There is power in numbers.
A group of Coldwell Banker real estate agents in Northern California is applying that notion to blogging with the launch of a Web site that pulls each agent’s blog postings into a searchable hub for consumers to find information.
Homescopes.com, which launched this week, aims to provide daily commentary on cities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Sonoma County written by a group of local Coldwell Banker real estate agents.
Each participating agent has a standalone blog where they publish comments on their communities and other real estate-related topics. The posts are then pulled into Homescopes.com where they are indexed and displayed. Consumers searching for real estate information can click on the post titles at Homescopes and be taken directly to the agent’s blog site.
Blogging has become a sought-after business marketing tool for real estate practitioners, with some agent bloggers reporting that they have been able to connect with new clients using blogs. Most blogging platforms are free to set up, but require the broker’s or agent’s time to create new and relevant posts that will attract consumers.
Blogs have also been touted for their search-engine marketing appeal. For example, blogs tend to get top billing in Google search results using related keywords.
The Homescopes model aims to benefit participating bloggers by alleviating the burden of having to create a lot of posts every day in order to maintain search-engine relevancy, according to its creators.
“Real estate agents don’t want to blog five articles per week so by using the ‘uber blog’ approach they only have to write one per week on average,” said Pat Kitano, a partner at Domus Consulting Group, which helped launch Homescopes.
By joining a “portal-like” blog hub where other agents are regularly contributing, agents don’t have to worry about filling their blogs several times a day to keep a steady stream of traffic coming in, he added.
Kitano also said that Homescopes will help new agent bloggers “jumpstart” their site traffic since they will be plugging into a site that’s already being indexed by search engines.
Homescopes so far includes blog posts from six participating Coldwell Banker agents and Kitano said the number of bloggers will likely be capped in order to avoid having too many unrelated posts for consumers to sift through.
Every participating agent gets his or her own blog, which can be taken with them throughout their career, he said. Other collaborative blogging models include those that invite multiple authors to contribute posts on the same blog. Kitano says that Homescopes aims to be more like a lens that connects multiple blog sites together.
For more on real estate blogging, see “Real Estate Connect: The blogging superstars“; “Blogging success with Teresa Boardman“; “A sit down with the ‘Blogfather’ “; “Teen blogger finds real estate success“; and “25 Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers: 2007.”