I am prompted to write this post because there is common misperception amongst agents that a Real Estate website and blog are interchangeable terms. Now, I know that a blog is, technically speaking a website. The reality is, however, that both these mediums serve specific purposes and functions. As a result, visitors to each site have different expectations and needs.
Differentiating between a corporate real estate website and real estate blog
Certainly, some of the confusion comes from the blurring of boundaries between blogs and what I will call corporate websites. By this I mean as blogs have become more sophisticated they look more and more like flashy corporate websites. The fact that blogs are so much easier to maintain and develop, it is no wonder that so many realtors have adopted a blogging platform as the bones of their corporate website. But don’t let appearances fool you. What really determines whether you’re running a website or blog comes down to the purpose it serves yourself and your visitors. To illustrate what I mean, the image below is just one example of hundreds of real-estate inspired designs on blogging theme websites like themeforest.com.
It looks and works like a professional corporate website, while being built on an easy-to-manage blogging platform. Now, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with doing this because websites built on blogging platforms are easier to manage and develop. The problem comes when realtors think they are maintaining a blog just because their website is built on a blogging platform. But if it looks like a corporate real estate website and works like one, then that is what it is. Not a blog.
Elements of a properly conceived real estate blog:
- Its PURPOSE is to engage with people in, or about to enter the real estate market. It is your chance to establish trust, authority and recognition before they make a decision on a listing agent. This will keep you front of mind.
- It does this by answering their questions or solving their problems. This is what visitors EXPECT.
- It will be regularly updated with genuine, helpful and relevant advice and information. This is why search engines love blogs – because they want to ensure search queries are provided with the most genuine, helpful and relevant advice and information.
- People generally arrive at blogs through “organic” search methods. That is they found you as a provider of answer or solution.
Elements of a corporate real estate website
- It’s PURPOSE is to present a branding opportunity where you come across as professional and service oriented.
- It does this by highlighting your excellent track record (e.g. testimonials, agent profiles) and offering specific sales material. This is what visitors EXPECT on a corporate website. Put such material on a blog and you lose some of the credibility that is often associated with detached, independent blogs.
- It is usually made up of static pages (they don’t change much over time). This means search engines take less interest in them as a source of genuine, helpful and relevant advice and information.
- People will generally arrive at your corporate real estate website when they are wither specifically looking for it or when they search for realtors in your area. In other words, when they’re ready to openly enter the market.
So there you have it. There are specific benefits to having a corporate real estate website AND a real estate blog, but it is essential to understand the differences. If you are confused to the purpose of your website or blog, then the visitors will not have their expectations of either met and leave with a poor impression. A disappointing result considering all the effort put in to get them to visit in the first place.
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