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Speak to me as if I’m the only one in the room.

Dakota Building

I’m listening.

Last week’s post, “Why? Finding real estate career motivation in down times.,” was a introspective piece, meant to show the reader that we all need some motivations in our life and to do my usual of opening up myself to allow me to grow (and you to watch, interject, and perhaps learn a thing or two). The following day, I saw Benn Rosales’ post, “Sales – Getting headspun, and smiling through gritted teeth,” which I read with great interest. I had never heard the term headspun, so for it was something new to me. After reading the post (and re-reading it, just to be sure I had understood it all), I went about my day, but something else started to pop into my head and I thought it was worth noting.

Benn wasn’t talking to you. He wrote the article for me. He was speaking directly to me in a way that served as one part reminder, one part life lesson, one part real estate theory, and one part psychology. He should have just sent it direct to me and not wasted your time with it. He wrote that post for me and about me.

Before you all think I’ve gone all Mark David Chapman on you, let me explain myself. I know Benn didn’t write it just for me. Maybe he was inspired to write it after reading my post, maybe not. That doesn’t matter. What matters is what happened when I read it.

This site is for me and you – no one else.

When reading Benn’s post, I felt as if we were part of a secret club and the AgentGenius website was there just for me and him to talk to each other on. I forgot all about the other readers, writers, and great posts that exist and concentrated on what Benn was saying. He was speaking directly to me, so I thought I ought to give him my direct attention.

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Benn accomplished what so few writers (everywhere, not just here) can do effectively, but all writers should be doing more of. He made me forget that he runs a national real estate website and that he speaks to legions of agents everyday. He made me forget everyone but me and him. I was the only one in the room and Benn wanted to talk directly to me.

I know I’ve handed the new agent torch to Michael Bertoldi, but this thought was so valuable to me, that I had to share. And it’s not just for new agents and bloggers either. Everyone can benefit from the “for your eyes only” lesson.

Ignore everyone.

Next time you’re writing a real estate post on your blog, think about how you write. Ignore the broad appeal of your material and think of how that blog post can affect one person who reads it. Write to that person. Use the word “you” in it’s singular sense and avoid thinking “youse guys” and “y’all” (the Philly boy living in Texas terms for “you” in the plural sense). Don’t write the post to someone in particular (ie, don’t start the post “Dear Matt Stigliano”), but write it based on a singular experience with a client, a question someone asked you the other day, or something you yourself have had happen to you.

The beauty of this singular focus is that it won’t be read by just one person. If you’ve done it right, there should be multiple people out there thinking “they wrote this for me.” We talk about connection all the time; connect one-on-one with someone and you’ve done something stronger than spewing generalities out into the world wide web. You’ve spoken to them directly. They’ll feel as if they know you, they’ll trust you, and they’re more likely to connect with you than ever before.

Not every post will present the opportunity to speak in this manner. The listing post, your community update, neighborhood market reports – all of these probably won’t be super-conducive to this writing style. Take posts about short sales, HUD-1s, financing, transactions…use your knowledge and past experiences to draw from and make these posts focused on issues that matter to your past or current clients. Focus in on the detail of what they wanted to learn from the experience or what they gained from it after the fact. Chances are, there is someone with those same questions, those same feelings, those same ideas out there. Write for them and make them feel like they’re the only one in the room.

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photo courtesy of thenails

Written By

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."

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Jennifer Klaussen

    April 7, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Great post – you were talking to me, weren’t you? 😉

    • Matt Stigliano

      April 7, 2010 at 2:49 pm

      Jennifer – I most certainly was!

      Everyone else reading this post – I was actually talking to you.

  2. Lisa Heindel

    April 7, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    Perfect advice, Matt, but hard for some of us to pull off. We’ve been so indoctrinated in casting a wide net with our marketing efforts that we are afraid to leave anyone out, even when writing about a specific topic that would only appeal to a small segment. That said, I think you wrote this just for me 🙂

    • Matt Stigliano

      April 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Lisa – There’s nothing wrong with some of the wider net-casting, I do plenty of that too. I think the secret is that when we’re specific about what we’re talking about (and not going on about generalities), we have a tendency to cast a wide net with out it feeling like we are. So many people have the same issues out there – take a look at your analytics for your site and see how many different ways some asked Google the same question. The more I start to see that, the more I realize that being specific is actually opening up the doors.

      The true key is to make that visitor feel like you are answering their question not just a question.

      And yes, I had you in mind when I wrote this.

  3. Elaine Hanson

    April 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Matt, this is something I really needed to hear right now as I embark on a whole new adventure in blogging. It reminded me that I write best when I am NOT trying to write to everyone. I find myself absolutely frozen with the thought of addressing a crowd. Literally petrified. To start again, I’ll keep your thoughts in mind. Now, running over to Benn’s post to take a look. Thanks!

    • Matt Stigliano

      April 7, 2010 at 3:01 pm

      Elaine – This is why I love blogging. People can say “great post” and “I love it” all day everyday, but when you know that someone “needed to hear” something you’ve written – well, that’s an amazing feeling. Made even better by the fact that I’ve actually spoken to you face to face.

      I was never great with crowds. Funny thing for a guy that’s played in front of a crowd of 100,000 before. People always say imagine them naked, but that never worked for me (especially since at European festivals half of them were anyway). I always looked out at the crowd right before the show started, looked at my guitar tech who said “let’s do this,” and never looked back. I had a tendency to fix my gaze right above everyone’s head. Occasionally, as the comfort level settled in during the show, I would seek out the person having the most fun and watch them enjoy the show. That for me was the best feeling in the world. The feedback is what made me love singling someone out like that. When a crowd was stiff, I had to create that excitement in my head and think back to other shows.

      When in doubt, think back to your a blog post you loved and how you felt when someone commented on it. Now write with that commenter in mind – speak to them and others will listen and hear you speaking to them.

    • Matt Stigliano

      April 7, 2010 at 3:03 pm

      PS Also remember that a billion people might read that post, but they’re scared to put their comments down for the same reasons – they’re as afraid of the crowd as you are. Make them comfortable along with yourself.

  4. Patrick

    April 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Always stirring stuff Matt…great post!

  5. Matt Stigliano

    April 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    Patrick – Thanks. I wrote it just for you.

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