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Roll Over, Secretariat – Why Blogging is Prospecting


If I’m going to take the time to beat a dead horse, I may as well choose the best, right?

A couple of days ago I wrote about what I’m doing to generate business.

I was fascinated by a comment from Chris Johnson telling me that I was completely wrong. Since the post specifically was about what I personally had done to generate higher commissions than I had during the first quarter of 2005, I was stunned to learn that I didn’t really know where all the clients were coming from. Silly rabbit.

This wasn’t Chris’ point, of course. Rather, he was using what I wrote as a launching pad to extend upon the notion that blogging doesn’t constitute prospecting.

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There are a couple of fallacies upon which the “blogging isn’t prospecting” argument totters ever so shakily:

1) All prospecting efforts lead to closed transactions. Ideally they should but they really don’t. Sending farming postcards is prospecting. But if the postcards suck, you aren’t going to get any business. Door knocking is prospecting. But if you have no game when that door opens, you aren’t going to get any business. The same goes for blogging. It’s not complicated – don’t suck.

2) It only works for you (and others) because they’ve done it for so long. Well … duh. Then again, I don’t think A-Rod hit 45 home runs coming out of the womb. You have to work on your craft, improve upon it, determine what works and what doesn’t. But what is great about the Internet is it brings to life that old saying about blind squirrels and nuts – I had my first web lead about two months in, with no clue how it happened.

3) New agents have better ways to spend their time. Baby, all you’ve got is time when you first start. After all, you have no clients and there’s a large Hoover attachment gnawing at your bank account. Devote an hour. Just an hour.

Absolutes don’t exist in blogging, in prospecting or in real estate in general. Different things work for different people. Telling new agents not to waste their time is akin to telling agents a few years back that websites are overrated, that no one will search the Internet looking for homes.

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Wait … Century 21 still runs that ad. But that’s another story.

These days in Phoenix it’s not uncommon to find agents talking about Canadian buyers and trying to figure out how to reach them. Open houses, door knocking and cold calling really aren’t options. Neither is sending a postcard to everyone in Calgary. I just sit back and chuckle. The answer’s right in front of them if they decide to investigate it.

Blogging may not be prospecting for everyone. If it’s not, it’s by their choice. But for those who are willing to devote an hour and an incredibly small amount of cash (small compared to many of the money wasters out there), there’s business to be had.

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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. Missy Caulk

    April 12, 2008 at 9:03 am

    I love Secretariat but I’m a KY girl. Yes, I am looking forward to a big ROI on blogging, Wait is there a ROI on blogging? Didn’t we have that discussion? LOL

  2. Genuine Chris Johnson

    April 12, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I will grant you that blogging doesn’t waste cash. That’s a good thing.

    I’m also from the midwest, right? We’re older, slower, fatter and dumber.

    Half the midwest is still on dial up.

    Ah, people resist change. Be honest, new agents don’t have the expertise to add value. I was being bombastic, but blogging doesn’t and shouldn’t replace other forms of outreach and networking. Never can never should

    People do pseudo work and call it prospecting. It’s not. It’s way slower. Yes, you can catch lightning. But seriously, call your friends, family and past clients. Explain them what the mess really is about, and how you can help. That’s better ROI wise than blogging.

  3. Elaine Reese

    April 12, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I got a chuckle out of this post. I’ve had a web site since 1999. Over the years, fellow agents would say “they didn’t have time to play on the Internet”. I started my own blog last summer. I had one agent again tell me he didn’t have time … as he sat at his desk putting stamps on the little magnet calendars he was sending out for the holidays.

    Guess what? I’ve had several people contact me for help in setting up their blog because NOW they realize that they’re behind the 8-ball because they have very little computer knowledge, let alone Internet knowledge.

    So, Jonathan, let’s keep this blogging thing-ey a secret, and we’ll just let those folks spend their $$$ on the old-fashioned prospecting, and we’ll just keep doing the FREE stuff. BTW, two of my listings sold in Feb & Mar due to my blog where they saw the homes as new listings … I’ll be listing a home soon due to my blog (they liked my dog w/glasses) … and I’ve recently had two other listing appointments due to my blog. Oh, and the price range of all these homes is between $220 -325. Not a bad ROI for the time spent!

  4. Matthew Rathbun

    April 12, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    They actually found and trained Secretariat in my county… I don’t care and doubt anyone else does…

    All these points are underlined by the fact that this is where the client is getting information. Tomorrow it maybe some other venue, but for now, meeting the client where they are, is important.

  5. Jonathan Dalton

    April 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Thanks everyone … I’m gonna single Chris out on one thing. Blogging doesn’t need to replace the other forms of outreach – augmenting already successful prospecting is fine. But it also shouldn’t be completely dismissed as a waste of time.

  6. Genuine Chris Johnson

    April 13, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan.

    I did not say that blogging was a waste of time…for you.

    You are and have been good. But there’s a difference between Prince, and a Prince coverband.

    How many blogs say, “now is a great time to buy,” in 40% or more of the posts? How many aren’t about getting prospects and leads ? MOST of ’em. And for people with no more originality than that, telling ’em not to blog is a FABULOUS idea..,

    So many blog with a sense of entitlement. I blog for advocacy.

  7. Stephanie Villani

    September 21, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Wonderful blog post! You caught my eye with Secretariat and gave me more reasons why I need to get really serious about my blog!

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