Connect with us

Housing News

Breaking News: Finding a Trusted Source

Published

on

Newspaper Stands

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

In today’s world of real estate blogging, we’ve become more than just agents with a penchant for writing. We’ve become mini-local news stations. Our focus may be housing markets and the latest listings, but think about how many times you’ve blogged about local politics, grand openings, events, and major news events that affect your city. Blogging your local news not only gives you something to write about, but it gives you credibility within the community and ups your trust-factor amongst local residents. They turn to your blog when they need to know what’s going on.

Blogging about the news can benefit you immensely, but if you’re not careful, it could damage your reputation just as quickly. Post the latest rumors or half-truths and less people will find value in the news you bring them. Less value equals less readers.

So how do you become a trusted source for news and info on your local community?

Building your sources.

We all have a lot going on in our day to day lives as real estate agents, so how do we find time to research the news and get it up on our blogs? You’ll have to figure out where to eek out the time to write the posts, I can’t help you there, but I can help you with leveraging your community contacts to bring more news to your blog.

The first place I’d look? Twitter. Everyday my Twitter stream is full of tidbits from local San Antonio residents. It’s a goldmine of local information. Of course, you need to be following locals in order for this to work. If you’re not following locals, you might want to rethink the time you spend on Twitter. As with any internet-related (or word of mouth) source, you’ll need to think about the source the news is coming from. Are they reporting it truthfully? Do they have their facts right? Can you trust them? Just like a journalist, you’ll want to be sure you’re not reporting news that isn’t true. It’s easy for me to type “There is a major accident on Loop 410 and several cars on are fire.,” – that doesn’t make it true or blog worthy. Check your facts.

My favorite resource on Twitter? My local news station (shout out to KSAT 12). Not only do they maintain their own official Twitter accounts, but many in the news room are Twitter regulars. Not only can I pull the news from the official stream, but I can also shoot a reporter a quick question about a developing story and get the info I need to write a great post. Once you make friends with them, you’d be surprised at how helpful they will be. My local reporters are constantly allowing me to use quotes, photos, and videos for my blog posts. All with their permission (we don’t want to get into any copyright violations) of course.

When I have a slower day and need some good blogging material, I always scan the local news websites first. Look for news about construction that will impact housing markets, developments in local neighborhoods (this post received over 1,000 unique visitors it’s first day and remains a very popular post), or local interest stories. Both long time residents and people thinking about moving to your area will appreciate the news and come back for more. Long-term readership breeds familiarity and trust – two things you’re seeking as an agent.

Here in Texas, we’re privileged to have the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M, which is always a great source for real estate-related news across Texas (separated by city, so you can quickly sift through to what matters to your locality), but there are other great sources; your local Chamber of Commerce, city council meetings, city planners, and other localized organizations. If you don’t have time to go to meetings, befriend people who do – use your social media contacts to find these people. Ask questions, get to know them. A simple “anything new?” once in awhile will keep you connected and informed.

Danger Will Robinson.

Of course, there is a dark side to bringing news to your blog. There are inherent risks and possible problems galore. Avoid them at all costs.

Don’t plagiarize. Throw away your “cut and paste.” Don’t do it. It’s bad, foolish, and can land you in trouble. Don’t do it. Did I mention that you shouldn’t do it? Let me repeat: don’t do it.

If your source turns out to be wrong – correct your post. Don’t be afraid to say you were wrong and pull a post.

Learn to double check your sources. Just because you read it on the internet, it’s not necessarily true. When it comes to the internet one mention of something we all want to believe can spread like wildfire, despite the fact that they are simply not true.

And one last thing…don’t plagiarize.

photo courtesy of wili_hybrid

Matt is a former PA-based rockstar turned real estate agent with RE/MAX Access in San Antonio, TX. He was asked to join AgentGenius to provide a look at the successes and trials of being a newer agent. His consumer-based outlook on the real estate business has helped him see things from both sides. He is married to a wonderful woman from England who makes him use the word "rubbish."

Continue Reading
Advertisement
11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Ken Montville

    March 10, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I have to admit, I don’t see myself as a reporter of real estate news. I may “re-purpose” news stories (e.g., tax credit, FHA guideline changes, new GFE rules) but I don’t go out of my way to find something new and exciting and unreported by other outlets. But that’s just me. I have real estate to sell and the biggest and hottest news I like to find is where that next Seller with Equity is hiding so I can talk to him/her.

  2. Benn Rosales

    March 10, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Yeah, from Ken’s perspective, you already compete with your own market agents, but to have to compete with FB, CNN, or even Twitter for eyeballs you really want those that read you to be there for the local value added in relation to real estate. Focused niche is always best. Now if news is impacting your local market, then heck yeah, that’s powerful stuff.

  3. Matt Stigliano

    March 12, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Ken – I see your point and agree for the most part. I don’t go out and search for local news events in the sense that a reporter might, but because I have a lot of journalist friends, I often get news from them before it’s being talked about on a wider scale. I had posts about the slope failure at Centex Homes’ Hills of Rivermist before most people. It was a huge story in our market and turned into a big national story.

    Benn – I don’t see as trying to compete with FB, CNN, or Twitter, but bringing the news that’s important to my clients and readers. I don’t report about cats in trees and airplanes crashing, but I will report about the census bureau hiring in San Antonio, the slope failure, Medallion homes leaving San Antonio, city beautification projects, etc. Those are the sorts of things that affect real estate and are often covered in passing in many news outlets.

    I don’t scoop anyone, I just get the best information from my sources to bring it to my readers. We all know the “I read on the internet so it must be true” problems. I try to circumvent that by having people I can turn to for confirmation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

Published

on

Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

Continue Reading

Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

Published

on

aging housing inventory

aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

Continue Reading

Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

Published

on

zillow move

zillow move

Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!