Blogging’s expectations (it’s local)

This post is untargeted, neither specifically at real estate consumers nor real estate bloggers in particular, so therefore, it’s probably targeted at both. Two recent posts in the real estate blogosphere inspired this entry. First at the Tomato regarding a fellow blogger’s lament that her blogging was not bringing in the “leads”:

… her blog, although noteworthy (30+ hits a day) on a daily traffic scale, was failing to produce leads.  So much so, that after more than a year of regular blogging, she and her partner were losing their zeal as daily contributors to the real estate blogosphere …

Read Jim’s post. It is excellent.

Second was a post at Mike’s site, a request for opinions on the national real estate “web 2.0” sites that led to this comment response:

The business is, and will always remain, local and relationship based. I could come up with a list of dozens of sites that I think do a much better job of providing a good consumer experience at a local level than any national site.

The same can be said for real estate blogs. Many provide an extraordinary top-level view of the real estate industry, with the occasional (not yet rare) post focusing on their local trends. Some of these blogs have moved the real estate conversation forward faster and more intelligently than anybody (at least I) could have imagined.

I have noticed a recent shift in the real estate blogosphere to a more broad-based focus on national and industry-wide trends rather than local real estate trends. There is a dearth of quality local information. For this reason, enterprising entrepreneurs are attempting to corner the respective markets on local search.

My advice to those striving to establish themselves in the blogging world? Focus on your own knowledge base. Develop that. As you read more, write more and think more, you will be better at what you do – selling real estate, representing clients. Read the prominent bloggers. See why they do it. Stay local. It is what people want. As more and more information comes online, the best real estate information may be somewhat self-selecting – readers will visit because somebody else told them to. More on this later.

I have found that local clients do not care so much about one’s prominence nation-wide, but they do care about how much you know about planning, infrastructure, tax bases, employment centers, schools, a property’s potential appreciation rate … all the “stuff” that makes a real estate professional “professional.” If you are an expert, show it. If you’re not, become one.

Blogging is not for everyone. I’d bet that if 500 real estate bloggers were surveyed as to whey they continue to blog (not why they started), that they enjoy it and are passionate about what they do would be in the top two responses. Once it becomes a chore, something that pops up on a “to do” list to be met with a groan, it’s all over.

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  1. Maureen Francis October 16, 2006 at 22:58

    Having started my local real estate blog about a year and a half ago, I think I know why local is not so popular and “big trends” are, well, trendy. We have the big issues in common with our fellow real estate bloggers.

    When I started my local blog, I had no idea if anyone was actually reading it, other than my mom. She wasn’t even reading it. It wasn’t really that bad. I recently gussied up an old piece after I took the blog off of blogger and it got some recognition in the Carnival of Real Estate. I knew when I wrote it it was pretty good, but I never managed to find the audience on blogspot.

    ActiveRain helped me to find more like minded bloggers, and that helped me to revitalize that withering blog and move it onto its own domain. The kind support of other RE bloggers who frequently stop in to visit keeps me feeling like at least a few humans read my work while it sits out its time in the google sandbox.

    I don’t think that trend is uncommon with Realtors who blog to a local market. I know of less than a half dozen real estate related bloggers in metro Detroit.

    I’ll continue to blog. I like the challenge. But I have to say that the national chatter on the themes we all can discuss are the ones that fascinate me the most.

  2. Jim Duncan October 17, 2006 at 15:56

    I find national trends fascinating as well; the discussions that are and can be had at a national level with national bloggers are where I learn much of what I apply to my daily business.

    Local news and trends, and the analysis of those national trends that impact local ones (how’s that for a convoluted sentence structure) are where I believe most real estate consumers’ eyeballs and attention spans are.

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