Grand Rapids Michigan Real Estate Blog

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Having a Blog is a Lot like Having a Baby

 Blogging is not a flash in the pan approach to marketing. Just like having

a baby is a life altering decision.  You should plan on the same attention to your

blog.  You should blog 3-4 times a week, at least, when getting started, though more is better. 

The more posts you have out there, the more weight you have with Google and other search

engines.  If you don't keep feeding it, your blog will lose its attraction.  Just like a baby,

one  or two feedings  a week will not make it grow.

 

baby Evan

When you are planning on having a baby, you think yours will be different. Smarter,

cuter, he/she will behave when corrected, be an A student at school and never give

 you any cause for worry.

 Similarly, when you start blogging, you read the established bloggers with zeal, trying to

pick up all the tricks of the trade.  They tell you it is a marathon, not a sprint but in typical

 newbie fashion, you expect instant results.  You try the latest widgets, the latest technology,

thinking that should attract buyers.  After a month or two of blogging, you should have people

 lined up to do business with you, right?  Where are they?? Am I blogging into a vacuum??

Like having a baby, after a few months, you are into the " What have we done?" phase.  It

is a chore to keep this little thing happy.  Will I ever have any free time again?  Well,

if you have children, you know the answer to that one!!  If you don't, you will just have to

guess. 

As to blogging, you can never walk away, it is your blog, you must feed it and care for it. 

If properly nurtured and fed, this blog will work for you, over and over.  For over a year, we

 blogged, and blogged, and blogged some more.  We had a few calls and some leads, but

nothing to write home to Mom about.  Just as we were getting to the point of wondering if this

was really going to work, was the payback worth the amount of time we were putting in?

Well. something magical happened. 

                               We  reached the point of returns. 

We are now getting 4-5 calls, or emails a week.  Buyers, mostly but sellers, too.

They read our blog and want to do business with us.  We are the experts.  We have had one

of the best months we have EVER HAD in the real estate business, in over 35 years, despite

 the economy, despite reluctant buyers, despite falling home prices.  We credit our blogs for

almost all of it.  We are now believers and are glad we stuck with it.  So many real estate

agents try blogging and aren't successful at first.  Just like us.  We kept reading the success

 stories of other agents and we were delighted for them.  We just couldn't figure out why it wasn't

 working for us.  It was.  We just didn't know it. 

The experts tell us that most buyers start their online home search about 1-2 years before they

 are ready.  Buyers don't contact you until they are ready.  So if you haven't done your online

marketing homework, how will they find you?  Will they call the local real estate office and

ask to speak to an agent?  Highly unlikely today. 

putting in my blogging time

After 18 months of blogging, we are finally reaping the rewards.  Not all our blogs

are great.  We don't mean to convey that.  But we do blog about our local area, our

 local real estate, and our local news and events. In fact, we are not one of the most

 popular bloggers on Active Rain because most agents don't want to read our local

real estate blogs.   But our local buyers do.

These blogs get us in front of buyers and sellers online.  Where 85+% of

buyers are looking for homes today.  So don't give up, keep blogging.  Buyers are

reading your blogs.   They just aren't ready to contact you yet.

Gotta go, my cell phone is ringing!

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids Real Estate

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

photos by Bonnie Westbrook

_____________________________________________

The authors of the this blog write about Grand Rapids Real Estate,

the Greater Grand Rapids MI area, and what it is like to live in

West Michigan.  We believe: Grand Rapids is a Great Place to Live!

search for Grand Rapids homes Find Grand Rapids Home Value Grand Rapids Relocation Guide

Westbrook Realty Grand Rapids MI Real Estate

                          Contact Terry   616-292-7263

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Comment balloon 27 commentsTerry & Bonnie Westbrook • July 23 2009 09:09AM

Comments

Sounds like your plan is working. As long as your readers are your prospects, you reap the rewards. When the only readers are agents, where is the benefit?

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

So true Gary, We don't get as many comments on these blogs form the agent community but the business is what we are ultimately after.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Terry, it is always dangerous when a guy makes the correlation that something is like having a baby.  I thought "ohh ohhh" thaty someone would write a comment just on that point alone to say "hey..Mr Fellow Active Rainer..when was the last baby born that you carried and how many centimeters were you dialated, etc." Thought about the actual having that baby. You are right about the blog counting on you to feed it, guide it, shape it, love it.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) about 11 years ago

Terry...

That's a great analogy ...having a blog is like having a baby. I sure have to get up early every morning to feed it!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 11 years ago

Terry - Love your post.  I don't get much comments on my local area blogs but I know my buyers are reading them.  They called or emailed me.  All my leads now come from my blogs.  I'm glad I constantly feed it.  Great analogy about blog and having a baby.

Posted by Rosalinda Morgan, "The Rose Lady" about 11 years ago

Terry!  Thanks for the reminders on all the things I "should" be doing to take care of my business! Blogging does work!

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) about 11 years ago

Terry,

Thanks for the encouragement.  Although I've been marketing successfully with multiple web sites for over 10 years now, I'm finding that blogging is indeed different and I have been having the same thoughts ("Is it worth it?") and so I appreciate your comments.  I've only recently started my own WORDPRESS blog and even more recently opened my ACTIVERAIN blog.  Guess now I better get back to writing and spreading the word about my local market.  Thanks again!

Posted by Herb Baldwin, Morrow County's Home Seller! (Howard Hanna RealCom) about 11 years ago

I love the analogy - and it's so true. Sad when you see a neglegted baby er blog.

Posted by Malita Jones, Austin Texas Home Sales (Sky Realty, Inc.- 512HomeStore.com) about 11 years ago

Terry, this is so true. I feel very fortunate to have started my blog over two years ago and, like you, I am now getting regular contacts from potential clients on a weekly basis.  I know for newbies the waiting is hard but it is well worth it.  And, you truly only get out of it what you put in to it as you said.

Posted by Diane Aurit, Lake Norman Real Estate (LKN Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

You are right Terry - Rome was not built in a day. It is consistent good writing that will make the phone ring.

Posted by Bill Gassett, Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 11 years ago

Terry, I think your focus on your local area is important to your success. And it's a good thing I didn't have a baby when I started blogging.  The poor little guy might have starved!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Andrew, We both make the decision on having the baby and both of us need to keep it happy and healthy. Our blogs are like our kids and my wife and I both work on keeping it happy.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Richard, I find myself tired at night and I haven't done the comments. Most nights I get them in but some nights I'm too tired from the days activities and Luckily I don't have to feed the baby .

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Rosalinda, Just like the baby if you don't take care of it on a regular basis it becomes very difficult to manage.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Eleanor, We did have moments that I wonders why we were doing this. Now that our baby is getting grown up we appreciate the work we put into it.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Herb, Keep it local and specific and you will be surprised how many are watching your progress.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Malita, We feel like we are not working when we take a day off. Sad but true.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Diane, I'm not sure where our business would be with out them.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Bill, It is one blog at a time with a plan.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Pat, Some days I wonder what we have created and others I am so happy we made the decision to give birth to our blogs.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Terry--If you nurture your blog, it will grow and clients will come. (And hopefully you won't be so busy you cannot blog as consistantly as you would like to....speaking of myself of course.)

Posted by Teri Eckholm, REALTOR Serving Mpls/St Paul North & East Metro (Boardman Realty) about 11 years ago

Terry,

I'm a blogger, but I definately have to start doing more localisms.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) about 11 years ago

Terry - It seems as though you have raised your blog very well.  Like raising a child, some people are just better at it than others, and others need assistance.  I am one of those that need some assistance on how to raise my blog to reach it's fullest potential.  I am getting there slowly.  This is a great post, and deserves a feature.

Posted by Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) about 11 years ago

Teri, We all need to nurture our blogs or they will not be beneficial to anyone.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Terry, Localism is the way to go. We have not fond we can too specific the smaller area the better.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Troy, We have a great resource here with Active Rain and practice will make you a successful Blogger. Good Luck.

Posted by Terry & Bonnie Westbrook, Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re (Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner) about 11 years ago

Feed it and it will grow, it has to have you to work. You are so right, as it gets older and older it can do more work on its own, but it still needs to be giving content (Food) Hopefully in 18 years it can take care of me and not cost me 40,000 like my child will though! (LOL)

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

Posted by Todd Clark, Principle Broker Oregon (eXp Realty LLC) about 11 years ago

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