Blog Classes – Everyone's Getting Into the Act

[photopress:blogging101.gif,thumb,alignright]I’ve been asked to run some blog classes over at BRIO.  Apprently they’ve already set one up, and all RE professionals are invited.  Everything’s happening so fast and the first one is on Thursday morning September 6, at 10:00 a.m., right after the holiday weekend.

I looked over Dustin’s format, but while Dustin is my Blogging Guru, there’s not much I can use there.  It won’t include an overview of what a blog is.  It will get straight to the point.  Blog now!  LOL.  Clearly I don’t want it to be like some of the Web 2.0 classes I’ve been to, where the instructor spends most of the time talking about the days before faxes, and ends with “and now we’re at Web 2.0 thanks for coming”.   It also won’t be about what blogs are.  It will be a “getting started right now” seminar, much like Project Blogger that produced Kevin’s Blog.  (Kev was on the news in Miami today – his blog is gangbusters).

I’ve been wanting to take Jillayne’s class, but better I don’t until after I set up my format.  I don’t want to “plagerize”.  So it will be my view of Blogging and Web 2.0 and strictly from an agent’s perspective.  So while it may be more rudimentary than some of the other classes, I’m hoping that will be an advantage as it also won’t be over anyone’s head.  I can send them to Jillanye’s and Dustin’s classes for a broader perspective.  Mine will just get them up and running fast and give more tips on some of the pitfalls, like managing comments.  Or maybe that will be a follow up class after they’ve set up their blogs and written 20 or more posts. 

So Dustin and Russ and Jillayne and now me. RCG seems to be doing more than their fair share of hosting classes on blogging. No cost and no credit hours.  Just a sharing of ideas.  Most of my agents have expressed an interest in setting up or improving their blogs.  Clearly this is a good time for agents to start one, as we have more time in in winter to work on it than we do from January 15th through July.

Personally I thought the Inman Podcast was too much talk about us.  Maybe I’ll do a Podcast of my class and I’m planning to set it up more like a workshop.  R.S.V.P. if you’re interested in the comments below or email me, so we know how many to plan for.  Some have already signed up and I think we’re limiting it to 12 people.  But there will be more classes, I’m sure.  I’ll need to have at least 25 of them just to train my own agents.

One of the reasons I accepted BRIO’s offer is because there are Geeky Boys there who know how to Podcast.  Dustin?  Jillayne?  Are there any podcasts of your classes available online that I can view beforehand?

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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: cell: 206-910-1000

62 thoughts on “Blog Classes – Everyone's Getting Into the Act

  1. I wouldn’t mind sitting in the back of the room as an observer if you guys have a big space – I won’t say anything, promise. Let me know if you need any help with “stuff”. I know a fair amount about pod casting but don’t have the toys (recording equipment, video editing software, etc.)

  2. If this is “my Ben” I’d love it if you handled the podcasting. I’m pretty sure all the equipment for podcasting is in the office. I may be stopping by for lessons on my new IPhone and cute white MAC laptop as well 🙂 Robbie’s going to be jealous when he sees my new monitor. I think Jon has the big 32 incher. He looks like an air traffic controller with that monster monitor on his desk. Bob uses a double screen book version.

    Sounds like a post coming on…are they tools or toys? LOL

  3. “Some have already signed up and I think we’re limiting it to 12 people. But there will be more classes, I’m sure. I’ll need to have at least 25 of them just to train my own agents.”

    Do you have 300 RE agents working for you?

  4. Stephen,

    Do you think one 90 minute Blog Class is all it will take? Many have come to me individually. Better use of my time to group them, plus they will all learn from each others’ questions. I have about 60 agents. Hope to have 100 going into 2008. There will be a Blogging 101, a blogging 201 and a blogging 301 for sure.

    Agents think Blogging is just about writing posts…it’s a lot more than that. Managing the site and the comments is a separate skill. Contrary to popular belief, a blog is not “a message board”.

  5. I just now decided to check out the world of “blogging”. I am a real estate Broker in Hawaii and blogging is surfacing more and more in conversations and articles…I can no longer hide behind my technology deficit disorder. In fact, this is the very first comment I have ever posted anywhere! I just wanted to let you know that I loved your interview at Inman, love your blog site and LOVED the city of Seattle having just visited it with my 3 boys for the first time a couple weeks ago. Wish I had “met” you while there and had a chance to pick your Seattle real estate market brain. Best wishes for your continued success. Aloha, julie

  6. Hey Kevin, how about you come over to my place and teach me Ardell’s secrets! With school I don’t got the time to blog every week,, but I would like to steal what knowledge I can!

  7. By the way Ardell… your last comment “One of the reasons I accepted BRIO’s offer is because there are Geeky Boys there who know how to Podcast.”

    You do realize that as good and close as we are exchanging emails and texts these days that in our early days, it was a post on podcasting that got me up and out of the woodshed and caused us o start arguing until we eventually became good friends? Perhaps you can also do a warning segment on the pitfalls of podcasting considering how many of us are deaf and how a good percentage of the population have some degree of hearing loss.

    My theory on blogging is this… say what you can’t say on your own. Times you get questions, get stuck on the answers, etc… That’s where you should start and then work on establishing relationships.

  8. Hi Derek,

    I just read a great article in the Seattle Times about a documentary film that won a Sundance festival award. It is about two deaf parents who decide, late in life, to both get cochlear implants. Their adult daughter made the film.

    With a movie like this, there is bound to be subtitles for DHH (deaf and hard of hearing) moviegoers. But what about simple youtube videos? I agree that agents ought to consider offering subtitles as an option that a viewer could turn on if needed. Better yet, translate the script into other common languages for viewers to read.

    My daughters attend a public school where our district just happens to house the entire DHH program so ASL (American Sign Language) is used by many of the hearing teachers and has been a great way for me to communicate with my child from a great distance, such as, from across a soccer field or swimming pool.

    I read someplace that ASL is one of the most common languages in America, a fact that should not go unnoticed by podcast/videocast producers.

  9. Sondra,

    The challenge I have for our agents is to help them be THEIR best, which requires me to get a glimpse into their passion and style. Since Blog Coaching is an ongoing Broker Duty for me, self imposed, the “class” for our agents is just a start point.

    Old School brokers may stop at snail mail, as in “send 200 Just Sold cards”. A WEB 2.0 office expands the Broker’s advices dramatically, and takes more one on one coaching.

    My goal is for everyone to have a blog before they leave the class. Not just leave with a bunch of “notes”, but to have an actual blog. That is why the class is limited to 12.

    Look forward to seeing you there!

  10. Derek,

    The goal of WEB 2.0 is to bring two way conversation to the internet. It is also for consumers to be able to get a feel for who the agent really is, and not simply who they say they are/WEB 1.0.

    Flat print posts can give a glimpse into the character and personality of an agent, but clearly not in the same way a podcast will. So I don’t think we can eliminate podcasts for people who can’t hear anymore than we can eliminate print posts with photos for people who can’t see.

    Also, we can’t expect all agents to be “writers”, especially those whose first language isn’t English. Consequently, podcasting may be the answer for “their handicap” and their best choice of presentation.

  11. Thanks for the invite, Ardell. I am unable to make this session, but I’ll look forward to the 2nd take on Blogging 101. Thanks, and good luck with it!

  12. Sparky,

    Are you kidding me? There’s ALWAYS room for Rich Jacobson. We’ll MAKE room! 🙂 Thursday 9/6 – 10:00 a.m. BRIO Bellevue Office

    I’ll do a post on Wednesday as a reminder with pointers about how to find us.

    Look forward to seeing you again.

  13. Thank you so much Ardell for an extremely informative class. With all of my questions answered and a greater insight into the hows and why’s of blogging – I look forward to posting my expertise into the bloggosphere. You’re an engaging, talented teacher!

  14. The Class was great Ardell, thank you! You made very good points on “commnets”, engaging readers and how web 2.0 should be used to “enhance” traditional real estate practices. Very exciting stuff!

  15. ARDELL, Thanks for doing this class… well worth the trip from Wenatchee. I’ve been blogging over 2 1/2 years and you made a couple of really good points for me to focus my blog better, for even better results. You also helped clarify the definitions and purpose of Web 1.0 and 2.0. Let me know when you schedule Blogging 201 and 301.

  16. Hi Ardell, so today I looked into some of the “homework” from the class:

    Searched “dragnet”, lots of good information in your interview with Dustin.

    Re-read part of the chapter “Inside Out” from my “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” book and found what you were talking about in the “paradigm shift” (as you called it….inside out) of building on traditional real estate tools and methods and being WILLING to add (and not “throw out the baby with the bathwater”) onto those with the new tools of web 2.0 and beyond.

    Also the “character ethic” vs the “personality ethic” in the book was interesting, not sure if that was part of what you were talking about but interesting nonetheless.

    As I said, very exciting stuff!

  17. Deborah,

    Yes, the ethics issue is part of it. I’m pretty sure that was in the handout. But I would remove the word vs. and I added a category or two (in parentesis in the notes).

    I’m pretty sure we are going to integrate public speaking training for our own agents. A Real Estate based Toastmaster’s International group, with some updated and industry-centric upgrades. Learning to speak to a crowd is more important to blogging than learning how to write. Especially as we introduce podcasting more and more into our blogs.

    Have you noticed that most of the bloggers at Connect had no butterflies or qualms about getting up on stage and talking to hundreds of people? That is not a coincidence.

    Clearly blogging is the time to ask “What would I do if I were not afraid”, and no coincidence that I read “Who Moved My Cheese” just before I started blogging.

    We’re having a weight challenge at the office. $200 each into a pot. 5 of us. One twist is Jon has to gain as much as I have to lose. We actually weigh almost the same right now. I need a better spread on that, I’ll take it from my middle section. If he goes 20 lbs up and I go 20 lbs down, we’ll both be happier doing podcasts.

  18. Hi Ardell,

    Toastmasters will certianly help with podcasts! Writing a blog post IS a lot like talking to someone, so I can understand why speaking well to an audience could benefit a blogger.

    Good luck on the bet….one great benefit from starting a new endeavor (as the new BRIO Broker) is not having time to eat! 🙂

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