(Just one of many random observations from the BlogWord Conference in Las Vegas)
Ahead of the Blog Curve
Was it just me, or did the sessions on Saturday and Sunday seem a tad bit, well,…. basic?
While relaxing in the Speaker’s Lounge, catching up on some Twits, I was also talking with Mr. Transparent, Pat Kitano. He agreed that our industry has embraced the blogging phenom more aggressively than most industries. He attributed this to the highly relational nature of our business, and the way that blogging is perfectly suited for lead generation purposes.
The Early Adapters
Although I would agree that we are comparatively ahead of the blogging curve, the number of real estate professionals who have implemented blogs into their marketing strategies still only represents a relatively small percentage of our overall group. Truth be told, we have an extremely aggressive band of early adapters who eagerly embrace emerging technologies and enjoy finding ways of applying them effectively in their business models.
This same bunch has also established a well-known reputation for emulating the info-liberating mantra of Web 2.0 by sharing with others freely what they’ve learned and practiced. Though most of them maintain very busy and successful real estate careers, they always seem to have the time for a phone call or a cup of coffee to explain the latest widget or troubleshoot a WordPress plug-in.
The Buck Can’t Stop Here!
For those of us who have benefited from the generosity of these blog pioneers, we owe it to them to carry on their tradition, and pass onto the next wave of RE professionals the wealth of information and best practices that we have learned. Then, we truly will be an industry that is collectively ahead of the blogging curve, and will propel the greater business community into the global conversation.
Take someone under your wing today. Be a mentor. Blog it Forward!
September 23, 2008 at 9:46 pm
I started my blog before Pat started his. I have to say I didn’t find them basic at all. They were about content, strategy and marketing. I learned a lot just listening to people from other industries. they reminded me that blogs are not about technology, lead generation or plug-ins, they are about writing, communication and readers. I learned about niches that I did not know existed and about different ways to make a blog work that I had not thought of. I also loved the exhibit haul and talking to people who are in their 20’s and getting their perspectives on social media and learning how they use it. I was fascinated by the ways different industries use blogs and the issue they encounter and how they use twitter. It really was the best education I have gotten in years. I have so many new ideas. It just seems better than reading advice on Active rain that has been written by people who have had a blog for six or seven weeks. I myself am considered a pioneer and when it comes to the technology there isn’t much to learn or much that is new but when it comes to ideas for content or how to use the blog we are only limited by time and imagination. The panels helped fire up my imagination and cured my writers block. I also made some great contacts and of course I got to talk to you too. 🙂
September 24, 2008 at 1:20 am
Teresa: Maybe it was just the sessions that I attended. Don’t get me wrong, there was some incredible stuff that was shared. I too enjoyed immensely hearing about how blogging and social media is being used and implemented in other industries, and what their challenges/successes have been. Events like BlogWorld help us to realize that there is a much larger, global conversation going on. The Internet has indeed made the World smaller, and social media is making it more meaningful & intimate. Consider the fact that, if not for the beauty of the blog, my life would never had been enriched with the pleasure of knowing you!
September 24, 2008 at 2:47 am
I’ll agree with both of you. I learned a lot, but the session I attended with Kelley and Teri an small business blogging was of very little use to the three of us. Kelley and Terri would have been twice as capable of teaching it.
However, where I learn the most is in sessions outside my circle of knowledge. the Sunday morning keynote has a home run. Simply fantastic.
September 24, 2008 at 4:58 am
Yes the Sunday keynote was awesome. Some of the sessions weren’t for me either so I left and found another. I am sure I could have been on most of the panels and done well. It was more about ideas from other industries.
I agree Rich that we would not know each other if not for blogging and yes it has enriched my life too. There are so many people that I have gotten to know because of the blogs. Even some of the clients are OK. 🙂
September 24, 2008 at 3:44 pm
I spoke to Pat K. yesterday and I followed some of the tweets from Todd and Rich over the weekend.
I agree 100% with Rich’s statement “the number of real estate professionals who have implemented blogs into their marketing strategies still only represents a relatively small percentage of our overall group.’
There are over 1.5 million realtors and the vast majority of real estate agents are not blogging.
Another thing that realtors are not doing is embracing a wide variety of marketing tools.
Even if realtors start blogging more they need to keep in mind, that the amount of space on the front page of Google is not going to get any larger. Space is limited and cracking the front page will be more difficult than ever as more realtors enter the blogging fray.
Indeed there is still paid search space on Google, Yahoo and MSN (granted it costs money but many real estate professionals make money using pay per click strategies)
Real estate professionals are going to have to find other ways to get noticed.
One point many people miss is that as dominant as google is, it does not control all the eyeballs online and it certainly does not offline.
Indeed, HomeGain gets over five million visits to our site and only a single digit percentage of those visits come from Google SEO.
Many consumers will start to make sites like localism.com, active rain, HomeGain, trulia, zillow etc their first point of contact for real estate information. Having presences on these sites can not and should not be ignored.
September 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm
Rich, I spoke at at a KW Regional event yesterday on blogging. First question I asked was how many of you have a blog? Only a few hands went up so I had to start at the basics. The good news was those who attended that session did want to learn so I invited them all to AR today. We’ll see, so far only one has set up their profile.
I like to think of it like a bell curve, we are not at the top of the bell curve by any stretch of the imagination. I’m glad I got on it early, well early compared to some. LOL
September 24, 2008 at 8:46 pm
Rich – I met with a local agent last week to show her a few things for her blog. She said she thougt she would try it for 6 months to a year and see if it worked. That is the mentality of many who start, they don’t see it long term.
October 2, 2008 at 1:01 am
I may not be one of the early, early adopters in this and I’m continuing to learn a lot. But I will say that this is one of the committed strategies for my business. Saying that you will do it for 6 months is like committing to the gym for 6 months – your either committed as a part of your life, or you’re not.
I love to share with others my blogging resources. I would love to ‘pay it forward’, but it’s not for everyone and as I watch eyes glaze over, I realize that it really is only for certain personality types, and hey – that’s super. So many bloggers have been so great to me over the last few months and I’m ready to support anyone interested.