[photopress:Fran_photo2_Ed_Carreon.jpg,thumb,alignright]It is very appropriate that the first person who agreed to an interview was Fran of The Real Estate Blog. As I described in this post, The Real Estate Blog has been a major influence in the development Rain City Guide.
As a real estate agent, Fran will forever be linked with her teammate, Rowena. (I even find it hard to say “Fran” without saying “and Rowena”). They are one of the most successful real estate teams in Southern California, host a radio show , create some great caricatures, and write for one of the longest running real estate blog…
What inspired you to start blogging?
We started blogging (actually, it’s I … the Fran half … I do all the blogging) because it was the “new” thing on the internet back in 2003. I thought I’d give it a try!
Are there any special topics or issues that you enjoy covering?
Personally, I enjoy bringing back real estate-related stories from my travels. Real estate is a very popular topic anywhere you go.
What have you done to personalize your blog?
I’m not sure about this question. I know some people take their blog in a personal direction … that is, their blog is a reflection of their real estate business in that they use the blog to promote their business (perhaps put their listings on the blog, or post the latest information about themselves) but that’s not the focus of our blog. I’ve intentionally channeled our blog to be informational in a general sense, with what I hope is real estate-related snippets of info, usually with links to the bigger-picture online article.
If people want to learn more about US, there is a link from our blog to a short bio page.
Do you have any favorite posts?
One from my travels to North Carolina (July 13, 2005). . I thought that was interesting.
What are some of your favorite blogs (real estate or otherwise)?
Actually, I don’t read blogs. I do not read other real estate blogs because I don’t want them to influence what I post on my blog.
What tools/websites do you find most helpful in putting together your blog?
I watch for online information about real estate, either through the MSN homepage, or from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Also, trade magazines, again from CAR and NAR. Plus, knowing that I have to blog (posting every-other-day), I keep my eyes and ears open for interesting information in the course of doing business.
How does blogging fit into the overall marketing of your business?
We do not use the blog to market our business. It’s a separate venture. Our main website, www.franandrowena.com, is about our real estate business. Our blog is about real estate information in a general sense. Through www.franandrowena.com, however, there is a link to our blog. Hopefully people will be curious enough to visit our blog from there. Truly, it’s my opinion that the general public does not know what a blog is.
As far as marketing our business, I believe the “link” to our business is in terms of credibility. People who find our blog realize we are active, working realtors who try to keep on top of the latest information and share that information.
What plans do you have to improve your blog over this next year?
Good question! I’d like to bring a more personal touch to our blog, rather than just quote/reference information from other sources. More personal entries, insights and my opinions, for example.
What is the one tool or feature that you wish your site had?
I’ve got to figure out that trackback feature (a direct link to each entry).
What do you think real estate blogging will look like 3 years from now?
Probably old news … people will be on to podcasting, or something new technology.
Update:Read more interviews with some of real estate’s top bloggers under the Real Estate Q&A category