Late Latin competition-, competitio, from Latin competere
1: the act or process of competing : rivalry : as a: the effort of two or more parties acting independently to secure the business of a third party by offering the most favorable terms b: active demand by two or more organisms or kinds of organisms for some environmental resource in short supply 2: a contest between rivals ; also : one’s competitors
When I got into real estate, I knew there would be competition, but NEVER did I imagine it would be so fierce! In my immediate real estate market, stories of my clients walking into open houses and declaring openly that they were working with us – they got attached like bloody chum in a sea of sharks! Horrible and unprofessional to say the least.
Then came blogging and social networking – what a relief to be able to share stories and experiences with like-minded professionals who saw us as colleagues, not “competition”. The ability to network and ask questions across the nation while making connections – it was so pleasant to be able to swim in a predator-free ocean.
New Competition Challenge
But then the next challenge appeared. Our site was successful; our innovative local blog was getting results and soon started being used as an example to other Realtors. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very humbling to walk into a showing and having the listing agent get excited and say “OMG!! You are Ines from Miamism!…..I’ve been following your every step!” Then to see top producers plagiarize our content, or nasty competitors try to play dirty tricks and report our site to Google as “spam”, or use keywords in our profile for a porn site. So then I realized that at the local level, Internet competition was just a fierce or even worse!
And then a light bulb went off when reading Jack Leblond’s post on SEO and Mark Eckenrode’s post on Marketing – our goal is to attract people that want to do business with us, if you copy me……there goes THAT strategy. If you are malicious…..then sorry, I totally believe that it will get back to you. If you are not truthful about your intent, you will only be cheating yourself.
Be Smart – use common sense
For those of you that are looking to get into this medium and start a blog or a hybrid-site like many of the Agent Genius Contributors have, please pay attention and learn from what’s out there but don’t copy.
- Jay Thompson’s style may not suit you in Washington or Mariana in Ohio or Teresa in Orlando
- You will need to strategize and find a way to personalize it and make it your own
- You bring value to the industry, write about it and why you are different
- If you don’t have time to market yourself in the web2.0 medium, make sure whoever you hire will not hurt your reputation by doing things that are unethical
- Go out and read other blogs, learn from them, ask questions. Don’t copy your competition
- Did I mention “Don’t Copy”?
What I find amazing is that I had never crossed paths with certain local agents in my real estate career and now consider them “rivals” because of their shady Internet practices. I know we have to work harder than ever because of the condition of the real estate market – but I wish we could keep it clean.