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Complete this thought: “I read real estate industry blogs because……”

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. Ricardo Bueno

    May 21, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    …they keep me informed.

  2. Tyler Osby

    May 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Great question Matthew!

    I’d say I look for best practices across the country. I’m always picking up great ideas (such as how to use the web for connecting with potential clients). I also enjoy the community. Everyone’s so well connected. If someone has a question, they just reach out and get answers!

    Keep creating great conversation!


  3. Jonathan Dalton

    May 21, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    … I’m a masochist.

    Seriously, I learn a great deal from them else I wouldn’t do it.

  4. Erion Shehaj

    May 21, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    … Because MCE courses suck

  5. Mark A.

    May 21, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    … every once in a while, someone discovers a new sidebar widget that I don’t yet know about, but must have for my blog. That’s because I love gadgets. And Widgets. But not the ones from Trulia.

  6. Susan Hilton - Texas Aggie Realtor

    May 21, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    Because together we can all become so much better and alone we fall.

  7. Paula Henry

    May 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    It’s a rare day when I don’t find something new and interesting! and the keyboard doesn’t leave black ink on my fingers.

  8. Bob

    May 21, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    At first I hated most of the real estate blogs, but I’m an info junkie and love to learn. How can anyone read Russ Shaw, Bill Lubin, and others and not learn something?

  9. Kathy Drewien

    May 21, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    I started reading real estate blogs that focused on the national perspective because I wanted to be informed. Then, I began reading Atlanta real estate blogs because I was curious about my competition. My next move was to read blogs by real estate agents who talked to real estate agents. I have now added blogs by real estate agents who talk to their clients. My consistent focus has been to learn. connect and enlarge my community. That’s what got me hooked on blogs by real estate educators. 😉

  10. Michelle DeRepentigny

    May 21, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    for industry information, educational purposes, and for entertainment!

  11. Vicki Moore

    May 21, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    I love to learn. I’ve gotten much more than that from reading blogs though: friendships, support, encouragement – and like Michelle: entertainment!!!

  12. The Harriman Team

    May 21, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    To learn, stay current with industry issues, learn, network, contribute to the conversation, learn, make new friends…did I mention learn?? Reading all the nuggets of wisdom in my feed reader every day, I can’t help but learn something.

    Watching the drivel on my cable TV = ~$70/month

    Dining out (undercooked) and a movie (mostly TV drivel on a bigger screen) = ~$100

    Having the privilege of reading the Masters of RE every morning = priceless

    Life is good…

  13. Jay Thompson

    May 21, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    . . . they are there.

    . . . they piss me off.

    . . . they make me laugh.

    . . . it’s a great way to meet other people.

    . . . it’s a great way to learn.

    . . . all of the above.

  14. Luxury Homes For Sale

    May 22, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Hi Matt!
    Nice question..
    “I read real estate industry blogs because……”
    Because it’s really informative..
    tons of information i can find here about real estate..
    the other thing is that i can share my site to you guys..

  15. Vance Shutes

    May 22, 2008 at 4:10 am

    “Having the privilege of reading the Masters of RE every morning = priceless”

    This says it all. I read RE blogs to learn something new every day, and by doing so, I’m able to serve my clients better every day.

  16. Genuine Chris Johnson

    May 22, 2008 at 5:28 am

    need for self torture left unfulfilled by other activities.

  17. Faina Sechzer

    May 22, 2008 at 5:30 am

    Real estate blogs offer information and exchange of ideas difficult to find from other sources. Conversation between local professionals could often be constraint by the competitive issues.

  18. Matthew Rathbun

    May 22, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Ricardo – Great

    Tyler – I like the “community” aspect as well. Whereas I am a big fan of micro-markets; hearing ideas form those willing to share and putting own local spin on it is a great benefit!

    Jonathan – We know you are! Seriously, the issue of being worth my while, has been a large reason for me asking this question. I am glad that you see a ROI for reading the blogs! I know that I do, too.

    Erion – Yes, yes CE classes typically suck, but I know that there is a revival of sorts with younger students and instructors wanting – no, demanding – more value in the classes. However, having said that; seeing honest opinion mixed with education is blogs is typically more valuable IMHO.

    Mark – I am snickering a bit at the Trulia plug… Yep, the free and useful tools that someone else has used in “real life” was one of the initial tugs for me too!

    Susan – That’s an interesting point and one that isn’t wildly shared. I agree that sharing with each other is a great value for the collective. However, I don’t know that I feel that RE Blogging is pulling us together. Do you think that at times, it’s drawing folks to sides that they may not have otherwise been on?

    Paula – Really? Black Ink or Blisters? I don’t know which is worse. I’ve cracked more than one keyboard responding to a comment 😉

    Bob – I am with you on this, Russell, Benn, Bill, Vicky, Jim etc…. They are well worth the time to read and learn from. Even in disagreeing with some of these folks, I’ve been challenged to do more self exploration and show reason for my point of view.

    Kathy – Education is the key point in my opinion. I am seeing more and more that agents are doing the pattern that you laid out. I read this, which lead to that, which lead to this… Knowing one’s competition and learning from successful people are very valuable points of reading!

    Michelle – Entertainment, we have – if you like Reality TV :)~

    Vicki – I’ve said it before, I see your genuine personality when you write. It’s magnetic to see folks like you sharing. I wish more people (myself included at times) saw the as a way to make business friends and to share with each other.

    Harriman – Yep, reading people who are actually doing it and getting all this “coaching” for free is a GREAT benefit.

    Jay – Honestly, when I asked the question, your’s was the one answer I wanted to hear more. I don’t think you really feel that you read them “because they are there”, although that is very funny. I DO think you read them because you are passionate about honest information and doing the “right” thing, which is why they tick you off at times. That passion and energy you have to share, question the status quo and buck the system is what makes you fun to read. Even when you tick me off – I still find value is hearing an opposing opinion! Unlike many – you still maintain your professionalism even during debate. Thanks for that.

    Luxury – Do you really find that folks read your blog, because you comment on theirs? That’s an interesting point that I hadn’t considered. Do you find that you start writing for at that point?

    Genuine – Yes, I have to admit that I occasionally through my hands in the air asking why I go to some posts, or some authors. I have enough stress in my day to not need to read it. I don’t know about anyone else, but I hate unsettled issues or to know that someone didn’t grasp my point of view or vision – it irks me at times. I don’t know why we tend to torture ourselves in this way..

    Faina – Yep, local instructors or speakers are usually not very well received because it’s perceived that they don’t wish to give all of their “secrets”. Here’s the thing about most of the good bloggers out there. They know that no matter how much they share, only about 10 percent of readers will even attempt what they talk about. Only half of these might succeed. (


  19. Matthew Rathbun

    May 22, 2008 at 8:58 am

    OK, so to those who have answered the first question – here is the second; WHY DO YOU COMMENT ON BLOGS?

  20. Ken Smith

    May 22, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Why read?- What you are dealing with today someone else dealt with yesterday and already blogged about it. So much information out there you just need to look and find trusted resources to learn from.

    Why Comment? – That varies based on the blog. But the main reasons are to attempt to help others, to network, and sometimes just for the link.

  21. Mariana

    May 22, 2008 at 9:44 am

    Why Do I Read RE Industry Blogs?
    … to learn about the market in other areas
    … to find new and better ways to run my business
    … to make myself feel better (kind of like watching COPS … “Whew! At least I’m not THAT person!”)
    … to laugh and be entertained
    … to give me ideas on what I can teach other agents
    … to broaden my knowledge base so I can effectively answer industry questions by both agents and consumers

    Why Do I Comment on RE Industry Blogs?
    … to offer my opinion or share my experience within the conversation

  22. Frank Jewett

    May 22, 2008 at 10:01 am

    There will always be a market for live instruction because very few people will take the additional time to learn by reading and push through obstacles by doing research or calling someone. For me, reading real estate blogs is like collecting pieces to a puzzle. I try to figure out where each message fits in rather than taking them at face value.

  23. Jennifer in Louisville

    May 22, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    …it keeps me up to speed on the latest news in the real estate industry, and provides me with access to different opinions/perspectives from other parts of the country.

  24. JoshK

    May 22, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I’m trying to learn as much about the industry as fast as I can, and instead of sitting down for lunch with a few agents, I can hear from hundreds all at once.

    Why do I comment? Well, I like seeing my name on such a famous piece of web-real estate! The link is nice too. And I want to be part of a community of people thinking outside the box.

  25. Matthew Rathbun

    May 22, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Frank – great response! I like learning from a variety of sources, including opinions. I find value even in those opinions that I don’t agree with. A lot of folks like interactive classrooms because of their learning styles. Only about 20% of adult learns can retain or learn from personal reading. They need other stimulus to do so. Glad to see you’re in the elite few!

    Jennifer – respecting other’s perspectives has been mentioned a lot. I am glad to see that you value others in such a way.

    Josh – Learning from others is a great aspect, but sitting down with a producer from your local market who is succeeding could be a great augmentation to your personal growth. I think RE is very local, so getting ideas to implement here and knowing what the local folks are doing will make you a well rounded agent! Great start!

  26. Genuine Chris Johnson

    May 22, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    See “why do you read”

  27. JoshK

    May 23, 2008 at 7:14 am

    @Matthew: Actually, I’m a technology developer working on some tools for real estate agents. Not everyone who reads this site is an agent themselves! I can assure you that the usefulness of AG (at least from what I’ve seen so far) is not limited to agents, but to anyone working in sectors related to real estate. Understanding the real problems and concerns that agents face will help me to develop the tool that is most useful for the agents who will use it.

  28. Frank Jewett

    May 23, 2008 at 8:08 am

    There are three ways to make money in real estate:

    1) Help consumers buy and sell homes (broker/agent)
    2) Help brokers and agents locate and help consumers (consultant/developer)
    3) Take advantage of agents without helping them (guru/shill)

    I’m aiming for the second route, though some days I feel like taking the first route. The third route is unthinkable, though we see a cast of thousands who have apparently chosen to take that route.

    This is why I tend to be so skeptical of success stories.

  29. Team Benya

    May 23, 2008 at 8:38 am

    1) Because I have a need to learn everything I can about real estate. I believe that the knowledge I gain helps me build my business immensely

    2) Because I like further formulating the things I hear/read on blogs with the authors themselves.

  30. ines

    May 23, 2008 at 9:59 am

    I’ll answer like my kids would:

    ……just because!!

    (good points above – I like Mariana’s and Jonathan’s)

  31. Rich Jacobson

    May 23, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    First of all, I am very selective on what goes into my reader. My time is limited, so I want the best of the best. That doesn’t preclude me from the occasional ‘look around’ for something new and interesting.

    I want to learn. I need to know what are the latest and most pressing issues face today’s RE professionals. I want to know what works. What’s a waste of time. What’s fun.

    There are so many options for us today, places to invest our time and energies. Accessing my reader, coffee in hand, is definitely one of the better ways to spend my time….

    oh, and Matt…you’re on my reader 🙂

  32. Athol Kay

    May 23, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    So I can form friendships with people that never attempt to drop their kids off at my house.

  33. Jeremy Hart

    May 23, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    I read real estate blogs because I want to learn as much as I can about my industry, and it’s a great way to filter content.

    I comment on real estate blogs because of the points. And Lani promised me a Vanilla Ice Fan Club t-shirt. She’s the president, you know. I also comment on real estate blogs because by engaging in the conversation, I often learn even more.

  34. Bill Lublin

    May 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    @Bob – Aw shucks Gee Golly Whiz – I blush modestly 😉

  35. Bill Lublin

    May 24, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    And now for my answer – Better late then never
    I read Blogs because I already know what I know but they let me know what I don’t yet know.
    I read Blogs because there are some interesting people out there that know some interesting stuff.
    I read Blogs because I believe they will help me do my business better
    I read Blogs people I know and respect write them (and some time I know and respect them because I read Blogs)
    I read Blogs so I can get to the comments
    Sometimes I comment on Blogs because they need to be corrected or refuted or opposed.
    Sometimes I comment on Blogs because something resonated in me when I read it
    Sometimes I comment on Blogs to get points “Great Post Matthew” 😉

  36. Bill Lublin

    May 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Athol – BTW I’m dropping my kids off at your house later tonight

  37. Susan

    May 25, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    so I can keep up with whats going on and new ideas…learn.

  38. Todd Carpenter

    May 26, 2008 at 12:34 am

    ..”OK, so to those who have answered the first question – here is the second; WHY DO YOU COMMENT ON BLOGS?”

    Are you suggesting that I’m supposed to READ blogs before commenting on them? 😉

    I read them because I want to learn more about Real Estate, and more importantly, learn more about the people who write them.

    I comment for the same reason.

  39. Thomas Johnson

    June 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    I only comment on RE blogs when my hair catches on fire.

  40. Stephanie Edwards-Musa

    June 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    Hey Matt,

    I read them because:
    1) The market in Houston is considerably different than other areas, keeps me informed
    2) We always seem to get cool technology last. Keeps me informed. 🙂
    3) To read awesome bloggers like you.
    4) To Think outside the box
    5) Learn how to be better at everything we do
    6) Sometimes to read what NOT to do on a blog. 🙂

    I comment because I think it is human nature, to want to voice our opinion and be heard…Conversation, and besides, TV sucks now a days. LOL. Just kidding.

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