It might come as a shock to many, but I am extremely anti-DIY.
I am not trained as a plumber, electrician or mechanic and I have no interest in doing so even though I know it could potentially save me a lot of money. I am not a REALTOR, lender, home inspector or stager and I don’t pretend to be. I am a graphic designer, videographer, photographer, SCUBA instructor, welder, marketer and coder.
The things I DO are all things I either am or was interested in. Only a few of them I got into because I thought they’d be business ventures. The big issue is I value my time. I know I’m only going to learn things I am interested in (there are many such topics) and that I should just pay people who are good at other skills to let them do what they’re best at.
The reason I mention this is that here and other sites in our industry are constantly encouraging REALTORs to do it yourself. Don’t use/pay for a web site, just setup a WordPress site yourself. Don’t pay for a single property web site, build it yourself.
I understand many people in this industry came from somewhere else. Some of you are geniuinely interested in learning how to code a web site. But to me, the tone has almost turned to a browbeating. “You paid for that site? Why didn’t you just setup WordPress, it’s free!”
I mention this in many of my classes: if you run your business being chief cook and bottle washer, why can’t buyers and sellers do it themselves also? Now don’t get me wrong, I will use a REALTOR when it’s time to sell my house and buy a new one. I value my time. It’s not something I know how to do or want to learn (from a paperwork/liability standpoint, I teach REALTORs to market listings all day, so that I could do).
I really came to this realization at the Seattle REBarCamp and chatting with the ActiveRain guys. I’ve setup close to triple digit WordPress sites now and didn’t see the point in AR. The discussion was that there are (many) people who do not want to take the time to learn and setup a system and a turnkey site like AR is perfect for those people. At least they’re blogging.
So I encourage those of you who are hesitant in setting up a new web site or becoming an “expert” overnight on a new social network: evaluate your time and consider letting someone help, otherwise the DIY concept may put this, and many other, industries out of business.
February 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm
Even the most advanced DIY bloggers need to seek help sometimes. I hit some technical glitches with my site that were either caused by a WP upgrade or a wounded database… this was way beyond my comfort level of tinkering.
So, I established contact with the very nice guy in Indonesia who created my WP theme. For a very modest spif on PayPal, he ripped things apart and got the site running better than ever.
The best part? I developed a great new relationship with someone half a world away.
February 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm
Cute post but sounds more like a plug for yourself :p
February 26, 2009 at 6:32 pm
@Chuck – Great example. I recently stumbled across one of my first domain names from over 10 years ago to realize I had actually built a blog platform and I have years of experience with HTML/PHP/MySQL, but when I first got started with WordPress, I paid someone to help me get fast tracked into all of the nuances of the system.
@fred – Interpret it however you’d like. In Oregon, I can get my real estate license for less than a thousand dollars, which would be significantly less than the amount I’d pay a REALTOR to help me with a transaction, so I might as well just get my license. If REALTORs are going to play at being graphic designers and HTML experts, why shouldn’t more people get the relatively easy license and do that themselves too? I’ll admit, there are more than a handful of REALTORs who have a previous life in multimedia and I can understand them doing it themselves, but in my day job (which keeps me so busy I don’t need to plug myself) I keep running into REALTORs who can’t even use Outlook, yet are encouraged to setup their own WordPress blog instead of using ActiveRain.
February 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm
I never disagreed with you! I think most agents need help. I do think WordPress is the way to go, but going beyond the basic template design requires lots of work, learning css, php, and html. I know for a fact, I handle all my own sites.
February 26, 2009 at 8:31 pm
Cute comment, but sounds more like a plug for yourself.
February 26, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Dan – I dont offer website design services like Nick so how is my comment a plug? Duh.
February 28, 2009 at 10:25 pm
Nick, if it were not for AR, I doubt as many bloggers would even know where to begin.
They provide a great service for beginners. I STILL need help on my WP blog with all those darn plugins and updates.