The Father...The Son...And the Holy Ghost Writer...Shouldn't Pre-Judge

By
Managing Real Estate Broker with RE/MAX Executive Realty
http://actvra.in/DT2

There was a members only post today that discussed agents who use someone else to write and submit blog posts for them.  The attitude of this writer was not favorable for this method of blogging and suggested that the owner of the blog do his/her own work.

Everyone should not blog.  It’s as simply said as that.  There are people who do not have a very good mastery of the English language; there are agents who are totally intimidated by the thought of having to write a post; and there are agents who just don’t have any time.

I’m sure there are many other reasons that people use ghost writers to prepare and post blogs.  If an agent can afford to hire a ghost writer, that’s a wonderful option.  Everyone needs an online presence and if one pays to have that accomplished it should be a top quality narrative.  That writer must have a thorough knowledge of SEO and the agent who is paying that fee will soar.

I think it’s acceptable.  It’s actually not a good idea to write if you are not a writer.  Your writing is a reflection of you.  It openly states whether or not you were a good student; it reflects your creativity; and it’s available to be read by the world so you can be judged.  If any of those qualities are not up to par, hire a writer, or use the services of a writer to "rewrite your narrative."  Your thoughts with a creative touch can result in many future phone calls.  It’s America.  Hiring a ghost writer is spreading the wealth.  It’s providing a job for someone.  Why not!!!  

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Re-Bloggged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lenn Harley 07/15/2012 04:36 AM
  2. Valerie Zinger 07/22/2012 07:20 AM
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Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Massachusetts Norfolk County Franklin Top Listing Real Estate Office Re/max Executive Realty
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hiring a ghost writer to blog

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Rainmaker
273,233
Carol-Ann Palmieri
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group

Hi Barbara.   Who cares who writes who's blog or manages someone's web site or creates content for someones direct marketing or makes initial calls?     It is their business.   I have enough trouble minding my own.    Nice discussion.

July 15, 2012 04:58 AM
Ambassador
492,024
Brian Schulman
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Coldwell Banker Select Professionals, Lancaster PA

Barbara, I agree - not everyone has something useful to contribute in a blog.  If a ghost writer has something valuable to contribute, that's fine.  Otherwise, generic pap just clutters up the blogosphere.  On a parallel note, uninformed citizens shouldn't be encouraged to vote, thereby cancelling out the votes of informed citizens who have been paying attention to the issues.

July 15, 2012 05:02 AM
Ambassador
582,603
Mona Gersky
GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate.
MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC

Barbara, perhaps blogging is only about SEO to some people...those writing or ghost writing.  Those doing the reading however and perhaps making a decision on who to work with based on personality that usually shines through someone's writing will be decidedly disappointed when they discover in initial emails with that person that they can't spell or punctuate worth a flip.

Personally? I could care less if someone chooses to hide behind pay to pretend they have an education, in my opinion though, I think it should be disclosed.  If I chose to work with someone based on information and personality that I connected with when reading someone's blog and then discovered it had never been them writing it???? I would feel cheated and deceived.  Remember Russel Ray? Banned from AR?  Slippery slope...but then, that's just me.  EXCELLENT TOPIC for discussion, I respect everyone else's opinion even if I don't share them.

July 15, 2012 05:03 AM
Rainmaker
1,930,613
Barbara Todaro
"New Franklin MA Homes"
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Mona.... Russel Ray created a person....not just posts....a person....that's different...the point here is that there are people for hire to assist with writing...the thoughts could still be yours...the creation is by another....but the blog is yours and you're a real person....

July 15, 2012 05:12 AM
Rainer
276,790
Kathryn Maguire
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881

I am all about freedom of the choice to handle one's business in a way that makes sense for them.  A ghost blog on payroll is better than putting out blogs with typos and poor grammar.  People also have the choice to reblog, although I doubt that would bring clients in....and I am assuming the original author is credited.  But plagiarism is wrong.  Good post about freedom!

July 15, 2012 05:45 AM
Rainmaker
655,876
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF

I'm curious if ghost writers bring in more business for agents. I really don't have a strong opinion on this, except that I want to write my own posts and do, and I don't have a problem if someone hires a ghost writer. To each his own. 

July 15, 2012 06:06 AM
Rainmaker
583,368
Sharon Lee
Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance

Barbara-This is a great topic and is one that has been discussed at great length over the years. While I personally wouldn't hire anyone to write my material I don't have a problem if someone hires a ghost writer. It might be better if it was noted it was someone else doing the writing like a asst but there again it is up to the person whose blog it is. If you are into building relationships with people then ghost writing isn't ideal.

July 15, 2012 06:17 AM
Ambassador
1,327,121
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408

Barbara - came here from Lenn's reblog.

Here is what i left as comment:

I do not see any problem using ghost writers. I also do not understand why agents using them should not be writing in the first person. They pay for it, and now it is their stuff.

Blog can be purchased like any other product or service, and then it becomes yours.

But taking points for it is wrong, and this is the reason there is a checkbox. you can post, but not claimn points. Simple concept.

July 15, 2012 07:11 AM
Rainmaker
574,918
Valerie Zinger
Home Organizer
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada
Good morning Barb. What a good discussion. There is the factual writing about homes and localisms and the market and then there are the personal posts about life and loves and living. I can't see the value of a ghost writer trying to portray someone's inner thoughts and beliefs.
July 15, 2012 08:42 AM
Rainmaker
1,217,202
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

I cannot believe that someone would employ a ghost writer here or on any site!  It would not have ever occurred to me!  Of course, it never occurred to me to buy term papers when I was in school, so the concept is foreign to me!

July 15, 2012 01:21 PM
Rainmaker
1,930,613
Barbara Todaro
"New Franklin MA Homes"
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Jay....there are people who are exceptional writers and know SEO inside and out.... just as there are other people who are better qualified to do specific jobs better than others.... car mechanics....plumbers.... framers.... when I was in college I made money by typing papers....I could type faster than I could talk.... and I'll admit, I've recently written a few political science papers for no charge....just to help the husband of a fellow real estate agent.... I enjoyed it!!! 

July 15, 2012 01:33 PM
Rainmaker
996,044
Karen Anne Stone
Fort Worth Real Estate
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

Mona in #52:  I totally agree with you.  If it has their name on it... it should be their creation.  I remember years ago the group Milli Vanilli... two guys... who had a big hit that shot way up the "charts..." and then it came out that it really wasn't them doing the singing.

The music world, and the listening public, jumped all over them... and they should have. 

I fully agree with you, Mona.  Trust... is very important in doing business. 

If someone writes a blog... a series of blog posts... and in doing so allows the "reading world" to believe it is that person who is talking... they are cheating... and misleading those who read their blog. 

And... here's the big deal.  If I contract for your services believing that it was "YOU" that I was buying... and then find out later that "you" hired someone else to do that writing... and the "real" you is quite different... well, I am sorry, but... to use language that I rarely if ever use on AR... boy, am I gonna be pissed!

The ability to be able to trust that someone really IS who they present themselves as being... is pretty critical, here.

July 15, 2012 02:46 PM
Rainmaker
996,044
Karen Anne Stone
Fort Worth Real Estate
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County

Barbara... the examples you used in #60 are a little different.  If I need plumbing or framing or my oil changed, and the guy who did the work was named Frank, but said his name was Herb... who cares?  But if I am relying on someone's reputation they got from their blogging, and it turns out it was not really them... I will not be very happy. 

July 15, 2012 02:52 PM
Ambassador
1,480,767
Tammy Lankford
Your Lake Sinclair Expert (706-485-9668)
Lane Realty

I disagree with you on this one Barbara.  I'm NOT a writer.  I know my blog has grammar errors and LOTS of run on sentences.  But when people call and tell me they've been reading my "stuff" and then I work with them in person, the know exactly what to expect.  Most of them ask me about My Donald and my pets.  I am now getting referrals from people who found me via my blog posts over the past 3 years.

July 15, 2012 03:01 PM
Rainmaker
1,217,202
Jay Markanich
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC

Typing papers is one thing.  Writing them for sale is another!

And when you write papers for someone else, do you really help them?

That's daddyspeak. 

 

July 15, 2012 06:54 PM
Rainmaker
295,454
Bud & Beth McKinney
Cary/Raleigh/Apex NC - The Team That Cares, RE/MAX United
RE/MAX UNITED

Interesting suggestion. But hey, if you can give a job to someone else so they can do what THEY love while you don't have to worry about it, by all means! Thank you for sharing. Interesting title drew me in instantly.

July 16, 2012 11:49 AM
Rainmaker
279,468
Christine Hooks
Celebrating 20 Years in Real Estate!
Pino Agency

Hi, Barbara.  As someone who struggles with the much-needed consistency of blogging, I can certainly see the value of having a 'ghost writer'.  Live and let live!

July 16, 2012 09:23 PM
Rainmaker
342,512
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.
RVA Home Team with Jefferson Properties

I know many agents who have their assistants do the blogging for them and I don't see any problem with that as they are an integral part of the team.

July 22, 2012 07:35 AM
Rainer
3,531
Shannon O'Brien
All Writey Then. . .

 Barbara, I did a huge fist pump with your remark about Google juice being the primary reason for blogging. Thank you!

I understand that some agents want to do their own writing and I applaud that. I've seen some really great stuff here at Active Rain. But the “time” factor should be considered, in my opinion, and nobody is addressing that. Where is your time better used – sitting at a keyboard for an hour or two, banging out a blog post or networking for, or following up on leads?

I just wrote a column at RealEstate.com about the number one agent in the country. He had some interesting things to say about the value of his time – what he chooses to spend it on and what he chooses to delegate to specialists. Considering he made more money than any other agent in the country last year, his opinions might be valid for those in the business to make money. He simply does not perform any actions that don't directly contribute to his finances.

Consider as well a recent study of homebuyers, conducted by Movoto. “We thought homebuyers would want to know the person who will help them make the biggest purchase of their lives? As it turns out, not really. . .homebuyers don’t shop for an agent.” They even go on to say that buyers don’t care if a seeing eye dog shows them a house. . .they just want IN. So, how important is it, again, that your personality shines through on those blog posts?

Interestingly, another tidbit from the study is that if agents don’t respond quickly and aren’t ready to show property on the client’s schedule, they’re kicked to the curb. So, while you’re busy penning your latest, greatest blog post, is your phone going unanswered and your emails unread?

This is an interesting topic, Barbara and I love reading everyone’s answers.

 

August 05, 2012 06:44 PM
Rainmaker
77,139
Edie Czerniak
My Only Purpose is to Deliver Successful Results
RE/MAX Realty Team

Barbara: I've been online reading several posts regarding ghost writers.  I think you make excellent points as to why it is alright.  I for one spends hours trying to write a simple post about anything.  I would much rather spend time prospecting and letting someone else do what they are good at.

August 28, 2012 05:17 PM
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Rainmaker
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Barbara Todaro

"New Franklin MA Homes"
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