Random Blog thoughts on a rainy Sunday

[photopress:wa.gif,thumb,alignright]In keeping with my theme of Brainstorming and implementing changes to get ready for 2007, I’m focusing on #5 and Blogthoughts.

There’s that whole Google vs. MSN Search thing Dustin and I toss about from time to time.  Basically it’s about should an agent be more worried about searching well locally, than being “nationally” famous.  At least from my perspective that’s what it’s about. Seems to me it’s kind of a Catch 22.  You have to be “nationally” famous in the search engines, to be locally searchable by those you want to find you.

I’m going to pretty much have to go with Dustin on that one.  Mainly because MSN is just too fickle to count on.  When I get to number 2 or 3 on Google, I pretty much stay there.  Maybe I’ll drop down to #4 and then back up to #3 once in a while.  But MSN Search…what’s up with THAT!  You can be NUMBER 2, and go back a week later and you’re on PAGE 4!  Freaks me out.  So I’ll have to agree with Dustin.  Struggling to figure out what the heck MSN likes on any given day is too much effort for such a short lived and volatile result.

Then you have Grow-A-Brain, the Super Duper Search engine giant, but what good does the content there do a for real estate agent?  Seems like Hanan puts a lot of time and effort in that, but literally no real estate related content.  Are “fans” worth the effort?  Have to ask him.

Urban Digs won the Inman Award and I think they do the perfect job of balancing local with national with real estate, etc…  I don’t read them much or link to them, because they are so NYC, which is miles apart from Pacific Northwest on most things, including buyer agency issues, which they don’t appear to have in NYC.  Makes their advices regarding how to negotiate, etc… not appropriate here.  But, yes, I think they are a great one to try to emulate, for sure.

Of course nothing searches better than RainCityGuide.com, and it’s one that others should emulate. Looks like Greg Swann over at Bloodhound Blog is already getting there by inviting a couple of extra writers for his Dual Agency Smackdown.  We can all learn from that one.  Inviting two opposing view heavy weights into the ring?  Guy’s got guts.

Curbed? Same issue as Urban Digs.  I sometimes wonder if they have a team of journalists out there getting the local info.  Great site, but very, very NYC.  Great for them, don’t get me wrong, but not much there I need to read.   I don’t think I’d like a site that is TOO local…but maybe I’ve got that wrong.

I wonder sometimes how the trafic on the highly searchable newspaper type blogs compare to RainCityGuide.com  And I really, really wonder how this blog  with no entries since July of 2005 beats the pants off of most when you google “real estate blog Seattle”.  Seriously, how can that blog place higer than Marlow’s Blog?

Would appreciate it if the people who read real estate blogs would chime in here with which real estate blogs they read and why.  Regardless of where you are in the Country, it would be nice to have the consumer perspective regarding what real estate sites and blogs they like to read.  Sometimes we are just to “IN’ it to evaluate properly.  Your telling us what you like to read, and DO read, on a regular basis, can help us fine tune our blog strategy for 2007.  “Our” being “bloggers” generally, and not RCG…Dustin seems to have that one “down”.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: ardelld@gmail.com cell: 206-910-1000

11 thoughts on “Random Blog thoughts on a rainy Sunday

  1. I read this blog because it contains posts from all aspects of real estate. Im into real estate tech, but my partners are real estate agents, so I can send information to them about real estate news. I think in 2007 there will be more group blogs like RCG.
    I’m building one for my partner right now. A perfect group is Realtor, Lender, Title Rep, and tech guy. If everyone blogs, you have a good updated blog full of info targeted to the public. I followed the queue from This site, and I see it as a great model.

    I also read the bloodhound, future of real estate, the tomateo, zillow, and trulia blogs. Bloodhound because its good to read, zillow and trulia becuase they are moving and shaking.

    I would have to say my guilty pleasure is reading bubble blogs…it just cracks me up how bubble blogs can take normal real estate quotes and make them sound like the market is tanking badly…

  2. I do wish we could get more info on a regular basis regarding interest rates. Does anyone know of a really good source for keeping on top of rates that provides commentary on why rates are up or down as they change?

  3. The balance between local and national does seem to be a catch-22, because to gain ground in the national search rankings, one has to write about national issues, but I think that to gain the local market, one has to focus as much, if not more on local issues. Perhaps a 40-60 split with local matters taking the 60%?

    I don’t think that local readers care so much about what the market is doing in Seattle (sorry!) or real estate technology as much as we the writers do. A small subset may be intrigued by mapping, mobile search, etc. but look at how few know about RSS.

    Targeting local search is where it’s at because those relocating to my market, Charlottesville/Central Virginia, are going to be searching for those pertinent keywords rather than general “real estate for sale”.

    I read Bloodhound, although lately there have been just too many words to keep up with, sellsius, tomato, urban digs, matrix, future of real estate marketing, three oceans, mike’s corner, transparent re … there are too many to mention, but I list most of them in my blogroll. Building relationships with fellow real estate bloggers is hugely important, but building that laudable goal of a trusted reputation with those in your own local market is more important, IMHO.

    I think that smaller, more localized blogs will become more important to gaining the local consumers and national/international searchers.

  4. Jim,

    “a small subset may be intrigued by mapping, mobile search, etc. but look at how few know about RSS.”

    I think maybe that subset is larger here in the Seattle Area, given the huge volume of people employed by tech companies here.

  5. Jim,

    I’ve “polled” some of my techie clients, and for the most part they prefer to actually visit the blogs they like, as do I, rather than read them through an RSS feed. Saving the sites as favorites, seems to be as popular as reading them via RSS.

  6. Pingback: Dual Agency Smack-Down: The RE.net smacks back . . . | BloodhoundBlog | The weblog of BloodhoundRealty.com in Phoenix, Arizona

  7. Ardell,

    Noah here from UrbanDigs. Good post, and I would like to address some of the points you made. I still respect your writing as your quantity of posts doesnt lower the quality of the content you offer to readers; a very hard combination to provide. Props.

    First, not sure about the other real estate blogs besides curbed out there, but for UrbanDigs, I do 98% of the posts. I stick with New York City because this market is so fast, constantly changing, and has so many topics to discuss that I can never address all of them.

    Second, I am fairly educated on the NYC market and therefore most comfortable discussing NYC real estate on UrbanDigs. I know there are a lot of markets out there that are very interesting and fast as well, but just different than Manhattan. So, I try to write about what I know best, so that I can offer quality to readers.

    Third, I try my best to keep posts educational. That is the most important to me. I dont want to offer fluff content in the sense that readers come to my blog for entertainment to kill time and read about celebrities buying properties or a new deli hitting so and so neighborhood. I try my best to apply my skills, education, and experience from both finance and real estate to offer posts on profiting from this local market.

    Fourth, I am targeting NYC buyers and sellers to read my blog. Most bloggers should have a target audience, but if not, thats fine too. I just feel that I need to appease to this local market, offer advice that applies to this local market, and to offer my assistance as non-obtrusive as possible to my readers. Thats my format. Seems to be working but you are right, alot of what I write about doesn’t apply ouside New York City real estate.

    Oh well. I wish it did as I would get so much more traffic. But in the end, offering high quality advice on this local market is enough of a job for me alone! I wish I had someone like you here in NYC to join my efforts and educate my readers from a different point of view. But its not so easy to find willing and able people!

    keep up the good work and thanks for mentioning my efforts in your post!!

  8. Hi Noah,

    As I read your comment, and even as I wrote this article on Sunday, I realized that having a hard and fast “plan” for blogging in 2007 would be virtually impossible. Being a “stream of consciousness blogger”, I can’t predict with any sense of accuracy where my conscious thoughts will be. From one day to the next…let alone to map out a full “plan” for my blogging next year.

    I have a post to write today based on Martin’s comments from yesterday. Today I peeked into your blog and noticed a few articles where my advices would be completely different from yours, which fueled a desire to write on those topics. Planning what to write about, would be the same as writing “scripts” of what to say to clients. A thought that nauseates me. There we go…another article.

    LOL…and as ‘I” write this comment to your comment, “I” am reminded of the guy who said “I” use the word “I” way to much 🙂

    It is no coincidence that I chose Urban digs and Curbed to complain that they are too NYC. I like other blogs that are all about Boise or all about Cleveland. I love Matt’s Urbnlivn all about Seattle condos.

    So why don’t I like the ones that are all about NYC? Truth is, it’s because I’m mad as hell at NYC…think I’ll write a post about that today.

  9. Pingback: Seattle’s Rain City Real Estate Guide » Empowering the Buyer Consumer - Redfin

  10. Ardell,

    Hmm, I see. Your mad at NYC real estate for not having a buyer agency system? Rather, there is no such thing as buyer loyalty here in NYC making an agents job that much harder.

    I’ve (oops “I” did it again) certainly wasted my share of time with a buyer who ultimately bought without use of my services and wish there was something I could do about it. But I cant other than to learn whom to put my efforts into and hope that they stay loyal to my service.

    You should be mad that NYC doesn’t participate in the MLS system, and having a aggregate system that includes all NYC listings is a secret weapon of sorts. This all may change soon with REBNY possibly launching a new search service.

    Fact is, NYC is a zoo and to survive you must have animal instincts. I wish it weren’t this way, but it is. Its a fast and tough environment to do business in yet one that involves so much action and money. I love both.

    Having a plan is not necessary for blogging, but in my opinion helps in focusing on what your trying to accomplish. I certainly HAVE NO IDEA what I will write about tomorrow. But I hope it is educational, from my personal experience, and involves data and theories to both back up the point I make and offer a solution to profit best from it.


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