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Entries Tagged as 'Real estate blogging'

If Iowa Hog Farmers Can Be Paid to NOT Raise Hogs, Can I Be Paid to NOT Blog?

March 25th, 2007 · 11 Comments

Maybe I should submit this one to the Carnival of Brilliant Business Ideas? Maybe I should go on late night TV and try to sell this idea?

There are many reasons for people in real estate to be blogging. Premier among these are the essence of blogging itself: enjoying the process of writing, creating connections, meeting new people, educating yourself, honing your wit and writing style.

But, at the end of the day, very few of us blog for charity. Real estate is a business, this is how we make our living, and so a constant refrain is, “Where’s the money?”

Well, I think I’ve found what we’ve all been looking for: the ultimately scalable, easy to start, even easier to manage real estate blogging money-making idea.

Through sheer grit, lots of writing, a good number of incoming links, and a bit of luck, Google now considers my blog if not famous, then at least respectable, to the point where if I mention a non-celebrity’s name — say, a local real estate agent — within 48 hours my blog rises to the top 10 when you search for that agent’s name.

Realtors are nothing if not publicity-hungry. (If you doubt that, open your local paper’s Sunday real estate supplement. Have you ever seen so many happy faces smiling out at you?) One of the reasons most agents have a web site (typically branded with their name) is so that prospective clients can find out more about them.

So what happens when three of the top ten Google spots about John Q. Agent come not from John Q. Agents’ web site, but from my blog? Assuming John Q. Agent finds out about it — which, to be honest, is unlikely — he ain’t gonna be that happy. At the same time, since I’m writing a real estate blog and enjoy first amendment privileges as much as the next guy, it’s perfectly within my rights to write about John Q. Agent — as long as I don’t slander him.

So, here’s the deal: Pay me $50/month, and I won’t blog about you. Then the top 10 spaces on Google for your name will be your web site, and the local newspaper which has your listings in it, and the interview from four years ago that describes what a charitable person you are. My blog? Nowhere to be found.

Here’s the genius of this idea: Writing about lots of people takes time. Not writing about lots of people takes absolutely no time! In fact, I could become so good at not writing, that I could end up not writing about thousands and thousands of people!

Any takers?

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Tags: Blogging · Industry · Real estate · Real estate blogging

Fun with Google map mashups: Introducing the world’s first real estate blogmap (possibly)

January 6th, 2007 · No Comments

If you search for something on Google and you don’t find it, does that mean it doesn’t currently exist? If so, this may indeed by the world’s first real estate blogmap. And if it’s not, well, heck, it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

Click on the markers in this map to see recent neighborhood posts…

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Tags: Blogmap · Real estate · Real estate blogging

Redfin’s citizen bloggers are doing a great job in Seattle — can’t wait to see what they have to say about Bay Area real estate!

December 28th, 2006 · 4 Comments

Lest I be accused of being a Redfin-basher, I have to say their “citizen bloggers” are doing a bang-up job.  Several times a day their “Sweet Diggs” posts appear on my blog reader, and they’re always a pleasure to read, and are sometimes downright entertaining.  “Real estate listings” and “good writing” are uncommon bedfellows as we’re usually subjected to linguistically challenged gems like, “Grt valu! LotsOfLight! Recent remmodel. Firplace.”

Check out this description by blogger Anna McCain of a home on Bainbridge island:

Could the Seabreeze be my very favorite new project on the Bainbridge condo scene? Would this have anything to do with the impending arrival of Bon Bon–a chocolate shop slated to open here between Christmas and New Year’s–alongside what will reportedly be a tea house? Chocolate and tea? On Bainbridge? I say yes to that.

I couldn’t purchase a condo here personally or I’d end up sitting in bed surrounded by mutilated glossy chocolate boxes, like someone out of Stuart Saves his Family.

I understand a squad of Redfin citizen bloggers are about to be dispatched in the Bay Area, and I’m looking forward to reading their descriptions of listings here too.

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Tags: Real estate · Real estate blogging · Redfin

3oceans meets 360digest

December 8th, 2006 · 3 Comments

kevin-and-marlow.jpgEn route to Microsoft for a lunch with some friends of mine, I had coffee earlier today with none other than Marlow Harris, one of the Grand Dames of real estate blogging. If your ears were ringing, it’s probably because we were talking about you!

Marlow is a class act, a fount of real estate experience, smarts, and ideas, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting her. We talked about…you guessed it — our families, our hobbies, our friends, and maybe a snippet or two about the business of real estate, about other real estate bloggers, and about Zillow and Redfin.

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Tags: Marlow Harris · Real estate · Real estate blogging

Another great Redfin idea…about to collide with the reality of the real estate business

December 1st, 2006 · 12 Comments

This by way of Joel Burslem from the Future of Real Estate Marketing

redfin.gif detective.jpg

Redfin is on the prowl for a cadre of real-estate-obsessed bloggers to tour neighborhood open houses, take pictures, and write up brief reports.  The objective –  “to create an insanely addictive blog about everything that moves in Seattle real estate.”

In the comments on Joel’s post, Greg Swann wonders if this is a conspiracy to avoid procuring cause dilemmas.  Personally?  I think it’s an excellent marketing idea, with no ulterior motive, and I certainly wish them the best…but, befitting Redfin, they may not have thought through this all the way.

First, many Realtor associations have bans on advertising other people’s listings without permission.  It’s a sensible rule, designed to prevent Agent A from taking out full page ads advertising Agent B’s listings.  Redfin already regularly talks about non-Redfin listings on its blog, and seems to have gotten away with it so far, possibly because the compliance folks at the realtor associations haven’t stumbled across them yet.  Is “talking about” somebody else’s listing the same as “advertising it without permission?”  Hard to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody tries to make a case out of it.

Secondly, if some random person comes in off the street on a weekend afternoon into an open house and starts taking pictures, most agents would put a stop to it pretty quickly on grounds of security and privacy.  Again, that’s probably quite reasonable — the pictures in the MLS are meant to give a good feel for the home, and some random person  taking pictures of it simply can’t make the listing agent or owner comfortable.

Finally, if any of the blog reviews are even remotely critical of a home, and the listing agent (or home owner) comes upon it…things could get dicey.  There’s First Amendment free speech and all that, but there’s gotta be MLS laws in most areas preventing Redfin from publicly panning somebody else’s listing.

That’s the thing about Redfin — they have some fantastic consumer-friendly ideas, but they don’t always seem to understand what the opinion of the industry will be.  Hats off, though, since pushing the envelope is the only way this business will make any changes.
Click on the image below for a copy of the Craigslist ad:


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Tags: Real estate · Real estate blogging · Redfin

Voting, erudition, Bloggers Anonymous, and other random election-day stuff

November 7th, 2006 · 2 Comments


Having lived in some decidedly non-democratic (lower-case “d”) places, and having lived in other places where I was not a citizen, I’m always happy — and proud — to do my civic duty by voting. Nonetheless … Thank Goodness It’s Over.

Not only are we — finally! — done with all those negative campaign ads, but I’ve also just freed up 3 hours of my evening, time which I spent last night studying the 17 (!) state and local ballot initiatives and the positions of the candidates for ~20 elected offices. It was an arduous task made more difficult by the fact that Cameron Swann lives in Arizona, not California, so I could not rely on his voting guide. (As a side note, erudition and Libertarianism both seem to run in the Swann family genes!)

Following my civic duty, I drove up to San Francisco to join Pat Kitano and Mike Simonsen for the inaugural West Coast meeting of Real Estate Bloggers Anonymous. Our addictions have proven lucrative, however, since our blogs apparently have a combined market value of $53,066.76. I wonder if that will be enough to cover the rehab?


is worth $11,855.34.


is worth $14,678.04.

Altos Research

is worth $26,533.38.

If that’s not enough money, maybe we can hit up Greg Swann for a loan — his blog clocks in at over $110,000! (And it probably just went up by $20 because of this post.)

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Tags: Bloggers Anonymous · Real estate · Real estate blogging