What Good Are Tools If You Don’t Know How to Use Them?

Posted by: Joseph Ferrara on April 7th, 2009

Real estate agents are bombarded daily with offers from vendors—free trials, free blogs, free this, free that. Sounds great. But is it? Not always.

The problem with any product sold or given to real estate agents is, what I call THE MISSING MANUAL. Unlike the bikes I had to assemble at Christmas which had instructions – and still were tough to put together—the tools you get from vendors do not come with a manual of how to effectively use them. At best, you get the basics.

Let’s take blogging, for example. You can get a free blog from WordPress or Blogger and strike out on your own. Or you can pay for a blog at any number of real estate websites. But there are 2 major problems.

1. The blog providers give you virtually no instructions on how to:

  • Set up the blog
  • Post content
  • Add images, video, slideshows, listings widgets, etc. -– Do you know how to use an HTML editor -– Or know what the heck HTML is?
  • Tag your posts (and images) -– did you know that images are indexed by Google?
  • Categorize your posts -– did you know that choosing too many categories actually hurts you?

You have to learn by trial and error. That’s how I learned. It sucked. It took a long time and I made many mistakes, some of which I did not correct until years later — that’s right, years.

2. It takes time for Google to index new blogs.

You can write for months and months before folks can find your posts on Google, i.e. on the first page of Google. Let’s face it, no matter how great your content is, if no one can find it on Google, no one will read it. So you end of toiling without seeing real success and it’s discouraging. You’re likely to quit.

If only someone showed you how to write blog posts to effectively take advantage of SEO (search engine optimization)…………….

HomeGain Provides A Manual – A Human One

I am HomeGain’s Blog Professor. My job is to help HomeGain agents blog effectively. I share useful, practical techniques and tips in a weekly newsletter. So far, I’ve written 44 lessons. And I am now providing video lessons—short and easy to understand visual How-Tos. My first was How to Add a Video or Slideshow to your blog post. It’s really very simple—if you know how.

All my lessons are available for agents to consult at any time. I am also available by email or telephone to answer any questions. Can you call WordPress and ask them a question? I don’t think so.

But There’s More – SEO

If you get a blog on HomeGain, you not only get me — you get the SEO clout of HomeGain. Because HomeGain is an established company on the internet, Google treats them as having more real estate authority and relevance — in geek speak, HomeGain has a high PageRank. Not only does HomeGain’s high PageRank help its agent blogs but the blogs were designed to maximize SEO – the result is that HomeGain agent blogs may rank higher on Google. In fact, many HomeGain agent blog posts already appear on the first page of Google.

So, if you want a biased opinion on where you should blog, blog at HomeGain. Plus, my blog class will go on school trips—but keep that a secret.

This post was originally published as a hand out for ReTechSouth attendees. Joseph Ferrara is HomeGain’s AgentView blog professor.

Learn more about AgentView and the Blogging School

Click to see Homegain Agent Blogs



3 Comments on “What Good Are Tools If You Don’t Know How to Use Them?”

Portland Real Estate

Thanks for the encouragement. SEO and web content is one of the hardest parts for agents to understand. Many of them want the benefit of a website and blog, but are not realistic in the time they spend on it vs the results they see right away.

Oxford MS Homes For Sale

Great post. I love SEO and quality web content! that is why it is easy to stay on top! We should all start falling in love with the idea of quality!

Joseph Ferrara

I really enjoy helping real estate agents use the HomeGain blog to reach consumers in their market.

Agents are concerned they have to be great writers. Untrue. Better to be a great communicator and honestly share your knowledge of your market. People are looking for help from experts they can trust. Blogging lets agents talk to consumers in a non-salesy way– and show their personality.

HomeGain’s concern for helping real estate agents use their tools is what made me want to lend a hand.

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