7 Ways to Make an Impact

Getting people to visit your website and read your blog post is interesting, but the most successful bloggers I see seem to get a kick out of having an impact on the industry. With that in mind, I came up with seven ways to make an impact by blogging:

1. Be more consumer-focused: No one loves an argument about buyer agency more than Ardell DellaLoggia (Here’s her first post on RCG a year-and-half ago to give you some perspective). While she may appear to loose an argument with real estate insiders from time-to-time, she always comes out ahead with consumer by arguing for what she consistently believes is their best interest.

2. Be more principled: Whether it be refusing to accept Brad Inman’s gifts or going out of his way to disclose meager earnings from his site, Greg Swann insists on taking the high ground. Add a prolific personality and the ability to say the right words at the right time, and Greg has clearly earned his reputation as a leader in the RE.net.

3. Be more consistent: Whether your interest is real estate blogs or the architecture of doors; Whether you are Beattles’ person or a Dylan person; Whether you like Odd & Crazy or Odd & Ends, Hanan Levin has been searching out the edges of the internet to return with blogging gold. Despite threats to quit and/or move to New Zealand, he continues to delight with multiple updates every day.

4. Be more fun: Is there a business plan behind traveling the country and playing with photoshop? Who cares. The Sellsius boys have shown us all how to make a huge impact by simply having more fun that the rest of us!

5. Be more credible: Whether taking on short sales, professional status, or subprime lending, Jillayne Schlicke always finds a way to offer the voice of reason by providing an interesting perspective filled with interesting solutions

6. Be more unexpected: With stories ranging from the real estate happenings of Sanjaya, little towns in Austria with unusual names, and hard-hitting coverage of Redfin, one can never know what you’ll get when you land on a post by Marlow Harris… except that it will be interesting and probably provocative.

7. Be more up-to-date: No one else follows the online real estate industry better than Joel Burslem of the Future of Real Estate Marketing. Whether he is analyzing the new guys like Terabitz or the old guys like Zillow, he never misses and interesting story and consistently does a top-notch job putting developments in perspective.


If you’ve made it this far, then I might as well tell you the genesis of this article…

After my presentation a few weeks ago in Austin, TX, the folks at KW asked if I’d like to submit an article on blogging for the next issue of the KW newsletter. Rather than succumb to the usual “5 reasons you should blog” type article, I thought I’d try to be a bit more interesting and profile some of the bloggers that have made the largest impact on me.

I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to deal with the links (which obviously don’t translate well to a written article). I think I’ll just add one link for each individual back to their blog, and include some text that says the article is best viewed “blog” format on Rain City Guide with a link back to this article. If someone has a better solution on how to deal with lots of links within a printed article, I’m definitely open to suggestions…

As always, I’d love to get your feedback. Should I re-phrase things? Should I include another blogger who has made a strong impact on you?

And, no surprise, I put off writing this article until almost the last minute (the article is due by the end of the month!), so if you have some suggestions, you’ll need to make them soon in order to get into print! 🙂

Rain City Guide Year In Review

The most popular articles on RCG from this past year as measured in total hits:

(I encourage all RCG contributors to do something similar):

  • 10 Great Conversations. This was the first of my “list” posts and was a lot of fun to put together…
  • The Best Online Real Estate Marketing Time Can Buy. Getting people to return to your site day in and day out is simple (but not easy)… Be interesting!
  • Improving Online Home Valuations? I like this article mainly because it jump-started a bunch of internal discussions at Move about real estate blogging.
  • Plus How to Link. I include this one because I’m often shocked at how many real estate agents think they can blog without linking…
  • Paying for the Privilege of Marginalization. I don’t think the real estate community at large has really come to grips with what it means to take part in some of these online classified sites and the tech-savvy agents seem to have given into their fatalistic instincts in terms of their industry as a whole. Fascinating stuff that borders on the “can’t tread there anymore” territory for me… 🙂

And finally, I found it particularly fun to read the slew of interviews I did at the beginning of last year. Lots of stuff has changed in a year in real estate blogging, but not as much as you might think!

Blog Articles on Zillow's New Upgrade

While Zillow is choking over there on the side trying to digest my listing info, here are some links to everyone I can find who is talking about tonight’s big news on Zillow.com

I threw in a couple of recent articles, posted just before tonight’s big news, that I found to be of interest. I will come back later and keep editing this post to include all articles posted until everyone is talked out.

10 Great Conversations

Just for fun, I started recording notes on real estate conversations I enjoy following and I decided that when the list hit ten, I’d hit publish:

  1. David Smith has a great (no wining allowed) article about the housing bubble. I only wish David interacted with the real estate blogging community a little more because his stuff is great but easily missed…
  2. Continuing on the bubble topic, Dan Melson puts on a great effort describing why renting really is for suckers (and what yo do about it). For me, this is a great example of why real estate professionals should not write about the bubble (David Smith being the exception! 🙂 ) It reminds me of the “fool“ish investment advice so popular in 1999/2000 that said it didn’t matter what price you bought a stock at as long as the company was good, you would make money in the long-term. Here’s my problem with this argument… If rents are cheaper than the interest payment (i.e. both of these being the completely sunk costs) and home prices go down slightly in the near future (which doesn’t seem inconceivable for selected markets in the country), then no amount of number juggling will replace the fact that if a potential home owner would be best served waiting to buy until the prices bottom out. I realize there are more than a few “ifs” in my statement, but my goal is not to say that it is a bad time to buy, only that a blanket statement “it is always a good time to buy” falls on deaf ears.
  3. On a related note, it is timely that the NYTs notes that rents are rapidly rising across most of the US (with Seattle being a highlighted area!).
  4. Greg shows off his custom signs. I think these are brilliant marketing moves and every agent should look for ways to market themselves through their listings. Beautiful stuff…
  5. And talking of beautiful ideas, Claudia Wicks mentions a very simple marketing idea ($1.50 simple) that could go a long way… There’s a beauty in simplicity (and it reminds me of an idea that Anna and I were batting around a while back…)
  6. And if you really want beauty, Fraser Beach takes staging to a new level by hiring actors (beautiful ones!) to play house during an open house
  7. It takes a certain level of confidence to have fun with your previous mistakes. (Kris is clearly a confident agent and I like that!)
  8. ActiveRain is getting some hype from both the Real Estate Tomato and the Future of Real Estate Marketing. I definitely think that Matt Heaton is onto something interesting, and he doesn’t get particularly phased by either Greg or Joel, which I think is a great sign.
  9. Because I’ve been there
  10. Greg (Linden this time!) creates a list with (nearly) all the Seattle start-ups and their associated Alexa rankings. It is a list that is definitely worth checking out as you might be surprised at the massive activity within the Seattle start-up community! For those interested, the rank of the real estate sites were: Zillow (976), Homepages (21,720), Redfin (22,117). RCG was not included in his list, but we are ranked at 75,844. You might also be interested to know that despite the fact that we’re not ranked as high as some of the other sites, our reach is right up there with HomePages and Redfin. (not bad for a site with no paid staff and $120/year hosting fees!). And since I mentioned ActiveRain earlier (and they are based in Kirkland), I think it is interesting to note that they are seeing awesome growth in the number of pageviews that is blowing away all the local real estate sites save Zillow. Considering their Alexa ranking is only 108,655, they are obviously creating a sticky user experience.