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Oh Noes, The Cat Got My Tongue


The chatterbox is silenced

You know what? I’m never stuck for things to say. I could talk for England, and I regularly do. But the last few weeks have been hard for me and I’m terrified the crappy economy has sucked the love out of blogging for me.

Now I don’t sell houses, nor do I lease them, or show them, or stage them…in fact I don’t even own one. But I’ve blogged about real estate for a good while now due to my various roles in real estate search technology companies. Because I’m not an agent and never have been, I don’t blog from that point of view. My domain as far as blogging has always been concerned has been covering British real estate news, news from the economy, the latest from the Bank of England and all that malarkey. I’ve written in the boom times and I’ve watched myself writing more and more about the bad times. And frankly, I hate it.

It’s the economy, stupid

I walk past the Bank of England on my 2.5 mile trek into the office each morning, without fail you’ll always see a bunch of reporters outside waiting to catch a glimpse of a banker crying or to do a piece-to-camera about the latest gloomy, depressing statistic. And every night the folk at the newspaper stands are shouting out ’10,000 made redundant today’, ‘No hope ‘til 2011’, ‘You may as well kill yourself, we’re all screwed’ and so on and so forth. I’m not in the States so I don’t know for sure how your national press are dealing with the economic downturn, but I can tell you that ours is outrageously obsessed.

Irresponsible reporting

The media are feeding this problem in a very dangerous way. And as a blogger, I don’t want to be one of those nasty people. I have no problem telling it how it is, ask me if your shoes match your pants and don’t be surprised if I tell you ‘hell no’. But I don’t want to feed a vicious cycle just because everybody else is. The result? I’ve become a quiet blogger.

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But by becoming quieter and blogging less, I’ve not really helped the situation either. I’m sure some subscribers to my company blog are thinking ‘Oooh she’s not got much to say, it must be bad in the world of property’. So I’m going to publicly say I’m going to step up, not get beat down by the fact that most of my RSS feeds need to be read with a dose of Prozac on the side and get back on the blogging wagon.

Actually, there is opportunity here

Now is the perfect time to blog about the kind of things AgentGenius cover so bloody well every day, the tips and tricks for savvy agents, the things that can make you stand out from the crowd in a time when it matters most. The recession isn’t ‘all bad’. It will cut a lot of the crap from the RE industry, houses don’t sell themselves anymore and we can hope that the cowboys of the industry won’t survive. UK agents have always been blasted for being lazy and money hungry, now those that were always unfairly tarred with that brush can show they are innovative and hard working. And UK property has desperately needed a price correction, house prices here have been silly ridiculous for a long time.

I’m certainly not complaining that my generation will have to wise up their act either, growing up in the late nineties/noughties of has led to many having absolutely no grasp of money. A credit card? Well that’s the bank giving you free money, non? In Britain we need to learn to be frugal again, we’ve become out of control as spenders and shoppers. It’s no bad thing for us to have a reality check.

Granted, it’s no picnic

Don’t get me wrong with these last couple of paragraphs, I’m not trying to say ‘yay, a recession, wahoo!’. My other half lost his City job and I’ve started looking out for vouchers for grocery items. It’s not easy for anyone. But if the economy is kicking you blogging butt, don’t let it! It might take a bit more effort to think of things to write about, but we all know that blogging is worth that time commitment.

Oh look mummy, I did it!

So I guess this post was just to help me test the waters, it seems for someone with ‘bloggers block’ I’ve written a fair amount. Hurrah, I’m a real estate blogger again 😀

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Written By

Poppy Dinsey works in Business Development at Globrix, the UK property search engine. She lives and works in London, which she loves except for the awful weather and lack of good pecan pie. She's got a pretty nifty degree in Eastern European Economics from UCL, which she readily admits she's never put to good use, although she did once dress up a Russian Bond Girl. You can find her on Twitter, 12Seconds, Seesmic and pretty much everywhere that's ever had a website.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. teresa boardman

    November 25, 2008 at 7:21 am

    I have been struggling with the same problem and it is the economy. It got worse for me for a time when I also developed photographers block. Never heard of it but it happened.

  2. phil campbell

    November 25, 2008 at 8:14 am

    i’m the opposite, full of hope – full of looking forward to the future, i treat these moments as bumps. massive readjustment absolutely but i am prepared with open arms. even if i have to move to mexico to help build solar farms so be it.

  3. HIP Consultant

    November 25, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    Hi Poppy

    I can not agree more with the whole doom and gloom reporting stance. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to hear a reporter break the current mould which is well cast at present and actually look at the long term rises we have seen rather than the short term downturn we are experiencing.

    Here is hoping but i wont hold my breath.

  4. Lani Rosales

    November 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Poppy, it’s tough all around and for me, reporting real estate news and having Twitter friends begging for any job tips I may have can drag things down. But I still have a house, an amazing husband and healthy kids and cats, so I’m keeping my chin up and writing at least 5 articles daily… I like your note to keep up the pace, this will weed some of the crap out. 🙂 Glad you’re back, hoorah!

  5. Barry Bevis

    November 25, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I’m all for culling the dead wood out of the industry… and as we go through this process technology will become more and more important for agents to run lean shops.

    Dont be down… Things are looking up!

  6. Deborah Deschamps

    November 25, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    I’ve been a Realtor in Massachusetts for about 10 years. I have some ideas about how our people in my line of work could help themselves and the real estate market. Here’s what I think: first, we could get back into spending some time face to face with people, working on our listening skills, finding out how we can be better at providing what real estate services they need. We aren’t doing that for a very good reason: Because we’re learning to Twitter, Tweet, Poke, Tag, and Blog (among other things). And lest you think I’m casting stones from the doorway of this glass house, let me say I have an affection for doing all of those things,obviously – since here I am blogging. I think the social networking scene is important and can’t be ignored. In its own way, it IS answering the preferences of a new generation’s way of communicating. I think the human scene however, is at least as, if not more important, and IS being ignored by Realtors to a deplorable extent.

    For example, we scoff the direct mail approach. But I don’t know ANYone who doesn’t still LOVE to get a handwritten note in the mail. I have resolved to write five handwritten notes every day to my sphere of influence ( a VERY old fashioned term) just the way I did when I first started in this business, which is Just the way I went from a rookie to a consistently Top Producing Realtor in my area in very little time. something like, “back to basics”.

  7. fred

    November 25, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    @Deborah – I respect your opinion, but the real estate industry is changing, and “back to basics” is over. You cant go backwards when buyers and sellers are moving forwards, it just won’t work.

    Buyers are connecting with sellers online now, and Realtors are not “searching” for listings anymore, they are counseling.

    Sellers are looking for more cost effective ways to list and using flat fee listing services such as mine at .

    Smart sellers are just not listing with full service (expensive) brokers anymore.

    Fred Romano, Broker/Owner
    CT Realty Services

  8. Bill Lublin

    November 26, 2008 at 3:35 am

    Poppy;
    Everything is truly subjective, and we are measured not by the times we live in but by how we respond to them. Well thought and well phrased!

  9. Vicki Moore

    November 30, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Action alleviates/eliminates worry. Get moving and feel better fast. Sometimes easier said than done but…

  10. CTannStarr

    November 30, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    Poppy, you speak from the heart and it is a rare thing to keep one’s integrity in the Blogosphere. You keep doing what you do and do it the way you see fit. There is only one Poppy Dinsey and we love you when you are up or down. Your ability to always be yourself is amazing. Don’t lose yourself, just keep writing from the heart, even if the message has to be a sad one for the current state of affairs. Every single day the market changes. Approach it one day at a time and always make sure you take “me time” so you can rest and recharge your batteries. Hope to see you at Inman in Jan. Your rowdy American friends would love to give you lots of material to blog about. We’d love seeing you even better. <3 C.

  11. Laura Watts

    December 2, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Poppy, I guess we are all feeling the crunch in the Real Estate Market. I am looking upwards and praying it does get better. I have noticed a small upward lift in the calls and sales.

    I hope it picks up for you as well…

  12. Linsey

    December 3, 2008 at 12:14 am

    I remember the beginning of the downturn. I remember looking forward to ridding the industry of those that weren’t serious, full time, committed real estate professionals.

    The reality is, although the competition in the industry has decreased, the challenges I face in the day-to-day business can be discouraging. It takes so much discipline and work to bring a transaction together.

    Yet, I find some wonderful changes. I understand Deborah’s point about face-to-face time – that is when real transactions are completed. However, one of the most exciting things that I see taking place from this market is that agent’s are responding to consumers in a real and meaningful way. It may be too ‘2.0’ for some tastes, but the fact is consumers want content, information, and true guidance. Finally, we may have an opportunity to elevate the industry and quit the narcissistic, self-promotion that, particularly in this country, has plagued our industry.

    Now THAT is what keeps me excited about the direction of our industry.

  13. Deborah Deschamps

    December 3, 2008 at 8:00 am

    Vicki Moore – Right on! I once saw Dave Beson, the real estate speaker/trainer/coach. He said this: “Everything works, nothing doesn’t.” I get that. The simple energy of a good effort alone will work wonders toward getting things moving in the right direction. Which should mean both making it a point to talk (briefly and positively) with (not to) at least one person face to face everyday about what what we do as real estate professionals. Ask for a referallal if you can do it in a charming and professional way. Find something in your community that you can do that is helpful and you can put your heart into. Get to know people, and let them know you. and let them know you’re proud to be a real estate professional. Fred – this is the “face to face time” I’m talking about. And your comments about flat flee vs. expensive realtors is out of place here, IMHO, too by the way. And until my neighbor turns into a “2.0” morph of some kind and only communicates with computers and not other humans, I think I’ll keep the “face to face” aspect of my business in place.

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