An Aside for a Birthday …


Yes, I completed another trip around the sun earlier this month and started a new one, but that’s not what I’m talking about at the moment.

Technically speaking, this here blogging adventure started in January 2006 when I started a blog back on the RealTown website. I beg of you, just skip the archives until you get into July. That was the point when I finally figured out (or had someone tell me) why the hell I should have a blog in the first place and the content became, if not good, at least somewhat palatable.

We began on this site in January 2007 but, for all intents and purposes, July remains our birth month though I can’t really pinpoint a day. The month will suffice, I think.

So much has changed and so little has changed over the past seven years. Many of us came to the real estate blogging space as renegades, outliers, the kind of people who knew there was a better way not only of doing what we do but explaining how we do what we do.

There were no social media gurus. Hell, there was no Twitter yet and Facebook was limited to some campuses.

It was us, here among the tumbleweeds, trying to outwit and outwrite each other, pushing envelopes and looking for ways to pull back the curtain on the ins and outs of the real estate profession.

Those days, like the mom and pop stores that used to stand alone in a community, are long gone, paved over by the Zillows and Trulias and a series of homogenized real estate websites where all the agents spew the same pablum as everybody else.

Somehow, somewhere, the online space became an urban wasteland, pockmarked by virtual billboards, indistinguishable big box stores and little uniqueness to be found.

Not three days ago I found myself in another debate about why Tobey is in my marketing picture, the same debate I’ve had over and again through the years. It’s silly. If someone wants to debate the obvious – that all our marketing pictures are stupid – I’m right there with you. But they work. And the dog works. And if some other agent doesn’t like it, I could give two shits less these days.

There are no new topics anymore. There haven’t been for years. Big giant heads try and create new issues – one such was the notion that sellers shouldn’t set a listing price, leaving it for the buyers to decide the market – but they are, by and large, forced. Disingenuous. Stupid.

Truth be told, I ran out of ideas about two years back. And these days, with the odometer reading 44, simple words (like pablum) aren’t coming to me as quickly as they once did either.

Greg Swann, another one of the originals, and I have agreed on next to nothing through the years (in fact, it’s only recently we’ve come to a grudging civility). But he does have a point here …

Unwired Realtors are enjoying their retirements while we are doing business without a fax line or even a land line.

That must of them got to that retirement by selling their souls to the banks a few years back, becoming order takers and entry clerks instead of real estate agents, is more or less besides the point. I guess.

Cheryl Johnson echoes my own feelings these days …

The journey from the frontier days until today has not been an easy one for many folks.

Like most, I have fought the battles, and I am still standing, but I am now too weary to write the story …

Brian Brady hit closer to the mark in the comments …

Today, the online real estate space looks like Southern California; one big master-planned, perfectly manicured subdivision. It’s bland. It’s boring. It feels confining. Yet it still works.

And that’s why I’m still here slugging through the constant writers’ block, trying to convince myself that experience and knowledge still matter in an online real estate world where consumers believe the lies they see on Zillow.

There were times when I could have gotten more opinions on the double-edged sword that is real estate blog longevity, but most of the people who were there at the beginning are long since gone. Some have passed. Some have simply surrendered and gone to work for the man. And many who came along in the second wave burned out faster than a sparkler on Independence Day.

Truth be told, I feel like that octogenarian we all know who checks the obituaries every day to see who still is around.

It’s because I’m still around that I’m still around, if that makes sense. The easy route would be to spike this blog once and for all and move along. That actually might be the smart route as well.

Fortunately for all of my three readers, I’m not as bright as I was seven years ago either.

Photo credit: Sebastien Wiertz via FlickrCreativeCommons

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at