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Who in the heck is Larry and why are you paying commenters

Welcome to 2010 and the aftermath of the blog explosion. It doesn’t surprise me in the least that snake oil salesmen are selling SEO for real estate, blogging for real estate professionals, and copywriters’ copy. I guess what does surprise me is how much money real estate practitioners seem to blow on hiring people to comment ridiculous comments for them.

You can always tell when there’s been a blogging seminar in middle America, because suddenly, the bad advice makes its way into the AgentGenius community, namely in the form of non-English speakers commenting in place of a lazy agent on the hunt for dofollow comment links. I’ve batted down 10 this week alone compared to last week, and the week before had a total of zero. It comes in waves of stupidity, but it has been worse lately.

Leave it to real estate pros to buy ridiculous SEO packages only to be flushed down the spam toilet.  What gives? Seriously, at least hire an assistant to do it. Someone that can actually address the topic at hand, call the writer by name, or even engage the other commenters. Rather, what we get is someone from a foreign country attempting to talk about local real estate in Boise, Idaho yet it comes out as Boise, California and how enriching the Boise, California article was for them, yet they link back to some Texas real estate brokerage. Broken English, misspelled words, poorly tailored comments are worth your money? If so, just mail us the check and we’ll flush it for you. This will save us all a lot of time.

Wake up, do it yourself, or don’t do it at all, because the editors’ temptation is to approve the comment and allow your brokerage to look illiterate and foolish.

We’ll apply your next comment for Larry as soon as we find him…

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Mark Brian

    July 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    While the agent may think that hiring someone to make comments will help them, I think it actually does more harm than good. Today’s consumer is going to search online in every way, from forum or blog comments to your Facebook and twitter account.

    An unintelligent reply may cause a potential client to wonder about the agent’s skill. Or if they understand that the comment was just for SEO purposes, they may wonder about what other tasks does the agent delegate to someone with a less expertise than the buyer or seller would expect.

    • Benn Rosales

      July 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      I’ve always thought a great listing agent would ask this sort thing from team members and buyer’s agents. If you think about it, it’s symbiotic, good for the agent, good for the listing agent, and overall great for the team so long as (right or wrong in opinion) it’s an intelligent comment. You’re spot on in your analysis.

  2. Fred Romano

    July 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    So then, who is Larry?

  3. C.

    July 14, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Is this post deliberately sprinkled with grammatical errors as some kind of ironic meta-commentary on spambots, or is it just pure sloppiness?

    • Benn Rosales

      July 15, 2010 at 11:02 am

      C is it? heh Thanks for pointing it out, a previous draft was inadvertently published- it happens. Thanks again.

  4. Janie Coffey

    July 14, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Wow, I had no idea this was going on. Dumb me I guess. If people can come up to charge fees for anything, they will.

  5. Lisa Heindel

    July 14, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    I’m with Janie…I had no idea that there are people selling their services to comment for RE agents. Really? I’d love to be a fly on the wall during that sales pitch. “Don’t waste your time engaging with people…”

  6. Jonathan Benya

    July 14, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    It makes perfect sense. I’m busy, and want to build web presence, but don’t have time to comment on dozens of blogs. If I pay someone to comment on another site that is out of my market, I don’t care who clicks on the link because the odds of it being a potential client for me are slim to none. What I DO get out of it is a tasty little one way link and greater visibility in the search engines. Isn’t this what akismet has been trying to keep out of my blog for years?

    • Ashley Drake Gephart

      July 15, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Jonathan – what good does it do to pay someone to leave comments when the savvier agents are going to delete them anyway? The ones with sites with page rank high enough to matter for those links you are building?

  7. HowardArnoff

    July 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    And PT Barnum supposedly said there was a sucker born every minute but who would have thought most would grow up to be real estate agents and buy stupid stuff like paid blog comments. Benn, thanks, I always wondered about those people who just started thinking about … Charleston real estate and are so glad to be able to write nothing relevant … delete.

  8. Dan Connolly

    July 14, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Or you could just flip the no follow switch! Oh wait you already did that!

    • Benn Rosales

      July 14, 2010 at 9:58 pm

      Fortunately, that isn’t true. All you have to do is register and log in and be logged in during comment. Dofollow. 🙂

      • Dan Connolly

        July 14, 2010 at 11:10 pm

        Hmmm are you sure? I am registered and logged in and I see pink links!

        • Benn Rosales

          July 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

          We’ll look into it today, it’s a conflict from wp3.0, we’re still bug killing.

          • Fred Romano

            July 15, 2010 at 4:28 pm

            Who r u pointing at! LOL Finally moved up to 3.0 huh…

  9. Mike Harrison

    July 27, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    With great Word Press plugins like Akismet. Their email address and website will get auto spammed pretty fast. Then when they actually decide hey I shouldn’t have paid “Larry” cause I not getting results. I wish them all luck to them getting out of a big mess! Lazy Lazy agents. 🙂

  10. Nadina Cole-Potter

    August 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    I have said for many years after being continually pitched the latest new thing, process, “exclusive referral source”, software, hardware, web site, etc. that I supposedly just couldn’t do business without, that the only people getting rich from real estate are the companies that sell products and services to newbie real estate agents.

    I didn’t and don’t buy most pre-fab marketing materials because the writing is execrable (and now they are outsourcing it offshore to incompetent non-native speakers? Must be the same ones who write property descriptions for the Los Angeles MLS posted elsewhere on this blog) and/or irrelevant.

    Fortunately, there is much less “stuff” for commercial agents to buy and what there is tends to be pretty expensive so it really must pass my buying and budget tests. But then I am still happily using my Treo 600 and refuse to text (I remember when text was a noun) or answer my phone while driving, and I am still using my desktop AgentOffice Database (1800 entries and counting) and relational Calendar CMS originally purchased in 2004 (it syncs with the Treo). I am computer-buff, not a troglodyte, just not easily seduced by the newest, best thing Not!

  11. Nadina Cole-Potter

    August 3, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I meant “non-native English speakers.”

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