The ActiveRain Paradox

By
Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty
http://actvra.in/Ls6

Are you blogging for fun? Or are you blogging for business? The two are not the same, and it you get them confused, you won't be doing either one of them very well.

 

The ActiveRain Paradox

What is a paradox? "A paradox is a statement that is self contradictory because it often contains two statements that are both true, but in general, cannot both be true at the same time" (source).

Here's an example: receiving comments on posts is a good thing,  but the posts that bring you business rarely receive comments. 

 

Blog Posts that Get Lots of Comments

Getting lots of comments is good right? It means you've stimulated writing quillyour colleagues to the point where they've decided they should leave a comment. This is a good thing, right? ActiveRain even gives you points for this, and points are good, right?

Points look impressive. The number under your name on your profile looks impressive, and the more points you get, the higher you rank for your state. More points equals higher ranking equals more business, right?

Not necessarily...

You see it's easy to get comments and points. Publish in quantity instead of quality. Slam out Wordless Wednesday posts (but use 50 characters to get points). Reblog 5 posts a day. Respond to comments on your blog by creating individual comments for each and every one instead of grouping your responses together, etc, etc, etc.

And there are probably lots of other ways that I haven't thought of too. 

 

Blog Posts that Bring You Business

I used to care about points until one day I snapped and said "wait, this blogging stuff sure is fun, but hey, I'm nearly broke, wasn't this supposed to bring me business?"

That day I came to the sobering conclusion that the posts that bring elicit comments don't usually bring business, they just bring .....well.....wait for it.....comments! Comments from friends, comments from colleagues, comments from people who write you comments because they know you'll always return their comments whether or not your post added any value to their day or not. Comments, comments, comments.

If I was a consumer and I stumbled upon your ActiveRain blog and all I saw was meaningless posts with tons of comments from other Realtors I would think "what a bunch of garbage" and I'd navigate away before you even said the word, you guessed it, "comment."

I also came to the conclusion that day, if I didn't figure out what posts made the phone ring that I'd be out of business soon.

 

Blog Posts that Make You Money

Stacks of Cash "Alright, so if your such a smart guy what posts bring you money?" Well I'll tell you. 

Writing posts about neighborhoods brings you money. People who want to live in those neighborhoods will Google those neighborhoods up and they will find you.

Writing market reports will bring you money. Publish them for every neighborhood that you work. People who want to sell their houses in those neighborhoods will Google those stats up and they will find you.

Answer frequently asked buyer and seller questions. Buyers and sellers have questions about the process of buying and selling, and, you guessed it, they will Google these questions up and they will find you.

 

Which Type of Blogger Are You?

That is the paradox. The posts that bring you business rarely bring you points.  So ask yourself "are you blogging for fun?" If so, then just keep playing in the rain.

But if you are you blogging for business, get serious and write about what is going to bring you business.

Decide which is right for you. And FFFFFFFFFFForget the points. And stop manipulating them, they don't count for anything important.

 

--- 

If you are a consumer and you'd like to work with a no-nonsense kind of Realtor then I'm your man. TEXT or CALL me at (505) 803-5012.

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Evelyn Kennedy 11/15/2012 02:01 PM
  2. Linda Sabo 11/17/2012 08:09 AM
  3. Cara Marcelle Mancuso 11/18/2012 08:09 AM
  4. Jeff Gray 12/07/2012 12:02 PM
  5. Kristi Knutson 12/19/2012 06:50 AM
  6. Mark Loewenberg 12/19/2012 08:28 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
New Mexico Bernalillo County Albuquerque
Groups:
NIGHT OWLS AT ACTIVERAIN
Dedicated Bloggers
All Things New Mexico
Active Rain Newbies
LATE NIGHT - EARLY MORNING AT ACTIVERAIN
Tags:
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Rainmaker
231,245
Mary Stewart
HomeTrust Real Estate, LLC, Homes for Everyone - Wilsonville, OR
Wilsonville and Surrounding Portland Metro Areas

Rich blogging has been very good for me for many reasons and I do have to say that I am still  finding my way.  For the first time a post I did regarding a neighborhood brought me a phone call for a listing interview. I do not know the results of that yet but it was the video on the neighborhood that brought the call.  It is good. Thank you for such a good post.

 

Nov 15, 2012 09:44 AM #44
Rainmaker
204,139
Dave Keys
MOVE UP in Google Search Learn How Here - Brea, CA
Chief Search Strategist Real Estate SEO Expert

In reality, everything I do is targeting an audience to buy my product. Everything. There are rules to follow and online content that succeeds is necessarily blended with humor and even entertainment. People have a mouse at the ready to move away so that your described paradox is inescapable. You cannot have a stable earth without its moon and neighboring planets. You cannot have success online without the elements that may seem immaterial but that are absolutely necessary. In fact, as far as marketing goes, strike the word online.

Nov 15, 2012 09:49 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,305,673
Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
BuyersAgentPortland.com | (503) 810-7192 Portland Metro Exclusive Buyers Agent | 100% Buyer Representation ~ 100% o... - Portland, OR
Buyer Focused ~ Buyer Results

ActiveRain sure would be the most boring site if we just blogged for business and didn't include other types of posts.  There is something to be said about blogging for business, and something to be said about only blogging for business.  Many of my clients have found me online and have said they enjoyed my ActiveRain posts, which are varied. 

Nov 15, 2012 10:43 AM #46
Ambassador
1,421,008
Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rich, it's easy to write a post for fun as compared to writing a post about market reports. So, easy way out is - write for fun mixed with some market report posts, some localism posts and some posts to show your personality. This way, it's still about points and about business. One thing we should remember that when we do develop relations here - and get/give referrals to other member of this group - which means the post that was for fun did bring in the business!

For me. I prefer to comment, write market reports and blog for fun - in that order.

Nov 15, 2012 11:17 AM #47
Rainmaker
436,666
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Rich - So well said!  As a Stager, I try to post 'Before & After' photos of work I've done.  I also write localism posts, but with a staging spin.  I would like to accumulate the 500,000 points so I won't have to keep paying every year for my A/R membership(!), but you're right.  Post for business.

Nov 15, 2012 12:48 PM #48
Rainmaker
658,546
Evelyn Kennedy
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Rich:

My post are usually about my city, neighbors, schools and related topics.  I am trying to series about schools, condo and townhouse associations and neighborhood information about my city that I hope will be in the ether for a long time and will lead to consumers.

Nov 15, 2012 01:56 PM #49
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1,103,884
Bryan Robertson
Catarra Real Estate, Inc - Los Altos, CA
Broker, Author, Speaker

I'd say about 70% of my posts are related to my business either in property advertising, IDX posts, etc.  Once in a while I write for fun and will post something I know is of interest to agents.  Points are nice but not critical.

Nov 16, 2012 08:12 PM #50
Ambassador
363,076
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Wow, I'm sorry I got so behind in responding to comments. My goal over the weekend is to visit everyone's blog and get to know those of you that I don't already know. 

I think it's great that so many people weighed in and shared how they are using ActiveRain. I never meant to say it had to be and either/or proposition, blogging for business or blogging for fun. I think a good blog has a nice balance of all types of posts, posts for business, posts for community,and posts for humor too.

Thanks for visiting and God Bless America. Now drive safely everyone. 

Nov 16, 2012 08:54 PM #51
Rainmaker
1,437,378
Anita Clark
ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055 - Warner Robins, GA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA

Loved this post and I thought Bill's comments were right on the mark as well.  At least 90% of my posts are business related...it is a system that works, both for online referrals and acquiring new clients. 

Nov 17, 2012 03:45 AM #52
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1,344,362
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

I was not posting for business, but was posting for fun. And 90% of my business was coming from people who liked what I had to say, and who were looking for real estate in this area.

Funny, but I was getting quite a number of customers who were reading my political blogs, did not agree with me, but liked my openness.

 

Nov 17, 2012 08:20 AM #53
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363,076
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Thanks Anita, 90% is pretty high! I have no idea what my mix is. Maybe I will sit down at the end of November when the challenge is over and break it down. I am guided mostly by inspiration, whatever I feel like writing that day. Ibet it's about 85% for business, 10% for community, and 5% other.

Jon, You know, once you have a large volume of content and your blog has been around for a couple of years I think the rules go out the window. Looks you have a ton off points, so you must have been doing this for a long time. With time and regular posting comes your own devoted audience that you developed. That's a beautiful thing. You could probably post anything at this point and get it read by a lot of people. Most newbies, however, don't have that luxury and won't take the time to develop their audience. If they don't have success within 3 or 4 months they will give blogging up because it didn't work. That's where I was coming from in this post, how can you get succcess without having 500,000 points. I didn't say that inthe post though. I'm glad what you do works for you, you've obviously earned your success, but I don't think I would advise newbies to write political posts to get real estate business. Until they have earned their audience. 

Nov 17, 2012 09:58 AM #54
Ambassador
1,344,362
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Selling Daytona paradise for heavenly good prices

Rich - I wold both agree and disagree with you. you are absolutely correct that it took me over 2 years before I started getting any business. I was not here to gain business, so it came as a surprise to me. So yes, it takes time.

However, what I am not sure about is the benefit of blogging for everyone. I do not think that everyone should be blogging. Blogging, being on FB, Twitting are all tools, and they work for some and do not work for others. I do not do FB, Twitter, and any other social media. And this is fine wit me.

I know extraordinary successful people, who do not do any of that, not blog, not doing anything in terms of social media. And they dominate the field. How? because they are kings of their trade. They either condtrol the neighborhoods, or type of real estate (like condos), or whatever...

What so mnay agents are trying to circumvent is knowldge and experience.

Tools do not replace the Master. If you a a Master, then using tools has meaning. I am seeing a lot of agents, who think that the way to grow business is by using social media.

Blogging is a dangerous tool. It shows what you may not want others to see. Writing is very personal and it exposes you. You are either somebody with a personality, or this particular tool will not work for you.

Buyers are looking for properties first, neighborhoods second and many of them are looking for agents. I am so often getting calls from people, who found the property not on my site, who learned about the area not on my site, but who was then looking for an agent and found someone who they percieve as knowledgeable and honest. It is not that I am bragging, but often time people call me because I am saying "no" where others say "Yes". If I think that this particular property isnot great as investment, I would say so.

Maybe others do it differently, but I always look for people first. Every agent has access to the same database (MLS). So, al I need is to find an agent, who I feel comfortable with, who has the brains, and who is not a robot and I am sold.

Thank you for listening.

Nov 17, 2012 11:37 AM #55
Rainmaker
472,866
Cara Marcelle Mancuso
Long Realty - Dove Mountain, Marana AZ - Tucson, AZ
Call a Marana neighbor, I'm THERE!

Interesting comments.  I was sent over by Connie Harvey's re-blog and I did the same to share with my office.  I understand that Jon has some points, but blogging isn't just about blogging..it's about networking, relationships, getting to know your community or niche even more, reciprocity, etc. etc. etc.  We are all not masters, and there's a great many newbies out there trying to get their foot in the door.  I say it doesn't hurt to try, it doesn't hurt to find your "voice" and the education to be gleaned here on Active Rain is priceless.

Nov 18, 2012 08:14 AM #56
Rainmaker
707,454
Elite Home Sales Team
Keller Williams Realty - San Clemente, CA
A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team

Thank you as with anything we can get side tracked. Very well done post.

Nov 18, 2012 08:17 AM #57
Rainmaker
388,814
Diane M. Phillips
Frankly Real Estate Inc. - Manchester, MD
Realtor 443-286-4365

Rich ~ I agree and disagree, the business generating posts are dead on, however, IMHO .... points help fill my need of accomplishment.

Nov 18, 2012 08:26 AM #58
Ambassador
363,076
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty - Albuquerque, NM
eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque

Jon, If you're not here to get business then I considder what you have to say to be irrelevant to this discussion. I'm gald you enjoy participating, and I applaud you for sticking with blogging for two years before seeing any ROI. 

Cara, Yes indeed, I have learned tons of stuff here on ActiveRain!

Mark, I get sidetracked all the time too.

Diane, Excellent point! If points (hard earned ones, not maniuplated ones, that is) encourage you to continue posting then all the merrier. Commission checks are very motivationg too!!! 

It has been interesting to hear everyone's different perspective here. It's great to have the conversation and to have discussion as well. 

 

 

Nov 18, 2012 09:46 AM #59
Ambassador
765,957
Jerry Newman
Green Home Realty, 210-789-4216,www.Selling-SanAntonioHomes.com - San Antonio, TX
Texas REALTOR, San Antonio Military Relocation

Hi Rich, I made a commitment this year to post more market and subdivision reports. I am getting more leads because of that decision, and plan to continue by adding some videos too.

Dec 07, 2012 12:13 PM #60
Rainer
178,010
Steve Davis
Davis Coastal Properties - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad CA

Always amazed me to see people ahead of me in points with no blog entries. I do not know how they do that or why?  Blogging for content and the points will come. The points do make it fun - like a sporting event - no points or no score and we soon are bored.

Dec 19, 2012 06:53 AM #61
Rainmaker
601,852
Mark Loewenberg
Keller Williams of the Palm Beaches - Palm Beach Gardens, FL
PA 561-214-0370

home run for educating folks and you hit it out of the park with the types of posts kudos and thanks for posting!

Dec 19, 2012 07:42 AM #62
Rainmaker
233,581
David Grbich
Ventana Coastal Properties - www.FindCARealEstate.com - San Juan Capistrano, CA
Orange County Real Estate - 949-500-0484

Rich - nice post and great advice - I have been trying to get more and more local and it does work. I have not done many neighborhood specific market reports but your post made the benefits of these loud and clear - someone looking to sell in XYZ neighborhood will read a market report for their neighborhood and it is a listing opportunity. Thanks Dave

Dec 19, 2012 09:08 AM #63
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