I am a professional blogger. This means, I write for all sorts of vectors. I am well versed in branding and marketing. Branding is something that I believe is a very important business move, and it’s something that is universal. You are your brand, when you run a business and the image you present is important. This is something that can help to foster a great deal of trust in you as a business person and the products or services you provide.
When we talk about blogging as a marketing tool, we’re talking about more than just presenting accurate and sourced information. Blogs are an inherently social tool. Of course, when you read about blogging as a marketing tool, you will also see the advice that you should always write for your niche. This is good advice, but it’s also advice that can and often does backfire when it comes to the real estate vector.
When you get into real estate blogging, you have a tremendously wide niche with many little branches. You have real estate agents, landlords, rental agencies, property management firms, products like RentPost provides, and just this wide swath of people. You also have potential tenants, potential buyers, and others who might invest or utilize the service you provide. All of which just so happen to utilize the same sets of keywords, questions, and content material.
What this means is that though you might be playing the wink, wink, nudge, you know what I mean! to one crowd, the crowd that will in fact purchase your homes, rent your apartments, or otherwise make you money can also see the blogs you write. Or comment on. If you think that it doesn’t matter what you’re posting online, check out Business Insider’s 10 Worst Social Media Marketing Fails. Your landlord blog, Facebook, and social media most definitely matter.
There are a small handful of issues that do need to be written about and addressed. However, when doing so, it is much better to take a journalistic and informative approach than it is to insert your opinion. Do tenants have headaches with shady landlords? Yes, they do. Do landlords have issues with bad tenants? Of course they do. Is screening an important tool? Of course it is.
If you pay attention to the niche, as I do in order to keep abreast of the current changes, you see some things that well, if you’re a landlord or property manager: you probably nod and well understand. There’s no question that potential tenants also understand, but here’s where blogging gets a bit tricky. Yes, you want to use your blog as an informative platform to help prospects get to know you: but it is still a professional extension. It is an extension that is more casual, it’s something you can have fun with, but it’s also your online face. It’s part of a bigger
If you provide a service to property managers and landlords, you might think that you can get by with more: but the fact is, no one wants to be the jerk by association.
I can give you a good example of this without pointing out the actual blogs that did it, but when hoarding was added to the DSM-5, a number of rental related blogs wrote about it. In the first place, that was a big stretch, in the second, it wasn’t the classiest way of broaching the subject. Of the five I read, one actually treated it like a serious disorder, but also managed to balance doing so by presenting the very real issues that a landlord may have with that. I have seen similar treatments of issues with credit, tenant screening, bankruptcy, and eviction. Additionally, you see issues that fall into the realm of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. While many of these topics hold an understandable frustration: venting that frustration via your business blog, or creating a dismissive or even insulting image of your business while doing so is not good.
With much more focus being on branding, particularly in the realms of social media management, blogging, and other content, it’s vital for businesses to understand the platform in which they engage in. If you are a small scale landlord with just a couple of properties, you may not realize that your social media presence does reflect on you as someone’s prospective landlord. As a property management professional, this goes two ways: potential employers as well as potential tenants are privy to your online interaction when done so publicly.
You may have the most wonderful property, and your listings may be perfect. You might offer amenities and perks that outshine your competition. Your blogs and social media presence are the face of your business and how prospective tenants may guage you as a landlord. Perks and amenities do you no good if great tenants imagine themselves putting up with someone that isn’t very professional for the entire term of a lease.