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"How to Turn Your Blog into Sales!"

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John Helmering Photo
8/3/07 Interview with John Helmering

Real Estate Blogsites
PO Box 3314
Vail, CO 81657

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Web 2.0 Defined

  1. The term covers new tools on the Internet that allow more networking and more dynamic presentation of information than were possible before.
  2. Most any property listed for sale now has something about it easily findable online-through virtual tours, podcasts or other Internet tools; real estate searches can be conducted by street address, by project, by town or by area.
  3. Web 2.0 for real estate blends traditional real estate practices with online capability to get property information; real estate professionals need to have an online presence to promote themselves and to compete with major aggregators and other real estate players.
Social Networking

  1. Part of the new online scene for RE pros is to regularly collaborate and share information on a broader and faster basis online; for example, an agent might talk online about a buyer or seller interested in a 1031 exchange and get back multiple replies with ideas for structuring a deal.
  2. Examples of real estate social networks are the Real Estate CyberSpace Society and Active Rain; techniques for online networking include blogging and podcasting.
  3. Understanding technology tools is important, but agents must essentially have the willingness to share information by writing it or speaking it online-that is, be willing to be part of the social network.
The Evolution of Real Estate Aggregators

  1. A number of aggregators outside real estate from industries such as media and travel recognized an opportunity to present property information to buyers online; however, these vendors found that real estate is not the simple commodity they envisioned.
  2. It is important for an agent to be involved in transactions most of the time because matching buyers with properties is so subjective; agents will always be needed to facilitate transactions.
  3. Early aggregators include HomeGain and Lending Tree; they charge agents a fee for referrals.
  4. Some of the newer, Web 2.0 aggregators-such as Trulia, Google Base and Edgeio-allow property listings to be included in a database for all consumers; these sites, which send buyers and sellers back to real estate agents for free, perform a real service for both consumers and agents.
  5., the most famous aggregator, is very agent-centric; since that site was inaugurated, outsiders have been trying to capture real estate space.
"Findability" Online

  1. Search capability has changed how people look for real estate online; consumers are searching very specific criteria on the Internet-e.g., specific communities and projects rather than broad areas.
Real Estate Blogsitesā„¢ (REB)

  1. Helmering learned from experience that his online postings about events and real estate communities in Vail Valley-not just the titles but key words and phrases-rose rapidly to the top of search engines.
  2. He realized that a blogging platform had potential to enable individual agents to compete against national aggregators for online recognition; REB offers real estate professionals a business blogging solution.
  3. If an agent is willing to work at posting information, he or she will see a cloud of content rise to the top of search engines; Helmering believes that blogging will become a necessity for agents.
  4. The important value that Helmering's company adds beyond other blog services is sustainable search engine optimization; the company's use of six different machine languages boosts recognition of content by a multitude of search engines-the search bots can find the content and rank it easily.
  5. REB also provides clients with significant new content daily by way of a proprietary tool that searches for relevant information on the Internet and feeds it automatically to all REB blogsites; this feature saves agents from needing to blog daily in order to maintain search engine attention.
More Cutting Edge Tools

  1. Podcasting is also on the rise and should become increasingly important as cell phone technology expands and is used by more buyers and sellers to find information; ML Podcast is a recommended tool.
  2. Point2 NLS is a national listing system that allows agents themselves to put properties with most every aggregator with a single click; the tool has many Web 2.0 components such as RSS/XML languages for search optimization.
  3. RealPing allows people to call you by clicking a button on your web site; the service connects your phone with the web visitor's; the Society's National Real Estate Online Convention uses RealPing to connect virtual convention attendees with booth vendors.
A Blogging Deal

  1. Helmering's most interesting real estate deal that originated from his blogsite is a $7.5 million transaction that is about to close.
  2. A consumer searched online for the condominium property in Vail by name; after being led by the search engine to Helmering's blog, the consumer called him directly to initiate the deal.
Real Estate in Perspective

  1. Ultimately, real estate is about relationships; online tools allow agents to craft one-on-one relationships; being able to do that opens endless possibilities for business.
Contact Information for John Helmering:

(v) 800-477-1451
(f) 800-477-1451

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Real Estate Blogsites:
RE social networks:
Old style aggregators:
Web 2.0 aggregators:
ML Podcast:
Point2 NLS: