectively by
Building Consumer Loyalty
and Minimizing Risk



By Doug Devitre e-PRO, CRS, ABR, GRI
“People only change when the pain
not to change exceeds the pain to
change.”
Dr. George Lucas
Information Source   % of Buyers
Real estate agent       84%
Internet                84%
Sign                    59%
Print newspaper         50%
Open house              48%
Magazine                31%
Home builder            24%
Just the Facts



  “39% of home buyers were
    1st time home buyers.”

2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile
           of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Just the Facts



 “65% of 1st time buyers are
   between the ages of 18-34.”

2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile
           of Home Buyers and Sellers.
Consumers Want Information NOW!

                        •   Text messaging
                        •   Email
                        •   Blogging
                        •   Podcasting
                        •   YouTube
                        •   Twitter
What is a Blog?

• Web log
• Online newspaper
• Articles = posts = entries
• Reverse chronological
  order
• Interactive
• Allow for responses
Why Read Blogs?
• Be the first in the know
• Learn and analyze new
  statistics quickly
• Make decisions faster than the
  competition
• Respond to hot topics quickly
• Receive information anywhere
Why Consumers Will Read Your Blog?
Why Consumers Will Read Your Blog?
              Relevancy
            Time sensitive
      Frequently asked questions
            Communicate
        Explain complex ideas
           Kept in the know
         Accurate Information
         You Are the Expert!
“50% of Internet users in the
  US regularly read blogs.”

          eMarketer (May 2008)
    http://technorati.com/blogging/
       state-of-the-blogosphere/
“On average, bloggers use 5
different techniques to drive
     traffic to their blog.”

         Technorati (2008)
 http://technorati.com/blogging/
    state-of-the-blogosphere/
“72.5% of people in
the US regularly go
     online.”

          InternetWorldStats.com
    http://www.gstatic.com/youtube/
engagement/platform/autoplay/advertise/
  downloads/YouTube_InTheKnow.pdf
“25% of REALTORS® post to
their own blog for business
        purposes.”
         2009 REALTOR® technology report
     http://www.realtor.org/wps/wcm/connect/
  54d719804f2807aca5f1e74e813808c1/2009+Tech
               +Report+-+v1.pdf?
 MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=54d719804f2807aca5f1e74e8
                     13808c1
“More than 90 percent of home
buyers 44 years old or younger
            used the
     Internet as a source of
 information during the home
        buying process.”

 2008 National Association of REALTORS®
    Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
RSS
Example RSS Feeds
•   Blog
•   Comments from blog
•   YouTube videos
•   LinkedIn network update
•   Twitter status update feed
•   Slideshare of new presentations
•   Flickr photostream of new photos
•   FriendFeed of status updates
•   Google Calendar of new events
Blog Example
Features of Blogs

•Title       •RSS Feeds
•Post        •Widgets
•Page        •Categories
•Comments    •Plugins
•Permanent   •Membership
 links
Why www.WordPress.com

•   Create self hosted blog
•   100% customizable
•   Embeddable widgets and IDX feed
•   Built in RSS feed
•   Pages, posts, and multimedia
•   Authorized users upload content
•   Easy to use
Selecting a Blog Title

• Title should represent
  you, area of expertise
  and niche
• Five words or less
• Google “real estate
  blogs” for examples
Keys to Creating Intriguing Entries

• Must benefit reader, not author
• Relevant information to real estate
• State opinions or facts from other
  resources or websites
• Time sensitive information
• 200-500 words
Links

• Links highlight your
  favorite websites
• Link your website to
  your blog
• Link your blog to your
  website
• Link individual pages
  in your website
Conversations

       • Comments track existing
         conversations between author
         and consumer
       • Dialogue critical for success
       • People receive answers to
         important questions
       • Never answer questions twice
Top 10 Mistakes
Bloggers Make
                  24
10. Blog About Themselves

• Consistent self
  promotion does
  not work.
• Do not always
  blog about
  listings.



                            25
9. Do Not Include Picture
With Each Entry
• Pictures tell a story
• Included in other
  social media
• Make words you
  write more
  interesting.



                            26
8. No Multimedia

• Videos?
• Audio?
• PowerPoint?




                   27
7. Categorize Blog Posts

• Categories are
  mental file folders
  that store blog
  posts.
• Engaging names
  for categories
• Store posts in
  correct category

                           28
6. Insert Tags to Entries

• Tags are keywords
  that identify each
  entry.
• Tags make entries
  easier to find.




                            29
5. No Hyperlinks

• Embed hyperlinks
  into entries:
  – your website
  – other blogs
  – documents
  – online articles




                      30
4. Inform Others About Blog

• Print advertising
• Email
  communication
• Daily conversation
• Email signature
• Social media



                              31
3. Never Respond to Comments

• Comment on
  others’ comments
• Commenting shows
  you care
• Comments clarify
  questions



                               32
2. Not Enough Value

• Consumers want
  high content
• Relevant
  information
• Targeted to a
  specific niche



                      33
1. Do Not Update Often

• Write 2-4 times a
  week
• Form a team of
  authors
• Hire a ghost writer




                         34
Frequency

• The more you blog the
  better you get
• Stay on top of hot topics
• Creates credibility.
How Can Consumers
Access Your Blog?
•   RSS reader
•   Subscribe by email
•   Direct email communication
•   Facebook
•   Linkedin
•   FriendFeed
•   Conduit Tool Bar

                                 36
RSS Reader

• Google Reader
• Yahoo Reader
• Newsgator




                  37
Subscribe by Email

• RSS delivers blog
  post to email
  automatically when
  published.
• www.FeedBurner.com




                       38
Direct Email Communication

• Locate hyperlink of
  blog post
• Copy hyperlink to the
  clipboard
• Paste hyperlink into an
  email message



                             39
Facebook

• Import blog RSS
  feed into the notes
  section of your
  Facebook
  application
  settings.




                        40
Linkedin

• Copy and paste blog RSS feed into
  Linkedin application.




                                      41
www.FriendFeed.com
Add Social Media Profiles
Available Social Websites




                      Choose
                     frequently
                        used
Friend Feed RSS Feed




                       45
www.Conduit.com




                  46
Favorite Links

• Each blog has favorite links of other blogs
  or websites
  – www.YourName.com
  – www.YourCompany.com
  – www.YourCity.com
  – www.CitySchools.com
  – www.HUD.gov
  – www.ASHI.org
Categories

• Which topics will you write
  about the most?
• Which geographic regions
  do you represent?
• What areas of real estate
  do you specialize?
Permanent Links

•   Each page = web page
•   Each post= web page
•   Each category = web page
•   Each tag = web page
•   RSS feed = web page
My First Experience Blogging

                   Don’t give
                   up yet.

                   It takes time
                   to learn…
Risks of Blogging

• Negative Comments
• Lose control over the message
• Neglect
• Misinterpretation of blogging
  culture
• Presenting incorrect
  information
Negative Comments

• Damage reputation
• Hurt credibility
• Others may be
  offended.
Lose Control Over the Message

• Don’t get caught saying
  – I didn’t mean that
  – I didn’t think they would
    respond that way
  – I can erase it later
  – No one will see this.
Neglect

• No new information for
  repeat visitors
• Responding to
  comments is crucial
• People may not return.
Misinterpretation of Blogging Culture

• Focus on expertise NOT
  self promotion
• Showcase hot topics,
  NOT your resume
• Extreme opinions may
  cause more harm than
  good.
Presenting Incorrect Information

• Lying will damage
  your reputation
• Facts can be found
  other places
• People will find out if
  you are lying.
Class Exercise
Risks of Blogging
Ethical Issues in Blogging

•   Embracing diversity
•   Avoiding stereotypes
•   Fair housing
•   Code of Ethics
Embracing Diversity

• Are you able to write about all the cultures
  that make up a neighborhood?
Be Cautious About…

•   Race
•   Color
•   Religion
•   Sex
•   Familial status
•   National origin
•   Disability
Fair Housing

•   Discriminatory acts
•   America One Principles
•   Steering
•   Equal Professional
    Service Model
Code of Ethics

• Divided into three sections:
  – Duties to clients and customers
  – Duties to the public
  – Duties to REALTORS®


   Are you following the Code of Ethics
                in your blog?
“Such interests impose obligations beyond those
of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social
responsibility and a patriotic duty to which
REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and
for which they should be diligent in preparing
themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous
to maintain and improve the standards of their
calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a
common responsibility for its integrity and honor.”
“Such interests impose obligations beyond those
of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social
responsibility and a patriotic duty to which
REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and
for which they should be diligent in preparing
themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous
to maintain and improve the standards of their
calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a
common responsibility for its integrity and honor.”
$19.95/
 month              VIP Membership                                   $199/
                                                                       year


 • 5 videos weekly that explain how to use tools you already own specific
  to real estate.

 • Weekly Downloadable PowerPoint presentation to edit, share,
   and use to present in your office, association, or workshops.

 • Monthly Webinar that explains advance concepts in real time allowing
   for question and answer specific to individual needs and video/audio
   archive of entire session.
 • Recent Blog Posts reminders of new thoughts, ideas, and concerns on
   the impact technology has on real estate.

 • Updates on Event Recaps of live sessions Doug Devitre presents at
   conventions, workshops, and seminars that include video, pictures, viewable
   PowerPoint presentations, handouts, etc.


                                                                              64
Blogging Effectively By Building Consumer Loyalty And Minimizing

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Blogging Effectively By Building Consumer Loyalty And Minimizing

  • 1. Blogging Effectively by Building Consumer Loyalty and Minimizing Risk By Doug Devitre e-PRO, CRS, ABR, GRI
  • 2. “People only change when the pain not to change exceeds the pain to change.” Dr. George Lucas
  • 3. Information Source % of Buyers Real estate agent 84% Internet 84% Sign 59% Print newspaper 50% Open house 48% Magazine 31% Home builder 24%
  • 4. Just the Facts “39% of home buyers were 1st time home buyers.” 2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
  • 5. Just the Facts “65% of 1st time buyers are between the ages of 18-34.” 2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.
  • 6. Consumers Want Information NOW! • Text messaging • Email • Blogging • Podcasting • YouTube • Twitter
  • 7. What is a Blog? • Web log • Online newspaper • Articles = posts = entries • Reverse chronological order • Interactive • Allow for responses
  • 8. Why Read Blogs? • Be the first in the know • Learn and analyze new statistics quickly • Make decisions faster than the competition • Respond to hot topics quickly • Receive information anywhere
  • 9. Why Consumers Will Read Your Blog?
  • 10. Why Consumers Will Read Your Blog? Relevancy Time sensitive Frequently asked questions Communicate Explain complex ideas Kept in the know Accurate Information You Are the Expert!
  • 11. “50% of Internet users in the US regularly read blogs.” eMarketer (May 2008) http://technorati.com/blogging/ state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • 12. “On average, bloggers use 5 different techniques to drive traffic to their blog.” Technorati (2008) http://technorati.com/blogging/ state-of-the-blogosphere/
  • 13. “72.5% of people in the US regularly go online.” InternetWorldStats.com http://www.gstatic.com/youtube/ engagement/platform/autoplay/advertise/ downloads/YouTube_InTheKnow.pdf
  • 14. “25% of REALTORS® post to their own blog for business purposes.” 2009 REALTOR® technology report http://www.realtor.org/wps/wcm/connect/ 54d719804f2807aca5f1e74e813808c1/2009+Tech +Report+-+v1.pdf? MOD=AJPERES&CACHEID=54d719804f2807aca5f1e74e8 13808c1
  • 15. “More than 90 percent of home buyers 44 years old or younger used the Internet as a source of information during the home buying process.” 2008 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
  • 16. RSS
  • 17. Example RSS Feeds • Blog • Comments from blog • YouTube videos • LinkedIn network update • Twitter status update feed • Slideshare of new presentations • Flickr photostream of new photos • FriendFeed of status updates • Google Calendar of new events
  • 19. Features of Blogs •Title •RSS Feeds •Post •Widgets •Page •Categories •Comments •Plugins •Permanent •Membership links
  • 20. Why www.WordPress.com • Create self hosted blog • 100% customizable • Embeddable widgets and IDX feed • Built in RSS feed • Pages, posts, and multimedia • Authorized users upload content • Easy to use
  • 21. Selecting a Blog Title • Title should represent you, area of expertise and niche • Five words or less • Google “real estate blogs” for examples
  • 22. Keys to Creating Intriguing Entries • Must benefit reader, not author • Relevant information to real estate • State opinions or facts from other resources or websites • Time sensitive information • 200-500 words
  • 23. Links • Links highlight your favorite websites • Link your website to your blog • Link your blog to your website • Link individual pages in your website
  • 24. Conversations • Comments track existing conversations between author and consumer • Dialogue critical for success • People receive answers to important questions • Never answer questions twice
  • 26. 10. Blog About Themselves • Consistent self promotion does not work. • Do not always blog about listings. 25
  • 27. 9. Do Not Include Picture With Each Entry • Pictures tell a story • Included in other social media • Make words you write more interesting. 26
  • 28. 8. No Multimedia • Videos? • Audio? • PowerPoint? 27
  • 29. 7. Categorize Blog Posts • Categories are mental file folders that store blog posts. • Engaging names for categories • Store posts in correct category 28
  • 30. 6. Insert Tags to Entries • Tags are keywords that identify each entry. • Tags make entries easier to find. 29
  • 31. 5. No Hyperlinks • Embed hyperlinks into entries: – your website – other blogs – documents – online articles 30
  • 32. 4. Inform Others About Blog • Print advertising • Email communication • Daily conversation • Email signature • Social media 31
  • 33. 3. Never Respond to Comments • Comment on others’ comments • Commenting shows you care • Comments clarify questions 32
  • 34. 2. Not Enough Value • Consumers want high content • Relevant information • Targeted to a specific niche 33
  • 35. 1. Do Not Update Often • Write 2-4 times a week • Form a team of authors • Hire a ghost writer 34
  • 36. Frequency • The more you blog the better you get • Stay on top of hot topics • Creates credibility.
  • 37. How Can Consumers Access Your Blog? • RSS reader • Subscribe by email • Direct email communication • Facebook • Linkedin • FriendFeed • Conduit Tool Bar 36
  • 38. RSS Reader • Google Reader • Yahoo Reader • Newsgator 37
  • 39. Subscribe by Email • RSS delivers blog post to email automatically when published. • www.FeedBurner.com 38
  • 40. Direct Email Communication • Locate hyperlink of blog post • Copy hyperlink to the clipboard • Paste hyperlink into an email message 39
  • 41. Facebook • Import blog RSS feed into the notes section of your Facebook application settings. 40
  • 42. Linkedin • Copy and paste blog RSS feed into Linkedin application. 41
  • 44. Add Social Media Profiles
  • 45. Available Social Websites Choose frequently used
  • 46. Friend Feed RSS Feed 45
  • 48. Favorite Links • Each blog has favorite links of other blogs or websites – www.YourName.com – www.YourCompany.com – www.YourCity.com – www.CitySchools.com – www.HUD.gov – www.ASHI.org
  • 49. Categories • Which topics will you write about the most? • Which geographic regions do you represent? • What areas of real estate do you specialize?
  • 50. Permanent Links • Each page = web page • Each post= web page • Each category = web page • Each tag = web page • RSS feed = web page
  • 51. My First Experience Blogging Don’t give up yet. It takes time to learn…
  • 52. Risks of Blogging • Negative Comments • Lose control over the message • Neglect • Misinterpretation of blogging culture • Presenting incorrect information
  • 53. Negative Comments • Damage reputation • Hurt credibility • Others may be offended.
  • 54. Lose Control Over the Message • Don’t get caught saying – I didn’t mean that – I didn’t think they would respond that way – I can erase it later – No one will see this.
  • 55. Neglect • No new information for repeat visitors • Responding to comments is crucial • People may not return.
  • 56. Misinterpretation of Blogging Culture • Focus on expertise NOT self promotion • Showcase hot topics, NOT your resume • Extreme opinions may cause more harm than good.
  • 57. Presenting Incorrect Information • Lying will damage your reputation • Facts can be found other places • People will find out if you are lying.
  • 59. Ethical Issues in Blogging • Embracing diversity • Avoiding stereotypes • Fair housing • Code of Ethics
  • 60. Embracing Diversity • Are you able to write about all the cultures that make up a neighborhood?
  • 61. Be Cautious About… • Race • Color • Religion • Sex • Familial status • National origin • Disability
  • 62. Fair Housing • Discriminatory acts • America One Principles • Steering • Equal Professional Service Model
  • 63. Code of Ethics • Divided into three sections: – Duties to clients and customers – Duties to the public – Duties to REALTORS® Are you following the Code of Ethics in your blog?
  • 64. “Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.”
  • 65. “Such interests impose obligations beyond those of ordinary commerce. They impose grave social responsibility and a patriotic duty to which REALTORS® should dedicate themselves, and for which they should be diligent in preparing themselves. REALTORS®, therefore, are zealous to maintain and improve the standards of their calling and share with their fellow REALTORS® a common responsibility for its integrity and honor.”
  • 66. $19.95/ month VIP Membership $199/ year • 5 videos weekly that explain how to use tools you already own specific to real estate. • Weekly Downloadable PowerPoint presentation to edit, share, and use to present in your office, association, or workshops. • Monthly Webinar that explains advance concepts in real time allowing for question and answer specific to individual needs and video/audio archive of entire session. • Recent Blog Posts reminders of new thoughts, ideas, and concerns on the impact technology has on real estate. • Updates on Event Recaps of live sessions Doug Devitre presents at conventions, workshops, and seminars that include video, pictures, viewable PowerPoint presentations, handouts, etc. 64

Editor's Notes

  1. This stats are from the 2007 profile of home buyers and sellers of NAR. These statistics demonstrate where home buyers are learning about homes for sale. This is just for buyers not sellers. This means that if we are working with buyers then we should allocate our time, money energy accordingly.
  2. According to the 2007 Profile of Buyers and Sellers 39% of the transactions come from 1st time home buyers. This represents a significant amount of available transactions for this type of consumer.
  3. Let’s take a closer look. According to the 2007 Profile 65% of 1st time home buyers are between the ages of 18-34. If we multiply 39% times 65% then we see that an alarming 25% of the business that is available to us all are among a demographic that lives, breathes, sleeps with the internet religiously.