Friday, March 02, 2007

Strangest link in to my blog, ever

Last night I was doing the vain act of seeing who had linked to my blog. I found this, which I first assumed was link spam, but no, it was an actual blog.

Its a blog by Dustin Luther who trains real estate agents how to write their own blogs and develop communities. I found the incoming link funny because it was a response to a real estate agent that was setting up his site, and he was frustrated because no one was blogging in Olympia. Dustin sets him straight, but it got me thinking about blogging and why real estate agents might want to use this medium.

Here's a run down of his seminars that some what explains:

The first half of the presentation is understanding the competition.

In today’s online environment the traditional way of doing business for real estate agents is being attacked on many levels. Everyone from Google to Zillow to Redfin to ActiveRain wants a piece of the existing real estate pie… However, rather than say whether these changes are good or bad, I focus much more on understanding the motivations behind these types of companies through the prism of “Web2.0″.

The second part of the presentation is how to build up your personal brand.

The idea here is that once you understand how the competition is thinking, there are many ways you can use these same concepts to empower yourself to build up your own brand online. Of course, I spend a lot of time in this section about blogging, why it works and what are some advanced tools that you can use to blog smarter, but I also give tips on how to use other social networking tools to empower yourself!

At the end of the day, there are really two different presentations, but I hope you’ll find that they are very complementary.

Online (zillow, etc) is competition. Instead of running away from it, embrace it and create your own online brand. That is what I'm getting from his pitch.

Which is ok, but I wonder how relevant real estate blogs can be. Here are two blogs that Dustin points to, one in Seattle (only one post so far, but its new) and another in San Francisco.

To get an idea of what I usually think of this kind of stuff, read this blog at Olyblog.

You know, I was going to make fun of real estate agents trying to cop onto the next cool thing, but now that I think about it, I think Dustin has a point. The above two blogs (even the one with only one post) do seem to be honest attempts at blogging honestly, not trying to fake it.

I'm a big fan of politicians blogging, so on the surface, I shouldn't be that hard on real estate agents. And there is something to be said for real estate being an inherently local business, so their contribution to local blogging communities could be a good one. Maybe that's a point I should make to Dustin, make sure these folks reach out to other local bloggers, but in a human way, not in a used car salesman way.

1 comment:

Dustin said...

You offer some really interesting insights. Thanks for taking this issue on...

In terms of the blogs that I link to, you are very right that they are new blogs (only one post) from people who attended my seminar. The reality is that I hope that those bloggers continue to stay engaged, but there will inevitably be a huge drop off. I figure if I can give one link to keep them encouraged, that would be a great thing.

By the way, I also run Rain City Guide out of Seattle, which is probably a better guide of where I recommend agent attempt to take their websites.