I started real estate blogging back at the beginning of 2010, almost 5 years ago. And in that time I have posted 949 blog posts, about 190 a year, on average, or a post every 2 days. They say that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint and for me a labour of love. I love starting my day by reading the real estate news and then blogging about some aspect of it.
In my early years of real estate blogging, I didn’t get much traffic. However, traffic wasn’t important to me. I was just beginning to learn about real estate and I was writing about what I was learning. It is a good way to learn.
But then Google changed its algorithms and my traffic jumped and jumped again when Google changed again. Clearly, in the eyes of the almighty Google I was doing something right.
I learned a lot over the past five years. Not only have I learned about what Google likes, I have learned about WordPress and I most importantly I have learned what’s important to visitors to this blog.
Here are the top ten most read blog posts of 2014:
#1 How much commission do real estate agents charge?
Everyone knows that real estate commissions are high. In this blog post I talk about where the commissions go and how they are split. I talk about discount brokerages and for sale by owner brokerages. Most importantly, I discuss how to negotiate commission with your Realtor.
#2 Where are the good and bad neighbourhoods in Kitchener Waterloo?
It strikes me as a little ironic that my #2 most read blog post is actually a collection of user generated comments to a question someone asked on Reddit. Some of them I don’t agree with, but most are relevant to the question, which is a good one.
#3 Can I list my house on the MLS without a real estate agent?
Commissions are high, we know (see #1). The good news is that if you want to sell your home without the help of a full service professional real estate agent, you can. You can pay a Realtor to post the information to the MLS (realtor.ca) for you. You can’t do it yourself. We have to protect the integrity of the information so we can’t have you monkeying about in there.
#4 Is buying property in Kitchener Waterloo a good idea?
Again I went to Reddit for this post. Some good information here and some I disagree with. I posted my own comments again, not as a realtor but as a resident. The reason I go to forums and get involved with online comments is because many industry insiders lose sight of what’s important to their clients.
#5 How do I find out how much a house in my neighbourhood sold for?
Homeowners like to have an idea of what their largest investment is worth. What better way is there to find out what your home is worth but by looking at what the house down the street sold for?
#6 Relocating. Where is the best place to buy a house in Kitchener Waterloo?
This is one of my favourite posts. Although the prices are a little out of date now (I wrote it almost 2 years ago), the rest is solid. One of the most important thing for realtors and homebuyers to know about is neighbourhoods.
#7 Where are the best schools in Waterloo Region? Waterloo school rankings.
Schools are a great reflection of neighbourhoods. Even if you don’t have children, you should buy a house in a neighbourhood with a great schools as your value appreciation will be at a better than average rate.
#8 Where are the best condos in Uptown Waterloo?
It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have any condos in Waterloo Region. Times have changed. We’ve got some good ones and we’ve got some great ones.
#9 When will the Barrel Yards Development be completed?
This project garnered a lot of attention. People want to live in condos in Uptown Waterloo (see #8). But then the developer decided to rent instead of sell the units.
#10 How will the LRT affect property values?
The LRT will affect property values in three ways, one negative, the other two positive. Like living near a good school, the impact of the LRT will be great.
As you can see, home sellers are interested in price and commission. Homebuyers are interested in neighbourhoods and schools.
I looked at the top 25 most read posts. The above is true. Mere postings, selling privately, schools, neighbourhood and crime are among the key words in the top 25 posts. Interesting too is that the #25 most read post is about me.