Article originally published 12/01/2007:
I don’t know if you know this but I was one of the apprentices for Project Blogger this past summer. I was lucky to have Paul Chaney, Mr. “Realty Blogging”, as my coach and we became friends and still keep in touch.
During the competition I became extremely frustrated with the judging (and so did the rest of the contestants) and decided to write a post in Spanish. I did this to make a bit of a sarcastic point that I might as well write in another language because the judges were just not getting it. Little did I know that this rebellious and insignificant post would lead to something important.
Rick and I are fluent in both English and Spanish. Our Miami Real Estate market is multi-lingual, and whoever does not know Spanish is either learning or hiring an assistant that speaks the language. If you work in a multi-cultural community, writing in a second and third language will open up doors that you did not even know existed.
A few weeks ago our Genius Colleague Lani e-mails me in Spanish! Did you guys know that she speaks Spanish? She goes on to tell me that she found my Spanish post and that I should continue posting in Spanish. Then, again, she subtly guides me (yes, Lani can be subtle) to Pat Kitano’s transparent cultural blogging post….and that was it! I was dragging my feet because it’s difficult enough to keep up with blogging in one language, much less 2. I have begun translating my posts and placing them in a separate category entitled “articles in Spanish”. It took a final push from Lani and Pat…..but know I’m taking it at full speed. Thanks Lani and Pat!
I have already been contacted by people relocating from Europe and South America to the Miami Area because they are reading my stuff in Spanish.
I have expanded my target audience by taking advantage of our second language. I urge everyone that knows another language to take advantage of it as well. Who knows, I may even start a Spanish Blog! Take a look at this link Twittered by John Novak about Hispanic social sites.
Asi que aprovechen y empiecen a escribir en Español y otros idiomas también!
(here’s Google Translate for those of you that are Spanish-challenged)
**I had taken the photo in Miami especially for this article and forgot to include it – better late than never or as they say……mas vale tarde que nunca **
December 1, 2007 at 10:42 am
December 1, 2007 at 10:50 am
Benn – when I read Scoble’s Naked Conversations’ section on Cultural Blogging, I was amazed to find out how virgin this market really is.
December 1, 2007 at 11:00 am
It’s virgin for many reasons, I’ll write to you offline in a few days.
Robert D. Ashby
December 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm
Great post. I am not fluent in spanish, pero yo se bastante. Puedo escribir tanto tambien, excepto no seguro si puedo escribir tan bueno en espanol. Por mi, es mejor en spanglish, lol.
I also am not very good at spelling as I learned by listening, not reading and writing. I think you are on to something and I will have to find a way to incorporate it as well.
December 1, 2007 at 3:40 pm
Robert – that’s why we have spell-check. I definitely feel better about my spoken Spanish than my written one, but as everything…..you improve with practice. You should definitely consider it (not the Spanglish) : )
Robert D. Ashby
December 1, 2007 at 6:29 pm
Ines – I will definitely look into it. I practice my Spanish when I fly to other countries, such as I will be in Cali, Columbia on Monday night.
December 1, 2007 at 6:33 pm
Robert – IMHO Colombian Spanish is the best Spanish in South America, but please don’t tell my Venezuelan friends that!
December 2, 2007 at 4:00 am
Your words of advice make a lot of sense!
tus consejos hacen mucho sentido!
I’ve recently been blogging on Cheryl’s NELALive.net in Spanish.
Does it take time? Sure. But it’s also a lot of fun!
December 2, 2007 at 7:10 am
Ricardo, I will have to check out Cheryl’s blog. I think it’s beyond how much work it is and how much fun we can have. It’s about defining an audience that does not have much out there to help them make a decision.
It’s our chance to make it happen.
December 2, 2007 at 5:32 pm
I think it is great that you are blogging in Spanish. The reality is that there are over 16 million U.S. Hispanic internet users in the United States. As you know, there are also many Latin Americans that are looking to move to the states, especially Miami. With a falling dollar, it is making it extremely affordable to buy real estate for many (we may see many more Venezuelans buying real estate soon depending on the referendum that will be announced tonight). Good luck in your business and I commend you for your innovation!
December 2, 2007 at 7:37 pm
Ines, you are so smart- blogging in Spanish is an untapped market in Real Estate. Especially in the South where we are, if we do any business in Spanish, we should certainly continue our marketing efforts in Spanish.
Kudos, Ines and thanks a whole lot for telling the world the secret that I (like Ashby) am fluent in Spanglish- you’re a pal 😉
December 2, 2007 at 8:12 pm
Brian – the Venezuelan cause is close to my heart, since that’s where I was born. I totally agree with you about the Hispanic Internet users (as well as other languages) – thanks for the good wishes.
Lani – was that a secret?? ooooops!
December 2, 2007 at 9:59 pm
Ines – I agree with you completely and envy that you are fluent in more than one language. My big regret is being 1/2 Guatemalan and not being fluent.
December 2, 2007 at 10:02 pm
Cyndee – it’s not too late. I have a girlfriend that married a Colombian man and learned Spanish in her late 40’s – not bad, huh?
December 2, 2007 at 10:34 pm
Ines – My mom grew up in Peru and Guatemala (and taught ESL for 20+ years) and married my dad (Guatemalan)- both are fully bilingual. Now she is going back to Peru in December to help some friends in a Spanish Immersion trip and I told her we need to plan one to go with me and the 2 boys (6 and 11) – You never know and it’s the one thing I really would love to learn …at 45 (in 12 days) 🙂 Buenas Noches mi amiga 🙂
December 3, 2007 at 8:10 am
Madrugue esta mañana y vi las noticias. Me imagino que estás contenta.
December 3, 2007 at 8:33 am
Brian – estamos contentos y asustados al mismo tiempo, como si fuera un truco o parte de una estrategia. GRACIAS!!
October 11, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Great photo… “fluent English”. Perfect.
I was in FLA recently and the GPS in the rental car was in espanol, Dios mio! It took about an hour to get it set to English which is easier for me to understand.
Glad we are all Americanos.
October 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm
Now THAT’s funny Doug (and not all at the same time) – I take it for granted when people approach me in Spanish, but can become a problem for many here in Miami. Glad you were able to change the GPS 🙂
October 12, 2009 at 9:26 am
Cómo está usted? Gracias por incluirme en el poste. (Okay, that’s all the spanish I know! :->) Truth is, I didn’t even know that much, but use Babelfish to translate for me. Ha, ha.
Seriously though, thanks for the mention Ines. It’s always appreciated. We had good times back then didn’t we.
Paul (aka, Pablo)
October 12, 2009 at 9:58 am
Ines – What an opportunity for you and a market which remains virtually untapped. I would expect “you” to be the impetus of change and challenge, accepting the advice and push from your mentors.
While living in California and Arizona, I always wish I knew Spanish. Unfortunately, I never learned the language.
Now, here I am, back in the Midwest and we have a Latino population we didn’t have when I grew up here. I’ve even referred business to a local agent who does know the language.
October 12, 2009 at 10:05 am
Paul, can you believe I wrote this 2 years ago? We’ve come a long way, no? Now should be talking about your new book – The Digital Handshake 🙂 (for the record….”Pablo” just cracks me up)
Paula – honored!! thank you so much …..and congrats on the Forbes.com article. May be the time for those in multi-cultural communities to hire buyer’s agents that speak other languages (talk about opening doors)