Interview with Ardell DellaLoggia of the Searching Seattle Blog

[photopress:ardell_mlsphoto.jpg,full,alignright]There is only one Ardell. She’s a top-notch blogger that shows up all over the place in the blogging world. In addition to RCG, she keeps up an ActiveRain blog and her solo blog at Searching Seattle. And while it might seem somewhat self-serving to interview one of our own contributors, I couldn’t resist the curiosity to unleash this interview on Ardell! πŸ™‚

However, before I begin the interview, I have a HUGE announcement! Today marks Ardell’s one year anniversary as a Rain City Guide contributor. Her first words may have been “be gentle” but she has been much more disruptive than gentle on the real estate blogging world! Let me be the first to say thank for for giving us such a fabulous, fun, and fantastic year!

What inspired you to start blogging?

I wouldn’t call it an inspiration. I honestly was just doing my “good deed for the day”. A Microsoft employee named Noor, explained to me in his Toastmaster’s International speech at our club in Redmond/Bellevue, that a blog was a personal online journal, a web log, a log on the web. So when John Reilly of Internet Crusade emailed me on 1/1/07 and asked me to be one of the people to test their blog product, I had a basic idea of what he was asking. I said yes and just started typing away. I wasn’t really realizing others would read it, except John. I look back at those first articles and wonder why I chose to write on those topics. I mean, who is sitting around on New Year’s Day writing on such intense topics? I’m not a techie geek for sure, as you can tell by my huge print, color text, etc. But I am a real estate nerd.

Unlike other people who decided to blog, or who had an urge to be a writer, I was just typing out whatever I was thinking about. Just turned out to be TMI about real estate πŸ™‚

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

I like to talk about the real estate process, real estate commissions especially the buyer agent fee, and how people and agents interact differently using technology and why that will make things easier and cheaper. I think people want to know a whole lot more about what they are getting themselves into. They may still want to hire someone to do “it” for them, but they want to know a whole lot more about what that “it” is, and why it costs so much and does it have to cost so much. I think talking about these things angers a lot of people, so I mix up other things in between. If I could, I’d only talk about those three things.

What have you done to personalize your blog?

Personalize my blog? LOL That’s an oxymoron…I’m all over it. To read me is to know me. I think I need to learn how to DE-personalize it πŸ™‚

[photopress:ardell_at_computer_small.jpg,full,alignright]Do you have any favorite posts?

I loved this post and I especially loved when the client commented. It totally surprised me. This was my favorite, but it just slid by. I must have been the only one who liked it…oh, and my sister loved it. Most people, like “Jack” in that first linked article, came to me from this one. So I’d have to say that is one of my favorites as well.

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

My first instinct in answering this question would be to link to the Who’s Who of the Blogosphere and the Usual Suspects, but honestly I don’t like blogs…I like people. To me Sellsius is Joe and Rudy, Urban Digs is Noah, Urbnlivn is Matt and Property Monger is Jon. I like those people via their blog. The only blog I used to read regularly was Bloodhound, but it has gotten too confusing for me. Too many people with too many different viewpoints. If I could click on Kris and read all her stuff in sequence, and then click on Greg, etc , the way RainCityGuide functions when you click our pictures, I’d still read it. But I can’t keep up with all the people, and I like the people, not the blogs. If I read the blog and don’t like the person…I leave. If the blog doesn’t have a personality, I don’t read it.

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

It’s turned it upside down, as you know. Most of my clients come from my writings now. It’s nice that they already “know me” when we first meet and there doesn’t seem to be much difference from “me on blog” to “me in person”. I like when they say “Oh, now I know what Dustin meant when he said he can see your hands moving in your writings”. I think Glenn Kelman was one of the ones who said that when we met. I am in person as I am on the blog…one of the benefits of “stream of consciousness” blogging.

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

I added the podcast. Other than mispronouncing my name and calling me Ardle, I like it. I also want to make it easier for people to find specific topics of interest. More like an encyclopedia of real estate topics. Oops I mean wiki πŸ˜‰ Right now you have to go to the archives, but I think that is one of the problems with a blog. The older it is the more you bury what people want to read. I indexed it last year, but I changed my categories so I have to get the index back up and linked. It’s a lot of work.

What is the one tool or feature that you wish your site had?

I actually like it the way it is. I’ve tried a lot of different platforms to test them. My Bloglines went caput the other day and I lost my entire Family Blog. It’s still there but it’s totally blank, so I’m never writing there again. Blogger is OK, but it bores me for some reason. I’ve tried it two or three times and can’t seem to be consistent there. I like having both WordPress and RealTown blogs. Word Press for Rain City Guide is THE best, but that’s because of what you, Dustin, have done to it. My other Word Press blog is not nearly as easy as this one. So best is Word Press after Dustin modifies it!

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

I think you will see some lawsuits, actually. A lot of people are writing like they are 12 year olds on My Space and ranting about things that border on slander. Making negative comments about competitors, badmouthing those who “discount”, some even say nasty things about their own clients. Of course after a law suit or two the blogs will become less colorful and will be “bought” from news sources. So enjoy reading the colorful ones while you still can!

Thank you Ardell for taking the time to answer these questions!

Interviews, interviews interviews:

64 thoughts on “Interview with Ardell DellaLoggia of the Searching Seattle Blog

  1. Dustin, who could blame you for utilizing your resources to the fullest? Great interview.

    Ardell, I’ve met lots of great people over the last few months and you are certainly one of my favorites. I love the straight talk that you deliver and I apprecaite the attitude that comes across in your posts. Most of all, I like watching the coversation unfold. You’ve got guts girl and it’s almost hard for me to believe that you’ve ever said, “be gentle with me.”

    You’ve got me thinking on more than one issue. Thanks.

  2. Thank you both. Hard to believe it’s only been one year!


    I espouse Aristotle’s Rule of Anger:

    “Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, and for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody’s power, that is not easy.”

    Be gentle on the person, be tough on the issues πŸ™‚

  3. Congratulations on your First Year at RCG Ardell!

    I have enjoyed reading your posts and following the many “spirited” dialogs that often ensue! Brava, Brava for being the Champion for “Transparency” in real estate!

  4. Thank you Deborah and Rhonda!


    Turner and I are having a ball up to 50 to 60 comments on my regurgitated post over there. Quite an interesting experiment comparing the comments it received here on RCG vs. the comments it is getting in Active Rain.Β  Same Article…different audience.Β  Quite telling. Turner is a trip. We’re having great fun. Real rough and tumble stuff, though, warnng LOL


    I’ve taken on the roll of Jillayne’s cheerleader LOL since I encouraged her to get into the frying pan. Sorry I haven’t been following yours as closely. BUT, I would love your comments on these three loan scenarios I found in a blog. See my confusion on “3 mo seller seasoning” and what I thought that meant. Let me know if I need to correct that. Thanks. When you have time, of course.

  5. Congrats on the anniversary, Ardell… and kudos to Justin for taking the self-serving route of interviewing you.

    You are one of my favorites, and the blogosphere wouldn’t be the same without you. You truly are an inspiration.

    Now if you would just fix your other blog… I can’t ever seem to comment on your posts, there. In firefox OR internet explorer. Maybe Justin can fix it. πŸ˜†

  6. LOL Doug,

    I was gonna fix that typo for you until I saw that last line…his name is Dustin. But since you’re picking on me…I’m going to leave it πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Ardell,
    Seller seasoning is how long the seller has been on title to the property.

    I would actually need to see a good faith estimate to know what charges (points, etc.) are involved with the rates to know if they are within range.

    I’m having a hard time with the last scenario”

    Again, as your blog indicates, there’s more to rates than what meets the eye…you’re right on with that!

  8. Hi Ardell, just got back from following all the threads involved in your AR post, whewww I think it was about 2 hours! That is exactly what I meant by “spirited” dialogs. What an eye opening (as ususal) experience! Your blogging output is mindboggling. I had come upon the post late Saturday night when there were only 3 posts at that time and they looked tame, as I had already read the post in RCG I moved on, glad I went back.

    There were some very interesting points made. I especialy liked the one that Jeff quoted Bill Leider: “Because, as a Realtor, your value no longer lies in that arena [being real estate information gatekeepers]. Your value lies in helping your clients understand and interpret the information and make wise life style and financial choices. That’s true for sellers and buyers alike”.

    Here’s to begining your second year at RCG, may it prove as exciting and productive as your first!

  9. Deborah,

    “…just got back from following all the threads involved in your AR post, whewww I think it was about 2 hours”

    And we’ve been asked to continue…that’s interesting. Turner may move it to “tipping points” separate article. Stay tuned.

    Until I figure out the focus of my AR blog…which is obviously going to have to be industry vs local and macro vs. micro, I’m “feeding the monster” the point system, with regurgitated posts, as in write one or two, regurgitate some to equal five a day.

    I’m balancing several clients and transactions at the same time and blogging helps keep me sharp and “engaged” for my clients. It’s a different method for me. Blogging sharpens the tool to the benefit of my clients vs. something I do “when I’m not busy”.

  10. Way to go Ardell! You truly are a miracle in this crazy online world we call the blogosphere.

    If it were a galaxy, you would be the sun. If it were a football team, you would be the QB (well maybe not the JETS QB)..If it were a big fat sundae with tons of fudge and whip creap, you would be the cherry on top.

    If I was holding a blogger dinner, the head of the table would have the placecard: ARDELL – No ONE EVEN THINK OF SITTING HERE!

    Keep on chugging Ardell!

  11. Whether you disagree with her or not, no one can deny where Ardell stands on an issue. You won’t see her flip-flop on an issue or set her allegiance to suit the whim of the crowd. And she’ll take the heat.
    Congratulations Ardell. Since Noah used the football analogy, I’ll go with baseball. You are the clean-up hitter in the RCG line-up.

    I agree with your comments Ardell on reading a blog because of the people behind it or the blog’s personality. I never thought of it in those terms until you said it. And it’s true. I have to incorporate this into a blog post I’m working on.

  12. LOL Noah! Everytime I’m ready to put the gloves on you over your “kicking tires as a means of negotiation” article, you stop me in my tracks. How can I go nose to nose and toes to toes and duke it out with my biggest fan.

    Seriously, I do have to get to that one. And more seriously, THANKS! Talk about a freakin’ testimonial πŸ™‚

  13. Joe,

    I just wrote one for Rhonda over at Active Rain I think is of some value to bloggers generally.

    I’m not turning it into a post as I’m thinking that RCGΒ is Blogosphere and Consumer writings, My Blog(s) is My Client stuff and Active Rain is talking to inside industry and SEO purpose-consumer.Β  Jury’s still out on the last two.

    2007 is more about what to write on which blogs, than a change of style for me.Β  I just bought 25 domain names πŸ™‚Β  Lots up my sleeve for 2007.

    I appreciate your kind thoughts and words, Joe.Β  One thing that “smacked” me was that I don’t flip-flop.Β  When I look back at things I wrote in the first quarter of 2006 and read them…I see a huge flip flop in my tude about Redfin and the MLS.Β  It’s a growth flip flop LOL

    I learned “smacked” from Jonathon Dalton.Β  I have learned a great deal this year from everyone in the Blogosphere AND from my clients who come from the Blogoshphere.Β  A real eye opener of a year this was.

    Next year will be exciting…but in a different way.Β  I have to take it to a different level because on 2/17/07 we will get to the end of “The Year of the Fire Dog!” and into the year of the Fire PIG on 2/18/07, with only hindsight.Β  So everyone make your plans during the “double sighted” year.Β  Only 30 days or so to go…and I’m banging out the business plans LOL

  14. 25 domain names…you’re amazing and again, thanks for the AR blog to answer my question. BTW, I gave you a 5…which is totally earned…hope it helps win the Whack an Ardell AR game!

  15. Ardell, I just thought I’d also send along a huge thanks for all your activity over on ActiveRain. It has done wonders for my ranking… I’m now ranked #9 in Los Angeles County thanks to all the points I get from inviting you! LOL!

  16. I was wondering why you were sitting back I thought you just got points when I jumped in with you. Do you get points added as I blog prolifically ? I’m #8 in the state of Washington today πŸ˜‰ I still don’t get that place…but I had a great chat that helped me a lot with Jeff Turner.

  17. You dog you…well thank God I didn’t accept the last one who asked me…I would have been his tow rope behind me LOL at least you’re out of town. I was wondering how you got so many points with no qualifying posts πŸ™‚

  18. LOL,

    I’ve figured the place out now…rattled the cage and got what I needed. How to play the game and go for the gold at the same time is no easy feat! But “By jove, I think she’s GOT IT!”.

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