Interview with Joel Burslem of the Future of Real Estate Marketing

[photopress:joel_crop.jpg,full,alignright]When I first started reading Joel’s blog last Spring, it was like reading the type of posts I wish I was writing… He was covering a huge swath of the real estate technology field every day and making me look lazy! Needless to say, I always enjoy his writing and I consider him to be today’s gatekeeper of real estate technology news.

In terms of real estate technology, if it doesn’t go through the Future of Real Estate Marketing, it probably doesn’t matter.

What inspired you to start blogging?

I’ve always enjoyed writing as a way for me to help get my thoughts together on a particular subject and I’ve had a personal blog in one shape or another for about four years now. My first blog in fact was simply a way for my wife and I to keep our friends and family informed of our travels throughout Asia.

I have worked in different marketing roles over the years, in several different industries, but real estate was a new challenge for me. I quickly realized I had a lot to get up to speed with and started doing a lot of research online, which meant stumbling across and reading some of the existing real estate blogs, including RCG.

Naturally, after a while, I felt compelled to jot down a lot of what I was thinking about and so The Future of Real Estate Marketing was born.

Are there any special topics or issues that you enjoy covering?

I find it fascinating reading about and reporting on how the Internet, social media and technology are changing the real estate business. I’ve always tried to steer clear of market analysis or commenting some of the more pressing structural changes facing the industry. I prefer to leave that to the experts.

What have you done to personalize your blog?

I’ve always tried to have my own voice be heard through my writing. That’s by far the most personal side of blogging for me. Also, I’m fairly selfish on the things I write on; I tend to focus only things that interest me. But because I come from the high tech/consumer marketing world, and not strictly a real estate background, I think that I bring a fairly unique perspective.

From a technical standpoint, I use WordPress 2.0 with a heavily modified Qwilm theme. I did all of the design myself. I don’t consider myself a web design guru, but I can muddle my way through HTML, PHP and CSS. I love WordPress’ extendibility and am constantly installing and playing with new plugins. You can expect to see the sidebars on my site change fairly frequently.

Do you have any favorite posts?

Not any in particular. But I do like to think really big picture at times. Those are the posts that I really enjoy sitting down and hammering out.

What are some of your favorite blogs (real estate or otherwise)?

RCG of course. I’m not just pandering to the host either. Dustin was definitely a driving force in getting me to put my thoughts out there. His encouragement early on was what helped me stick with it too.

I love the Bloodhound, Greg’s prose constantly amazes me, even if it takes me a couple of times to read it and understand it. The guys at Sellsius do an amazing job of pounding out useful posts day in, day out. I’m especially excited about some of the newer voices on the scene; Mary at RSS Pieces and Pat at TransparentRE in particular.

Some others in my newsreader:

Required Daily Reading

Guilty Pleasures

What tools/websites do you find most helpful in putting together your blog?

I swear by Firefox and its extensions. I collect links and interesting articles with Del.icio.us and compose my blog posts with the Performancing plugin. I usually have several tabs open at the same time and I never have to leave my browser.

How does blogging fit into the overall marketing of your business?

I never saw blogging as a way to improve my business when I first started. I just started writing. It’s grown to a point over the last little while where it can support itself financially (advertising revenue covers my hosting costs now) and it’s definitely helped raise my own profile in the industry I guess, but I think I’d still keep writing even if no one was reading it.

What plans do you have to improve your blog over this next year?

Maybe another redesign? Who knows… I’ve always more or less done things on a whim with FoREM. I love the challenge of pulling something down and recreating it in an entirely new form. I’m not happy unless I’m constantly innovating. That’s led to a lot of sleepless nights.

What do you think real estate blogging will look like 3 years from now?

Honestly I think there’s going to be a shakeout. People are dipping there toes in right now and I expect over the next 6-12 months we’ll see a big rush of Realtors trying out blogging. But I’m guessing most will quickly tire of it. Those who are still at it in 3 years time will be the ones who persevere and stick it out.

I also hope we’ll see a lot more netcasts/vlogs – right now there’s a real lack of decent real estate-related content outside of the written word.

Thank you Joel!

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About Dustin Luther

As the Director of Engagement at Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp, Dustin heads up both the event and the social media teams. In addition to managing Rain City Guide, he also manages Credibility Insights and plays hard on his personal blog.

You can find me on Twitter (@tyr), Facebook (dluther) and Google+ (+Dustin Luther).

Comments

  1. Wow. My head looks huge.

  2. Don’t let it go to your… head.

  3. Maybe they stretched the photo to make you look larger than life for marketing purposes.

  4. Except I grabbed it off of Flickr, so his agent wasn’t involved!

    (I did get Joel’s okay to run with the photo before publishing, but I don’t think he expected it to look so big! :)

    Should I make the photo smaller?

  5. I always shorten up Glenn’s face for him :)

  6. Dustin, put some George Clooney stubble on his face. Joel, I heart your blog. Last fall when I need a source for real estate tech cutting edge issues, your blog was enormously helpful.

  7. Joel,

    Your head is way over my head :)

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