The Setup: Brokers around the country have had to adopt the idea that their agents are free agents and have big mouths- they like to blog, they want to know what it is, how to do it, and in many cases are attacking it from all directions.
This article was first published on AgentGenius.com on June 08, 2008.
Conferences around the country are absorbing eager agents in high numbers to teach them how to reach their markets in more social ways, and blogging is a fantastic start. Brokers have resorted to flying in folks (even from Agent Genius) to teach their agents the basics as a part of their training- I think this is fantastic, but Brokers are missing a big opportunity to blend this into a part of their overall reputation management, and bolstering their own social credibility.
Listen Up BIG Brokers
Consider an inner office opportunity to provide blogging as an outlet service within your markets. How you ask? Simple. Multi-Author Office Blogs.
Imagine a 20 person office managing a unique city blog. Twenty unique personalities that can log into the wordpress backend while doing floor time and blog about something going on in relation to their niche.
As most offices have agents that specialize in various niches, neighborhoods, high end, first home buyers, and others, it stands to reason that providing them a platform to reach out socially to their markets to demonstrate the strength of their office, brand, or team with your marketing dollars behind it as the incentive.
Here’s How it Would Work
- Create an office wordpress sub domain, for example views.c21centercity.com
- Give it a web2.0 neighborhood flavor, nothing overly branded- make it subtle
- Create simple guidelines, define the mission, what the focus of the blog is-neighbor driven
- The team would include anyone interested from the office including the office manager
- Keep the articles rich in information for consumers, focus on longtail searches, not keywords
- Offer tips, advice, city happenings, and other creative ideas
- Keep the blog fresh, but do not schedule the bloggers. Instead, have them write advance articles
- Your office manager can feed the advance articles on slow office days
- Create a blogroll that allows for immediate contact, but never blog about new listings- instead
- Have new listings feed on the sidebar
- Don’t sell
- Create opportunities to inform rather than close- after all, you’re demonstrating office knowledge
By Far, This List Doesn’t Cover Everything
You should be getting the overall feel of what I am describing, and you should understand that the natural graduation from the office blog you create will be the agents creating their own blogs, but that’s okay. Your focus is your office, and brand- as your agents become comfortable with blogging, let go of the reins, allow it to grow and blossom into what it wants to be. Always avoid the tendency to be political or competitive in your market as losing focus on these things may tell your potential clients that your focus isn’t them.
Humanizing Your Brokerage
Behind that Gold jacket are consumers with licenses that are professional relationship builders. You cannot avoid this valuable opportunity in which to allow these sharp professionals to soften those hard edges of a giant brand.
Socialize Your Brand
When creating your wordpress blog, don’t forget to encourage your agents to create Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Allow your agents professional feeds to be fed via RSS into your wordpress sidebar under contact us. Over time, you’re building trusted relationships and unique opportunities for the client to reach out and touch you, rather than needing to reach out and mail them.