Washington Post: Judge REALTORs by their blogs

More and more people are looking to REALTORs’ blogs to decide who to hire, according to a story in the Post (which was also picked up at Consumerist).

No longer must potential home buyers and sellers actually speak to real estate professionals to meet them. Instead, consumers are accessing agents’ ever-more-common blogs, social network pages or viral video campaigns — all of the burgeoning options that have been called Web 2.0 — to tap their expertise and get a sense of their personalities. Some meet agents who quickly feel like buddies; others go with discount brokers and don’t have any direct contact with their agent until they’re ready to put a bid on a house.

"In this type of environment the cream rises to the top," said Jonathan Washburn, chief executive of ActiveRain, a popular real estate blogging site that boasts membership of more than 100,000 real estate professionals. Traditional advertising provides limited information, he said, but online, agents "get a chance to demonstrate their actual expertise by writing about things that are relevant to the consumer."

Kinda makes you want to look at yours with a critical eye, don’t it?

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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9 Responses to Washington Post: Judge REALTORs by their blogs

  1. Cindy Jones says:

    I had two people call me this weekend who said they had been reading my blogs and wanted to meet to talk about their home buying needs. I’m already working with one of them to write a contract on a property. I showed the second one properties yesterday. Readers don’t comment often but they are out there!

  2. Ryan Hukill says:

    I personally began the whole blogging thing early 2007, a time when I got zero business from my online efforts. Since then, I’ve developed a steady flow of business as a direct result of my blogging and other social networks, which have driven additional traffic to my main website also. So far this year, about 50% of my closed business came from those online efforts, so I can personally validate the point made here, that consumers ARE looking for agents online. Don’t miss the boat!

  3. Sam Chapman says:

    That is one reason to take a break from the usual posts about stats, neighborhoods, schools, etc. and throw in a personal one from time to time. This kind of post helps people get to know you,

  4. Ryan Ward says:

    I still find that blogging tends towards sellers and traditioanl ecommerce type homes for sale sites lend themselves more towards buyers, but, blogging can be utilized effectively to attract buyers if done correctly as well. At least, this has been my experience.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Anyone can spout off stats, post graphs/tables/charts. What makes the difference is you being able to interject some of your personality – and demonstrate your knowledge/expertise for a given area.

    @Ryan – In the more traditional formats of “blogs” vs. “websites”, each of those definitely appeal to a specific segment of the market.

  6. MG in London says:

    We’ve just linked our blog up with Google annalytics. Just because people don’t comment doesn’t mean the blog is not getting visits.

    We were amazed at the traffic that we were getting and equally impressed at the time visitors were spending on the blog.

  7. Blogging is a great tool for the real estate industry.

  8. I am a REALTOR, but years ago I decided to specialize in bed & breakfasts and country inns. Today I have an office in Maine as well as Virginia, and our consulting market is nationwide. Our blog has opened incredible doors because of what the Washington post article says.

    We can put a lot of information, including articles, on our website, which we used to do, but the blog allows us to address topical or controversial subjects in a ways that really demonstrates our expertise. We’ve had people say that they’ve read the blog (which we also archive on our website) and wanted to talk with us because of it. It is so cool, and not hard at all if you just take a little time and put in some thought.

  9. Jon Boyd says:

    Last week the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (naeba.org) had its annual conference and we heard about one of our members who is not receiving 30% of his business from his blog visitors.

    And all it costs is time and energy!

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