Can Blogging Influence an Election? We Vote YES!

By
Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com SAL.2002007747

BallotsCan Blogging Influence an Election?  We Vote YES!

 

FOR:  6596

AGAINST:  6531

65 votes difference is all that is reported by the Warren County Board of Elections this morning for yesterday's Little Miami School District Levy.  After EIGHT straight rejections and the school control being assumed by the state until the budget is back in order!  Hallelujah, the levy passed, just a matter of time until LOCAL control is back!

It's been a bitter battle for the last few years and you could argue many factors and divisions:  rural vs. subdivisions, fixed budgets vs. affluent, long time residents vs. newbies.  And the elections kept failing.  Last March it was close, just 121 votes shy of finally passing. 

Now we usually don't delve into the political with our blogging, but sometimes real estate and politics overlap.  We've done quite a bit of business in the Little Miami School District over the years, both sellers and buyers.  We noticed the home values falling, buyers more hesitant to investigate the district, so we dug deep into Cincinnati MLS and published our analysis of the Little Miami School district home values.  We also did the same analysis for neighboring Warren County School Districts, and the truth was abrupt and rude.  Little Miami home values were getting absolutely HAMMERED while the neighboring districts without levy turmoil were fully recovering. 

Now we didn't really expect anything out of that post other than getting the information out there, and hoping rational voters would appreciate the info.  We know homeowners all want to know market report data, so maybe we'd get a call or two, maybe not.  Every post is a calculated gamble isn't it? 

What we didn't anticipate?  That is wouldn't be the consumers reaching out to us, but a different source!  First it started with an AP reporter for the Cincy magazine.  A short phone interview and we got a short paragraph in an article about the Little Miami School levy fight.  Not huge, but our first mass media publication, and blogging paved the way. 

But between the interview and publication of the article, the head of the pro-levy committee found us and reached out.  He asked for permission to use our analysis on home values for mailings and talking points during meetings with voters.  They needed concrete data to sway the voters.  Of course we agreed!  We want the school situation to resolve for the kids sake AND for home values to start recovering!  Here's a copy of the postcard the pro-levy group sent out incorporating our analysis:

Little Miami School District levy election


Further, we'd also sent a blog post link to one of the community papers a couple of weeks ago and got a nice surprise when one of our past clients emailed us for taking a stand on the issue!  Huh?  "Well you've got a big article in the Pulse-Journal!"  Published November 3rd under the title "Look Who's Backing School Levy", about 2/3 of the article was straight from our blog, with lots of mention of us!

Now can we know for sure that we helped shift the tide?  No, we won't be that presumptuous.  But we do know that we helped get some key facts out to the public, and straight from the pro-levy leader, that our concrete data was crucial for talking the issue of Home Values, one of the key components of the push for passing the levy. 

Now did we potentially lose some home sellers for the area?  Perhaps.  With 50% of the voters against the levy, we know our stand and help on the levy passage might not be popular with them.  On the other hand, if this problem wasn't fixed soon, trying to sell a home in the school district was going to become a moot point.  We'll take our chances with having done what we think is the right thing.

The more we blog, the more powerful we discover the medium can be! 

Keep on Blogging! 

Liz and Bill aka BLiz 

P.S.  If blogging can do this for an election, do you think it can help sell your home?  It can sway the buyers to take a look!

Posted by

REALTORS(S) Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth & William Spear
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EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
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Bill direct: 513-520-5305     
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Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Bryan, It's been a shock to us.  We knew blogging can be pretty powerful, but this is our first time to get set up with the press like this.  And funny how word gets out, we had a school treasurer in a couple of the Cincinnati suburbs hit us up for the same kind of data as we did for Little Miami.  Of course we provided :)

November 09, 2011 06:12 PM #24
Rainmaker
127,312
Michael Thornton
RadnorLake Video - Nashville, TN
Nashville Area - Photography & Videography

Good evening, BLiz. Kinda cool that your effors helped make the difference. And here folks think blogging is a waste of time... 

November 09, 2011 06:17 PM #25
Rainmaker
1,051,741
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Good for you, it is a great feeling when something we do can get people excited about a cause or to vote. I am doing a similar thing here in Manchester where the Mayor, Alderman and School Board want to radically change the grade levels in schools uprouting kids from neighborhood schools and bussing them to schools across the city. The parents hate it, the kids hate it and and those who spoke out for it, got voted out or did not get voted in yesterday. We still have a way to go as it will come again, but i will be there with my blog to light the way to protect our kids.

November 09, 2011 06:55 PM #26
Rainmaker
1,393,366
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

Okay, something is wrong with me.  All day long I've been posting, commenting and responding to comments on my posts...........in addition to looking for your post for the day.  So here it is, almost 7:00 p.m. and I'm just discovering a post you wrote at 9:22 and it's a FEATURE!  I don't even have a "real job" as an excuse any more...............I'm getting worried!

Happy to hear the levy passed and that your blogging had some influence on the outcome.  You Rock!

November 09, 2011 06:56 PM #27
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Michael, We'll never know how many read the blog post itself, or just got the information via the articles and post cards, but it's cool to see the impact it can make and at the end of the day we're only concerned with the final outcome of the election.  However we can help, we're happy with it!

Scott, A blog has the potential to reach further than we could otherwise impact.  Tie it in with tweeting, Facebook, calling reporters and everything else we can do and suddenly the spread gets much bigger.  Good luck with your battle!

Roger, You had an eventful couple of days, you're excused :)  We're really happy both levies we were tracking passed!  The one for our home and the one it Little Miami squeaked out a Yes! :)

 

November 09, 2011 07:05 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,344,362
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

I'm sure your blogging had to have an effect on some voters.  Who knows how many, but the point is, local readers are finding you.

November 09, 2011 07:18 PM #29
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Anita, And getting found is certainly a good thing!  We always suspect that local readers are out there following us quietly, watching the local event posts, market reports, etc., just waiting until THEY are ready to give us a call :)  Good thing we're patient people! :)

November 09, 2011 07:33 PM #30
Rainmaker
680,843
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX Solutions - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Bill and Liz, you guys rock!   Taking a stand for the good of the children is worth losing a few listings.  The power of blogging is becoming more important every day.

November 09, 2011 07:36 PM #31
Ambassador
985,461
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

Very neat that the analysis in your post made the news. Whether you influenced the results of the election or not is the subject of debate. But folks who read your post, the newspaper article, and saw that mailing, will remember who wrote it. I'll bet your business increases as a result.

November 09, 2011 08:15 PM #32
Ambassador
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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Kay, We'll maket that trade any day!  Besides, the other half might be pretty happy with us :)

Craig, No argument here.  We don't know for sure that we influenced a single vote for sure, but at least the opportunity to influence was there.  We can only hope that it does lead to business, but even with the levy passing it's going to be a long road to a decent recovery.

November 09, 2011 09:27 PM #33
Rainmaker
502,225
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

I remember reading that post and am so glad to hear that the levy passed.  Good news all around.

November 09, 2011 09:37 PM #34
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Christine, Definitely good news!  After 8 rejections, it was more than time to get it passed and return to some level of normalcy.

November 09, 2011 09:46 PM #35
Rainer
237,553
Janet Jones
Just Your Style Interiors, LLC - Kihei, HI
Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii

Hi BLiz--congratulations.  I think what you did was just awesome.  Yes, there will always be some people that disagree, but if you put the future of our children first and then the asset value of homes next, it is hard to take issue with this. 

November 10, 2011 12:02 AM #36
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Janet, And those two points is what we felt we're being neglected by the No side.  There's this continual matchup with "we pay too much in taxes already, the teachers and administrators are OVERPAID and too many benefits" vs the "we've already cut programs and head count to the point of hurting the educational experience of the kids".  There's probably some right on both side, but ultimately there needs to be a decision made that puts the kid's needs first.  We're glad to hopefully have helped push the issue to the levy passage side of the equation :)

November 10, 2011 12:42 AM #37
Ambassador
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Peter Pfann @ 1 Percent Realty Victoria, and Pay-Less For Victoria Real Estate Results!
1 PERCENT REALTY, Victoria BC www.1percentrealtyvictoria.com - Victoria, BC
Talk To Peter 250-213-9490 www.pay-lessrealty.com

HI Bliz,

This is exactly what make you the king and queen of local blogs, it is so heartwarming to see that getting out there and being able to offer perspective and a reality check for all to take note off and support your commuity (and be recognized for it) Much credit to you and your efforts.

November 10, 2011 01:29 AM #38
Rainmaker
847,130
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
Broker-Owner

Power to the people (and writers)! The keyboard is mightier than the sword. 

November 10, 2011 01:51 AM #39
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Peter & Linda, Thanks!  It was a nice surprise to get found and have so much mileage out of a couple of posts!  Blogging can really work when the information contained is needed :)

Phil, Especially when the keyboard is putting out undisputable facts.  The data was VERY clear about what was going on in that school district relative to it's neighbors.

November 10, 2011 06:03 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,032,051
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Liz & Bill, this is truly  a great testament to your blogging and analytical observations with good charts and graphs to back it up. The best part is the hundreds and thousands of people who read your blog and the paper will appreciate you and hopefully remember your name and contact information for future Real Estate Transactions.

November 11, 2011 06:43 PM #41
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Endre, That's all we can hope for, right!  PLEASE remember us....unless you're part of the anti-tax crowd.....then forget, and THEN remember :)

November 11, 2011 08:00 PM #42
Ambassador
1,443,566
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.265.3004 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

OFFICIAL VOTE CONFIRMED TODAY, LEVY PASSED!!!

November 23, 2011 06:28 PM #43
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