The Unconditional Blog

The impartial voice of the industry


The power of social media – working for real estate

Posted on: May 4th, 2009 | Filed in Agent Tips, Online marketing

blogNearly 2 years ago at a international conference a delegate shared her experience of social media with the audience. She was new to real estate and had been operating in the Reno, Nevada market for just 18 months. Then back in 2006/7 she had had an excellent year with over US$200,000 commission; what was most interesting though was that 80% of her business cameĀ  from her blog.

At the time my knowledge of blogs was limited to being a casual reader – however in those few days of the conference I became a convert to the power of blogs and the applicability to the real estate industry. The logic I saw was that blogs were clearly an effective tools in search engine marketing and optimisation, but more importantly real estate was a topic of conversation that would have very broad appeal.

Over the next few months working with the development team we transformed the approach of the site to launch the blogs which over the past 18 months have been powering our website to ever growing heights of awareness and relevance. Compared to that period back in late 2007 the website has grown in traffic by a staggering 47% – from around 250,000 unique browsers per month to the current level of 365,000 as evidenced by the latest monthly traffic report by Nielsen Online.

A growing driver of this traffic has been the Unconditional blog and the Voices blogging platform which has enabled NZ real estate agents to create their own blog and in so doing demonstrate their openness and ability to show their local expertise and subject expertise. From humble beginnings the blogs have now reached a reasonably significant scale as demonstrated from the data below. social media traffic to Apr 09Collective traffic on a monthly basis has now surpassed 20,000 unique browsers and continues to grow with the Voices platform now exceeding the traffic to Unconditional. As a point of note the “blip” in traffic in July last year on Unconditional was due to the referral link from a dutch blog which was amused at the translation of their own blog post regarding what they saw as cheaper cost of buying property in NZ.

Powering this growth in the Voices platform is a passionate and active circle of real estate professionals who have established a loyal audience within their local markets as they demonstrate an openness and capability to be that much needed “go-to” person when it comes to real estate in the local market. Running through the country uncovers some active bloggers from among the family of over 100 bloggers who have started writing blosg over the past 16 months on the Voices platform.

From the South Island we have Margaret Wilson with her perspective on Ashburton, Michael Tierney with his commentary on the beautiful Arrowtown, speaking of beautiful how could I ignore Sunny Nelson brought to you by David Leggott.

Crossing the Strait we find in the northern suburbs of Wellington our blogger of the month David Garratt, up to Levin is to be found the very frank Mason Parker with his “No added fluff” blog. Up the beautiful east coast we find the lifestyle focussed but very successful Gisborne expert in Neil Walker. Crossing into the Waikato the activity heats up with Greig’s Hamilton brought to you by Greig Metcalfe. North of the Bombay’s finds a rich collection of blogs – Ross Brader’s take on his favourite area of Pt Chevalier, Dane’s Doorway from Dane Brown on the North Shore and Ariel Levin’s take on the city and eastern suburbs.

Whilst the majority of real estate bloggers are focused on local markets and communities we do have a couple of sector specialists – Sharon James who focusses on the Business Broking sector and Kathie Shepard with her views on the Commercial motel sector.

This small snapshot provides a sense of the value and local knowledge of local bloggers – have a read of their perspective and share a comment, that is the value of blogs – reciprocity. Thanks for reading!

Article Discussion

  1. Ross Brader says:

    My own voices blog site has had almost 150,000 hits since the 7th of January 2008 when I started it. I don’t know if it has anything to do with it but in the main area I operate in so far this year I have achieved more than 40% market share. The blog certainly ensures that the search engines find me when anyone searches anything to do with the Pt Chevalier area.

  2. Peter Driscoll Peter Driscoll says:

    Alistair, appreciate your ongoing support

  3. Greig Metcalfe says:

    Thanks for mention Alistair. Very encouraging to see the voices site is being widely viewed and read.

  4. When people think of buying a property, they usually log online to check the property and realtor as well. It is always best to have a real estate website. Base on experience, it helps a lot.

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