Are bubble bloggers crazy or ignorant?
Bubble Blogs are sites devoted to discussing trends in real estate that point to the existence of, the creation of and/or the bursting of a real estate bubble locally or nationally. These sites are often misunderstood as being hate mongerers (although the language choices may be quite strong and comments are not moderated and get very heated) and are often accused of being ignorant and I would strongly argue otherwise.
I’ve been reading bubble blogs for a while now, and there is even a bubble blog being born in my very own city which a year ago would have made me nervous. Today, I am writing to encourage you to pay attention to bubble blogs. Why? Well before you call me the crazy old cat lady, let me tell you- reading these sites has given me a new perspective, namely because they don’t always talk doom and gloom and some of them are better informed than you could ever imagine- they can be a fountain of information, regardless of how you feel about their personal/consumer analysis.
Eternally defensive of Realtors.
I am an optimistic person and the NAR talking points feel good to me (although I’m not a Realtor rather a marketer), and I am eternally defensive of the real estate professional. On the other hand, I’ve learned a great deal of information from the bubbble blogs and commentary within that I would never have (nor should) read on a professional real estate blog. What turns people off is the tone in which these sites often take but when you filter out the tone, there can be diamonds in the rough in the form of manually created charts of economic stats, uncovering of local sources that have remained silent or dig up videos about how foreclosure bailouts impact homeowners.
Clocks being right and such.
In 2005, 2006 and even 2007, bubble bloggers screamed doom in their various markets and real estate professionals stood up and said “NO” to their markets being in trouble. Now that the markets are crumbling like cheap single ply toilet paper, the bubble heads are relishing. As with any history lesson though, we must remember that a clock is right at least twice a day- NAR talking points will be right sometime as will bubble analysis.
Transparency is unavoidable.
The movement toward transparency can be reached at any level now, be it regarding local real estate bubbles or be it marketing stats from Altos or in lending via RateSpeed and can no longer be ignored as the consumer has and will continue to demand it.
Are you living in a bubble?
Sales is all about overcoming objections and if a real estate agent doesn’t take the time to study what the objections of the consumer are and learn what their perspectives are (which are expressed through sites like bubble blogs), then you may be demonstrating a disconnect between what they perceive as reality via their own research and the reality your local market. If you as an agent are ignoring these sites, then a critical opportunity is being missed and you may be perceived as living in a bubble, ignorant to those outside of it and unaware of the results of their own research, costing you a loss in your marketshare.
No I’m not, I enjoy reading all different perspectives and I take in a lot of material on a daily basis. Even today, Seattle Bubble published a manifesto of sorts which may help you understand where they’re coming from. Paper Economy gives a bubble history lesson today which is an interesting read, and Bubble Meter analyzes the doom and gloom for 2009 (but take special note that although the negative is highlighted, the final analysis is that this is NOT another Great Depression and that mainstream media personalities are freaking the public out for no reason).
Don’t fear them, embrace them.
So, if you haven’t, take another look at the Bubble Blogs and if you look at the core of their message, you might agree with them more than you ever thought you could. This is how agents could embrace and use these bubble blogs to their advantage:
- Read local bubble blogs.
- Introduce your consumer to the bubble blog.
- Talk about these issues that consumers are raising.
- Correct misinformation and affirm information that is correct.
- Engage the conversation head on on your own blog.
- Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric, simply engage the conversation.
Consumers are looking for this information and they WILL find it. This is not a bridge that needs to be on fire, it can be cultivated, understood and wielded as a tool.