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My Plan to Conquer the Phoenix Real Estate Market

“You’re right. I can’t actually back that up.” – Dr. Evil, after telling Austin Powers that he was AP’s father.

Similarly, I can’t possibly back up a boast to dominate the Phoenix real estate market, not when there’s such a wide array of luminaries here in the Valley (including two Agent Genius contributors, Russell and Jay.)

In fact, the mere knowledge that I’ve sold several percent the amount of homes that Russell has this year is a major cause for celebration, considering my advertising budget is a decidedly smaller percentage than his. This is 2008, after all, the year to celebrate minor victories and survive.

Plans Are Being Made

This isn’t to say I don’t have plans in the works though I seem to have more plans than time. I’ll share them here so long as you promise not to tell Russ and Jay what I’m doing. They probably stay up many nights wondering WWJD – what would Jonathan do – as it is and I’d just as soon let them wonder.

Agreed? Good.

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Last month I had the brilliant idea of beginning a Phoenix real estate wiki. This was to be part reference material, part time saver (so I don’t have to keep typing the definition of absorption rate) and part Google juice on steroids.

Naturally, I wrote entries for the “A”s and quickly ran out of time. I’m working on getting back there but with kids out of school, vacation coming up and these pesky buyers actually expecting to look at homes (the nerve of some people!) it’s been hard to get back.

Which is unfortunate because I’ve come to realize this is a long-tail monster lurking in the wings.

Communities at Your Fingertips

I’ve had more than decent success with some niche sites focusing on particular neighborhoods – Ventana Lakes, Westbrook Village and Arrowhead Ranch. But what if I was able to skip a step, stop searching in vain for the rare useful URL that hasn’t been purchased, and simply provide much of the same information on one or more pages of a blog?

Anthem is my first experiment and I’m nowhere close to finished. Still to come are specific searches, or at least Diverse Solutions modules, for the condos on Galivan Parkway and eventually another module that’s just for golf course lots (I’m waiting for a change in Diverse Solutions’ search to do this one.)

Floor plans? I’ve got those and will add those soon. A photo page? Not high on my list, purely for time and gas-driven reasons, but absolutely within the realm of possibility.

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And this is just Anthem.

Picture a Goodyear page with separate sub-pages for Pebblecreek, Estrella and Palm Valley. Or a Scottsdale page with different condo communities featured along with Grayhawk, DC Ranch and McDowell Mountain Ranch. The possibilities are endless.

Sadly, my time is not. And that’s why this hasn’t happened quite yet.

But it will. Oh yes, it will. Just don’t tell Jay and Russ.

Mooo-ha-ha-ha … mooo-ha-ha-ha-ha …

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Written By

Jonathan Dalton is a Realtor with RE/MAX Desert Showcase in Peoria, Arizona and is the author of the All Phoenix Real Estate blog as well as a half-dozen neighborhood sites. His partner, Tobey, is a somewhat rotund beagle who sleeps 21 hours a day.



  1. Erion Shehaj

    June 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I definitely dig the idea. What (plugin, widget) are you using to make this happen?

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 5:59 pm

    Which part, Erion? All of the listings widgets and modules and such come through Diverse Solution’s IDX product. As for the rest, that’s just little ol’ me.

  3. Mariana Wagner

    June 14, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    How would one start a WIKI? I am pretty sure that is one of the coolest ideas I have heard in a long time, Jonathan.

  4. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    Practice, Mariana … wait, no. That’s how you get to Broadway.

    In this case, I just started typing. It’s not a pure wiki in that readers can’t add and edit their own content. I think that can be done through WordPress but that’s a little too large a can of worms for me to open right now.

    For those who want to see something added (once I’m done with the main topics, that is), they’re welcome to send the suggestions through the comment form on the right side.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    June 14, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Once I add the comment form, that is

  6. Paula Henry

    June 14, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Jonathan –

    I think I already said it once – but I think your Wiki is a very cool idea! I won’t tell Jay or Russ, but I have thought about one for Indy. Like you I have more plans than time.

  7. Jay Thompson

    June 14, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I’d like to read this post, but was told I can’t….

    But if I could read it, I’d mention the WP FAQ plugin I’ve played with a little here. It might be able to be used for your “wiki”. There is also a WP glossary plugin here, but I have not used it or looked at it at all.

    I suspect there are plugins available for true wiki’s as well. I set up a wiki separately once from the blog and it was so overrun with spam that I took it down. With the interaction available on a blog , I’m not sure that a full-blown wiki adds all that much. I do like Jonathan’s glossary / wiki thingy though.

  8. Russell Shaw

    June 14, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Crap! My stats are already down and now this.

  9. ines

    June 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    I also like the wiki idea…..very clever! and the long tail advantages… those!

    As for the neighborhoods – I know Mariana has also created separate blogs for different neighborhoods – I decided from the beginning to set them all in my one miamism blog with some static content (that google likes) and could updated content constantly, which I do.

    Time management is a huge issue for me as well – so many ideas, so little time….and we still have to sell real estate.

  10. John Wake

    June 16, 2008 at 1:42 pm


    What do you think would work best, a separate Anthem blog or a few Anthem pages on an already popular blog?

  11. Shailesh Ghimire

    June 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    This is great – and you’ll need a lender page on your wiki won’t you? Well, let me share with you how I plan to dominate the phoenix lending market… Mooo-ha-ha-ha … mooo-ha-ha-ha-ha …

  12. Jay Thompson

    June 16, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    “What do you think would work best, a separate Anthem blog or a few Anthem pages on an already popular blog?”

    Very difficult question to answer John. Partly depends on how one defines “work best”. From a purely SEO perspective, I think adding pages on an existing blog (assuming it has some “authority”) would work better (or at least faster) than starting a separate blog.

    On the other hand, there is much to be said for a “dedicated” neighborhood blog. It may be more initial work and time to get well ranked and establish readership, but once that hurdle was cleared, it might be ultimately more successful simply because it would attracted a very targeted readership.

  13. Jonathan Dalton

    June 16, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I think it depends what the overall plan is … if you have the time and information to dedicate to a neighborhood-specific blog, do it. I have local sites on WP platforms but I rarely use the blog function just because there’s a lack of time. It hasn’t hurt for Westbrook or Ventana Lakes one iota – I’m top of Google for both.

    Can a couple of pages on a larger site work? Possibly. Probably depends on how competitive the search terms are.

    Google “Fountain of the Sun” and my Phoenix Retirement Real Estate site is on the first page. I’d like to see it higher but I haven’t dedicated even a fraction of the time the site really could use outside of listings. But with a little more work, and less than what you’d need for a full-blown hyper local blog, I probably can get above the fold.

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