Earlier this week, Teresa Boardman on her St. Paul Real Estate blog said she was looking for 10 good men. Inspired by sellsius’ earlier article naming the top women bloggers, Teresa set out in search of the top male bloggers. Among her requirements was a strong local focus – a fact emphasized in a comment she made urging one such blogger to avoid “the dark side” of real estate blogging and focus on industry or national issues.
It was the dark side comment that got me thinking, once again, about this blog … well, in my case both this blog and my original. Should I focus more specifically on the Phoenix real estate market or should I continue to write about a mix of local and national issues.
Personally I don’t believe there is any one answer. I view my blog as an open conversation with my readers and an opportunity for education in both directions. While I’d like to think I’m well versed on a number of real estate topics, I don’t proclaim to know all about all.
At the same time, this blog will need to become a continuing source of business to justify the time spent here versus other traditional farming methods. Writing about the silliness of the bubble blogs or the latest in an endless supply of Internet home searches is all well and good, but those posts alone aren’t going to pay for Tobey’s T-bones, not to mention my wife’s trips to Sephora once the Arrowhead store opens this spring.
For that to occur, I need to establish my credibility and my authority in the real-estate realm. While much of the public unfortunately views real estate agents as interchangeable (my cousin just got their license and is gonna sell my house for less!) with little regard for the service provide or knowledge imparted, knowing how to react in different situations is not a luxury but a necessity.
My best writing comes on the topics I am most interested and most passionate about. No question, in a metropolitan area as large as Phoenix, there always is something that can be discussed. Some of it interests me greatly. Some of it interests me far less. The same can be said for the wide range of real estate industry topics. I’m passionate about some and less passionate about others. The former receive the most coverage.
At the end of the day, I’m writing for myself first and foremost. But I also am writing for those with similar interests and similar passions. I don’t believe the general public is uninterested in national or industry issues, at least not everyone. I believe in many cases, knowing what’s happening elsewhere can give hints as to what will happen here. And I also believe knowing what’s happening in real estate can help buyers and sellers see who can best suit their needs as they pursue their real-estate goals.
During last week’s local blogging roundtable discussion, I mentioned Tobey. It should not be a surprise – I always mention Tobey. In this case, I was discussing Tobey’s merits as the core of my marketing campaign.
It may be possible someone doesn’t like the beagle. It may be possible they would prefer to see an agent in a suit. It may be possible they wish I were holding one of our cats in place of the dog. All of those may be possible. But at the end of the day they’re more or less irrelevant.
Those interested in how knowledgeable their agent truly is easily can make that type of determination by reading their blog (assuming the agent has evolved technologically to the point of having a blog.) For the rest, those vast masses unsure of where to turn and of whom to trust, real estate becomes a glorified popularity concept. I’ve heard this name, let’s spin the wheel and hope for evens.
For those folks, the beagle will serve as the great colander. Those who pass through have found sufficient mutual interests to investigate further. Those who don’t … I most likely would have been a poor match in the first place.
The same can be said for any real estate blog. Perhaps it should be all local or all industry and maybe the readerships for each are compartmentalized and never intersect. But if they do, as I believe they do, I know I’ll be waiting at that intersection, beagle in tow.