Five Years of Real Estate Blogging

First, thank you for reading. I’ve learned more than I could have ever expected or hoped for. Thank you for your comments and emails over the years.

I’ve been a Realtor for just over eight years, a real estate broker for nearly a month, and have been writing this blog for five years. Without the blog, I wouldn’t still be in business.

A couple million page views, several hundred thousand visitors, I finally had to switch to a more robust hosting solution, and most importantly, I’m still a successful husband, father and Realtor. 2009 was a pretty good year.

For my readers and clients (and potential clients) – please contact me anytime with questions about the Charlottesville regional real estate market, story suggestions, tips,

I worked hard on last year’s “blog-iversary” post where I looked back at four years of blogging about the Charlottesville real estate market, so I won’t do the same this year.

Milestones in 2009:

There were quite a few more, but a sampling …

- The brokerage – We opened Nest Realty Group this year, and by all accounts we have been successful. Increased market share, implemented new tools and always placed the clients first. 2010 looks to be exciting.

- I finally earned my Virginia Broker’s license.

- I’m giving up my fight to eliminate single-agent dual agency. More on this later, but suffice it to say that the traditional real estate establishment has too much of a vested interest in this legacy. I and we at Nest will just continue doing what we think is right for our clients; “Dual Agency is not in the client’s best interest — it’s only in the agent’s best interest“.


The interest in real estate blogs seems to be dropping
Google searches for


Other thoughts:

- Blogging is work. (but the good kind – fun and rewarding)

- I’ve added a lot of tools to the blog over the years, and gladly talk about them to whomever asks. Heck, five years ago the only “tools” I knew about were reading, writing and how to publish. Tools don’t make you good at what you do – in my case, representing clients.

- My archives are getting full.

- I’m trying to stick with my roots – writing about the Charlottesville real estate market, growth, politics, etc.. I stray frequently, but appreciate readers’ persistence and patience with my tangents.

- I’ve enjoyed a good relationship with the Charlottesville press, whom I respect for doing their best and embracing new ways to communicate to their readers. Seeing them all reach out to their respective readers and views via Twitter, Facebook … and yes, in real life … has been encouraging.

I’m grateful for my readers, clients and friends. Unsolicited kind words such as this make what I do worthwhile:

Unsolicited praise for Jim Duncan's Charlottesville real estate blog


Still one of my favorites, from 2007:

… I started investigating local real estate blogs because, given that I am old and anxious to call myself a homeowner, I should approach the market as an old, yet informed, future Donald Trump, should I not? This is how I arrived at Real Central Virginia, a real estate blog by local Realtor Jim Duncan who, not coincidentally, is quoted to distraction in all manner of local media. It should be no surprise that the vast majority of local Charlottesville blogs are insanely boring or stupid or both. Ditto local real estate blogs (or all real estate blogs for that matter). Which is why this one stands out as being none of the above: It’s both good looking and good reading. It makes good use of TV clips from YouTube, links to articles on the topic (“The Upside of a Down Market” on RealBlogging.com), and personal observations.


I’m going to continue to be involved in Realtor and real estate stuff. I’ve questioned being involved, but will remain so long as they’ll have me (and even when they don’t I’ll still express my opinion). I serve on the Charlottesville Realtor Association Board of Directors, a committee or workgroup here or there, just finished my fairly fruitless term on the Virginia Association of Realtors’ Public Policy Group, will be beginning service on a VAR Group tasked with evaluating Virginia’s Agency laws (because, since the early ’90’s “much has changed in real estate with the advent of new technologies, business practices and consumer expectations.”) and will continue to serve on National Association of Realtors Groups and Committees whenever I am asked. I serve to learn and give back.

My advice to those who are fretting about not having strong social media presences? Don’t worry. Start writing; but write for yourself and your brand, not someone else’s. I’ve said since the beginning that my focus is on owning the content I create; what benefit do you get from building someone else’s site?

Find my Google profile, my card.ly profile, my Twitter feed,

Sincerely, thank you for reading and spending your time here. I greatly and humbly appreciate your time.

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  • http://www.LoCoMusings.com Heather Elias

    Congrats on the five year mark! You are an inspiration as a writer and as a professional, too. Here’s to even more success in the future!

  • http://www.SanDiegoJeff.com Jeffrey Douglass

    Jim,

    Just a quick congratulations to your 5 years of hard word. I have been reading you over the last few years and you have been an inspiration to me. I was happy to meet you briefly while you were in San Diego at BarCamp.

    I’m sorry to see you give up on your fight against single agent dual agency – but you hit the nail on the head with there is too much vested legacy in keeping it going – keep up the good fight and offer those consumers a better option.

    Best wishes for 2010 and I look forward to more solid content and inspiration.

  • http://www.miamism.com Ines

    Congrats!! you are pure awesome and many of us look up to you – thanks for setting such a great example.

  • http://www.realcentralva.com Jim Duncan

    Heather and Ines – Thanks, and I look to both of you for inspiration.For that, I thank you.

    Jeffrey –

    Thanks and it was good meeting you too. As I said this morning on Facebook:

    Jim Duncan Heading to Richmond this morning for an Agency workgroup. I have remarkably low expectations for progress. Status Quo is powerful, persistent and paid.

    I have a business to run, bills to pay and clients to serve. I don’t have the luxury of time to negotiate with the “big boys” in hallways and such. I’m doing what I can through my business and through the core values of our brokerage, Nest Realty insofar as we are leading by example – we don’t do single agent dual agency.

    I like to think of it as a strategic retreat … more to come.

  • http://www.roywheeler.com michael guthrie

    At the risk of building up someone else’s brand :), thank you for leading the way for the rest of us. Your insights help your clients for sure but they also help our association in our quest to serve our members in the best way we can. Whether we agree (mostly) or disagree (sometimes), the conversation helps me continue to run a company that is all about allowing individual agents build their businesses their way and serving them in whatever way we can. It has also helped me do a better job as president of our local association. BTW–I still think you would be in the business even without the blog. :)

  • http://www.CarolineVABlog.com Matthew Rathbun

    Jim,

    You may have learned from your experiences, but you’ve taught far more. Thanks for breaking the ground in this fantastic means of engagements!

    We also appreciate your leadership in the industry and look forward to following you in the future!

  • downtownenvy

    Jim,
    After four years, you are still one of my favorite daily blogs. I check in every day, and I feel like I learn something new from you even after all this time. I appreciate the time you take to research and prepare your entries, and I am sure that even after I finally buy a home I will still stop in every day to see what’s up at realcentralva! Congrats on the 5 years from a grateful reader.