Steve Scheer started Real Estate in Denver and the Suburbs in February of this year. In addition to being a great resource for local market data, New bloggers should take note of the ways Steve makes his data more accessable through the RSS Feed Buttons on the top of the left column. We’ll talk more about these tools during the panel discussion of Blog Fiesta.
What inspired you to create a real estate blog?
The short answer is my wife, Laura. The long answer is, I was absolutely fed up with PPC costs that had begun to decrease in quality of leads. The problem was, I was too busy to figure out another way to enhance my internet marketing. My wife has a bit more technical know how than I (in the google/seo/blogging arena) and had more time than I to look into it. Thus, she found Active Rain. There has been a significant learning curve for me in understanding how blogs are helpful SEO-wise, but I am glad I stuck with it. My wordpress blog was recently moved to the .org side and I need to make a few more changes before I feel that it is fully functional.
What do you like to blog about?
I have to say that it is the local pieces that have I have received the most interest from my consumer base. There is a satisfaction from receiving emails from people saying “What a great source of information you have provided.” I do not blog because I just like to blog. Let’s face it – it takes a lot of time to create quality marketing information – whether it’s a print ad, emails, newsletters or blogs. I blog because I see tremendous value as a marketing tool.
Where do you go, or what do you do to find topics to blog about?
That has become much easier as time has passed. Sometimes I think of common questions customers ask me. I have blogged a bit about local events. I do receive a good deal of feedback from potential consumers after posting market statistics. Laura is always bringing up ideas too, some I like, some I don’t. But she is a great resource for bouncing ideas off of – as since she is not an agent, she has the ability to really give me an opinion as a consumer how a blog is quality wise.
How does blogging fit into your overall marketing plan, or does it?
6 months ago – it didn’t. Now, it does. To what extent, that is still yet to be determined. I do know that as long as I see value from it and my customers see value that I will continue to blog. I just need to find more time to do it.
If there was anything you could change about your blog to make it better, what would it be?
Well, I think making my “new” blog “live” before it was completely done was a mistake. I wish I had just finished it before telling others about it. But that is ok. I also think it has been difficult for me to let people get to know “me” through my blog. I think providing the info is easy. Its that “voice” part that I need to work on. When you think about it, everyone has different talents. My forte has never been “writing” – I have learned to realize that it is an area that I need to improve on. I am actually a very funny guy, I don’t think that has shown through in my blog, yet.
In addition to your own blog, you also contribute quite a bit of content to Active Rain.
Can you explain the motivation or strategy behind this? Motivation wise – Mostly because of the ease of the format. And the wealth of information about blogging in particular. My “new” blog was not done yet and so it was a great way to get going. The google ranking benefits have been tremendous.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
I am thoroughly enjoying the new weblogging 101 blog from Blood Hound realty. I also have learned quite a bit from reading phoenixrealestateguy and rsspieces has good info too. Jeff Turner on AR is a not to miss as well. As for learning how to write local content – I would recommend checking out Laurie Manny, Marianna Wagner, Lenn Harley Chris Elizabeth Griffith and Rennee Burrows. They are all on Active Rain but some have other sites too. – I also have read most of the Realty Blogging Book which was very helpful as well.
What web sites, blogs, tools, or people do you find most helpful in building your blog?
Jay Thompson, The Phoenix Real Estate guy moved our wordpress.com blog to .org and has been a tremendous wealth of information on all sorts of topics. I have to say that Kristal was very helpful to Laura in particular when we were getting started as well. And of course Laura was great – she didn’t come into this knowing all but she has really studied it and helped a great deal.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Bill Gates, one being my great grandmother (bless her heart), what level of computer savvy would you say you have?
I would say I am a 3-4 and Laura is a 6 – 7 so we are a good team techno wise.
Do you have any tips or advice for a fellow real estate professional that’s looking to get into blogging?