Since the beginning of agentgenius.com, we set out on a mission to balance some of the harsh tone out in the real estate blogging community. It seemed every day a new product launch would give some blogger somewhere permission to just shred the site’s offering to bits. You could click to another blog to hear someone firing off about how another someone in real estate blew and how much better he or she was. This constant drumbeat on the web left a wide gap for a balanced perspective of all things new and old in real estate.
What has grown from the tone change throughout the real estate blogging community is a new standard where it is expected that when speaking about a business or person, articles may leave the reader just short of your real opinion, passion, or feelings on the issue.
I for one am all for being professional with one’s opinion and tone, but I am not okay with a writer not telling it how they see it. Without honesty, a reader is left with a doubt as to whether you ever really expressed your true opinion or not. We must be careful not to reduce blogging to the mundane.
Have we lost the middle?
The best outcome seems to be a fine middle ground where one can vent an opinion in a professional manner that opens the debate and a real understanding of whether it should even be mentioned at all. Is the profession advanced with what has been said? Some miss the mark entirely with a sort of nicer than nice tone to which point it would almost appear to be ass kissing. Is the REBC to become a bunch of ass kissers? Or, are we here to actually create opportunities to improve the consumer real estate experience?
Whatever happened to being professional?
I’m absolutely guilty of speaking my mind and I’m absolutely honest. If I cannot be honest about a subject, the subject is not written about. Since I’ve been in blogging, NAR turned a page and listened, Zillow.com got a fair shake, Redfin is a little less disruptive, and many who sought to revolutionize real estate realized that there are actually about a million individuals out there competing with them, not just a trade association. All of this is done with the loud drumbeat of the real estate blogging community seeking out what their consumers think and broadcasting it loudly and clearly- not always professionally. But isn’t that the key here? Professionally?
The profession must remain competitive in order to improve, new business models must emerge, fail, and succeed, and new bloggers must not be afraid to tell it like it is- kissing ass never got anyone anywhere, especially when the REBC steps up to the plate on an issue; a response is almost always forthcoming. A writer must be honest with themselves and the reader and demonstrate their passion on issues- that is what makes blogging great! Getting a chance in a lifetime interview with a big name only to ask how’s the weather is the equivalent to shooting one’s self in the credibility with a shotgun.
Tell it like it is
Although I demand a positive tone in any conversation, ask for a positive solution, or at the very least a realistic balanced opinion of any good or service- I want honesty more than anything. I want to know what you REALLY think, and so do your blog readers. All too often, we worry about the opinion of our opinions to the point that we just stop giving them and in the end it is the reader who loses, and our profession ceases to grow. In saying all of this, being salacious in tone to grab headlines isn’t what we’re discussing- what we are talking about is what is required if your opinion seeks to be in demand.
So, no- nice doesn’t make you credible. Being professional, direct, and honest does.