365 – As in the number of days that have passed since Kris started this little venture called The San Diego Home Blog. For the short period this will be the coveted Top Post spot (Kris being Kris), I want to share my thoughts on this semi-milestone.
Thought #1:In the beginning when Kris said “We need to create a blog”, I asked, “What the hell is a blog and what will it cost? Unless it generates business, it’s a waste of time”. This from the techno-tard who initially challenged the value of e-mails – “Why would anyone use e-mail when they can just pick up the phone?”. Okay, I now have more than a clue. I am semi-enlightened.
Thought #2: It’s Revolutionary!! The most amazing and mind-boggling exchange of information since, well, the Internet itself. Talk about connectivity, and it’s still in its infancy. But if you’re not yet here, it will be tough to catch up.
Thought #3: Who is our audience? Our local community, Scripps Ranch? Our overall market, north San Diego County? The world?? It turns out that it’s all of the above.
Kris had the vision and, as is her predisposition, ran with it, notwithstanding my reticence. Our life, split almost entirely between work and the kids, does not allow a lot of time for networking or socializing. This is not good. Most successful veteran real estate agents have spent much of their career networking in the community. In Scripps Ranch, it’s coaching the soccer or softball team, the Old Pro’s, Bunko groups, Indian Princesses (I don’t know how I missed this one), the Womens Club, the Hearts Club, the Business Networking Group, etc. At this, we fail miserably. We don’t have time nor do we have the inclination. It’s not that we’re anti-social but that our priorities are focusing on representing our clients and driving our kids to their volleyball practices and tournaments, or whatever.
So, when Kris discovered the SDHB last April 11, we had no idea how it would actually serve (somewhat) as a substitute. It has become (sort of) an efficient and much more cerebral form of (on-line) networking and socializing.
After some 200 posts, mostly from my resident Daniel Webster, and more than 1,000 comments from people all over the country, Kris actually established a great real estate blog, probably the best in San Diego. But, as I’ve learned, it’s all about the interaction and with whom the interaction takes place. And HOW you are interacting with them – Trackbacks, Linkation, Podcasting. All new terms to me. Thankfully, Kris speaks the language.
But most of all, it’s the people. Which brings us to…
Thought #4: Why are we doing this? Is it to generate business or to provide a genuine service to those seeking insights from professionals?
The answer, truthfully, is both, and neither. What we didn’t realize when we started was the huge number of very bright, very articulate people around the country who not only appreciated the well written thought, but were willing to engage us and challenge us in the form of their comments. It was the beginning of a forum of dialogue and learning – on steroids. And, it is fun.
Thought #5: It always comes back to the people, in this case, the real estate blogging community. In order to excel at what you do, you have to live it, and this was the place to be in today’s Internet terms.
Early on, there was “Nelson” (if that’s really his name), our friend/client living the good life in the hinterlands of San Diego (Ramona), always the hilarious and insightful one who has brought much laughter to the forum.
Then, there was Dr. Jack Tong challenging the very basis of our free enterprise system (and, to the best of our knowledge, still renting).
I can’t forget the Blue Collar Agents Blog, taking me to task for my insensitve post about the Bubbleheads (I copped a major plea on that one).
There are many more, clients and friends – Shannon in Indianapolis (please come home!), Rich and Lynn in Bradenton, Florida and Rick and Shirley from Mt. Vernon Washington (who are trying to come home), Kendra (a past client who is also a real estate junkie, and by all accounts, should get her license), and Rebecca (who trolls but does not comment), to name a few.
There are the critics like “Rich Homebuyer” whose comments make little sense but are generally too innocent to “moderate”. And there are the ego people, like Teresa Boardman, the (self) proclaimed Real Estate Blogging Goddess from St. Paul, who registered a “Mean Girls” type comment in response to a rare, self-congratulatory post by Kris on having been featured by the Inman News. Kris simply did not want to dignify her nasty little comment with a response. I, on the other hand, am free to remind Teresa that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. This, in part, inspired Kris’ High School Musical post on the Bloodhound Blog.
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority are the very good and very smart people like Greg Swann from the Bloodhound Blog, who has been like a mentor to Kris and whose posts usually leave me wondering, “What the hell did he just say?”, The Bawld Guy (Jeff Brown) who brings 30 years of investment experience to the table, Dustin from the Rain City Guide, Jay (The Phoenix Real Estate Guy), Brian Brady, Phil Hoover, Athol (Sock Puppet) and many other very bright people willing to share their diverse experiences and insights. We have learned more from this medium than we could have from fifty seminars, and we learn more each and every day. Like I said, if you want to excel, you have to live it. We are.
Even the big boys from Zillow and Redfinhave initiated visits with Kris and the SDHB, knowing its growing audience and wanting the PR that goes with being mentioned here. Kris does not shy away from a competing business model. She embraces it, analyzes it and then tears it apart with her words. That is the value of a blog. Ultimately, the consumer will read, and even contribute to the debate. The result is an empowered decision. Knowledge, after all, is power.
So, after pulling me kicking and screaming into the 21st century, I must congratulate you, Kris. You have created a great Blog. Now, please get to work on the book! Tomorrow starts Day 1.