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Economic News

The Good and the Ugly – What Matters?

Do You Care? – Why?

I love my twitter stream – I do… However there are times when I get overloaded with all the negativity. I don’t mean people being…well, people – I mean the constant news updates, the projections and speculations. There seems to be a great deal of energy and effort being used to see what other agents are doing (good and bad), what the lenders are doing, what the elected officials are doing and frankly I hear little about what that agent is doing. Its important to know what is occurring in the industry, but at some level I think that folks are becoming engulfed in the depressing downward spiral.

Lots of agents, who I speak to, say that they tried reading blogs, but that they found it very negative and reflective of mainstream media. Whereas I don’t necessarily agree – I see where they are coming from.   I see a lot of “noise” mostly from non-mainstream writers and the dabblers who started a free ActiveRain blog or blog. These blog sites are great tools, but I find a number of these authors are venting and not really benefiting me as a reader.  I am using blogs as an example, but newsletters, magazines and other related materials are little different.

So, what do YOU think is important to your business? What and how do YOU use the current economy and related information to strengthen your business?

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Written By

Matthew Rathbun is a Virginia Licensed Broker and Director of Professional Development for Coldwell Banker Elite, in Fredericksburg Virginia. He has opened and managed real estate firms, as well as coached and mentored agents and Brokers. As a Residential REALTOR®, Matthew was a high volume agent and past REALTOR® Rookie of the Year & Virginia Association Instructor of the Year. You can follow him on Twitter as "MattRathbun" and on Facebook. Matthew's blog is



  1. Benn Rosales

    December 5, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Matt, you know my story from when I began, but others don’t so I’ll tell it real quickly: My first read of a blog post from a popular blogger I actually told my wife no thank you, I don’t want that political sh*t near my business- just a few weeks later, I was back at that same blog understanding what disruption was via a rant about redfin/CBS. I wrote my very first blog post that day- it was inspiring to say the least.

    But here we are, 1.5 years later- I no longer read the controversial blogger, instead, I’ve spent personal time finding writers I identify with (very few), motivate me (again, very few), and inspire me (very very very few) and I love it. I found a value in it that suits me like a suit- I was never interested in the controversy, I was interested in learning, and here we are- I learn something virtually every day- but that doesn’t mean that from time to time a discussion that makes me feel uneasy doesn’t happen. Becoming uncomfortable is healthy, it allows you to define yourself- on the other hand, writing bitter crap for the sake of writing bitter crap for the most part, goes unread by all (except for those that identify, get inspired, and motivated by it).

  2. Debra Sinick

    December 5, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I liked your answer, Benn to this post. Things aren’t good, we all know that. Mainstream media has always focused on the negative, but if we just listen to the negative news, we might as well just curl up into a little ball.

    The flip side of all this bad news is it’s an opportunity for individual agents and the real estate industry to learn and retool. Those of us who want to learn will continue to do so. Our industry needs to focus on the value we bring to the public, improving and learning as we go. Blogging is one more tool, one more opportunity to learn, increasing our knowledge and abilities, and what we bring to the table for the consumer.

  3. linsey

    December 6, 2008 at 12:13 am

    I recently went through my relatively young blog to get a sense of my overall voice and found that much of the time, I will take an article and study the numbers that are being brought to the attention of readers to ferret out the meaning. I’m amazed at how often media focus, or consumer perception, is not in line with the realities found in the marketplace when one really analyzes the numbers.

    Ben, unfortunately, I seem to come across blogs that have a surprisingly strong readership simply because of the ‘bitter crap’ that they contain. One blog recently made the cover of the Orange County Register. Although there are some valid points on that blog, a good amount of it is spent bashing Realtors, lenders, ‘foolish consumers’ without offering fresh or meaningful insights.

    Unfortunately, the demand is there for that content as evidenced by some of the poor mainstream news media; they provide the things that create ratings.

    Thankfully, not everyone is caught up in that leaving an audience for the rest of us.

  4. Susie Blackmon

    December 6, 2008 at 1:27 am

    I’m trying to write more localism posts as I am not too interested in writing about RE right now! Photographs, etc. My time on line is more spent on reading input from pros re where the RE bis is headed. I believe things will be VERY different and I want to be involved!

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